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Replacement multi-effects rack unit?

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Hi Guys- I'm relatively new to my rack set up and have just recently gotten a Synergy SYN2 and a couple of modules. I've unearthed my ancient Alesis Quadraverb, which I bought new waaaaay back in the day. Well, I'm noting a few things:

1. It kind of sucks tone. I have to EQ the Synergy modules with way more mids and highs to compensate, when the Quadraverb is in the series FX loop. When the Quadraverb is unplugged, everything sounds brighter, more present, more open, etc.

2. Significant volume drop when the Quadraverb is plugged into the FX loop. I suppose it's not a big deal to simply turn up the levels to compensate.

So, if I wanted a "transparent" multi-effects rack (that doesn't suck tone and drop the volume level so significantly), what do you recommend?

I'd be fine with new or used, but don't want to spend tons of money if possible. I'm using reverb, delay, and chorus (occasionally) and would need MIDI capability. Thoughts, experiences, and recommendations are most appreciated.
 

NunoVanbamsteen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
586
I would go TC electronic, G major, G force, G system.
I’m selling a G major, has the box and papers, PM me if interested.
The G major has some really nice effects, all the basic time and modulation effects you need plus gating and compression. It also has a couple midi controllable switch outs on the back that can be used for turning off and on other devices, which you can also assign a midi controller to and use independently if you’re willing to put in a lil extra work.
I just sold my G system, that unit has a rack mountable brain that becomes the command center of your rig. It is REALLY a LOT of fun. That unit does everything the G Major does, plus more, such as formants for vowel sounds Ayye EEEII ayeee ohhh Yuuu, in whatever order you want. The G system also has loop inserts, so you can add outboard effects and decide when you want them in the chain or completely out. Definitely more money, but they are way cheaper today than a few years ago. The G force is their flagship rack unit, has all the processing power of the other two, plus a lil more, I believe. That’s the only unit of theirs I haven’t owned. Also expensive, still.

I can go into much greater detail, but youtube has PLENTY of demo videos to check out. I would really consider TC’s stuff for 2 reasons. A: solid reputation
2: amazingly transparent effects that allow full control and the ability to run series or parallel loops, and C: I’m selling the G major.

If you have any deeper questions, let me know.
There are lots of great machines out there, but your individual tastes will determine what’s most suitable for you.
 
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skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
I would go TC electronic, G major, G force, G system.
I’m selling a G major, has the box and papers, PM me if interested.
The G major has some really nice effects, all the basic time and modulation effects you need plus gating and compression. It also has a couple midi controllable switch outs on the back that can be used for turning off and on other devices, which you can also assign a midi controller to and use independently if you’re willing to put in a lil extra work.
I just sold my G system, that unit has a rack mountable brain that becomes the command center of your rig. It is REALLY a LOT of fun. That unit does everything the G Major does, plus more, such as formants for vowel sounds Ayye EEEII ayeee ohhh Yuuu, in whatever order you want. The G system also has loop inserts, so you can add outboard effects and decide when you want them in the chain or completely out. Definitely more money, but they are way cheaper today than a few years ago. The G force is their flagship rack unit, has all the processing power of the other two, plus a lil more, I believe. That’s the only unit of theirs I haven’t owned. Also expensive, still.

I can go into much greater detail, but youtube has PLENTY of demo videos to check out. I would really consider TC’s stuff for 2 reasons. A: solid reputation
2: amazingly transparent effects that allow full control and the ability to run series or parallel loops, and C: I’m selling the G major.

If you have any deeper questions, let me know.
There are lots of great machines out there, but your individual tastes will determine what’s most suitable for you.
Thanks! I'll look up videos and study up on the G Major today. For me, my driving interests are transparent (no coloring of my base sounds/tone), MIDI, and price. Really appreciate the input here.
 

Elric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,489
The G-Major idea is a cool suggestion. I remember GASsing for one of those back in the day.

For modern stuff, rack modelers can all make for really good FX units and they get discounted quickly when new generations drop... The Digitech GSP1101 was supposed to be a very transparent unit and they would be inexpensive and nice and compact @1u.

