Synergy modular thread

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


  1. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    I got the SYN2 and the Metroplex module in from Sweetwater yesterday. Was able to spend only a little time with it. Until I get a line mixer and get my MPX G2 running, it’s nice having a stereo fx loop for delay/reverb pedals. And the speaker sim was definitely usable for a silent practice at night with headphones.

    I only have 2 modules at this point, the Metroplex and an MTS-era Salvation MarkUs. The standout was the MarkUs. This is the Mark Sound I’d heard on records with real bottom end that I hadn’t been able to get in the IIC+ and IV modes of my Mark V:25.

    The Metroplex has a good sound. I wish the blue channel went from more clean into mid-gain territory, but I knew it didn’t going into it. I’ve got a good mid and higher gain sound with the two channels. I do wish there was more treble on tap, or a bright switch. I’ve got the treble basically dimed but it could still use a touch more bite for my taste. I’m simply coming from pedal-land and my main Marshall sounds come from a Bogner La Grange, which can tear it up on the high end. Maybe I’m just used to that.

    On to today’s discovery. This morning the unit was on for about 30min in bypass while I was busy getting distracted instead of playing. Came back to start playing and volume was whisper quiet - it was still hooked up through a little Mackie mixer w/ headphones from last night. Input meter barely showed a blip, though nothing had changed setup wise.

    Thinking there was maybe a heat issue, I turned the SYN2 off and pulled the modules out. Nothing else but the Furman power strip was on in the rack, so I doubted why it would be a heat problem. Both modules were warm like I was imagine a tube preamp would be, but not hot to the touch. Put them back in, waited a bit longer, and turned the SYN2 back on. Voila, had full volume back ... for about 2 minutes, before volume quickly faded back down to almost non-existent.

    I emailed my Sweetwater rep, but don’t expect him to get back to me until after the break. But what could be the issue?
     
  2. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    Is both the Mark and metroplex losing volume .?.
    If yes then it is likely the input tube on the SYN2 that maybe bad
    If it is only the Metroplex then check those 2 tubes
    I think it is most probable the SYN2 input tube
     
  3. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    I should have included that info. Yes, both modules lost volume. Weird thing - just tried it again now for kicks and got no volume at all, zero, not even a hum. So I skipped the FX loop and plugged my guitar direct in and and main XLRs out. Full volume. Don’t know if it’s related. But there was no problem last night.
     
  4. MarcoR

    MarcoR Member

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    Depending on the outputs you use, the master volume on the Syn2 comes into play. Make sure the master is up.
     
  5. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    The volume faded right while I was playing. Mixer input level meter went from halfway (I don’t recall the value) and faded to almost zero. That’s not the master getting a life of its own.
     
  6. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    according to Dave Freidman 95% of weird behaviour and issues in tube amps is one of the tubes going bad
     
  7. MarcoR

    MarcoR Member

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    Try taking a tube out of one of the modules and replace the tube on the Syn2 and see if that resolves the issue.
     
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  8. voojo

    voojo Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a tube go bad after a few days in the Metro-Plex module, unfortunately new tubes have a high failure rate and I don't blame the amp manufacturers. It's my understanding that the 12AX7 in the pre-amp units (SYN-1 and SYN-2) is V1, so it pays to put a high quality tube in that spot, as it will benefit all of the modules.
     
  9. i_b_tulloch

    i_b_tulloch Member

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    Received the Syn 2 and 7 modules a couple of days before Christmas so thought I'd give a quick update here.

    I have been through a few high quality amps (BE100, SS100, SL67, Badger 30, Lazy J20) and settled with the Friedman DS40 combo as I needed a portable amp that worked both well at low volume and gig volume, and it is my favourite Friedman. I love the plexi sound hence the list of amps, and have found that I lean towards the more vintage sounding plexi's. I felt that the DS would be the perfect amp if it had a clean channel too. The DS covers the dirt very well, but it was never as aggressive as a plexi. Therefore I would run my Marshall 1987x through a Suhr reactive load into the return of the DS fx loop. This gave me a great aggressive and cutting balls to the wall plexi sound. I had mid crunch and plexi sounds covered, however, I still needed a good clean sound. Also, the plexi/reactive load setup is not ideal for gigs as its an amp head more than I would like.

    The Synergy system seemed the right solution and would let me build it around the DS for a practising and giving system, and also give me high quality options for recording in my home studio. I had previously considered the MTS system but it was really in decline at that time and I felt it wasn't going anywhere.

    I took the plunge and got the following 7 modules which I have played for about 4 hours in total since:

    TDLX
    BMAN
    AC
    Plexi
    Metro Plex
    BE
    Soldano

    My initial impressions are that the TDLX, BMAN and AC modules are all great clean modules. The switches on the TDLX and BMAN make a big difference to the sound in terms of bottom end. All great modules. I love the fact you can run these modules at the edge of break up where the magic happens - this really works with these modules.

