Advice on Multi FX with DSL50

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Shto, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    Hi guys, hoping for a bit of guidance here - I have a “traditional” stomp-box-based board running with my DSL50 - Drive, Distortion and wah into the front end, with modulation, delay and Boost going via the loop. I’m mostly playing Thrash/80s metal, so I like a gritty rhythm sound from either a TS808 or Boss SD1 into the DSL50 Red channel, I’ll add the distortion ( TC Electronic Fangs) for a bit more compression on solos. I’ll also use a footswitch to go clean occasionally. Always been very happy with the performance, but I’m looking to go to a multi fx for a couple of reasons - one is to simplify things, less cables, less power supplies etc. but also, I want the flexibility of having presets, so for instance I’ll want to add distortion + delay + boost for a solo, or switch to the clean channel & add chorus, and there isn’t a neat way to do this with my current setup (& I'm too old to be dancing on a pedal board lol).

    I’m drawn towards the Boss GT10, as I like the user interface, and have plenty of good experience with Boss effects. The FX loop allows me to connect to my DSL using the 4-cable method. I’d love to hear from anyone who might have a similar setup about your experiences, like for instance ;

    The GT10 should allow me to replicate my current setup, with it's in-built wah & dirt up front - is this right? And assuming so, how does the GT10 OD compare to my Boss SD1 or Ibanez TS808?

    I can use the GT10 for channel switching on the DSL? Plus channel switching as part of a patch?

    I’ve read plenty of reviews, a lot of people favour other similar units (like the Pod HD500, Line6 Firehawk etc.) for their Amp modelling capabilities, but this will be of no use to me, as I’ll be bypassing amp models to use the DSLs preamp, the GT10 will be used in 2 blocks basically, front end gain, and FX loop modulation/boost. I also like the idea of downloadable patches and desktop editing - I’m not a complete luddite, but I don’t like devices that suck you in and distract you, I want to be able to set it up and just play.


    If anyone here has a similar setup, and might share any pros or cons, or maybe suggestions for similar units in that price range, either way I’d appreciate it.
     
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  2. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    Boss MS-3 ?
     
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  3. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I always heard good things about the GT10 and that it can do the 4 cable method, not all can. :yesway:
     
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  4. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Just a thought... The Boss GT 10 was released about 12 years ago - which is incredibly old in the modeling world. Why not look at a newer used Boss model, a used Line 6 HX Effects, etc. The HX Effects has 2 effects loop so you can do 4CM and also add other pedals if needed, and it has amp control to change channels. Plus it’s all effects and no modeling. The interface is super easy too. The down side is you’d have to get an external pedal as there isn’t one built in.

    Whatever you choose I would try to get something more recent as the quality of the effects has made significant improvements over the years.
     
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  5. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I had the GT-10 in 4CM with my DSL40CR and it worked fine.
    I couldn't resist trading up to a GT-100 when one came through my LGS though.
    They cost 2x as much as a GT-10 2nd hand, but I think it was worth it.

    One thing I didn't like with the GT-10 - the red LEDs are way to FREEKING BRIGHT.
    I couldn't see anything on the control panel for the row of LEDs. Be warned.
    Some nail polish on the buttons could fix it maybe?

    For GT-10 patch editing on a PC look at Fx Floorboard. https://sourceforge.net/projects/fxfloorboard/files/

    And welcome to the MF @Shto :welcome:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  6. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    Great point - I suppose in a way, the age was a factor, as in I liked that the GT10 is well established, theres plenty of resources out there for it, but you're dead right, and honestly, I wasn't really that aware of the nature of the HX - have to say, doing a little research is really pushing me that way. Thanks!
     
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  7. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    Thanks again for all the replies lads, happy to say I've pulled the trigger on a HX Effects following KraftyBob's advice, will report back when it lands!
     
  8. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Congrats! Keep us updated on how things are going.
     
