The HX Effects is legit

eoengineer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,293
.... and speaking of preconceptions ... I had heard or read on my travels that a Rat pedal can do singing, smooth lead tones. Spurred on by my realisation above about the goodness to be found in the humble SD-1, tonight I resolved to give the Rat (Vermin Dist) a go ... despite another preconception that I am not going to like a distortion pedal that also gets fuzzy.

I dialled down the gain and level (defaults were both waaay too high) and then fairly quickly realised the Vermin felt good under my fingers, and got on famously with my Strat's neck pickup. A bit of tweaking of the Filter control and I got enough darkness into the bass end of things, but that still left me with too much treble and too much cocked wah. About 10 minutes tweaking with the 10 band eq and I had got to a good place. Then recorded a loop with the Vermin off, and started playing over the loop with the Vermin back on ... quickly realising that I could now tweak in context over the loop ... how bloody good is that from one unit!! (sorry ... that's probably an obvious and routine thing to do for most people here ... but new to me, and soooo easy to set up ... again, massive kudos to Line 6 for such a brilliant UI).

So ... in the space of 2 days I've discovered that I really get along with 2 distortion pedals that I never would have even thought to try. I still don't think I am close to Allen Hinds' smooth lead tones, but I am, nevertheless, loving the fact I've found some new tone tools that I literally would never have run into without owning HX Effects.
I enjoy the SD-1 and Rat emulations as well. In my case I owned and used both pedals in my rig prior to owning the HXFX and was pleased to find the HXFX got close enough on those models that I could pull the originals off the floor. They live in my gear closet now. If I A/B them I still feel the hardware units feel a little better, but it’s close.

Not unlike what happens in the physical world, my OD preferences change depending on which amp and guitar I’m using. There are a couple models I’ve seen people consistently recommend here that don’t work for me at all with any of my gear. That’s life, I guess.
 
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guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,087
I enjoy the SD-1 and Rat emulations as well. In my case I owned and used both pedals in my rig prior to owning the HXFX and was pleased to find the HXFX got close enough on those models that I could pull the originals off the floor. They live in my gear closet now. If I A/B them I still feel the hardware units feel a little better, but it’s close.

Not unlike what happens in the physical world, my OD preferences change depending on which amp and guitar I’m using. There are a couple models I’ve seen people consistently recommend here that don’t work for me at all with any of my fear. That’s life, I guess.
You could talk to someone about that, there's always help, you're not alone.
There is no reason to fear an overdrive pedal. It's just an inanimate object.
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,058
.... and speaking of preconceptions ... I had heard or read on my travels that a Rat pedal can do singing, smooth lead tones. Spurred on by my realisation above about the goodness to be found in the humble SD-1, tonight I resolved to give the Rat (Vermin Dist) a go ... despite another preconception that I am not going to like a distortion pedal that also gets fuzzy.

I dialled down the gain and level (defaults were both waaay too high) and then fairly quickly realised the Vermin felt good under my fingers, and got on famously with my Strat's neck pickup. A bit of tweaking of the Filter control and I got enough darkness into the bass end of things, but that still left me with too much treble and too much cocked wah. About 10 minutes tweaking with the 10 band eq and I had got to a good place. Then recorded a loop with the Vermin off, and started playing over the loop with the Vermin back on ... quickly realising that I could now tweak in context over the loop ... how bloody good is that from one unit!! (sorry ... that's probably an obvious and routine thing to do for most people here ... but new to me, and soooo easy to set up ... again, massive kudos to Line 6 for such a brilliant UI).