I remember them advertising it’s transparency as a major selling point and they Have an ask of like $300 on Reverb so you can get them cheaper. I used a ValveFX for FX for years and that unit was impressive and it was older than the 1101. Those go for like $100 now.

Boss GT-Pro, Line 6 POD Pro HD ($300 on reverb), would probably be cheap now.

Personally, I use an AxeFx II which is pretty amazing, IMHO. The first generation AxeFx units are killer FX units, too; highly reliable and have dropped to under $1k used now that the III has been out a while; the improved amp and cab functionality is the big seller for the new generations but they were killer FX units from the get go, IMHO, and a steal on the used market. You can get an Ultra on GC used site for $800. Used IIs are probably still >$1K though.

I really like an FX unit with a movable loop. The four cable method is incredibly flexible with a rack pre. You can put the pre where it belongs relative to the power amp and your FX in the signal chain. F.ex you can go Phaser, Boost -> Rack Preamp -> Delay, Reverb -> Power Amp.

Also most of the modelers can easily get you a great cab emulated output for FOH or recording.

Lots of options for any budget really. It is kind of good that rack gear is out of fashion if you are shopping for used stuff.
 
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Dexter.Sinister

Still breathing
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,693
Mixer, mixer mixer.... Even an old Quadraverb can sound decent as long as you run things in parallel.
Beat me to it!

If this is running mono in your effects loop, this can be an inexpensive and small unit. A used Suhr minimix (first edition) is perfect for this.
 
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skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Mixer, mixer mixer.... Even an old Quadraverb can sound decent as long as you run things in parallel.
Beat me to it!

If this is running mono in your effects loop, this can be an inexpensive and small unit. A used Suhr mix (first edition) is perfect for this.
Whoa! I did not know such a thing existed. I just did a quick google search on Suhr Mix-- Correct me if I'm wrong- So apparently, I could run the FX send & return of my Synergy SYN2 rack to the Suhr Mix Out/In and then run the Quadraverb via the Suhr's FX send/return on the opposite side of the unit? This would make a parallel loop and thus, not rob my tone and drop my volume levels when the Quadraverb is in use?? Oh man, definitely interested.
 

Dexter.Sinister

Still breathing
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,693
Whoa! I did not know such a thing existed. I just did a quick google search on Suhr Mix-- Correct me if I'm wrong- So apparently, I could run the FX send & return of my Synergy SYN2 rack to the Suhr Mix Out/In and then run the Quadraverb via the Suhr's FX send/return on the opposite side of the unit? This would make a parallel loop and thus, not rob my tone and drop my volume levels when the Quadraverb is in use?? Oh man, definitely interested.
Yep! I have done this with simple effects setups like yours and it is terrific. There is one up in Reverb for $125. Maybe more out there.

Have fun with all the loot left in yer back pocket!
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Yep! I have done this with simple effects setups like yours and it is terrific. There is one up in Reverb for $125. Maybe more out there.

Have fun with all the loot left in yer back pocket!
Thanks man, much appreciated.

Quick question for you and everyone else:

The Suhr minimix ii (new) is $250. Would you buy this and use the old Quadraverb or put that $250 towards a new/newer effects rack that is transparent sounding and doesn’t color your tone?
 

Marioverkill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
229
Thanks man, much appreciated.

Quick question for you and everyone else:

The Suhr minimix ii (new) is $250. Would you buy this and use the old Quadraverb or put that $250 towards a new/newer effects rack that is transparent sounding and doesn’t color your tone?
I would get the Suhr MinimixII. I have one and it works great. You will be able to use it with any effects processor should you upgrade your Quadraverb. With your Quadra in a mixer for the effects you are using, you will probably find it works just fine.
The Gmajor2 is a great unit, I used one live for about 5 years. I also had two Gmajor1 units. Make no mistake, they will suck some tone.
Mario

P.S.
With the control jack, you can mute the fx,mute the dry or mute the amp .
 

