EHX Clone theory: vintage vs reissue? (and reducing the noise)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by boristhespider7, Jan 2, 2014.


  1. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    I've been searching around the net and on TB and can't find much on anyone AB'ing the vintage vs reissue clone theory. There's only this brief thread thats now quite dated plus a youtube video on guitar

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/vintage-clone-theorys-ebay-287214/

    I've read a few comments that people think the reissue isn't as "wild" but it's hard to tell whether thats just word of mouth or experience from someone who has tried both.
    So how do they compare in terms of tone? Plus noise levels?

    Also, It's well known that these pedals are noisey. But has anyone had experinece trying to reduce the noise of these pedals either via:
    1. Boosting gain pre pedal (to increase signal to noise ratio). Does this make much difference?
    2. Using a noise gate
    3. Any other method

    Need to decide which one to get: reissue or vintage?
  2. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Youtube vid here....



    Differences are pretty subtle to me, plus its hard to say whether they would be different on bass
  3. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
  4. DirkP

    DirkP

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    I never owned or tried the vintage one. But I have the reissue and as a livelong Peter Hook fan, who is using the vintage one all through Joy Division and New Order, it just gets the sound of "24 Hours" and the early New Order stuff perfectly. No other chorus pedal or chorus effect in a multieffect unit ever came close (I've owned Boss and Ibanez pedals as well as a Lexicon MPX.
    On edit: I just watched this youtube video. He is using the Reissue in the Chorus 1 setting, he never uses the Chorus 2 setting. The Chorus one setting is kind of a reissue of the small clone pedal Curt Cobain was using. It has a depth-setting that can't be changed. The Chorus 2 setting is far closer to the original Clone Theory - and it is stereo.
    It's not good to see in the video, but the chorus one setting is "white" and the chorus two setting is "green", the "depth"-setting is green too for the user to know that it only works, when chorus two is chosen. So the video is pretty useless as a comparison.

    Dirk
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Cheers DirkP, most helpful. I'm also chasing that Hooky tone. How do you find the reissue for noise/hiss levels? Do you do anything that helps with the noise?

    Also interested that you've tried other BOSS chorus pedals. Have you tried the CEB-3 or CE-5? How does it compare? I have the CEB-3 and only find it useful when nearly all settings apart from rate are set to max as its pretty subtle.

    BTW, do you use it in stereo in live use?
  7. Impostor

    Impostor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Can't tell about the original one, but the reissue is easily overdriven even without an additional booster. It's 9 volts, that's it. My active 5-string overdrives it if I just add some lows and mids on the onboard EQ while playing aggressively without compressor. Though this slight distortion sounds musical to my ear (kind of some 'vintage' flavour - clean sound when playing softly, and dirty when playing wild), and I sometimes use it deliberately, such behaviour is of course not desirable if you just want to improve your SNR.
  8. DirkP

    DirkP

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    Imposter is correct about the Clone Theory Reissue to be easily overdriven. It can't be fed with line signals. It doesn't work in the effect-chain of my Markbass-amp, 'cause the signal is too strong.
    Most of the times - at least to my ears - the distortion doesn't sound musical.

    Live I've only used it in mono (it has stero-outputs, but works in mono, too, if you only use one of the outputs labelled "mono"). I really like the way it sounds in stereo.
    If you want to use it in mono you HAVE to unplug the second out, otherwise, the chorus-effect is kind of "cancelled".
    It's kind of noisy but from what I've heard less noisy than the vintage one.

    Compared to Boss-pedals: for me the clone-theory is very different from other chorus pedals, it's in a class of its own. It sounds very different from other chorus pedals.
    Some people might not like it, for others it's the only chorus they love.

    What I really like is what it does if a note has a long sustain, esp. on bass. Just listen to the beginning of 24 Hours.

    It is a good example, 'cause it's a rather slow song and the notes on central points ring five beats long (from 1+ to 2+ of the next 4 beats if I count correctly), before the strings are plugged again.

    It sounds good even without a chorus, 'cause it's played almost entirely in open string technique (with an open d-string and occasionally an open a-string, Pete Hook always plugs two strings simultaneously during this song).



    Later in New Order Peter Hook overused chorus in my opinion. But 24 Hours is just a brilliant example for the Clone-Theory, esp. because deeper bass-notes are involved. It sounds warm and organic without sounding too sweet or artificial.

    Dirk
  9. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Interesting, i guess that probably rules putting a gain pedal before the Clone theory.

    24 hours...great song.

    I'm still trying to work out what the clone theory offers that other chorus's don't though. I tried one in a store a couple of wks ago and to me it almost sounded like a CE-5 with a with of a high pass filter on (i tried it with a BOSS EQ with some low end rolled off and could almost get the Clone theory tone). Although was trying it with a crappy Roland cube so may not give me a great idea
  10. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Agree with Impostor and DrP.
    Life time Hooky fan here as well. I play a Yamaha BB1200S into the original Clone with the "EDGE" setting to "ON" --- gives it a bit of a boost. Just the original clone itself gets you to about 80% or 85% of Hooky's tone. I'm going to add digital delay --- I've read that Hooky's is set at 80 ms. Figure, that would take me to 95% region.

    I started out with a reissue clone. Liked it, but was a bit noisy. After ~ 6 months, I searched on EBAY for an original clone. Took about 6 more months till I found one. Once the original clone arrived, the reissue has sat in the storage box for the past two years.

