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Aphex 204 followup

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Fuzzbass, Jul 22, 2002.


  1. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    At Saturday night's gig, I ran my Fender RB5 into my Rane DC-24 compressor into my Aphex 204 into my Stewart power amp. That is it. No EQ. Sounded awesome... the Big Bottom feature of the Aphex is truth in advertising.

    Full disclosure: for perfect balance I probably could've used some EQ... just a smidge of 250Hz to accentuate the higher notes on the G string. Also, the RB5 is passive, and I usually run it in series mode which attenuates high frequencies. For a couple songs where I wanted bright tone I boosted the exciter section, and the resulting treble increase did sound somewhat artificial. Note however that the exciter section was designed to *enhance* high end, not *create* it. A better solution would have been to switch to parallel or single-coil mode, but my goal that night was to put the Aphex through its paces. Finally, as mentioned in the BP review this device can be overused ("tinny" and/or "tubby" tones), but the "Process" (bypass) switch provides an easy reference point.

    My overall impression: sweet! I played an outdoor gig with just my two SWR Goliath Junior III 2x10s and they sounded HUGE... I could feel the booty! Sustain was also increased... perhaps too much for old-schoolers, but that could be adjusted within the 204 I think. To my ears, my 2x10s retained their punch, but also gained "girth" that I could not achieve with EQ.

    I'm still learning the subtleties of this device, but the more I learn the better I like it. I wouldn't give the Aphex (nor any other gear for that matter) an unconditional recommendation, nor have I A/B'd an Aphex with a BBE or other competing enhancer device. But I definitely recommend checking one out if possible, especially if your tone is close but not quite there. Bottom line: I was already getting great tone, but even so have decided that the Aphex 204 has earned a permanent place in my rack.
     
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Correction: the Aphex IS designed to generate high-frequency content, but IMO it's better used (for bass anyway) to enhance existing treble and not create it from nothing.

    Addition: the manual for the 204 is very nice. Best of all is an easy-to-read graphic of the front panel, which explains each control. It also suggests starting points for each control, and shows the recommended and "experimental" ranges for each control... there are also grayed out portions where the control would be either ineffective or excessive.
     
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Users please discuss further.
     
  4. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i know that you said that you already had good tone, but how much bottom did the cabs have before adding the aphex? does it give a rating at which the cabinet should be able to handle? how does it sound with just 1 2x10? sorry about all the questions... :confused:
     
  5. i'm at uni at the mo, and just using a Eden 112 cab, so i'm very interested in the Aphex 204, i'm only aware of a couple in the UK though :)
    i'm mostly interested in the 'Big Bottom' to give my sound a little more omph, i'm really happy with the volume and tone of my setup, but a lil more can't help ;)
    *Si*
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i'll second that...
     
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    What you been smokin, man??:confused:
     
  9. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i really would like to know how the aphex is working out. can it add more bottom to cab that slightly lacks some bottom or is it still dependent upon the freq. of the cab?! :confused:
     
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    My bands are both power trios, and I need big tone. Before getting the Aphex I used to bump up lows, either with EQ or by turning up the bass channel of my split-band compressor (crossover set around 250Hz). With the Aphex, I no longer have to boost lows. Because the Aphex is not an EQ, the bottom sounds more natural.... no tonal change or imbalance; the phatness extends the length of the fretboard. I still get punch from my 10" speakers, but also girth.

    Again, I run a pair of SWR Goliath Jr. 2x10 cabs. It wouldn't be fair to say they didn't have bottom before, but with the Aphex they give me all the bottom I need (and more, if I ever want it).

    The Aphex can change tone (or make it artificial/effected sounding) when extreme settings are used, but when used in moderation you get your same tone only bigger. It might not work for everyone or every situation, but four months and a bunch of gigs later, I have no doubt that it's perfect for me... it's staying in my rack, regardless of what preamp I use (and I have some fairly nice ones).
     
  11. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Would the 204 effect be too much through a single (Aguilar) fifteen inch cab? Is there such a thing a too low? Thanks, Marc
     
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I've only used the Aphex 204 thru 10" speaker cabs. That said, if you're looking for more low-end girth, the 204 is worth considering regardless of speaker size. Note that the Big Bottom section can be tuned, and by using the Mix control the effect can be as subtle or blatant as you like. The separate Exciter section can also be tuned/blended to taste. Each section can be completely bypassed by rolling its Mix knob fully counterclockwise, so you could use Aural Exciter without Big Bottom and vice versa.
     
  13. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    thanks! sounds like i know what i want for christmas...
     
  14. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Awesome! I have a 115 now but am considering a 212 in the near future. I'm gonna order this sucker from musicians friend tonight! Marc
     
  15. Now, this is not a subharmonic synthesizer type of effect, right?

    I have to be honest, I've always heard of the BBE effects and Fuzzbass says this is a similar type of box, but I have never really understood what those do...

    If I missed the thread where the information is location, I would appreciate if you can point me to the right direction...
     
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    You may be able to search here or on the manufacturers' websites or on Google, but here's brief non-technical descriptions of the psychoacoustic voodoo:


    BBE does some sort of phase alignment so that bass and treble frequencies reach the ear simultaneously (or in a more pleasing fashion, whatever that may be).

    Aphex Exciter section adds even-order harmonics (I believe tube amps produce these naturally but some SS amps do not).

    Aphex Big Bottom section adds a delayed signal to a tunable bass frequency spectrum.

    I'm sure you know what a subharmonizer does... the sound is pretty cool, but for bass, adding a signal an octave below can cause radical speaker excursion, and a ton of watts are required to produce said signal, so a high-quality rig is mandatory.

    I think that's all fairly accurate (vague but accurate); if not, I'd welcome correction/clarification.
     
  17. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I got the 204 today and my first impression is WOW! This thing gives me the sound that I have been searching for, clear and deep yet smooth and bright without being harsh. Everything I've ever wanted from bass tone! Of course this is just the first day I have had it but I am already considering selling my Aguilar DB659, my Q5 sounds ten times better going right into the 204 and into a power amp. Best of all: Everything is adjustable! dial in and out any frequencies you do or don't especially like! Amazing! I just need to see if I can find a preamp/eq that will pair well with this unit, I don't really want to color the sound much. Any ideas for portable (relatively inexpensive) preamps or eq? Something with midrange and maybe an effects loop? Get one of these now!!! Marc
     
  18. i still DO NOT get it.
    "Aphex Big Bottom section adds a delayed signal to a tunable bass frequency spectrum. "
    Um..isn't that what a BBE does to your high frequencies? Delays them so both the slow, low freq. and the fast, high stuff arrive at the same time? Why do I want to slow my low stuff even further? What does this "Big Bottom" process really do...? Maybe I am just thick... I understand what an "exciter" does; adds distortion in the high spectrum. All these wonderous claims about the Big bottom thing tho'....don't understand.
     
  19. The aural exciter doesn't add distortion to the higher frequencie it adds harmonics
     
  20. Read: distortion.