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Aphex Bass Xciter...output signal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Martybass, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Hey all,
    I've just got a Bass Xciter, plugged it in only to find that it cuts the signal so such a point that I have to crank the amp (so it hisses) to get any sound loud enough. Here's what I've tried:
    • Putting it in my pedalboard
    • Only using the xciter (not going through any other pedals at all)
    • cranking all the knobs on it
    • switching it to passive mode even though I'm using an active bass
    • looking for a trim pot inside
    • both battery and powerpack for power

    I noticed something similar with my punch factory but that a) has a level pot, so it was fixable; b) didn't cut the signal as much and c) is a compressor, so its meant to do something to levels. Switching from active to passive mode on the pedal does make some difference, but the amp's cranked all the same.

    Have I got a dud? I've heard not much but rave reviews about it, and nothing about levels. its cutting the signal so much that the distortion pedal is ineffective, and part of me wanting this pedal was to supposedly 'transform my ODB-3'.

    Any help would be much appreciated.


  2. mine cuts my signal too. I tried using it passive, but i was overdriving it.

    Anyway, i run my all the time, so i just turn my amp up a bit. Its not that big of a deal. Mine is noisy too. But thats where my NS-2 comes in handy.

    If your wanting to use it primarily for your ODB, id recomend getting a looper, and running them both in one loop together.

    orrr.... purchase a booster?
  3. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    It sounds like you got a defective one.

    When I plugged mine in, the sound was pretty big. I've had no problems with the signal being cut.

    I'd try email Aphex, or returning/exchanging the pedal.
  4. OK, thanks. I emailed Aphex at the same time I started the thread, but of course I wont hear from them until Monday. I think it must be a dud as well, a slight cut in signal I could understand, but that much seems way too much.

    Thanks for the input,
  5. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
    I have Punch Factory since friday...very nice compressor BTW, I have also Xciter since today and I finish my first gig with Xciter hour ago. I thing I have same problem as you. First set I played my FX board plus PF and Xciter. Sound was strange and no power enough . Second set I removed Xciter and my sound and power was back. The sound was bad eavan playing Xciter in bypass mode...I think it's bad piece...
  6. imo, they have a crappy bypass all together. Don't forget that because the exciter deals with lows and highs, you can lose quite a bit of mids. I boost my mids and get nice growl, and helps the sound cut a little better. Either run it all the time and just adjust your amp as needed, or stick it in a looper and use it when needed.

    One thing you have to remember is that this pedal isnt really an effect. Its more of a tool. Unlike a chorus where you just mess with the pedal to find a good sound, this you may have to adjust other things to work well with it. Think of it as part of your amp/pre amp.

  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Sounds to me like pretty-surely something's wrong there. If I had any complaint about engaged/bypass volume changes, it'd be the opposite - that the signal sounds LOUDER with the device active (the main thing that Aphex is famous for, right? ..Making something 'sound louder', without using more power to do it).

    Now when it comes to using the input pad, then yes - the same attenuation that is applied to the input is reflected to the output.

    My passive Foundation bass has quite a hot output; although I love my Xciter, and use it almost all the time (Now that I got a Deisel Dawg pedal, I'm finding some uses for an Xciter-less, mid-rangey, old-school tub-ish tone), I don't know what I would have done if I didn't use full-time compression (again: The D.D. is allowing me to turn-off the CS-3 now sometimes also..). My bass CLIPS the input of the Xciter even with aggressive plucks - as well as with thump- and pop-playing!

    That could be a serious problem for many. I like what the Aphex does for my tone so much, though, that I'm still thinking of installing a top-quality (Jensen, I s'pose) 2:1 step-down transformer in my bass - this would take care of the clipping, I think, and probably give me less noise in my system, as the pups would be better able to drive the cable (lower source impedance). I can't just run the rackmount version in my head insert, because I need for both the Big Bottom and the Exciter processing to go before the ODB-3 distortion (it REALLY does wonders for the ODB, - especially the Big Bottom - but it sounds best AFTER the Deisel Dawg).

    I've never had any problems with clipping my Boss pedals, though!

  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's mainly ME who talks about transforming ODBs, and I still stand by the claim!

    With the input pad off, there should be NO volume decrease when you engage the Xciter! You may have a problem, though with your Active Bass overdriving the Xciter - then, as I just said in my previous post, when you engage the pad, all that attenuation is reflected to the output! What is it - like 12 or 15dB or something like that?

    But anyway: There's gotta be something wrong with yours. Once you get'er working right, then see what I say about Xciter-before-ODB; for BOTH light overdrive AND heavy distortion - that Xciter (the Big Bottom mainly) can really make the ODB-3 sing.

