Please help me choose! G-system, Eventide Eclipse or Fireworx?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by sach16, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. sach16

    sach16 Member

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    Hey guys,

    Armed with nothing but google and a headache, I think I've decided to go for one of these 3... either an eclipse and a foot controller or a g-system, or maybe the tc fireworx (live into a vox ac15 and studio use).

    Does anyone have an idea of what the benefits of one over the other are, or is there a clear winner here? I'd like a unit I can explore and find/make new sounds - particularly haunting sounds...

    One thing I'm worried about is that I hear the eclipse is quite hard to use - is this true?....also i hear that neither have good distortion/fuzz which is a shame - are there any similar rack units also with great distortion or best to just stick to pedals for that?

    Any comments would be really appreciated, cheers

    sache (www.myspace.com/timespacerepeat)
     
  2. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    I highly recommend going over to www.hugeracksinc.com and posting the same question there. The guys over there all have at least one of these units and can give yo tons of info plus you can do searches there for all three units. They are all great but the Fireworx is definitley more of a studio box and perfect for more industrial stuff-think Ministry or NIN, the Eclipse is killer also but there have been some reports of lockups. To hear some amazing samples of the Eclipse search at huge racks for simeon harris-he did about 50 preset samples. The G Force is a lot more traditional and the G Card has some amazing presets, plus if you use a switcher you can have it setup not only for patch changes but also select individual on/offs of the various modules within a preset, ie. a patch with chorus, delay and pitch where you can use it as is for a solo but turn off the pitch for example for a rhythm part. ALso, www.pappysmusic.com has several of these units in mint condition but used for a bit less than a new one. All three are awesome units.
     
  3. sach16

    sach16 Member

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    thanks for the reply todd - all great info, i'll try posting over there... i'm down to between the g-system and the fireworx... i think the fireworx may have more potential for creating new sounds / experimenting... but the g-system easier to use and better for live use...

    great link to price for the eclipse dude! though i hear you can only run 2 effects at a time, so as a guitarist it's not much use as a single effects unit...
     
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    You're talking apples and oranges here...
    The Eclipse and the Fireworx are studio targeted boxes with very deep user interfaces. There's a reason that Vai, Satriani and all those cutting edge cats have used Eventide-they'll do stuff that's pretty hard to imagine, and have done since the H3000 D/SE came out (around $800 used now) but they're anything but intuitive for a user interface. They don't actually have a distortion at all-not guitar oriented.
    But that's OK, the distortion presets on most guitar oriented digital boards suck! And why ask a signal processor to do the work that a preamp should? I started looking for THE preamp a few years ago, tried quite a few: Kasha, Hafler, Marshall, Sansamp, Kittyhawk, Boogie, Seymour Duncan, H&K, Morin, ART, Alesis... None of them could do it all, so I've kind of settled on the concept of letting a piece of gear do what it's good at: H&K Crunch Machine for mid-gain, clean up with the guitar volume, Sansamp PSA for clean and Marshallesqe sounds, Peavey Valverb for verb/tremelo, Morin preamp for high gain. Since I"m not gigging this rig, I just play with it, but if I were I'd have it controlled by some kind of Midi routing system like the Yamaha PLS1 or the Kittyhawk router/looper...
     
  5. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    I believe you can split the Eclipse into a dual mono setup as well. The G System looks cool and sounds ok but a lot of guys at Huge Racks complain about the digital-ness of its sound which it is. The upside is that the G System can control a few pedals via its loops and also channel switching on the amp. There is a cool demo of the G System at the TC site where the guy takes you through internal presets, shows how it sounds with a few analog stompboxes added and finally a cool jam with band. Check it out too. I personally would go for the Eclipse as it sounds so amazing at all levels. While at hugeracks be sure to check out the new Peter Frampton thread which has a link to his new rig complete with not one but two Eclipses. (I guess that would be a lunar and solar!!)
     
  6. sach16

    sach16 Member

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    guys, many thanks for those replies - really helpful :)

    i get the feeling the fireworx is not suitable for live use as 1 unit really - so now it's between the g-system and eclipse

    1 last question (the most important)! i've heard a lot of eclipse sound clips posted on the web by some dude called simon... while they are fantastic sounds - most of them are sounds that i'd be able to get with my midi keyboard+laptop i also use... so when i'm looking for new/experimental sounds - should i just stick to the laptop for that and use the guitar in a more standard way - or are there ways i can use the guitar to make sounds that can't come from a synth?

    - i guess that's the killer question for choosing between a g-system and eclipse... any thoughts on this guys?
     
  7. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Sach, the clips by Simon are very specific to his ambient style of music but a lot of rock type guys use one too.for example Peter Frampton has 2 in his current rack-go to axxess electronics to see his rig-also Mike Landau uses one and he is more of a rock/fusion studio guy and don't forget John Petrucci who I think has one or he may still have the GTR 4000 in his rig. Of course it was Steve Vai and all the late 80's shred guys who started using the Eclipse's predecessors like the H3000(EVH included). Personally, I would go with the E or G Force rather than a G System. I think resale will be better too in case you decide either are not working out for you down the road.
     
  8. Neill

    Neill Member

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    i was gonna jump in and say that lanois was on that pre - "shred" dudes. i had no idea kaiser was on that too... or mh for that matter
     
  9. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Excellent info. The point I guess is that these units are versatile enough for all types of rigs but they all require some time spent learning them. The presets are great but the fun is unlocking the secrets and coming up with your own set of sounds. They are really not plug and play units.
     
  10. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    I, um, worked on both the Eclipse and all the Eventide boxes up through the DSP 4000 and was the guy that created "Crystal Echos" on the original H-3000 years ago.

