Information please on E.H. B9 organ pedal?

Denny

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1,812
I've viewed the vids online. I didn't notice anyone strumming many full chords - rhythm. Also, can you bend one and two strings? Thanks ahead of time.

Denny
 

Flyin' Brian

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30,424
I need to ask; why would you want to bend strings if you're emulating an organ?

The whole concept is to NOT play it like a guitar.
 

Sloppyslim

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265
thank goodness everybody didn't think the whole concept of electric guitar was a louder acoustic
 

ChicagoJoe

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3,086
Full chords sound just fine, like a keyboard playing a full chord. But you shouldn't strum as if you're playing an acoustic guitar playing cowboy chords. Play a chord and hold it, let it ring out, it will hold for a long time like a sustain pedal on a keyboard. It's also extremely dynamic, to the point where individual notes will pop out or die out if your playing dynamics aren't perfectly even. Even EHX recommends using a compressor before or after the B9 to even out your playing.

It also tracks string bending, although if you've gotten a listener to suspend disbelief that an organ is playing, a bend might be distracting.

It is pretty darn convincing if your playing style adapts what it is designed to do. And it can be really inspiring to song-write with. But a little known inconvenience is that it requires its own isolated power supply. Even if you feed it 9V from an MXR power brick, it'll be noisy. Don't even try using a daisy chain. It needs it's own 9V adaptor to keep quiet.

Hope that helps.
 

fjs1962

Silver Supporting Member
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2,510
I've been using one since they came out. I play in a 2 guitar band without a keys player. We do several old R&B songs that sound good with the organ sound in the mix. I have a love/hate relationship with the B9.

I love the way it sounds. I don't use the built in modulation, but instead run mine into the rotary sim in my Strymon Mobius. I've had people ask what I'm using on several occasions because it really does sound like a B3 in the mix if you play the right chord voicings.

That said, playing the B9 is a real pain. You need to trigger it with a strong signal, preferably a humbucker on the bridge pickup. I don't get as good of a result with my single coil guitars. It also doesn't respond well to turning the guitar volume down to get quieter. It really wants the guitar to be wide open to work right, so you really need either a volume pedal after the B9 or a clean boost if you want to punch it up for leads and bring it back for rhythm.

There is also a noticeable latency in the attack, such that trying to play fast percussive lines isn't easy, you have to try to play a little ahead of the beat. You can blend in some clean guitar to help add back the attack, but then it doesn't sound as authentic.

The guys in my band love the sounds the B9 adds to our group, so I keep using it, but there are times when I wish I'd never brought it in because I just don't like having to deal with the issues of using it.

One more thing, i really don't like that EHX makes 5 pedals (B9, C9, Key9, mel9, and now synth9) that are all the same hardware but with different programming. These could all be a single pedal that could be loaded with the different sounds without having to make us keep paying for the same hardware over and over just to get more sounds. But then I guess that's marketing.....
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
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8,263
One more thing, i really don't like that EHX makes 5 pedals (B9, C9, Key9, mel9, and now synth9) that are all the same hardware but with different programming. These could all be a single pedal that could be loaded with the different sounds without having to make us keep paying for the same hardware over and over just to get more sounds.

And that would benefit EHX's revenue numbers how? :)

Practically, what I'd like to see is a 'big box' version that has all/more of the sounds in one box with midi for presets and cc control of parameters, maybe up/down foot switches to manually change sounds without that rotary button, and that costs, maybe $450-500?
 

fjs1962

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,510
Practically, what I'd like to see is a 'big box' version that has all/more of the sounds in one box with midi for presets and cc control of parameters, maybe up/down foot switches to manually change sounds without that rotary button, and that costs, maybe $450-500?

I guess if I liked the B9 better that would be a cool thing, but for me there are just too many downsides to these pedals for me to want to dump any more money into them. I have a friend who's a EHX dealer so I've been able to demo them all. I've found 2, maybe 3 sounds in each one that I thought I'd actually use.
 

Denny

Member
Messages
1,812
Awesome information. Thanks very much guys - I'm gonna pass - too old to learn any new styles -.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,263
Yeah for sure it depends on your needs. I got a k9 because I wanted some keys sounds and it has some organ tones (even though I preferred the C9 for organ tones), and since I bought it I've used it for almost every show I've played, both in ensembles that have a keys player and in those that don't. Sometimes it's for covering a distinct epiano or organ part, sometimes it's just layered on for when I want something 'different'/thickened/sustained that doesn't sound like guitar.

I do find that it requires different technique. For anything with multiple notes played at once, I always finger pick it - i.e., I pick each string with a different finger, all at the same time. I also typically voice it differently from how I might if it was a guitar part. I do find it works best on bridge pickups (as they recommend, though I don't know why it would track better on bridge pups with all that extra high end harmonic content). I haven't found problems managing the levels - though, as with guitar tones, I always have post-boosts available to bring the level up for solos.

I guess if I liked the B9 better that would be a cool thing, but for me there are just too many downsides to these pedals for me to want to dump any more money into them. I have a friend who's a EHX dealer so I've been able to demo them all. I've found 2, maybe 3 sounds in each one that I thought I'd actually use.
 

lawrencedesigns

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,325
"It is pretty darn convincing if your playing style adapts what it is designed to do. And it can be really inspiring to song-write with. But a little known inconvenience is that it requires its own isolated power supply. Even if you feed it 9V from an MXR power brick, it'll be noisy. Don't even try using a daisy chain. It needs it's own 9V adaptor to keep quiet."

I am not familiar with the MXR power brick, so I don't know if it is an isolated power source. That being said, I power my B9 with a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2. Along with 7 other pedals. It is absolutely dead quiet. No noise issues at all...
 




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