Vertex Ultraphonix Review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by TwoMinuteTone, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. TwoMinuteTone

    TwoMinuteTone Supporting Member

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    OK OK, I know all the backstory here. No need to educate me about the history of Vertex. I've read all the threads.

    I've tried so many OD pedals and a lot of them Dumble style pedals and none of them quite hit on the sound I was going for. I kept going back to the Vertex demos because they sounded so good but their history kept holding me back. I thought I had settled on keeping the Zendrive because it was pretty close to what I wanted, but decided to at least buy a Vertex Ultraphonix so I could A-B them.

    Well dangit, don't you know the Vertex smoked the Zendrive. It sounds so good and within seconds I had the sound of what I had been searching for flying outta my amp. The Ultraphonix is a keeper for me. It really does do what it says it is supposed to do - in my opinion.

    Not trying to stir up trouble just wanted to give everyone an honest assessment.

    *And cue the Gear Page drama...*
     
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  2. traviswalk

    traviswalk In the Great State Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm sure it's good, I just can't bring myself to buy one.
     
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  3. TwoMinuteTone

    TwoMinuteTone Supporting Member

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    Haha Fair enough! I was there for a long time but finally bit the bullet with every intention of flipping it but dangit I can't.
     
  4. realdealblues

    realdealblues Supporting Member

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    It's an awesome sounding pedal. Sounded miles better than the Zendrive and Rockett The Dude I compared it with. The others sounded very small like the sound is literally coming from a little box, but the Ultraphonix sounded just huge and full, literally like another channel on my amp. There was a comment on another thread saying it was a slightly tweaked AMZ-FX boost and that you could achieve the same effect with the boost and EQ but I don't think so. No EQ has ever made a pedal sound "bigger" to me.

    I was told the Dynamic Distortion was just an SD9 when it came out. I love the SD9 but hate the low volume and hate the footswitch so I checked it out. They sound nothing a like, although I wish they did. They have a similar gain structure but the EQ'ing is radically different and the Dynamic Distortion cleans up WAY better with the volume knob. The EQ'ing of the Dynamic Distortion doesn't really work with my rigs so it didn't work out for me and while it may have it's origins with the SD9 circuit, it certainly isn't the exact same.

    I've tried to stay out of the whole debate about Vertex for the most part. In the end, I use my ears and I use what works for me. If someone else makes something that sounds better than the Vertex then I'll use their product. If it's really just an AMZ-FX Boost with a couple of different value parts as some have claimed, then AMZ-FX can offer a modded circuit board or "suggest" changed values to make it sound the same if they want in response.
     
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  5. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Member

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    I recently acquired this pedal at the recommendation of a local guitar shop and within the first few notes of plugging it in I knew I was buying it - such a well refined smooth overdrive tone without being overly harsh.

    I had The Dude for a while after trying it, a Zen Drive, Simble, and a few other D-style pedals. And then an AC Booster, Soul Driven and these were all good, but something was missing. Its all preference and what you are after so these are all great pedals. The UltraPhonix has the sound I am looking for.

    I often compare pedals and put them through a sonic death match to keep the herd thin and not have too much duplication. It amazed me how similar the UltraPhonix and the Fulltone Plimsoul can be to one another, especially with chords. The Plimsoul is not as refined and tends to have some fizzy artifacts where the UltraPhonix does not. It sounds like a well tuned tube amp where the plimsoul sounds like a great pedal. This to me is the key difference that sold me on this pedal. Haven’t heard anything like that before, where it didn’t sound like a pedal. The plimsoul will be sold as it is no longer needed.

    The amp one plays these through matters as a pedal will sound different in one amp versus another. I play through a ‘59 Bassman LTD RI and it can be bright, so digital artifacts tend to stand out more, to me at least. I don’t think I’d notice the difference between these two as much on a darker amp, although they are definitely different with some overlapping sounds on the dials.

    Ultraphonix is a great pedal.
     
    realdealblues likes this.
  6. HaloMaster

    HaloMaster Silver Supporting Member

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    To be honest, it could be the most amazing pedal in history, make me coffee in the morning, and make gold dust shoot out from my amplifier! There isn't a cold chance in hell I will ever buy a Vertex pedal!

    On the upside, because of them, I do own and use a BBE Ben Wah pedal! Killer Wah pedal!!!
     
  7. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

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    Thermistor. Nuff said.
     
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  8. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    You're mixing things up here. His Steel String Clean pedal is basically just 2 muamps with an added Big Muff tone control, very close to the AMZ-FX boost.
    It not only may have origins in the SD9 circuit - his prototpye was literally an original Maxon SD-9 pcb stuffed into a new enclosure:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

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    :facepalm
     
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  10. s3gle

    s3gle Member

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    ok, but why? Why encheapen their clone with an unsubtle endorsement of a known scam artist by acknowledging some failure to disclose about schematic discrepancies

    Is the clone of a clone's clone rebranded as not a clone of said clone actually a clone or something uncloneably recloned but different in technical clone status, post-clonage?
    According to you, all previous efforts are detractors from the success of Vertex' hard work and noble sonic purity, and must needs correction, forst the truth become that Jack Orman designed a boost wrong just to prevent Vertex from eventual success.