So ... in the space of 2 days I've discovered that I really get along with 2 distortion pedals that I never would have even thought to try. I still don't think I am close to Allen Hinds' smooth lead tones, but I am, nevertheless, loving the fact I've found some new tone tools that I literally would never have run into without owning HX Effects.
Everyone else was out of the house ... sooooo, plugged in (Suhr Strat -> HX Effects with my Vermin Dist patch described above with a Ducked Delay dialled in on top -> Nextone Artist) and cranked the volume. Feel under fingers ... excellent ... tone ... excellent. Happy Days ;)

It was actually a bit reminiscent of the Brown channel on my Katana Artist in terms of feel and tone ... but a lower noise floor and bit smoother in the treble. The Brown channel with gain set low was probably my favourite place on the KA.
 

ucnick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,101
Can anyone recommend a good expression pedal for the HX? I tried modding an EV-5 to L6 specs but the sweep is beyond awful.
I use Dunlop DVP4s for both vol and wah pedals, as my board is pretty small. Bought double right angle TRS cable from Monoprice and cut the ring terminal on one end and they seems to work just fine.
 

ucnick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,101
It would have been great to put a noise gate in there, as in the Helix and as I recall also the Stomp. Some of my SC guitars can be noisy in certain environments. The MS50G on my little blues band board has one, so I don't get why the HXFX does not... unless its squirreled away somewhere in there.
EDIT I just saw a post that said there are noise gates in there under the Dynamics menu, I will check them out.
 

johnnyg88

Member
Messages
420
Just wanted to report that I got my HXFX back from L6 (super fast turn around, sent it Tuesday, got it back Saturday). This is my 2nd Unit, they replaced the first a couple years ago due to the Documented noise issue.

unfortunately, putting my high gain Suhr Eclipse or my Retro Sonic Flanger in the loop still results in a significant amount of noise. I was really hoping to be able to put some of the HX Mod effects before or after some of my overdrive pedals but I’ll have to stick with putting everything into the main input and just use all effects after my drive pedals.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,087
Just wanted to report that I got my HXFX back from L6 (super fast turn around, sent it Tuesday, got it back Saturday). This is my 2nd Unit, they replaced the first a couple years ago due to the Documented noise issue.

unfortunately, putting my high gain Suhr Eclipse or my Retro Sonic Flanger in the loop still results in a significant amount of noise. I was really hoping to be able to put some of the HX Mod effects before or after some of my overdrive pedals but I’ll have to stick with putting everything into the main input and just use all effects after my drive pedals.
Unfortunately, this seems to be all too common. L6 installs the fix, but it doesn't fix the problem.

Someone pointed out that the HX actually has a noise gate in the Dynamics effects block. Maybe give that a try?

If you're interested in alternatives to the HXFX, check out the Mooer GE300 Lite. I picked one up and am very happy with it. It's a different concept than the HXFX, is much better in some ways, in others the HX is better, but unless you have the need to have multiples of each effect in your patches, the Mooer will work perfectly. Plus it's an awesome amp/cab modeler too. When I bought my HXFX the Ge300 Lite wasn't out yet. If it would have been, I probably would have bought it instead.

As it is, I got my HXFX back from L6 last week (this is my second one...they replaced my first one with this one, and this one also had the problem), supposedly "fixed", but haven't even taken it out of the box yet because I'm liking the GE300 Lite so much. Better reverbs, to my ears the delays sound more natural, the dirt pedal models are waaay better, and using it as a modeler to record is something the HXFX doesn't do at all.
 

ljholland

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,748
Have you set the level at unity as I suggested above? I think you’re using way too much level and overdriving the loop inputs which is causing noise. Loops aren’t meant to work that way. Bring the level down until the noise goes away. Then set the gain to the amount of distortion you want.
 

eoengineer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,293
Just wanted to report that I got my HXFX back from L6 (super fast turn around, sent it Tuesday, got it back Saturday). This is my 2nd Unit, they replaced the first a couple years ago due to the Documented noise issue.

unfortunately, putting my high gain Suhr Eclipse or my Retro Sonic Flanger in the loop still results in a significant amount of noise. I was really hoping to be able to put some of the HX Mod effects before or after some of my overdrive pedals but I’ll have to stick with putting everything into the main input and just use all effects after my drive pedals.
I’m also troubleshooting this issue after getting my unit back from repair for the noise issue. Still happening after the repair. In my case I’ve been asked to see if the noise is still present if I just jumper a short cable from loop send to loop return. In my case there is a noticeable increase in noise with this configuration. I need to record it and send it to line 6 per their request.

