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gianchiar

HX FX analog/dsp bypass

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I have had the HX FX for a couple of months now, and love the effects and routing capabilities, but I find it REALLY alters the base sound of the instrument when bypassed...I've owned the M9 for nearly a decade and there was a audible difference when switching between True bypass and DSP bypass... the true bypass was great, the DSP very useable...but when I switch from Analog bypass to DSP bypass on the HX FX I hear no difference whatsoever...the both sound very digital and toppy to me...it adds a lot of treble and thins out the sound...I understand buffers and all that jazz (I have owned litterally hundreds of pedals haha!) , but surely analog bypass should not change the sound at all? I am starting to wonder if my unit is faulty? 

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What does it sound like if you run signal through the unit with it powered off? That should should the same as the Analog Bypass setting.

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good point! ...with the unit off the signal is unchanged from the base sound (so it works as it should, when it's off!) ... as soon as I power the unit back on, even with a blank preset and all the pedals switched off it boosts the treble...it's immediately noticeable in both analog and tbp mode. so maybe a case of the signal being "stuck" in dsp bypass?

 

I have contacted the support and done a factory reset...no change. 

 

thank you for your reply! 

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3 hours ago, gianchiar said:

good point! ...with the unit off the signal is unchanged from the base sound (so it works as it should, when it's off!) ... as soon as I power the unit back on, even with a blank preset and all the pedals switched off it boosts the treble...it's immediately noticeable in both analog and tbp mode. so maybe a case of the signal being "stuck" in dsp bypass?

 

I have contacted the support and done a factory reset...no change. 

 

thank you for your reply! 

 

Just to double-check, are you actually putting into Analog Bypass mode by hitting the Mode and Tap switch at the same time? Simply having setting the Bypass Type parameter in the Global Settings menu and bypassing all the effects won't make it going into Analog Bypass. You actually have to hit the Mode and Tap switches together to do that.

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I see so it's like a "hard bypass" that you have to trigger, different from the M9...it's amazing how different the base sound is from the effected sound. really loses a lot of body and low end, even without any of the effects on.. maybe I should try to match the  base sound with an "always on" boost and eq patch all on the same footswitch...unless there is a global volume/EQ?  it's a shame that the tuner does not work in this hard bypass mode!...looks like I will have to do a bit more digging...haha! thanks for your help.

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I am struggling with the same issue. I am a bass player, I have created myself some presets where I use the HX Effects in front of my amp, which sound good, but I wanted to play around with guitar sounds as well, and whatever I did with any kind of overdrive it sounded like crap. I tried my guitar straight into the sound card into an amp simulation plugin in my DAW and it sounds like the amp it claims to represent, say a Fender Twin or a Marshall, clean but on the verge of breakup. Then I plugged the guitar into the HX FX, blank preset, and into the sound card to simulate what would happen if I ran the same setup into a Marshall, and it sounded nasty and brittle.If I hit the analog bypass, it sounds normal. Then I plugged the HX straight into a mixer, and I realized that the "blank slate" sounds radically different from analog bypass. It's significantly louder and brighter, like there is a treble booster that I can't turn off. So it's not so much "tone suck", rather it's built-in boost.

The closest I got to getting "DSP transparency" between empty preset and analog bypass is to set global input to Line and leave output at Instrument level. But it still sounds tinny, so I have to "burn" one effect slot with a parametric EQ to shelve off a lot of highs from 4K up...

I don't have an actual guitar amp to try it in, I don't know if it's got something to do with impedance, but if the idea is to ditch your "physical" pedalboard and replace it with this unit, then it's definitely not a 1 to 1 replacement.

I haven't tried comparing the effect loop send with the main out yet, I don't know if the treble boost is at the beginning or the end of the processing chain, but if you are hitting the front end of an amp with something this bright, it's definitely going to change the characteristics of how the preamp "breaks up" with more gain.

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14 minutes ago, FranCollQc said:

I am struggling with the same issue. I am a bass player, I have created myself some presets where I use the HX Effects in front of my amp, which sound good, but I wanted to play around with guitar sounds as well, and whatever I did with any kind of overdrive it sounded like crap. I tried my guitar straight into the sound card into an amp simulation plugin in my DAW and it sounds like the amp it claims to represent, say a Fender Twin or a Marshall, clean but on the verge of breakup. Then I plugged the guitar into the HX FX, blank preset, and into the sound card to simulate what would happen if I ran the same setup into a Marshall, and it sounded nasty and brittle.If I hit the analog bypass, it sounds normal. Then I plugged the HX straight into a mixer, and I realized that the "blank slate" sounds radically different from analog bypass. It's significantly louder and brighter, like there is a treble booster that I can't turn off. So it's not so much "tone suck", rather it's built-in boost.

The closest I got to getting "DSP transparency" between empty preset and analog bypass is to set global input to Line and leave output at Instrument level. But it still sounds tinny, so I have to "burn" one effect slot with a parametric EQ to shelve off a lot of highs from 4K up...