    I mean, I don't care if you fanboi for brand loyalty- but why should other companies change their whole product just to suit some intangible difference you cite as technically superior?
     
  11. EVHindenberg

    EVHindenberg Member

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    People will never learn until they get taken.
     
  12. hippieboy

    hippieboy Member

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  13. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    "He might be a scammer but he's totally my favorite scammer"
     
  14. realdealblues

    realdealblues Supporting Member

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    You missed the boat entirely :rolleyes:

    Jack Orman designs and tweaks circuits and makes the schematics freely available. He isn't selling a pedal in a box that is ready to be played and sold in stores so your whole rant about changing a "product line" is totally off the wall as that has nothing to do with what I was discussing.

    My entire point was if Jack created the circuit and Vertex ripped it off and made a couple tweaks, that if Jack cared and felt he was being exploited he could make a post saying "Here are the values Vertex changed on my design, if you like that sound, build one yourself for 1/4 of the price rather than buy a Vertex" because Jack is all about experimenting with sound and modding and tweaking circuits which you would know if you'd ever been on his website amzfx or talked to him. It would be his way of giving them "competition" for lack of a better word if he wanted to since he doesn't sell an actual pedal but PCB's assembled and unassembled for you to build and tweak in whatever way you see fit.

    Captaincoconut has also just stated that what I read as someone talking about the Vertex Ultraphonix was actually the Vertex Steel String Clean so we're not even talking about Jack's Boost design anymore.

    I tried the Steel String Clean and I hated it. I have not played a Dumble in person so I can't comment on the authenticity of the sound of the Vertex Ultraphonix, nor do I know what design the Ultraphonix was based on as I haven't even visited this thread since I made my post a long time ago, all I know is that it sounded great when I tried it and compared it to several other pedals that claim to be "Dumble" inspired. It sounded very open, and as I described it back then, "like another amp channel". The other pedals sounded "smaller" for lack of a better description. Like the difference between say a QSC 10 inch powered speaker cabinet and a Line Array from Bose or something like the new ElectroVoice Evolve 50. The QSC sounds great and works great but when compared side by side to a Line Array PA speaker it can sound like it is coming from a small box where the Line Array sounds like it's coming from everywhere. From a purely audible standpoint that's the same kind of difference I heard with the Vertex Ultraphonix and the other "Dumble" inspired pedals I tried. It sounded bigger, like you were clicking over to another amp channel instead of using a pedal.

    I'm sorry if me saying a pedal sounds good offends you because you don't like Vertex or Mason. My guess is if you played a pedal without seeing it and you said that pedal sounds "amazing" and then you were told it was a Vertex pedal or designed by a terrible person like Hitler you would quickly say, "It sounds awful" rather than use your ears to decide.

    And FYI, I'm not a fanboi of any brand. I use what gets me the best tone and expands my playing the most based entirely upon what I hear. I could care less about brands.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 9:53 AM
  15. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The head of the company is a compulsive liar and has literally engaged in fraud and deceptive advertising & business practices on multiple occasions.

    He could sell his version of a Dumble tube amp for $299 and I wouldn't buy it. There are soooo many other choices our there in gear land that sound great and are made by people of integrity.

    When you abuse the trust of your idol (Michael Landau) like Mason did, there is NOTHING you won't do. Does anyone really think it is a good idea to support such a person, regardless of what he is selling? I don't, and I don't see how anything good can come from buying Vertex. It just enables him to do more of the same.
     
  16. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    But the OP really really likes it.
     
  17. jimk4003

    jimk4003 Member

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    Personally, I'd just say, "hard pass; it sounds good, but I'm not knowingly giving my money to a conman."

    It's a bit like if someone tried to sell you a stolen laptop in a bar. It might be a good laptop, you may possibly need a new computer, and it may only be $50; but if you know it's stolen, you still say no, don't you? Because the guy trying to hock it to you is a crook, and you don't give money to crooks. If you do, you just incentivise the behaviour, and one day it might be your stolen stuff getting flogged in a bar.

    I'm not going to incentivise a company that stole from other manufacturers and repeatedly defrauded the guitar playing community we're all part of; I'm going to avoid that company like the plague, and continue to advocate that others do the same.
     
  18. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    But why let something like integrity come between you and your tone?
     
  19. EVHindenberg

    EVHindenberg Member

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    Why does every argument have to include the overused accusation of someone being "offended" if they don't share your opinion or descend into Godwin's Law? The guy scammed a ton of people and openly admitted to being a compulsive liar. There's no conspiracy here. Enjoy your pedal. You don't need to justify it to anyone if you are happy with it.
     
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  20. astewlovesgear

    astewlovesgear Member

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    Haters: is there really no path to redemption? If there is, then what would an adequate apology look like? Do you think he should just be put to death?
    Landau forgave Mason. Maybe there's a lesson there for you...
    Off to the store now to buy every single ****ing Vertex pedal.
    Because Jesus. :p
     
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