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Synergy modular thread

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by OAJ73, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    My opinion only, of course:

    They still sound as good as they ever did. I've got one module that is directly overlapped: The Judge. It is a single-channel Friedman BE with a saturation switch. Compared to the Synergy BE, it sounds just about the identical- maybe a little darker, though that could be the tubes. Great module and still a favorite. Amusingly, I found it via the Fractal BE model. I had to sell my Fractal to pay down divorce debt. When I asked what could get that sound, "The Judge" was recommended and it did not disappoint.

    I've got another module that has no peer that I've found so far: Brahma. Desert. Island. Module. It just sounds like the sound of rock guitar in my head. I need to ask Dave Friedman if he can turn a Synergy module into a Brahma somehow but he's got to finish turning my Plexi into a Brahma first. But if you're a brootalz type of guy, this module would suck to you. It's an 80's rock machine. A lot probably comes down to taste and application.

    As a Fractal user, I've never felt that Fractal said that the older model is no good anymore. I think it would be out of character because they are proud of what they built before. Obviously, they want to sell new units and the new units get the development so that the older units fall behind in terms of features, but they still work and sound great. It may be easier on the new ones to get your sound but the old ones still hold up fine.

    The newer Synergy modules are sort of like that. They are adding cool useful features that you could do without but would generally appreciate. Look at all the switching goodies on the Ecstasy and Deliverance modules. The older Randall modules never had anything more than a bright switch. (OK, 1086 had the useless scoop switch)

    I think the Synergy Ecstasy module is much better than the old Randall XTC module. I don't have one anymore but I remember the XTC module being pretty decent. Like the Synergy Ecstasy, it just wasn't my sound.

    I'm not sure if this helps, but my two cents.
     
  2. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    I appreciate you mentioning this because it gave me an excuse to pull up a few schematics and think about this for a bit.

    The tweed Bassman has one major element that is unusual for Fender amps but ubiquitous for Marshall amps.

    The Champ, Twin, Deluxe and a variety of other amps that we think of as being "Fender-style" all have the tone controls after the FIRST preamp stage, fed by the tube plate. This lets you control the structure of how subsequent stages distort but doesn't let you EQ the resulting distortion. Presumably, that is why the Boogie Mark series have the graphic.

    The Bassman, most all Marshalls, AC30 and most every "Marshall-style" amp I can think of have the tone stack late in the preamp in a cathode follower arrangement. This doesn't let you adjust how the stages will distort but will let you adjust the overall resulting tone- at least until you distort the poweramp. The cathode follower also has some distortion characteristics of its own.

    The speaker cabinet would be a first order impact on the resulting tone, so a Bassman feeding brighter, snappier speakers would be more "fender" sounding than a Bassman feeding a sealed 4x12 cabinet which would be more "marshall" sounding.

    I'd stand by my original comment that the Shirley is a marshally amp. It has a multistage cascaded preamp with a cathode follower tone stack into an long tail pair driven class AB push-pull output section with negative feedback. I can't think of any other Fenders other than a Bassman with that configuration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  3. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    Ugh! It weighs a ton! Thanks, RM4. :(
     
  4. Kriig

    Kriig Member

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    Imho on several comparisons on YT, i liked the analog out vs the ir’s chosen by the person showing it of.
    Regarding the playing feel i’m in the dark. Never got to try it. This is seen from a pure sound pov.
     
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  5. jeremyjh

    jeremyjh Member

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    I spent some more time with the cabsim. I think it sounds pretty good but it may not suit everyone's taste. Just like you may have one IR that you prefer over most other IRs, you may prefer some particular IR over the Syn's cabsim. I play on headphones a lot and I found for myself I prefer some of my Ownhammer IRs but the built-in cabsim would definitely be totally usable if I just wanted to run directly to a PA for example.
     
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  6. Brandon7s

    Brandon7s Member

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    I have the Morgan AC and the Fryette Deliverance modules and I think the built in cabs are decent but really benefit from a high cut as there's quite a lot of top end fizz going on in them. I still prefer IRs and that's basically what my HX Stomp is relegated to right now, an IR loader.
     
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  7. Kriig

    Kriig Member

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    I can see that. It’s all personal. When i’m playing or recording, i can blast as loud as i want, so i don’t need irs, but they are a great tool to have.

    Right now i use either a CAA OD50, Cornford MK50 (dry into a 4x12) or a Marshall 6101 30th combo dry, with send fx to a Mesa 295 and out to two 4x12. Loud and massive.
    (and a pretty big rig to move)

    Actually thinking about trying a UA OX, to see how it works for recording.
     
  8. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I think the cabsim is great and personally I think the cab sim in the SYN-30 sounds better then the cabsim in the SYN-1. I know, doesn't make much sense unless there is some power amp coloration coming through that adds to the end results?
    The SYN-30 built in clean is GREAT if you are a clean freak like I am and it sounds perfect into FRFR. I prefer it to most of the best cleans I have gotten from my Fractal FM3. There is simply more bounce and fullness/richness (again, IMHO).
    Overdrive tones (testing with the Fryette module) are a different story.
    I think because you can sculpt modeling gear to do just about anything you want AND you have a gazillion great amp options in the FM3, the overdrive tones direct sound better and are more useable then the Fryette in SYN-30 DI... but it's freaking close!

    In any case going DI to PA with the Synergy gear was a huge, welcome surprise for me, sounds awesome and way better then I expected.
    Also being able to play the SYN-30 clean silently is the bomb. I'd record with that tone DI in a heartbeat.