    I've been lately raving about my new Deisel Dawg distortion, but it in no-way replaces my ODB for heavy, synth-like distortion!

  9. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
    I keep just Punch Factory I like this compressor. Xciter is not for me....maybe I don't know how to use it. Anyway they say thru bypass but sound just with bass-wire-amp is different than Xciter bypassed maybe its a new "thru" style bypass...:meh:
  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Just used the Acoustic Xciter with my acoustic electric
    bass. I've used this bass an alot of gigs using a Sansamp
    acoustic DI, and have been very happy. The soundman
    said using the acoustic xciter is the best the bass has
    sounded. Rich and full, yet still "acoustic" sounding.
    I used my Bass Exciter for the first time over the weekend.
    I left it in passive even with my active bass. The active
    switch does cut the signal alot. No problems in passive.
    Once I get it set up at the right frequency, I think I may
    end up leaving it on all the time. Mine has been very quiet.
  11. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    The distortion-thing probably isn't really that much of a problem. I know that for-some-reason my bass has a very hot output - a string-pop can even distort the input stage of my GK head (that'd be GK's NOT-good-sounding distortion capability...), and that 700RBII is supposed to have TONS of headroom at the preamp!

    I mean.. the more I think about it: an active bass with a nine-volt supply shouldn't be able to put-out more than 9V peak-to-peak, so it shouldn't be a problem. A passive bass, on the other hand, could theoretically be able to output almost ANY peak voltage, depending on the magnetics and wire turns and whatnot.

    Now I'd think that those twin-battery, 18V basses would be wreaking havoc all over the place, effects-wise!

  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Is that thing great, or what?

    I run rediculous amounts of gain sometimes, especially with the Sustain control on the CS-3 AND the Gain on the ODB-3 both up at around 2:00 (this-all along WITH having the treble cranked-up to 3:15 on the CS AND the high blend on the Exciter at "8").

    What I found is that I can super-mute the strings (like with my whole forearm), and with the release on the NS set all-the-way fast, I 'chink!, chink!' across the strings (like a 'backhand' flemenco thing, with my nails), while adjusting the CS-3's Attack control - theres a spot (around 1:30 on the Attack knob) where the release on the NS, and the release on the CS perfectly compliment each other, resulting in perfect noise suppression. Perfect.

    If I turn the Attack knob more clockwise, a little 'shish' can be heard after each 'chink'; if I go more CCW, then the noise reduction is just as good, but I start to loose some aggressivenes in the bass tone, and also there's a slight 'volume-swell' sort of effect on sustained notes.

    At normal stage volumes with these settings, if I bypass the NS-2... Instant, constant, uncontrollable pickup shreak when ever I'm not playing - also: if you walk until you're finally far-enough away from the amp that the squeeling subsides, you'll hear noise between notes that's as loud as the intentionally-played notes! With these settings in-place, a 'scrunchy hair-band' mute up by the not, and careful thumb-trailing/muting, there is ZERO percieveable noise, at ALL. Just flesh-rippin' goodness.

  13. That's what I was expecting yeah. Tech Support at Aphex emailed me back asking what bass and amp I'm using (Ibby SRX500 and Laney HCM30B), but there's no way my amp should have to be cranked up completely for *just about* bedroom levels. I'm waiting on a reply from Aphex again now. It's a bit of a bummer as my Dad got it for me from Houston when he was on a business trip, and now I'm stuck with it here in Blighty, not working properly :(

    Oh well, I hope Aphex QC is up to scratch,
  14. Haven't heard back from Aphex yet...took two days for the first reply, taking a bit longer this time...
  15. Mikefish07


    Apr 6, 2003
    I use my Aphex Exciter with my Fender Bassman 100 (10" new version) and it makes it sound much larger and louder than it is. You shouldn't be losing signal when it's engaged but the reverse.
  16. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
    :crying: ...ghhh I don't keep Punch Factory the bypass is realy diffrent it's same with Xciter...my sound just with bass-wire-amp is much better...:bassist:
  17. the reason i dont want to get the PF is ive heard poor quality on the construction. The input and output jacks are right on the board and break off easily.

    Multicomp for me:)
  18. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
    those pedals can works good for somebody but only if you accept new sound of bypass...or if you run thru pedal "on" all the time...
  19. I am yet to hear back from Aphex's 'Tech Support' man, via email. It's been, what, a month now? Pretty ridiculous if you ask me, I thought Aphex were better than that.
  20. ryla


    Jun 17, 2004
    auckland new zealand
    on the bottom plate of the unit (the one you unscrew to put the battery in, there are some operating instructions that you see no where else in the manual or website. - no.3 states that a 12db(i think) loss of signal occurs if you use the active switch as thi prevents overload ! - seems to defeat the purpose in my books ...

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