    As long as you were going to use the Fireworx or Eclipse in an effects loop and were going to get your overdrive and distortion from pedals both would be good for "new" sounds.

    IMO, the Fireworx is slightly more flexible but does not have as good soinics as the Eclipse...the reverb block is just passable. However, the way you can hook up the individual "boxes" inside the Fireworx and the way you can control them with various signal attibutes (volume, threshold) etc is VERY cool. There are also more "modules" to choose from and combine into a single patch.

    Both of these are VERY deep boxes and you should plan on spending a goodly amount of time to master them. I have NO idea of how you would go about switching things on and off or changing presets mid stream but the Fireworx I think may be a tad easier to use with a better UI.

    Again, the Eclipse is NO slouch and the muti-pitch shifters as REALLY great as are some of the verbs and the multi-tap delays with filters. Personally I think I would likely end up with a Fireworx based on ease of use BUT knowing that the verbs are far from studio quality. Delays and about evrything else is very good but the Eclipse still wins out for overall sonic quality. So in the studio that would make a LOT of difference and for studio work I might go with the Eclipse.

    Btw, I know from a reliable source that EVH basically used the H-3000 with a stereo shift and set one side slightly sharp an the other slightly flat by different amounts to get his huge stereo spread. AFAIK, he did not use it for much more and considered this a big part of his "brown" sound.

    Hope this helps...
     
  11. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    DT & Jumblefingers,

    Sorry to burst your bubble but Eno and Lanois came up with that effect first before the Eventide even existed using more primitive tools.

    In 1978 when working on Harold Budd's Plateaux album at Bob and Dan's Grant Avenue studio in Hamilton Ontario (just half an hour from where I am sitting right now) they had a few really hi-tech early digital effects devices that were stupidly expensive at the time. The ones they owned included:

    EMT 250 digital reverberator

    AMS DMX 15-80s delay/pitch changer

    Lexicon M93 Prime Time delay

    Note: all of these effects units were 12 bit and the Eventide H3000 was 10 years away from even being released onto the market.

    I have personally spoken to Dan about the effect treatment you speak of

    It was created by sending a signal to the left side of the prime time - this side was set to delay at about 200ms with tons of feedback on the delay and the High rolloff was set for 2K. This very lo-fi delay would then feed into the AMS pitch changer which was set for an octave up and it's internal feedback was set at about 30% and the delay of the pitch shifted signal about 125 ms with perhaps a bit of modulation from the on board VCO to make the pitchsifted voice shimmer a little. Then this delayed pitch shift with internal feedbacking all fed out into the EMT 250 set 100% wet with no dry signal and a maximum reverb tail length of 4.5 seconds. Then all that was fed back into the right side of the Lexicon prime time set for 50% wet and 100 ms of delay time. The right channel of the Prime Time delay was modulated with an LFO sine wave to make the delayed > pitch shifted > reverb tail swirl and move so that it wouldn't sound flat and boring. Sort of a chorusing or vibrato of the reverb tail which Lexicon later implemented into the Hall algorithms of the 224, to randomize the echoes of the reverb tail and soften the grainy metallic texture of early digital reverb. The 224 was Lexicon's first reverb unit released in 1980.

    This effect was common on a lot of early Eno/Lanois projects in the late 70's early 80's up until 1986 when they stopped doing this effect. The last place it can be heard is on the song "With or without you" by U2 and it is not the Eventide h3000 doing this effect on Edge's, I mean Micheal Brook's infinite guitar. It;s the combintaion i just write about. These days the edge simulates this effect using the AMS pitch changer, a Korg SDD3000 dealy, a lexicon PCM70 for the reverb and a Yamaha SPX90 set to the Symphonic Program which is like the chorusing/vibrato or modulated delay that the reverb feeds into at the end of the chain.

    Eno and Lanois always did this effect in mono and panned it hard to one side to create more of a panoramic sound. Often they would have a different treatment happening in the other extreme side of the mix like an echo feeding reverb or a reversed reverb swelling into the dry signal in the center of the mix.

    The only time the "crystal echoes" H3000 patch was used was by Jimmy Lovine who produced the U2 song "All I want is you" for the Reality Bites movie soundtrack. Jimmy was trying to cop the Eno/Lanois vibe using the crystal echos program which was this Eventide Engineer's way of creating an effect using reverse dealys that had a sismilar aesthetic as the very involved treatment that Eno/Lanois did with more primitive and quirky gear.

    Hey Torn, why is it that you have never used Eventide gear? For pitch shift you used to use the Digitech IPS unit which was a poor man's Eventide. I can't believe that you ever used the H3000. If you had one, why was it never a part of your rig? Your rack gear was Digitach IPS>Lexicon PCM42>PCM70 now all (except fo the PCM42) replaced by the PCM81 that has an algorithm that will do all of that stuff right?
     
  12. sach_160

    sach_160 Member

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    hi guys, thanks for all the advice. I weighed it all up and decided to go for... both the clipse and g-system! I picked them up in the states on holiday at low prices (1225 for g-system and 1675 for eclipse from www.muzeekworld.com)

    I'll give each a good go and decide whether I should give one to my band mate, sell it, or just be greedy and use both myself :)

    So far I've only used the G-system - it's really impressive! The only thing I don't like yet is the chorus - compared to my Analogman clone chorus pedal, it sounds too digital... but maybe playing around with the parameters for a while will get a sound I like... the delays are awesome though - especially compared to what I've come from - a line6 dl4. It's a league apart. I find delay and reverb useed together sound a bit muddy so I tend to use just delay... though maybe this muddiness comes from having an AC15 and no effects loop (I just go direct in).

    I'll let ya guys know what I make of the eclipse, once I gather up enough courage to open it...

    Again, many thanks for all the advice!
     

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