Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

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Elandroth
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Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Elandroth » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:50 pm

I'm looking for a unit that can provide reverb and delay mostly, but other effects on top of that would be great. I've been playing with a Nord Lead 2x for a few years now, but recently have really ramped up my synth focus. What started as an extra source of catchy melodies on my guitar stuff, has turned now into my main musical interest. So now I'm pretty happy with my synth layout for the time being, but I find myself lacking in effects. Guitar pedals ain't workin out so hot, and I really don't like software effects - mostly because I prefer doing everything on hardware whenever possible.

I'm looking at the Lexicon MX200, and it looks pretty solid, especially for it's price. Is this a good unit? Is there something comparable or better? I'm not opposed to perhaps spending a bit more- I'm looking to make an investment in a piece of gear that I will be happy to have 5 years from now - I'm not looking for a quick fix or entry level stuff. Can you guys suggest any other standard units that provide what I'm looking for? Again reverb and delay are my primary concern, but I'd love a more comprehensive unit that has many more options.


Thanks for any help you guys can provide.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Joey » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:10 pm

Try out the TC Electronic Fireworx. Its a pretty incredible multi FX unit, and can be had for under $1000.
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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by schmidtc » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:13 pm

Ensoniq DP/4. Eventide H3000.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Elandroth » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:55 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into those!

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by paugui » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:54 pm

A Nord Modular G2 Engine would be pretty nice too.
At least I love to use my G2X for processing my other synths.

For something cheaper the Korg A1 seems great, at least I am looking for one, despite I have never tried it...
And the Ensoniq DP/4 seems great too.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by CfNorENa » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:28 am

I just picked up an Ensoniq DP/4+ -- my first effects box -- so I'm unable to give a comprehensive review (to put it mildly: it's a complicated machine). But first impressions are very good. I did a ton of research on this, and came to the conclusion that it was the best "bang-for-the-buck" box available for the price (I paid $250 for mine). Tremendous flexibility (it's really four effects units in a box, with four ins and four outs). Almost modular in its routings. It certainly covers all the bases, and it definitely provides a distinctive "color" to the sound (this is very far from being a transparent FX unit). Word on the street is that reverb is not its strength, but it seems OK to me. If you're looking at a somewhat long term investment (as I was), you might consider picking up one multi-FX box and then, later, a dedicated reverb (that's my plan, at least, for what it's worth!).
Last edited by CfNorENa on Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by bhrama » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:30 am

Check out : Line 6 - M13 stomp box. Good bang for the buck

http://line6.com/m13/

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by space6oy » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:40 am

boss has some all-in-one effects / amp emulators out there too, like the GS-10's i mess with.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:18 am

Elandroth wrote:I'm not opposed to perhaps spending a bit more- I'm looking to make an investment in a piece of gear that I will be happy to have 5 years from now - I'm not looking for a quick fix or entry level stuff. Can you guys suggest any other standard units that provide what I'm looking for? Again reverb and delay are my primary concern, but I'd love a more comprehensive unit that has many more options.
Forget about the Lexicon then. It's decent for the money but it's not the sort of thing you'll love so much that you won't want to replace it in five years.

For around that price you should be looking at the Ensoniq DP/4, Kurzweil Rumour (more reverb/subtle) or Mangler (more delays/phasers/crazy, but still has nice reverbs) or a secondhand Fireworx.

You might also like the Eventide Timefactor, it's amazing for delays and makes everything you put through it sound better. I also use the multitap delay on it as a reverb, a few bands I mix like the sound of it better than the reverb units in most venues. It's more of a grainy reverb than super smooth ie. sounds like an effect rather than the singer/instrument is in a big space, but it's really nice. Also sits nicely on top of a NL2. :D

For a bit more you should check out the Eventide H3000/3500/DSP4000/4500 or Eclipse, or the Kurzweil KSP8. They're the kind of units that you'll most likely keep forever, and the KSP8 can be run with 8 ins and 8 outs, so you can use it as 4 stereo processors at once if you want.

