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DBX Subharmonic Synthesizer?!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by xcental34x, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    What is this thing supposed to do?! I saw Hey Mercedes last night and their bassist was using one. His complete rig was a LH Fender HR P-bass into a Boss Tuner and EQ Pedal into a Sansamp DI, into the Subharmonic Synthesizer, into GK 800RB, into and Ampeg 810. My only guess is that he was using it for feedback, sustain, or something, because he kept turning toward his and getting very close, using the feekback almost like a long sustain. Is that possible? Here is a pic of his rig if it helps.

  2. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I use a dbx 120xp subharmonic synthesizer for most gigs. I use mine with either 1 or 2 18s.
    You have to have cabs that can produce deep low frequencies to really get the effect.

    It creates synth bass notes one octave lower than what you are playing. The low band will generate a note down to 26hz - notes that low will blow most speakers if pushed very hard.

    It only reads pitches between 54hz - 110 hz (basically the A to A octave starting on the 5th fret of the E string). Anything higher is ignored (so entire mixes can be ran through it - and only the lowest notes synthesized). Anything lower (such as a low E) is detected an octave up (first harmonic).

    The dbx 120xp is very similar to the DOD Meatbox pedal - which is also a subharmonic synthesizer - but it can only read a single note at a time.

    dbx 120xp:

    The guy you saw was probably getting feedback from the amp when his pickups were close to the amp - similar to what many guitarists do.
  3. I've never used a subharmonic synth, but I've been reading up on the WAVES: maxxbass 101, and it seems like that would be a better alternative.
    Apparently, the maxxbass uses some sort of "psycho-acoustics" to enhance the bass response of speakers without causing damage or needing to add more power.
    None of the literature that I've seen so far deals with using it in a bass rig, it is recommended for use in PA systems and such, but I haven't seen it listed as a bass rig piece of equipment. I would like to know if anyone has used one of these in a bass rig, and to what effect?
    PS. I think this bass player community is a tremendous resource. Thanks for being there!
  4. The style of unit you are refferring to is based on time delaying the highsand lows seperately; Aphex and BBE do this. The idea being that lows +highs travel at differnt speeds, causing "smearing" or "blurry", "muddy" tones. A BBE for example can add a great deal of percieved "punch" and really helps to clean up the sound.....UNLIKE A DBX120
    These are frickin'beautiful boxes, the DBX's. So clean, polyphonic and basically a "set&forget" device. My 120XP was the magic trick I conjured each night to flesh out my _slender_ sounding Mesa M2000; I just left it on always.+
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