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Grinn75

HX Effects external switching work only when no input

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Hello guys,

 

I have spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I could switch the channel of my Mesa Boogie dual rectifier with my HX effects.

I actually found out the switching works fine, but only when there is no input in the HX effects...

 

What I did :

- Set in the command setter an Instant with the value Ext 1 - Tip

 

The channel of my Mesa switches fine when I select the effect. But as soon as I plug a jack in the input of the HX effects,  the switching is destroy, the amp starts buzzing like hell and the light is turned on on 2 different channels...

 

Do you know where does this come from ?

Maybe you have tips on how to fix this ?

 

Thank you!
 

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Sounds like unrelated issues. With the switching cable disconnected at both ends, is it all good? If so, does changing channels manually work right? Are you using the correct (TRS) cable? Are the amp's channel switches correctly configured?

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Hello rd2rk,

 

Everything works fine as long as I don't have the external switching connected to the amp.

I am familiar with external switching and it worked just fine on my previous setup.

I don't understand why we need a TRS cable for external switching, but I tried with a TRS cable as well and the result is the same. How would you configure the HX with a TRS cable ? Something different than sending a Tip ?

 

The amp channel switch on Mesa Boggie dual rectifier is just 1 input jack by channel. There is nothing to configure.

I can change the channels directly on the amp or using the Mesa footswitch just fine but I need the HX to do this!

 

Let me know if you have some test I could run to solve this issue.

 

Thank you!

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I have two different manuals for the Dual/Triple Rectifier.

One shows a patchbay with "Tuner/Chan 2/Chan 3/Solo/Loop".

If that's yours, I went through this with another user (can't find the thread) and the only solution that worked was MIDI control using a VooDooLabs "Control Switcher". Expensive, extra box, but works great.

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I have read other Mesa owners complaining about amp switching and the HX Effects. I’ve always just used amp switching manually (not instants) between snapshots with my Blackstar.

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Here's what the Dual Rectifier manual says about it:

 

EXTERNAL SWITCHING JACKS: These jacks allow (usually MIDI-programmed) operation of your amplifier’s functions from an external switching source. In either case, the switching is accomplished by connecting (“shorting”) the jack’s “Tip” to its “Ring” (or ground.)

 

So it's not the Helix, it's the way channel switching is implemented in the amp. Again, using the VDL "Control Switcher" with MIDI works fine. The Switcher connects to the amp using multiple TS cables and MIDI from Helix Commmand Center to the Switcher controls it.

 

Helix works fine with simple channel switching amps.

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Thank you for your replies.

Actually the problem comes from the Helix.

I have a Harley Benton FXL8 Pro that change the channel of my Mesa perfectly fine by triggering a signal in a standard jack.

 

What is weird is that changing the channel works fine with the HX effects when the input jack is not plugged. As soon as I plug the input, two channels are up together, and the amp buzz.

 

Adding a Voodoo Lab to switch channel in midi is not a good solution for me. I chose HX effects to have a small and efficient solution and because it had an external switch.

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On 1/19/2020 at 5:02 AM, Grinn75 said:

Everything works fine as long as I don't have the external switching connected to the amp.

 

5 hours ago, grinn78 said:

What is weird is that changing the channel works fine with the HX effects when the input jack is not plugged.

 

Terminology. "Input jack" to me means the cable from the guitar to the AMP INPUT. If you mean the cable from the "External Amp" jack on the Helix to the Channel jack(s) on the back of the amp, then that makes sense.

 

20 hours ago, rd2rk said:

I have two different manuals for the Dual/Triple Rectifier.

One shows a patchbay with "Tuner/Chan 2/Chan 3/Solo/Loop".

If that's yours,

 

Is that yours? I had a look at the FXL8 Pro and it seems to have two switching jacks. Are you using both to switch the amp channels?

Is Ch1 ON when both switches are OFF?

IIRC, the way it works is that if either of the amps channel jacks (2 or 3) are "shorted" (ON), Channel 1 is OFF. Since Helix switching is either/or that could be the problem.

 

***You might try an "INSERT" (Y) cable (TRS to dual mono). Use two buttons, one assigned to 1(TIP), the other to 2(RING).

When both switches are OFF you should have Channel 1.

I have no idea what would happen if both switches were ON. It MIGHT damage the amp.***

 

IF I WERE YOU I would contact Mesa support and ask. You might also try Asking AGED HORSE on Talkbass. He's a Mesa design engineer, and usually responds quickly. Ask first if you should PM your question, as there may be rules about that sort of thing.

 

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ADD TO PREVIOUS:

 

I just noticed that HX FX has two EXP/EXT AMP jacks. If they're both set to work as EXT AMP and you use two cables (TRS?) you don't need a Y cable, but the warnings I noted still apply!

 

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!

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Hello rd2rk,

 

thanks for your reply.

Acutally I made a mistake in the terminology, I will try to explain it more clearly :

- If the output of the HX is not plugged to the input of the amp, the switching works fine.

- If the output of the HX is plugged to the input of the amp, 2 channels turn on instead of switching correctly.

 

The default channel of my Mesa Dual Rectifier is the Channel 2. My Mesa has 5 external switch : Channel 1 , Channel 2, Channel 3 , Solo, Loop
Switching to channel 1 works fine with my FXL8 Pro with only one jack from the Trigger to the Amp external switch.

 

To me this is not related to Mesa, because the switching always worked for me on the Mesa. It's only now that I try with a Helix that it doesn't work...