  9. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    So, I've had a couple of days messing around with the HX effects. Great piece of kit. Modulation, reverbs and delays are top notch. The drives/distortion sounds are far and away the best I've heard from any multi fx. My 808 still has a very slight edge over the HX equivalent, but of course the fx loop let's me run the 808 in tandem with the onboard effects, with the same switching functionality. Honestly, the HX drive gets me about 97% of the way there anyways.
    Theres still a lot to learn with the HX, but the interface is so intuitive, it's really not a chore to use or to figure out. One thing I am struggling with is channel switching on my DSL50. I can get it going, but with unpredictable results: firstly it adds a lot of noise to my clean channel. The DSL50 has always had a "pop" when switching over to the green channel. I believe a sub-standard relay might be the cause. However, when using the HX to switch, the "pop" is now a Thump. Also, in Snapshop mode, the HX will suddenly drop hugely in volume when using a channel switch as part of a snapshot, this can only be restored by rebooting. Line6 are very clear that they can't guarantee compatibility with every make & model, and that's fair enough.
    If anyone out there has had a similar experience, or could point me in the direction of a solution I'd appreciate it.
     
  10. freefrog

    freefrog Member

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    Hello,

    I've already dealt with loud switching noises actually due to imperfect grounding...

    And 4CM can generate problems of grounding and static electricity IME (Static electricity can even creep in the onboard electronics of a digital device and make it behave randomly: it might explain the strange behavior of your HX).

    I can't give any solid online advice about that because it's really case dependent (and I've zero experience with Line6 HX) but you might have to check...

    -if the onboard noise gate(s) of your MFX's is/are enabled and properly set;

    -if the housing of your MFX is properly grounded. I had more than once to add a wire from metal cases of (M)FX's to the common ground of power outlets;

    -if the problem decreases with "star grounding" and/or with some shielded/twisted pair cables between amp loop and MFX... experimenting with ground lift might also be useful. Google is your friend here;

    -if you haven't a better signal to noise ratio and less parasitic noises with something like a EbTech hum eliminator...


    Anyway: I use MFX's in 4CM since the late 90's and it's generally less noisy when I use shielded twisted pairs like these ones:

    https://www.daddario.com/products/accessories/cables/instrument/custom-series-instrument-cable/

    The "shielded" ends of all cables must go to a single device: either the amp, either the MFX (it depends on the devices used).

    I also tend to use and recommend interfaces with isolation transformers : see the Ebtech Hum Eliminator (or the Ebtech Line Level Shifter, which might have been necessary if the loop of your amp is a +4dB one and if you use(d) a MFX with a -10dB loop: it's the case of the GT10, FWIW)...

    For the anecdote, my "biggest" pedalboard, with more than 15 pedals (mostly analog and true bypass) involves ground busses wired in star grounding, and going from the metal housing of each pedal to a common ground outlet. Without that, I'd have to deal with switch noises and/or hum, click, tick and pop... (that being said to confirm that grounding is more than important with complex or crowded FX chains).

    Good luck in your experiments. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  11. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I have the DSL40C and use the Ext Amp control in a lot of my patches without any problems (Helix LT). The switching has to be tip or ring to sleeve for it to work. Does the DSL50 have a separate input for Channel and Reverb, and are you changing the channel only, or reverb too? I don't recall how this amp works.

    If it is tip/ring to sleeve then I'm not sure why you would get a thump instead of the pop as the Ext Amp control is basically doing the same thing that your foot switch is doing.

    Can you setup a test patch with nothing else in it but one foot switch for clean and another for OD (using Tip/ring in assigning a command in the command center)? This will at least tell you if the basic function of switching is working correctly.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I'm certainly no Helix expert but have been using one for one a year now so I may be able to help a little.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  12. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Well spotted @KraftyBob. The DSL50 does have separate jacks for channel and reverb switching.
    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/524746/Marshall-Amplification-Jcm-2000-Dsl50.html?page=4#manual
    You could try a TRS to 2xTS Y-cable, but they are usually quite short and may need extending with a TRS male to TRS female lead.
     