Are you getting a noticeable increase in noise with the loop jumpered?

Im not real happy with L6 right now.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,087
I’m also troubleshooting this issue after getting my unit back from repair for the noise issue. Still happening after the repair. In my case I’ve been asked to see if the noise is still present if I just jumper a short cable from loop send to loop return. In my case there is a noticeable increase in noise with this configuration. I need to record it and send it to line 6 per their request.

Are you getting a noticeable increase in noise with the loop jumpered?

Im not real happy with L6 right now.
Before I sent my second one in (the new one that was supposed to have the fix already installed), there was a noticeable increase in noise if I had the FX loop jumpered. I haven't tried it after getting it back though. No real desire at this point. I've almost given up on it. The Mooer is giving me everything I need, even more features than the HXFX, and without any problems.

At this point I'm convinced the problem is that the HX's loop is causing some noise and whenever there is anything with high levels of gain/distortion in the loop, whether a dirt pedal like you're experiencing or an amp in 4CM on its high gain channel, that noise will be amplified.

I'm curious, have you tried adding one of the HX's noise gates into the signal chain to see if that helps reduce the noise?
 

eoengineer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,293
Before I sent my second one in (the new one that was supposed to have the fix already installed), there was a noticeable increase in noise if I had the FX loop jumpered. I haven't tried it after getting it back though. No real desire at this point. I've almost given up on it. The Mooer is giving me everything I need, even more features than the HXFX, and without any problems.

At this point I'm convinced the problem is that the HX's loop is causing some noise and whenever there is anything with high levels of gain/distortion in the loop, whether a dirt pedal like you're experiencing or an amp in 4CM on its high gain channel, that noise will be amplified.

I'm curious, have you tried adding one of the HX's noise gates into the signal chain to see if that helps reduce the noise?
Based on the tests I’ve done, I agree. The loop send is creating a very audible hiss whenever it is in the circuit. If there is something in the loop that is adding any gain or compression, the noise amplifies VERY abruptly into an unacceptable mess.

Im working with L6 support to take another swing at getting this resolved, but I’m not optimistic having already gone through a repair cycle. I suspect the HXFX has a design flaw that yields both loops unusable for some number of drive pedals because the self noise is too high.

Im concerned my HXFX is going to become a very expensive paperweight. I need something that can switch in drive pedals in additional to controlling my amp and sending midi.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,087
Based on the tests I’ve done, I agree. The loop send is creating a very audible hiss whenever it is in the circuit. If there is something in the loop that is adding any gain or compression, the noise amplifies VERY abruptly into an unacceptable mess.

Im working with L6 support to take another swing at getting this resolved, but I’m not optimistic having already gone through a repair cycle. I suspect the HXFX has a design flaw that yields both loops unusable for some number of drive pedals because the self noise is too high.

Im concerned my HXFX is going to become a very expensive paperweight. I need something that can switch in drive pedals in additional to controlling my amp and sending midi.
I'm worried that that's what mine has already become.....
 

johnnyg88

Member
Messages
420
Have you set the level at unity as I suggested above? I think you’re using way too much level and overdriving the loop inputs which is causing noise. Loops aren’t meant to work that way. Bring the level down until the noise goes away. Then set the gain to the amount of distortion you want.
Yeah this sounds like a gain staging problem tbh. The Eclipse is incredibly loud, unity is somewhere around 9 o’clock.
Didn’t think of this, I’ll check this out when I get back to it later today.
My RetroSonic Flanger goes a little crazy in the loop too. Hiss and you can hear the LFO sweep much more when not playing. I believe I have it set around unity with the included level control. The loops are set to “inst” level.
 

johnnyg88

Member
Messages
420
I’m also troubleshooting this issue after getting my unit back from repair for the noise issue. Still happening after the repair. In my case I’ve been asked to see if the noise is still present if I just jumper a short cable from loop send to loop return. In my case there is a noticeable increase in noise with this configuration. I need to record it and send it to line 6 per their request.