    Finally, it's an amp so that trumps most modeling + FRFR rigs out of the gate.

    I currently have the SYN-30 and honestly I have not used it much because I'm gigging the FM3 out of convenience.
    This week I'm going to find time to do a ton of testing and really soul search if I can afford to keep the SYN-30 + grab a new module (it's empty right now) or if it would be better off with someone else. The gig season usually starts to wind down after Labor Day and the weather cools off. I don't think I want to drag out the SYN-30 in 99 degree heat, 99% humidity.

    It sounds killer in the room though, I might look to test one more module possibly the Dirty Shirley (love the real amp).
     
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  9. jeremyjh

    jeremyjh Member

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    Have you tried the Fractal into the SYN-30's effects return?
     
  10. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Not yet, have not had time but I will today. I think that should be pretty special as I used to gig AX8 into Runt 20 FX return and cab sim of Runt 20 out to PA and it was probably my back backline + DI live tone ever.
    I have a pretty big gig with someone else doing sound / lights this Friday, might be time to bring out the SYN-30 and test it in the wild.
     
  11. jeremyjh

    jeremyjh Member

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    Thank you so much for mentioning "high cut". I wish I'd tried it sooner. I was actually going to come back and retract my post. I usually use humbuckers for higher gain stuff but last night had my strat plugged in and when I switched to the BE channel the cabsim was way too fizzy and harsh to be usable, I had to load an IR in my DAW. This morning I came back and tried a high-cut in my mixer and this totally fixed the cabsim for me. Not only are the single-coils more manageable with gain but the humbuckers sound much better too. Time will tell but I think I like it enough now that I'm probably not going to mess with IRs except for when recording. This is a big win for me because it means I can just flip on my rig and play into headphones without waking up my computer and starting a DAW.
     
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  12. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Just played SYN-30 clean for about 10 minutes -- straight amp, no DI, no FX. Man, I REALLY dig it! Sounds great with my Teles.
    Any recommendations on a great fit module for straight up rock rhythm and lead tones?
    My rock rhythm would be Marshall-esque and need to clean up nicely for edge of breakup tones, maybe a little more than that with guitar volume knob.
    The lead tone should just be thick and rich and full.
    I'm going to give another module a try and gig this on Friday, no FX.
    I was thinking the SLO might be too much gain and a one trick pony? But the module is essentially two channels right?
    Already had the BE but only ran it direct. Might be happier through the SYN-30?
    Dirty Shirly is possibly but might be too "splatty" and raw for the lead tones I like? (Schon, Ty Tabor, Luke).
    Bogner???
    I'd basically have to buy today to get it in time, hence my rush.
    The Fryette was great and probably sold too soon, but a little too gainy for my needs.
     
  13. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a BE/BB which sounds great to me. Use BB channel for cleans.
     
  14. jeremyjh

    jeremyjh Member

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    I tried getting a Tybor tone on the BE. There is a lot I don't know about dialing in this type of tone and playing this style of music but I doubt the BE is the best starting place in the Synergy ecosystem. It worked a bit better than my Dirty Shirley pedal. I had more success putting a bit of big muff in front of the BE for rhythm, and a klone in front for lead. My next module is almost certainly going to be the Bogner Ecstasy but I've only heard it in YT vids.
     
  15. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    Plexi module? Maybe the bman?
     
  16. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    i would try the Bogner XTC
    I think between blue/ red
    Your rhythm lead options would be covered
     
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  17. Scratch17

    Scratch17 Member

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    Wow! We think alike.

    I have a Hamer Duotone which is wired so that its magnetic and piezo pickups are wired in stereo.

    I am replacing the stock Seymour Duncan humbuckers with a pair of Fishman Fluence Open Core Humbuckers which will be wired in stereo. I plan on using a Sound Sculpture Switchblade 8B to do the pickup switching in a full stereo setup, similar to yours. The Switchblade has a great patch editor, which makes it really easy to set up. It also has extensive MIDI capabilities. I have a few fuzz and overdrive pedals that I connect to the Switchblade which places them in front of the amp.

    The Switchblade will be connected (stereo out) to a Flock Patch which will have my preamps and amps connected in separate loops. The Flock has more headroom for the preamps than the Switchblade. It also has a 32 x 32 I/O matrix, so I can connect all of my other outboard gear and my UA Apollo interfaces together.

    You can add MIDI to your MK V without modifying it.

    Simply purchase a 4 way relay switch that is MIDI controllable. Any basic MIDI foot controller can control the relays. Then connect it to the MK V as specified in the owner's manual.

    I use my Voodoo Labs GCX as the relay switcher, connected the same way as described above to control my Mesa Rectifier Recording Preamp. My RJM Mastermind GT-10 actually has direct support for the GCX. So I can change channels, hit the boost and turn on a pedal with one button push on the GT-10.
     
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  18. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    If he thought the Fryette had to much gain... The Ecstasy is gain overload.
     
  19. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    Really ??? Even on the Blue Vintage and the gain at 10 or 11 oclock
     
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  20. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Powered by Coffee Gold Supporting Member

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    Finding beauty in the dissonance
    My $0.02:

    If you are looking for classic rock sounds, then look to preamps based on classic amps. Do not look to preamps based on modern designs.

    Engl, Bogner, Fryette and Diezel are modern designers.
     
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