    This is what I would suggest --- get a used reissue off of EBAY. Can be had for ~ $50-$75. Test that out. If you're happy with it, then end of story; no need to wonder about the original Clone. If you're not happy with it, then take the next step and try to find a good original clone --- if you like it then keep it and resell the reissue.

    Good luck!
  11. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Ta for the advice, i hadn't factored in a delay but i think you're right.
    So you found the origonal less noisy than the reissue?
    What made you decide on the origonal over the reissue: noise, tone, both?
  12. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Tone of the original is closer to Hooky --- and I've attended all his North American shows (Peter Hook and the Light), plus a bunch of New Order shows.

    Whether it is better than the reissue is a subjective call. What I can say is the reissue is closer to Hooky.

    On a object side, the original is not as noisy as the reissue.

    Cheers.

  13. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Got a chance to AB a RI Clone theory against a Boss CEB-3 (all settings on max except rate). The difference wasn't dramatic IMO, although there's much more low end present (plus wobble) on the Boss. The CT was much colder. What did strike me though is how much the Clone theory cuts through in a band setting. Was playing with a loud guitar and drummer and the clone theory really cut through. There was some noise but not that bad and only noticeable when everyone stopped playing (BTW, i don't use tweeters...so noise may be worse if you do)
  14. Vin69Nik

    Vin69Nik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Location:
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Long time Hooky fan too. I own both the Clone Theory (older version with SAD1024) and the stereo reissue.
    I easily get his sound with the vintage one, with settings as follows: EDGE on, CHOR/VIB Chorus, RATE max, DEPTH near min. I play it with a 4003 Rickenbacker using bridge pickup only.
    The sound is much fuller, rounder to my ears on the Vintage.
    The reissue is thinner and harsher, also less subtle.

    I also agree with the fact that with the reissue you need to be in Chorus mode 2 to have Hooky's sound. Chorus mode 1 is similar to that of a Small Clone.
  15. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Origonal Clone theory plus Ric...v jeolous :crying:
    Did you find the origonal less noisy too? I hear conflicting accounts of the 2, some say its less noisy some say more. I don't know if there's variation amongst the origonals or whether the age and use takes their toll to produce more noise in some pedals.
    You manage to get the Hooky tone with the reissue too?
  16. Vin69Nik

    Vin69Nik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Location:
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    No not really. To me the original Clone Theory isn't really less noisy than the reissue.

    There also might be a variation in the original ones as there are different versions:
    - EDGE or VIBRA/FLANGE switch
    - main chip inside is either a RETICON SAD1024 or an MN3007

    Mine has the EDGE switch and the SAD1024. It's supposed to be from 1979. I had it modified to work on 24V DC, instead of 120VAC. I also added a LED.

    The Stereo Clone Theory (reissue) and the Small Clone both have the MN3007.

    The original one really nails Hooky sound, much better than the reissue. The sound is richer, rounder, has more amplitude to my ears on the original. On the reissue I find that the sound is more simple, less complex. It also has less sustain.

    I've tried to make a demo directly from my camera, but the sound is too awful to be posted. I'll have to get a DI Box...
  17. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks, thats really informative! Were the mods v difficult to do? Voltage change could come in really handy, especially with UK 240v AC.
    Would love to hear sound clips if you get hold of a DI :hyper:
  18. Vin69Nik

    Vin69Nik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Location:
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I didn't do the mod myself. I sent it to Joshua from fxdoctor.com who did a wonderful job. It was not difficult as he told me.
    He did the following:
    - removed the original 120VAC/24VDC transformer. Replaced it with a 24VDC input, like the one you have on the Deluxe Mistress. This means I can now power it either with a simple AC/DC transformer or with a Cioks/VoodooLab power bar ! The board actually needs 15VDC as stated on the schematic you can find on here
    http://topopiccione.atspace.com/PJ12EHCloneTheory.html
    - cleaned all the pots and board
    - installed a small adjustable op-amp, to get rid of the volume drop when the effect is on
    - installed a red LED.
    - replaced one aged capacitor

    There were no change is the sound at all, before and after the mod. Joshua could be sure of that when he knew about the board being fed with 15VDC.
    He just had to give the same Volts and Amperes to the board.
  19. Vin69Nik

    Vin69Nik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Location:
    Lausanne, Switzerland

    I didn't get a DI but a Steinberg UR22.
    I'm working on a few short demos, mostly Joy Division things.
    Hope to upload them in the following days.[
    The bass
    ATTACH]390917[/ATTACH]

    The Vintage Clone Theory
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1391346893.258695.jpg
    and its board
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1391346961.767415.jpg

    Attached Files:

  20. boristhespider7

    boristhespider7

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Great! Looking forward to hearing it! :hyper:
    BTW, i just got myself a reissue Clone theory. Putting it through its paces at the moment and comparing it to my Boss bass chorus. The CT seems to have more "texture" to it than the Boss. Will try it at my next band rehearsal tomorrow and see how it gets on
  21. Vin69Nik

    Vin69Nik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Location:
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I made a first demo. It's short others will come. I'm not a pro at all, forgive me for the clamps.

    My sound chain is: Rickenbacker 4003-Pedalboard-SVT IIPro (preamp out)-Steinberg UR22-Cubase AI (on a Mac).

    There's first the Stereo Clone Theory reissue then the vintage Clone Theory. The delay MXR Carbon Copy is in the effect loop, the chorus are direct in the amp

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014

Share This Page