Jump to content

Output question, digital clipping and other


Recommended Posts

Hi all,


Got my firehawk in today.

I use a JTV Variax and an ENGL gigmaster 30 as amp.

Hooked it up 1/4 output left (AMP setting) to the FX return.


My Variax straight into the ENGL gives me the sound that I want. Bought the firehawk to give me all the extra's.


Straight out-of-the box horrible sound. Digital clipping and found that the guitarlevel was on 75%. Brought that back to 50 and the clipping was gone BUT my volume dropped (of course) in a way that I had to pump up the mastervolume of the ENGL till over 50% to come to a decent bedroom level. Normally the ENGL on 10% and the neighbors are complaining. In a band it will be around 20-30%.

Tried 60% guitarlevel and the fender models were OK, the Gibson Lester gave digital clipping.


Besides that most HD amps sound liveless. My POD HD500 sounded a lot better.

Tried all the factory patches and created new ones, all HD-amps, from scratch. Could get some moderate  sounds out of it, nothing to get exiting about.


Updated it twice, also is my Variax on the last firmware level. Tried with my Ibanez main axe, same result.

In the meantime my ENGL was warming the room (o;


Anyone the same problem?

Tried the line setting (gives more volume) into the amp but that was a nogo.


Bluetooth connection and downloading FH patches from the cloud gave me 9 out of 10 the error: load error -21

But the sound is my main issue.


Thanks for any respons.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of thoughts come to mind:


1) Some FX send/return implementations require a plug (even a dummy plug) in the SEND jack in order for the RETURN jack to operate properly. Have your tried that on your ENGL?


2) After reducing the guitar level from 75% you will lose volume, as you noted. Have you tried increasing the Output (not Guitar) level on the Firehawk before increasing the Master Vol on your ENGL?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Silverhead,


Thanks for the quick respons.


1. Not tried, will do that

2. Tried several combinations. Output Firehawk vs guitarlevel. Now guitarlevel on 60% en firehawk at 100%. For now the best combinations although the higher output models on the Variax like the lester gives that clipping so those are at 50%. The output firehawk has no influence on the digital clipping. So it is 100% at mine. Tried off course 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90% (o;

Link to comment
Share on other sites



In hindsight, my needs would have been better fufilled with an HD500X as well, but I pre-ordered mine from the US and got it rush shipped into Canada, so it was one of the first ones, if not the first one up here in Canada, and I had to pay a lot more for it because I wanted one so bad.  I am far over the point of being to return mine, so I am going to stick it out, as I can see the potential in the unit, and with the Variax guitar I just picked up, a whole new world of guitar modelling has opened up for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Connect a guitar cable from the Firehawk output to the fx return on the amp and your good to go (not sure what you should set that level knob to on the back of your amp, maybe somebody else can help with that)


Basically that will bypass the tone shaping in your amp and your just using the power amp part of the guitar amp so amp models coming from the Firehawk will sound better that way

Also seeing as your using a guitar cab you may find that selecting "no cab" on your Firehawk amp model sounds better

Finally you can experiment whether to set the Firehawk output to amp or direct but I guess direct would sound better, you may have to tweak your patches if you create them using headphones, it will be much better if you can create the tones while referencing it through the amp at the volume you intend to play

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I have read, the 4 cable method provides greater flexibility.


I drew it in PowerPoint to get my head around it, further to this I have coloured cables (and coloured dots to mark the jack sockets) as per my diagram, if I have this right, a monkey could connect it.


Someone please shout up if I have it wrong.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's correct and very clear. In pRosta's case he would not need to use the Firehawks's FX Loop at all unless he wants the added flexibility of having some presets that use the Firehawk's FX only, and use the preamp of his physical amp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read about 4 cable method. And as I understand, the purpose of this method is to use stomp and effects of the firehawk and main drive\distortion of the head or amplifier. And as it was said, I want to use amplifier only as cabinet and have minimum effect of the randal's amp.


Connect a guitar cable from the Firehawk output to the fx return on the amp and your good to go (not sure what you should set that level knob to on the back of your amp, maybe somebody else can help with that).

So the 1st cable goes from guitar to firehawk's "guitar in", the 2nd goes from "1\4 out" (left or right, no difference) to return on the amp, and that's all. Am I correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah that's it buddy, usually the left output of the Firehawk though as that will be summed mono (i could be wrong, check manual) which means you will hear all of your stereo effects

If you use the right output you may only hear the right side of any stereo effects

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...