I don't have an actual guitar amp to try it in, I don't know if it's got something to do with impedance, but if the idea is to ditch your "physical" pedalboard and replace it with this unit, then it's definitely not a 1 to 1 replacement.

I haven't tried comparing the effect loop send with the main out yet, I don't know if the treble boost is at the beginning or the end of the processing chain, but if you are hitting the front end of an amp with something this bright, it's definitely going to change the characteristics of how the preamp "breaks up" with more gain.

 

Something sounds out of whack there... The DSP bypass through HX Effects is very transparent. You definitely shouldn't be getting a boost. Do you have the inputs and outputs both set to instrument level? I suspect part of the issue may be the input on your interface. It sounds like it might be a low impedance input. If that's the case, the sound you get from plugging a guitar straight into would be much different compared to plugging into a high impedance input (like the inputs on the HX Effects).

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Let's recap:

Ibanez guitar with ordinary pickups, no fancy stuff about active electronics.

 

Guitar in - instrument level, HX out - instrument level. Analog bypass: no discernable difference betwen plugging in with only 1 guitar cable direct or 2 cables with the unit in between. If unit is not bypassed, but only on an empty preset, sound is noticeably louder and much brighter. Like 9 dB louder.

Tried putting the input level to Line (even though guitar is passive) and then the volume discrepancy is much less discernable when I toggle with TAP + MODE. But it's still much brighter when not bypassed, event though there are no effects in the chain. The only way I could get it to sound the same is by putting a -10 dB treble shelf from around 4K in the chain.

 

Someone on another thread suggested a buffering issue where the HX would be cancelling cable capacitance, but if that was the case, plugging in straight with a very short cable straight into the amp/sound card/mixer/whatever would sound much brighter as well, which I don't observe, even though there is a 49 foot of cable difference.

 

I just tried with my bass, which does have active electronics, and then the bypass/empty patch switch is unnoticeable. So I guess it has something to do with how passive pickups are reacting to the input of the HX...

 

As I mentioned before, I don't have a dedicated guitar amp to try this on, maybe this is a matter of soundcard vs tube amp front-end impedance, but I found other people complaining about the same issue with several amps: 

 

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1 minute ago, FranCollQc said:

Let's recap:

Ibanez guitar with ordinary pickups, no fancy stuff about active electronics.

 

Guitar in - instrument level, HX out - instrument level. Analog bypass: no discernable difference betwen plugging in with only 1 guitar cable direct or 2 cables with the unit in between. If unit is not bypassed, but only on an empty preset, sound is noticeably louder and much brighter. Like 9 dB louder.

Tried putting the input level to Line (even though guitar is passive) and then the volume discrepancy is much less discernable when I toggle with TAP + MODE. But it's still much brighter when not bypassed, event though there are no effects in the chain. The only way I could get it to sound the same is by putting a -10 dB treble shelf from around 4K in the chain.

 

Someone on another thread suggested a buffering issue where the HX would be cancelling cable capacitance, but if that was the case, plugging in straight with a very short cable straight into the amp/sound card/mixer/whatever would sound much brighter as well, which I don't observe, even though there is a 49 foot of cable difference.

 

I just tried with my bass, which does have active electronics, and then the bypass/empty patch switch is unnoticeable. So I guess it has something to do with how passive pickups are reacting to the input of the HX...

 

As I mentioned before, I don't have a dedicated guitar amp to try this on, maybe this is a matter of soundcard vs tube amp front-end impedance, but I found other people complaining about the same issue with several amps: 

 

 

To me, this sounds like a classic case of plugging a guitar with passive pickups into a low impedance input. Unless it's a hi-Z input designed for an instrument input, you'll lose a lot of top end, and possible get attenuation (hence the 9dB difference). I've used my HX Effects with a bunch of guitar amps, and there is definitely not a 9dB difference, and I really hear no difference with it. I think you issue is particular to your setup.

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I performed another run of tests with a different interface, this time it was an M-Track with dedicated high impedance inputs for guitar (1 MΩ). I still have the same behaviour. I have to roll off the tone knob about halfway in order to match the sound of the analog bypass on the HX Effects empty patch, but I hardly hear any difference between a short cable and two 25' ones in either case.

 

So I guess that guitarists who replace a pedalboard which had buffered pedals would not notice a difference, or maybe it depends on the pickups.

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10 hours ago, FranCollQc said:

I performed another run of tests with a different interface, this time it was an M-Track with dedicated high impedance inputs for guitar (1 MΩ). I still have the same behaviour. I have to roll off the tone knob about halfway in order to match the sound of the analog bypass on the HX Effects empty patch, but I hardly hear any difference between a short cable and two 25' ones in either case.

 

So I guess that guitarists who replace a pedalboard which had buffered pedals would not notice a difference, or maybe it depends on the pickups.

 

I missed that you were comparing the Analog Bypass to the DSP Bypass. Without having a buffer in front of the HX Effects, I don't think you can realistically expect them to sound the same. In Analog Bypass mode, it's analogous to plugging directly into a true bypass pedal and then going to your amp. Your pickups will be loaded down with the cable length (plus any impedance effects of the input itself).

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