NunoVanbamsteen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
586
The TC can be set up for Series or Parallel internally, saving you the green :)
 
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Marioverkill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
229
The TC can be set up for Series or Parallel internally, saving you the green :)
Not really. Those routing options happen after the AD conversion and before the DA conversion. A mixer keeps your dry signal from going through the converters by going through the (hopefully)high quality mixer buss.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Not really. Those routing options happen after the AD conversion and before the DA conversion. A mixer keeps your dry signal from going through the converters by going through the (hopefully)high quality mixer buss.
Do you think this mixer from EHX could make my old quadraverb suck less tone? It’s 1/2 the price of the Suhr minimix ii and has level knobs.
 

Marioverkill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
229
Do you think this mixer from EHX could make my old quadraverb suck less tone? It’s 1/2 the price of the Suhr minimix ii and has level knobs.
I am not familiar with that product so I can't say anything about it. You want to get quality over features for this kinda thing. The Suhr,CAE, Mark L stuff is built with quality signal components with the goal of maintaining signal integrity so I lean towards those. There are rack mount quality mixers and desktop mixers but that is overkill for your use. The minimix has no level knobs on purpose. This makes it easier to use. It is unity gain so if you want more effects you use the output level of your fx unit and that's it,easy. You can find used ones that will save you some money.
 

rustolium

Member
Messages
559
Lots of good ideas already.

If it was me, I'd dig up another $350 or so and get a HXSTOMP or HX Effects (assuming it fits) and put it on a rack drawer (since this is a rack forum). Wire it 4CM and get modern features etc. As was previously mentioned you could see if you can find an older Fractal rack unit as well or their FM3 or something.

This will sound great and let you dynamically put effects in front or behind and in the case of the HXSTOMP you can even use IRs for recording and the list goes on.

The tone and feel can only be determined by you, but I'd be surprised if this was setup correctly it didn't do you right.
 

Anje

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,346
I think a mixer would be a great idea if he was using an unit that - tone suck aside - sounded exceptional, like for example a PCM 42 or SDE3000 or something at that level. But with a Quadraverb? Series or parallel, it's still a Quadraverb, quite outdated now and it was never a top shelf unit to begin with.
I would say the contrary: if using one of those great simple old units you mention (PCM42 or SDE3000) there would be absolutely no issue going straight through them and using their internal mix control, as they sound great without an external mixer.

For the scenario described, mono in an amp loop with 1 rack unit that you like the effects of but don't like the effect on main dry tone, I'd also buy a used simple mono mixer like the Suhr. Cheap and really effective with any tone sucker unit.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Great info here, guys. Thanks for the input. So, I was able to score a used Suhr MiniMix II, and I really appreciate the recommendation to get one. I had never heard of this unit before, so appreciate learning about it.

It just arrived and I plugged it up real quick and will give it a thorough test drive later on, but immediately, the difference was HUGE. I set the Quadraverb to 100% wet and everything just sounds 100 times better. No tone suck.

I'm taking note of better units you guys have mentioned. True statement from the above post- It's still a Quadraverb (1989 technology). G-Major, one of the other units in a rack drawer (FX8, HX Effects, etc.) is also a great idea. I'm also still thinking an Axe Fx II at a good used price.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,291
Started a thread elsewhere on this topic, but was curious if the Yamaha SPX2000 or TC Electronic M3000 are viable considerations for multi-effect units? Can't seem to find much info/clips and not sure if these are more for studio production vs. guitar.
 

iam_krash

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
650
Alesis is junk and the TC is mediocre at best.
Find yourself a PCM 80/81 or an Eclipse
If $$$ is a factor, Boss SE-70, Roland GP-100, Boss RSP-550. GP-100 is the poor man's H3000...pitch shifting is only second to eventide. Delays are excellent, don't bother with the pre-amp, early COSM, horrible.
SE-70 is the best all around power house you'll find for under $250.
MPX-1 or MPX-2 for Lexicon grade reverbs on the cheap. It crushes EVERYTHING reverb under $500, unless you can find a cheap, well sorted PC-M80 on the cheap.
Buy a quality mixer. DONE! EVERYTHING you'll need for killer, delays, reverbs and pitch shifting without breaking the bank.
 




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