    I haven't played a real Soldano so wasn't sure what to expect, but was excited due to the rave reviews it was getting online. It is no doubt a great module. Very tight 80's sounds are effortless with this. It also cleans up really well and plays nicely with my strats as well as humbuckers. This was one of the first dirty modules I tried and I was sold on the system as soon as I played this one.

    I had high hopes for the Metroplex as I was seriously considering buying the actual full amp a few years ago - I wasn't disappointed. This is a great module. I would agree with most of what I have read online so far. It has a lot of gain on tap and the tone controls are very responsive. I found that there was a huge range of tones on B/M/T between 10 o' clock to 2 o' clock. I found most of the changes happen between this range. I am excited to work more with this module to see what I get.

    The BE module was good. I expected that it would be similar to the DS preamp, but it but I found it was much more mid focussed than the other Marshall/Plexi style modules, noticeably less bottom end than the others. It has been a while since I owned the BE100, but I think this module probably does capture that sound very well. I think in a band context this module would sit well. I need to work with this one more.

    Having owned and played lots of 4 hole plexi's, and since watching Shaun Tubbs demo of the plexi modules online, I had huge hopes that this module would deliver. I loved the fact that the module and I & II input control knobs and you could blend them like normal 4 holers. My hope was that it could replace the 1987x and give me a much neater solution. I was a bit sceptical that it could deliver the complete package, but I'm glad to say that it absolutely delivers in all areas of classic plexi that I like. Input 1 & 2 knobs work very similar to a 4 hole plexi, with input 2 giving more bottom end. All the high end cutting is there is you want it. Dime input 1 and you have the sound of my 1987x, except with the added benefit of really low noise floor. Dime all the knobs and it gives that compressed/pumping almost fuzzy (!!?) out of control plexi sound - absolutely fantastic!! It sounds phenomenal through the DS40 6l6 power section - much brighter than the DS and has a much more immediate plexi feel. I wasn't sure whether it would be saggy like the DS40 which I wouldn't have wanted, but glad to find it was much tighter, more like the El34 plexi amps I had before. I spent a bit of time comparing the Metroplex and Plexi modules and expected that I would only end up keeping one as they would be fairly similar. I found they were not that similar and at the moment I prefer the Plexi module. The metroplex module is a more refined sound that will take more time for me to dial in. It reminds me more of the Suhr SL67 I had which I would describe as a great plexi with all the rough edges removed. I liked it, but I couldn't get the same bright sounds from the Metroplex that I could get tom the Plexi. The Plexi could go from really bright to fat and punchy aggression just like my real Marshall 1987x, albeit perhaps slightly more polished and not the horrible top end harness you could sometimes get and with much improved noise floor. If you want a slightly polished old school marshall plexi sound then look no further than the Plexi module.

    There is a lot of excitement around the Synergy line due to the actual amp builders making their own modules, which is certainly a good reason to be excited about it. However, for me, the Synergy branded Plexi module is where the magic has been for me so far. I think Dave F has done an immense job on this module really capturing original Marshall Plexi tone. A Syn 2 with a fender style clean module and plexi dirty module would give me all I really need...........but I want the others too! When choosing modules I wrote off the 800 module as I thought Metroplex/BE etc. would be much better, but the performance of the Plexi module has perked my interest in the 800 module. The other upcoming Synergy unbranded modules also has me very excited. I like the idea of having two different sounds on a single module like the BB/BE. Something similar like a BB/Plexi would be awesome.

    It is interesting as there is a great similarity in tone across the dirty modules, as would be expected when running through the same power amp and speaker. The change in tone is subtle but noticeable, but the change in feel between modules is much more noticeable. I love the feel of the DS40 preamp section and playing through these modules gives the same high quality feel I have only managed to get through a tube amp.

    All in all, I am very happy with what I have experienced so far and looking forward to putting the modules through different power sections in the future. I am keeping all the modules and looking forward to getting more in the future. For me (I hope) it will be much cheaper getting these modules than getting the actual amps. I think the Synergy team have done a fantastic job and really knocked it out of the park with this system. Good job guys and Merry Christmas everyone.
     
  10. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    Thanks for the review , sounds cool .
    So you don't find the modules with the gain up very noisy or buzzing . I see a lot of the demo vids and maybe its the lighting in the room but they seem to be really a lot of background noise,
    I also experienced this with my Randall MTS stuff to the point of needing a gate on it when not playing, i sounds like your not getting this as much with the new Synergy stuff
     
  11. stratamania

    stratamania Member

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    I noticed this video of Brian Wampler, demoing some of the Synergy modules, so thought I would add it to the thread.



    Oh and this one.