Are you getting a noticeable increase in noise with the loop jumpered?

Im not real happy with L6 right now.
I’ll try this out!
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,058
Not good on the loop noise issue!

Just off an another track ... I decided to give the boutiquey drives (Klon, PoT, 808, OCD, Zendrive, EP Boost) all a go again ... in case of user error on my part. Had much better success doing it by putting them on the same preset and putting them in front of an amp setting (Nextone) that was ever so slightly hairy already. A few findings:
  • For me, gain at about 20% is the sweet spot ... which is mostly "sweet", but ...
  • Looks like I just don't get along with the 808 or OCD ... tried many different settings, including in stacking scenarios
  • All the other pedals I tried were very usable, and I was quite surprized how similar I could make them sound
  • I had previously found the Zendrive to be awful/nasty, but with gain set to 1.8, and voice/tone adjusted to taste ... now really liking this. Putting the gain higher, with this model, just gets nasty sounding to me
  • I cannot seem to get gainier sounds out of any of these models that work (for me) ... but success with the Rat + 10 band EQ means I can get that from distortion models
 
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MartinC

Member
Messages
3,058
Not good on the loop noise issue!

Just off an another track ... I decided to give the boutiquey drives (Klon, PoT, 808, OCD, Zendrive, EP Boost) all a go again ... in case of user error on my part. Had much better success doing it by putting them on the same preset and putting them in front of an amp setting (Nextone) that was ever so slightly hairy already. A few findings:
  • For me, gain at about 20% is the sweet spot ... which is mostly "sweet", but ...
  • Looks like I just don't get along with the 808 or OCD ... tried many different settings, including in stacking scenarios
  • All the other pedals I tried were very usable, and I was quite surprized how similar I could make them sound
  • I had previously found the Zendrive to be awful/nasty, but with gain set to 1.8, and voice/tone adjusted to taste ... now really liking this. Putting the gain higher, with this model, just gets nasty sounding to me
  • I cannot seem to get gainier sounds out of any of these models that work (for me) ... but success with the Rat + 10 band EQ means I can get that from distortion models
A couple of days elapse, and I went back to my boutiquey drives preset, with a fresh pair of ears. For my tastes, I am declaring the Kinky (EP) Boost the winner of this set for light bluesy overdrive tone. Why? Klon, ZenDrive and PoT all work very nicely ... but the EP Boost has a fuller, clearer bass that makes notes on the lower frets and bottom E and A strings deep without being woolly, while the top end sings without being shrill or too trebly. It leaves the balance in the clean tone underneath it intact ... no need to tweak anything between clean and OD. That, I very much like. With a bit of fine tuning, I also found that it's the one that can go higher in gain before it starts getting a bit harsh with chords ... still not that high, but to my ears it stays sweet up to about 3 or so, where the others start losing that sweetness at lower levels of gain.

The EP will be slotted into a preset with a nice delay and reverb mix + harmonic tremolo at the next opportunity.
 

jlpete87

Member
Messages
14
I haven't read the entire thread yet, but is this still worth buying new in 2020? I'm sure I could probably find a 20% off code at MF or GC if I really tried. I have a Friedman JJ Jr and I'm looking to replace my existing board. I'd use the 4CM and also have it handle channel switching on the amp too.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,087
I haven't read the entire thread yet, but is this still worth buying new in 2020? I'm sure I could probably find a 20% off code at MF or GC if I really tried. I have a Friedman JJ Jr and I'm looking to replace my existing board. I'd use the 4CM and also have it handle channel switching on the amp too.
It's a very cool piece of gear and definitely worth buying, but, I also recommend checking out the Mooer GE300 Lite. It's about the same size, can function as a pedalboard just like the HXFX, has better/more usable reverbs, much better dirt pedal models, and is also a full-fledged amp/cab/IR modeler.

Is there a specific functionality you're looking for? I have both units and if there's something specific you need, I can give you my opinion on which one does it better, or maybe one of them might not do it at all....
 




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