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Obsidian 7000 vs Darkglass Alpha Omega -- My impressions

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So after weeks of waiting for a Darkglass Alpha Omega to be in stock on sweetwater, I FINALLY got my hands on one. Within 30-60 minutes I was able to dial in a really crunchy dirty bass tone that I was pretty happy with. I left my initial impressions in a reddit post on r/bass.

 

Finally got my unit after a few weeks of it being out of stock on Sweetwater. I've been slowly upgrading my cheap Ibanez GSR-205 and have replaced the pickups with Nordstrand Big Singles and that really improved the tone. But, I found the treble still lacking and the built-in preamp sounds like lollipop.. I was struggling for the last few months to dial in a tone with what I had available but still found it lacking. Then I decided to give the Darkglass Alpha Omega a shot.

Wow, my clean tones are now beautiful and velvety smooth. There is sooooo much customization of the tone as well due to the multiple blending options of the type of distortion and level. One of my favorite dirty bass tones come from Periphery's song Absolomb and I was able to get a tone pretty close to the album version without shelling out for a Dingwall.
 
My favorite clean tone has been from Dashboard Confessional's song "Reason to Believe" and the tone I got is pretty close.
I typical use is to use a light drive on the bass in a mix for heavier stuff so my Blend knob would be primarily on the clean side.
Overall, I'm very happy with the Alpha Omega. The only thing I have to get used to is the low-end saturation. To me, just about any low-end saturation sounds flubby but I've found ways to mitigate it using a mixture of the different distortions on the pedal as well as the boost switches.
Some glamour shots: https://imgur.com/a/A6mLh

 

My signal chain was bass > Alpha Omega > Helix {noise gate > LA Compressor > Woody Blue > IR }

 

I didn't find out about the Obsidian 7000 until yesterday, and can't believe I didn't notice the naming pun (Darkglass = Obsidian; 7000 = 7k) lol. I've had my Helix Rack unit for about 4 weeks now but due to work and school, haven't been able to sit with it for hours on end.

 

When I wanted to get a preamp/drive bass pedal, the B7k was the other contender based on its universal acclaim and usage by a lot of my favorite bassists. So, for lollipops and giggles I wanted to see if I can get AS GOOD of a tone with all Helix and the Obsidian 7000.

 

....Yes.....a thousand times yes. I got a BETTER tone (in my opinion). In my initial impressions of the Alpha Omega, I noted how the low-end saturation bothered me. It sounds really loose and flubby to my ears. The switches on the Alpha Omega are binary for their boosts compared to the B7k which has 3 way toggle (On-Off-Cut). 

 

The blend control on the Obsidian 7000 is more fine grained compared to the Alpha Omega. I prefer this because even adjusting the blend on the Alpha Omega brings up that dreaded (to me) low-end saturation.

 

I haven't had time to record some A-B comparisons, but I can if anyone would like.

 

All in all, I'm sending back the Alpha Omega because I'm able to get a bass tone I like and have been searching for with the Helix. I lollipop love this thing.

 

 

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What's the difference between the Alpha Omega and the Microtubes? I agree with you that the obsidian model sounds great. After I updated my Helix I casually found it after scrolling through the distortion list, it seemed like the most robust block for bass, with its myriad of settings. I immediately went to the RevD manual to read what it was modeled after but it was missing. The gain doesn't distort at all but it makes for a full and well rounded clean bass. I use it with a [Wringer] Hyper Fuzz going into it, out into a Markbass Little Mark III model for a huge sound. It's cool that you deemed it good enough to go ahead and return the real thing. What other analog pedals do you use on your rig?

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From what I understand, the Microtubes is also an amp head and has much better hardware so you could hook it up to a cab whereas I don't think the Alpha/Omega has enough output to do the same.

 

Also, with the latest firmware they've supposedly improved the sound of the Obsidian 7000. I just updated yesterday and haven't had a chance to check it out.

 

After sending back the Alpha/Omega, I'm not using any analog pedals. I've been tempted to check out the Horizon Devices Precision Drive and the Catalinbread Echorec but I've been satisfied with what comes with the Helix. Also, if you're interested in Strymon stuff, there's a few good youtube videos of someone comparing the Helix delays and reverbs to Strymon pedals.

 

huh! I wonder what else they changed. The idea of updates tend to make me feel a tad uneasy. Thanks for clearing that up, I also ditched all my analog pedals, I was still clinging to distortions like a ZVex fuzz factory and Boss Hyper Fuzz but the Helix models are remarkably spot-on. I still have an EHX HOG2 on the chain (not analog) since adding pitch blocks and fuzzes deplete DSP at an alarming rate. Also had to keep a Zoom MS60B for its bass amp/cab models because of insuficient DSP. 

 

Coincidentaly I tried an Echorec last week, thoroughly tested it and I can tell you it’s the worst delay I’ve ever used. Interesting concept plagued by bad design. 

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