     
  12. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    Great write up, thank you. I have the Metroplex module and I was hoping to get a little more treble bite from it. Seems like the Plexi module has that, but what’s the difference in gain amounts between the two? Can the Plexi get to the same place as the Metro?
     
  13. i_b_tulloch

    i_b_tulloch Member

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    @gtr37 The noise floor is very good, no need for a gate for me.

    @teofilrocks Once I had played the Plexi Module I too felt that I couldn't get comparable bite with the Metroplex module, even with mid and treble dialled right up. The Metroplex B/M/T seems to have a very specific range probably which may be setup to concentrate on the amps sweet spot rather than having full range..I don't know..?? I had the DS B/M/T and Presence at around noon which is not where I normally run it as its too dark for the DS preamp. Therefore, the Metroplex may get more bite with the DS dialled up at the normal settings which I have everything at 75% full. I will try this when I get a chance. On the other hand the Plexi module can be dialled in very harsh and then dialled back to taste - certainly lots of plexi bite. Just like a real 4 hole plexi you can dial it thin and bright or thick and darker, although just like a normal plexi its never that dark compared to other amps. In terms of gain, I feel that the Plexi actually has more gain, which I was surprised with. I would sometimes need to slightly boost the 1987x to get it where I needed it for lead. This is not required for the plexi module. I thought that I would need the 800 module over the plexi module to get to the level of gain I needed but for me thats not the case. If the 800 module picks up where the Plexi stops then it might be a great module too.

    One strange thing I noticed was that the modules have no sound when you have the B/M/T dialled right down. I don't normally have amps set like this but I don't think it cuts the sound off with normal amps when running like this...? Not sure if there is a reason for this, but don't suppose it will make a difference if not running at extreme settings.

    Having thought about it more, I think these modules provide the best cranked amp sounds at low volume that I have experienced so far. With extreme attenuation through an attenuator I always found you lost some of the feel of a cranked amp. Not so with the Synergy system - that great touch sensitivity is still there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  14. djd100

    djd100 Member

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    Some tonestacks kill the signal with all knobs on 0, others don't.
     
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  15. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    So SYN2 question, don’t see it covered in the manual. If running 2 units, how does the cab sim work? When the slave unit is active, the master unit is in bypass. But you’d still be using the master unit’s XLR outs. So is the cab sim still active when the master is in bypass?
     
  16. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Member

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    Thanks~ Sounds like the Plexi is a module I need to try.
     
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  17. MarcoR

    MarcoR Member

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    The manual instructions are not even correct...
    That makes no sense. I think what they meant was connect the input of the second Syn2 to the "To amp in" of the first Syn to and the output of the second Syn2 to "From amp FX return" on the first Syn2.
    Then the Cab Sim of the first Syn2 would be available to both units.

    What I haven't wrapped my head around is using multiple Syn2 units with a host amp FX Send/Return. Or chaining more than 2 Syn2 for that matter. I'd like to see them make some diagrams for various configurations.
     
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  18. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    Well my VH4 module just started to malfunction. The red channel suddenly got a peak in the mids and now the EQ does nothing. Didn't know it had a hidden EQ bypass switch.......lol

    Sent an email off yesterday, we'll see how this pans out.
     
  19. blacknoizemachine

    blacknoizemachine Member

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    Yeah, that's the same info I got from Steve @ B.A.D. as far as connecting two SYN2s. I'm not entirely sure which SYN2's loop I'd use for my Eventide H9. I'm guessing the first one, since it appears everything goes through it; just using the second SYN2 as an external preamp. If I'm understanding it correctly anyway.

    I agree about seeing some diagrams:) The online documentation is still a bit lacking. I'm guessing the "From Amp FX Send" is only engaged when the SYN2 is in bypass? And is the effects loop always on? I wouldn't mind seeing the specs on the input and output impedance of the various jacks too.
     
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  20. btdvox

    btdvox Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, I'm going to try and make a video but I got the SYN 2 and 5 Modules for X-Mas, I've been having an absolute blast playing them, but moreover, I now have my Gigrig G2 controlling the Syn2 via MIDI and my G2 going through into the FX Loop of the SYN 2, all of it is so amazing to control.

    Primarily, I love the fact that I can use my Ditto X4 looper to play clean tones on my Two Rock Crystal (which I'm using as the "Power Amp" for my Synergy platform utilizing the FX Loop on the Crystal) and then switch to the Morgan AC module for some "voxy crunch" into the Metroplex or Soldano for high-gain leads with a dual delay on it, with the flick of one switch on my G2.

    I have to say, every Module I've bought has been very different and I've been impressed with every single one except for one. I'll get to that in a larger write up (with hopefully a video showcasing my set up).

    I bought these modules:
    - Soldano SLO
    - Diezel VH4
    - Metropoulous Metroplex
    - Morgan AC
    - Synergy T/DLX
     
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