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  13. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    @freefrog Thanks for this hugely informative post, I'd never considered star grounding as an option. The HXs power supply is not grounded, I wonder if this might be significant?
    I have a Behringer Hum Destroyer (similar to Ebtech) on the way, so will see how that works out. I've also invested in a twisted cable pair from a local place, I figure this is overdue.
    I'm not using a noise gate - the noise floor of a tube amp dialled for thrash metal tone isnt a problem for me, I suppose youd say its excessive or abrupt noise that I'm trying to cancel. I'll post again when I've tried out the hum destroyer and cables.
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  14. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    @KraftyBob @SkyMonkey I'm only using channel switching, no reverb. I have a separate footswitch that I'd been using previously, this functions normally (albeit with a small "pop"). I updated the HX firmware to 2.92, so the volume drops and random behaviour seem to be resolved. I believe from what I've seen with my setup, and from Freefrog's post that there is a grounding issue when connecting the additional cable for channel switching. I'm hoping the hum destroyer will be the silver bullet here, although it seems a lot of people find faults with the DSLs relays, so I may take it to the Sound Factory here in Dublin in the near future.
     
  15. freefrog

    freefrog Member

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    Hi again,

    The "pop" seems inherent to the switching network in your amp. The fact that it becomes a "thump" with the HX stomp made me think intuitively that the zero volt reference might differ between the amp and MFX...

    IF it's the case, yes, the ungrounded power supply of the HX FX might matter IMHO/in my understanding.

    Now the problem might be more complicated than this. Ain't got the time to read and decipher the related schematics but there's some food for thought here (in post 6):

    https://handkusers.forumotion.com/t613-tubemaister-18-line-hx-effects-switching-problem

    FWIW. Let us know how the debugging progresses for you. Good luck!
     
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  16. Shto

    Shto New Member

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    Hey all - got my hum destroyer, and have tried it out. Results are... inconclusive. I tried using it at a few different points in my setup, and was impressed how it dropped the noise floor on the dsl50. However, I was still getting the loud pop when switching channels, and found a BIG drop in volume on the clean channel. More importantly though, the Hum Destroyer was absolutely sucking all the tone out of the system, dead, lifeless and woolly, so that pretty much ended it for me. After trying it out, I decided to go back to square one, and lo and behold, I discovered for no particular reason that everything was working pretty much fine. The ground hum is gone, theres still a pop, but I do think thats the Marshall's relays, and I now have clean tone on tap. It may be that I disturbed something in moving cables around (although I really dont think so, I'm pretty careful about cabling) so I'm a bit confused, but for the moment it's a result. The hum destroyer will definitely not be staying, I cant claim to have solved the problem, but it seems to be solved. And the dsl50 with hxeffects is an awesome combination. Thanks everyone who offered advice!
     
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  17. freefrog

    freefrog Member

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    Thx for the news!

    Regarding the Hum Destroyer: Behringer can be hit or miss IME... I'll try some day to check if the Behringer Hum Destroyer includes the same kind of audio transformers than Ebtech / Morley equivalents but I'm not sure that the quality is the same.
    Now, as the behavior of such transformers depends on the specs of the FX loop paired to it, they work great with some amps / signal paths and not so great with others, sadly.

    Regarding the improvement noticed after going back to the original signal path... I can't remember how often I had to unplug and replug a guitar device because of a faultly contact due to mechanical problems or to oxydation. In such cases, the fautly contact can really act like an invisible resistor or capacitor and the result is not rarely a big loud hum.

    That's why I keep various multimeters and deoxydizing sprays at disposal...

    Glad to know the problem partially solved, at least. :)
     
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  18. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't expect a Boss GT10 to sound as good as your TS9.

    I'd look at newer gear, such as the Helix FX. Personally, I'd want to keep the TS9 and use the Helix for everything else, but the TS9 on the Helix satisfies for some.
     
  19. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    You've got to read the whole thread man. It's only one page!

     
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  20. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Oops! Point taken.

    BTW, have you compared your TC Electronic to the Helix FX?
     
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