 

Do you see what could cause that, plugging the output of the HX to the standard guitar Input of the Mesa modify the switching behaviour ?

 

Thank you!

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7 hours ago, grinn78 said:

My Mesa has 5 external switch : Channel 1 , Channel 2, Channel 3 , Solo, Loop

 

OK, so now I have the correct manual for YOUR version of this amp. That makes THREE manuals.

 

1.) The Rear Panel CHANNEL SELECT rotary switch must be set to FOOTSWITCH for the Footswitch to select either channels or features.

 

Where is that switch set? Unfortunately, that is the only reference to that switch that I've found in the manual, so I have no idea if it could be a contributing factor..

 

7 hours ago, grinn78 said:

Do you see what could cause that, plugging the output of the HX to the standard guitar Input of the Mesa modify the switching behaviour ?

 

There is no logical reason for that. It could only occur if the amp's Input was somehow wired into the channel switching circuits, which would make no sense whatsoever.

 

If you're saying that when you take a TS (guitar type) cable from the HXFX LEFT/MONO Output to the INPUT on the front of your amp, that causes a problem with the channels, contact Mesa Support.

 

Not that it should matter, but have you tried using the HXFX in the amp's FX loop (4cm wiring)?

It might not help with the actual channel switching, but for troubleshooting purposes it at least removes the HXFX as a (possible though improbable) cause of your problem.

 

Here's another idea. Do you have a continuity tester? You say it all works great with your FXL8 Pro. Use the continuity tester to find out exactly what's going on with the switches on the FXL8 Pro, then try to duplicate that with the HXFX.

 

Your amp has more controls than the space shuttle. The manual shows a clear preference for using the proprietary footswitch.

Without having your hardware here in front of me, I'm running out of ideas.

 

You may be able to get more specific help here:

 

https://www.forum.grailtone.com/

 

That's the Mesa Boogie forum.

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Hello rd2rk,

 

I made more tests yesterday that I will try to explain.

First, the Rear Panel CHANNEL SELECT rotary switch is set to FOOTSWITCH.

 

If my guitar is directly plugged into the Mesa input, the HX can switch the channel. I can go from channel 2 to channel 1 without any issue. Once again, I used the Command center -> Instant -> Ext amp 1 -> Tip on a preset.

 

If my guitar is plugged to the HX and my HX to the amp, whenevr I send the instruction to switch the channel, the channel 1 and the channel 2 turn on and the amp start buzzing hard.

 

I tried to plug only the send & return of the HX into my Mesa and I have the exact same problem : both channels turns on.

 

Do you think my HX has a problem ? It's brand new, but it could happen...

 

I could do a video to show you the issue, it clearly doesn't come from the Mesa. The HX react differently when external switching + input are used.

 

 

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In Command Center, can you configure BOTH external amp jacks?

The HX FX manual is not clear on this.

I've done some research over on the Mesa Support site concerning the external amp switching logic, and I think I see how this works, but you'll need to use both ext amp jacks to get all 3 channels. You'll need two TRS to Dual Mono (insert) cables.

I'm waiting to hear back from Mesa Support on the correct position for the Rotary switch, and whether or not I've got the Switching Logic straight.

Once we've straightened out the channel switching, that SHOULD resolve the Input problem. Maybe.

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Hello rd2rk and thanks for your reply!
 

Yes, I configure both PEDAL/EXT AMP output to be EXT AMP command. Note that I tried to set it to pedal, and I didn't see any difference : the channel switch worked fine when no input was plugged.

 

For now, my only need is to be able to switch from channel 1 to channel 2 and the other way around. So far, because channel 2 is the default, if I sent a Tip to Channel 1 it switches to Channel 1 and when I trigger another preset without a TIP signal, it goes back to Channel 2.

 

I bought all the cables of the world, so I am ready to test anything you would find!

 

Thanks

 

 

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Try using an INSERT (TRS to Dual Mono) cable.

TRS end into HXFX EXT AMP 1, Tip to Ch1 and Ring to Ch2.

If you want CH2 to load by default when the Preset loads, set IC1 to RING on Snapshot 1, set IC1 to TIP on Snapshot 2.

SAVE the Preset on Snapshot 1.

IF it works with the INSERT cable method, then you can use a second INSERT in EXT AMP 2 for Ch3 and SOLO (or LOOP).

 

I THINK that the way the Rotary switch works is that if you set it to Ch2, that will be the default channel when NOTHING is attached to either the footswitch or channel jacks.

I'm still waiting to hear from Mesa for confirmation.

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Hello rd2rk,

 

I tried doing the following, as you said :

1) Plugged a TRS to Tip and Ring to my EXT AMP 1. I plugged the Tip to the Channel 1 and the Ring to Channel 2.

2) I added to my preset : 2 EXT AMP snapshots. The first one is sending a Tip and the other a Ring.

3) When putting on the preset, the amp has 2 channels ON. And the amp buzz...

 

I tried with the Rotary Switch to Footswitch and Channel 2.

 

Any other idea ?

 

Thanks

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So, you plugged the TRS end to the EXT AMP 1, and the two mono ends to Ch1 and Ch2.

With the guitar plugged into the amp input, did it switch channels as expected?

With the HX plugged into the amp input, you still had the problem?

 

If that's the case, I'm baffled.

 

As I see it, you have two choices. Use the MIDI switcher solution (VDL Control or similar) as the manual suggests, or contact Mesa support on one end and L6 support on the other and try to get it worked out.

 

Good Luck!

 

If you get a solution, PLEASE post back here for the benefit of others in your situation. Thanks!

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