The reason I'm recommending the Eventide and Kurzweil units (and the DP/4) is because they sit at the more synth-y artificial end of the effects spectrum, rather than the more vanilla natural stuff like the TC and Lexicon stuff. I use effects as synths and synths as effects, the only real difference is that most fx units don't have a built-in sound source. The units I've recommended allow you to really hone in the sounds you want from the fx, so that they become as much a part of your sound as your synth patches, rather than just making it sound the same, but with reverb.

Hope that info helps. :thumbleft:

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Bohemian86 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:36 am

I definitely recommend the Ensoniq DP/4 and Line 6 M9 or M13. Both really versatile.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Elandroth » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:52 am

Wow lots of good info here, thanks a ton guys.


And yah I'd love a Nord G2 (I'm deff a clavia fan) but the used units have gone up in price considerably compared to a few years ago. =(


Right now I'm thinkin the Ensoniq might be a good compromise. I could afford more, but I like to have a few hundred bucks in waiting for those ridiculous craigslist deals that pop up suddenly.

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by CfNorENa » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:44 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:The reason I'm recommending the Eventide and Kurzweil units (and the DP/4) is because they sit at the more synth-y artificial end of the effects spectrum, rather than the more vanilla natural stuff like the TC and Lexicon stuff
Warning: thread hijack in progress...

This distinction matters a lot to me, as I don't think I'm ever going to put ANYTHING into my effects other than synthesizers, so I know I don't need the super realistic stuff (Bricasti, etc.). So if I were going to add a dedicated, synthesizer-friendly reverb to go with my DP/4+, what would you recommend in the sub-$1000 range? I had my eyes on the Lexicon PCM-70 -- based mainly on its very strong reputation, including some comments specifically about its suitability for synths -- but your placing of the Lex units with the TC and apart from Eventide and Kurzweil makes we wonder. Any thoughts? What would be the Eventide price/performance equivalent of the PCM-70?

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:48 am

Well the Lexicon PCMs are actually really good for synths as well, it's mainly the cheap ones that I have no interest in. If someone gave me a PCM 70 or 80 I'd keep it for sure, but I'd rather have a reverb that sounds like the sound was chopped up into a thousand triangles and then dropped onto a large glass sphere than just sound like it was inside a beautiful cavern. So it's a taste thing really.

I think you should be able to get a DSP4000 for around the price of a PCM 70, that would be my choice I reckon. Maybe a second hand Eclipse?

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by aeon » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:14 pm

CfNorENa wrote:This distinction matters a lot to me, as I don't think I'm ever going to put ANYTHING into my effects other than synthesizers, so I know I don't need the super realistic stuff (Bricasti, etc.). So if I were going to add a dedicated, synthesizer-friendly reverb to go with my DP/4+, what would you recommend in the sub-$1000 range?
Bar none, the Kurzweil Rumour. One engine's-worth of the KSP8 reverb that works well on just about everything, including the difficult task of rendering synthetic percussive ambience.


cheers,
Ian

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Re: Suggestions for all-in-one outboard effects unit?

Post by aeon » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:21 pm

Elandroth wrote:I'm looking to make an investment in a piece of gear that I will be happy to have 5 years from now - I'm not looking for a quick fix or entry level stuff. Can you guys suggest any other standard units that provide what I'm looking for? Again reverb and delay are my primary concern, but I'd love a more comprehensive unit that has many more options.
cheap: Ensoniq DP/4, Sony DPS-V55, Boss VF-1
less-so: t.c. electronic FireworX, KKurzweil Rumour+Mangler combo
over1K: Kurzweil KSP8, Eventide Eclipse
spendy: Eventide DSP7K-series, Orville, H7600, and the brilliance that is the H8000FW

there are also units from a few makers that have a lot of effects plus amp modeling, but I didn't list them here.


cheers,
Ian

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