Holier Grail: Big Problem!!!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by speedyone, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    Alright, so I traded my Johnson J-Station for a Holier Grail without even playing it (yeah, I know...stupid).

    I really loved all the soundclips I had heard of it, but after I plugged it in through my amp's fx loop--

    BIG PROBLEM

    :BITCH

    There is a "blend" knob, which is SUPPOSED to control how wet the mix is; the higher the blend setting, the more effect you should get.

    However, the more you turn the knob, the more latency you get. In order to even get a moderately pronounced reverb effect, you must turn the knob quite a bit.

    THIS PEDAL IS COMPLETELY USELESS BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF LATENCY!!

    OK, maybe I'm overreacting, and/or a dunce. Perhaps I have the pedal hooked up wrong?

    I have it in my fx loop. One cord goes from the amp's fx send into the input of my Holier Grail. One cord goes from the output of the Grail into the fx return of my amp. The amp has 3 setting-- +4 db, 0db, and -20db. The selector is set to 0db. (Even though I think this has nothing to do with latency, just thought I'd share.)

    So, anyone here experience this?

    Is this a defect?
    Is this pedal just really badly designed?

    Please help!
     
  2. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I know some people like this pedal. I tried it for one day before returning it to Sweetwater and going back to my much preferred older Holy Grail.
     
  3. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    So did you have the latency problem?
     
  4. iaresee

    iaresee Member

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    No, you don't have it hooked up wrong. The blend knob on all the EHX grail series pedals is...not quite apparent at first. The short answer is: everything sounds like it's working correctly.

    The long answer...

    If you've ever used a delay pedal with a 100% wet setting you'll be a little more comfortable with the blend knob on a Grail-series pedal. All the way clockwise you're working with 100% reverb -- the latency you're hearing is the time it takes for the reverb sound to get back to you. It's not processing latency, it's ambient latency. It's like the first repeat coming back in a 100% wet delay setup -- you don't hear your original note, just the repeats. Same deal with the Grail's blend knob fully clockwise: you don't hear you original note, just the reverb. In a big room the reverb is delayed behind your original signal.

    Is that making sense?

    Now, I will say I find the blend knob on the Grail-series pedals to be very, very strange. All of the two I've owned (Holy Grail, Holier Grail) were like this. It's a consistent design idealogy for EHX. From fully counter-clockwise to about noon the dry signal has always seemed constant to me and the amount of reverb is changed (less as you move further, counter-clockwise, away from the noon position). At exactly noon it's 50/50 as expected. And travelling clockwise past noon it's the amount of dry signal that changes, not the amount of wet signal.

    I think most people expect the blend know to work more like a summing knob. Taking in a constant dry signal level and summing it with 0-100% wet signal depending on where the knob is. Really it act more like a crossfader knob.
     
  5. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    After some more knob twiddling, I have experienced what you described.

    However, I still don't like what the Holier Grail does; it provides very good warm reverbs, but only at very small levels. Once you increase the mix (or the "wet" level to get a more pronounced reverb effect,) the reverb just sounds like it get far away-- like it's stuck under a blanket.

    The Hall, Room, and Spring reverbs are all of a good quality.

    It's too bad that I couldn't adjust the reverb level in a way that was familiar-- ie, Decay, Diffusion, Level, Pre-Delay, Post-Delay, Mix, Density, etc.

    This pedal's going back. I'm going to pick-up the Hardwire RV-7 I was GOING to get in the first place (that I was too impatient to wait for).

    Thanks for your input guys.
     
  6. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    in the brief period where i owned a holi(est) grail, I actually liked running it in front of the amp instead of the loop.

    still though... the RV-7 is nice.
     
  7. TerrorTwilight

    TerrorTwilight Member

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    I was having the same problem, so i ran it in front of the amp. The problem didn't go away completely, but it did go away somewhat.

    I may be too forgiving, though. I'm an electro-harmonix fan :eek:
     
  8. iaresee

    iaresee Member

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    Is there a pedal that has the 'verb laid out like that in the sub-$300 range? When you start talking specifics like that you usually start talking Eventide, Lexicon, TC Electronic, etc.

    FWIW I just scored an RV-3 and so far I'm digging it. The verbs are a lot brighter sounding than the EHX stuff -- they don't get nearly as swampy when you run it really wet. Doesn't do spring verb though. Just room verb. And the size is about right. I liked the Holier Grail but I just couldn't dedicate that much board space to reverb.
     
  9. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    Actually, I just realized I've got a MagicStomp coming to me next week-- that's got reverb, delay, chorus, etc.

    I think I'll use my extra $$$ from returning the Grail on a PedalTrain board, as I'll have the reverb covered (hopefully)!

    I do like EH gear; the Deluxe Memory Man is great, as is the Small Clone, and Metal Muff. I guess I'm just more of a "tweaker" as far as reverb is concerned...I've always gotten my reverb from rack units in the past, I guess I was hoping that by now more manufacturers would have developed rack-like reverbs for pedals. I guess I'll find out with the MagicStomp how good the reverb can be...

    Thanks again for your posts!
     
  10. heavypick

    heavypick Member

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    I have the same issue with my Holy Grail. Another thing that happened was it wouldn't work right away after I plugged it in. I had to ultimately unplug it and plug it back in to get it to work. I guess doing that reset the pedal or something. Is that a defect or is there an order to getting it to work (power first then guitar in/out then footswitch, or something like that. I tried a few configurations before it worked)? Don't know if this is related but the true bypass design (which allows signal to pass through even when the power is not connected) only let signal through if the button was pressed "off." Maybe that's how all TB stuff works, I don't know, but at first I couldn't get any signal through then after plugging and unplugging and stepping on the switch, I got signal to go through the unpowered pedal.
     
  11. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh, I have latency problems, all right - just not with the pedal! :eek:
     

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