My first post here. Hopefully you guys can help. About 6 months, I moved from on using a traditional pedalboard to the HXFX. I've been running it 4CM into my amps. So far so good....It's knocked a lot of pedals off of my pedalboard, including an H9 and several delays. But it's not perfect. Dynamically, I've felt like it always had a bit of tone suck - but I lived with it because I don't have the time and patience like I did in my 20s to chase ghosts in my gear. When I first got it, I couldn't help but notice that some of the modulation & ODs sound very flat (except the chorus, which sounds amazing). I also have zero complaints about pitch shifting, delays or reverbs. It should be noted that I run these choruses, pitch shifters, reverbs and delays in the effects loop of my amp and I run other effects like flanger, phaser and ODs out in front of the amp's input.
This week, I decided that I couldn't live without a good phase 90 anymore, so I dug into my old pedal bin, pulled out my MXR EVH90 and ran it in one of the HX's loops. Unfortunately, even the EVH90 - which is my favorite phaser - sounded flat, like all of the other phase90 models in the HXFX. However, if I unplugged the HXFX and ran the EVH90 straight into the front of the amp, it sounded great. That's when I started considering the possibility that the HXFX has a tone suck issue - but the fact that the HXFX's effects fed into my amp's loop sounded amazing, was truly baffling.
I started running some tests and discovered that in non-4CM straight into the front of the amp the HXFX sounds fine. Same with running the HXFX only in my amps effects loop. I've also toggled the analog vs dsp bypass switch - but I find that there's no appreciable impact with my cables (I'm running extremely short cables for these tests) - so the differences between analog/dsp aren't evident in my testing. However, when I bypass the HXFX's front end effects with either a straight cable or a few analog pedals) - it is very clear that the front end effects in the HXFX are a tad muddy, lower in volume and overall, have a very odd feel.....like the impedance is funky. I've checked the send and return of the loop -- impedance is set for instrument level on both.
There's an unavoidable annoyance factor in gear that some of us deal with. You might live with something if you can't put a finger on it it. But once you narrow down the problem and know what the problem is, it becomes an untenable annoyance that you need to destroy before you're happy again. I've reached that point with my FX. Once I realized that the tone suck is coming from the front end portion of my HXFX in the 4CM, it's never going to stop bothering me. So I'm down to 4 basic options:
Relegate the HXFX to effects loop duty only and use analog pedals in the front end.
Sell the HXFX and get an HX Stomp for effects loop duty only and use analog pedals in the front end.
Sell the HXFX and go back to a traditional pedalboard
Figure out whether the tone suck issue with front end effects on the HXFX is a levels/settings issue and nail it down.
I'm hoping you guys can help me figure out #4. All three of the other options send me down a rabbit hole that is going to cost me money I don't want to spend.
Any help appreciated!!