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EHX Enigma Qballs vs MXR Bass Envelope Filter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by chumbo73, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. chumbo73


    Nov 8, 2012
    After reading a lot of user reviews I have to make the hard decision between the MXR or the EHX.

    MXR: the killing feature is having two separate controls for the clean level and the effect, this way you don't get lost in the mix.

    Qballs: More effect posibilities (High and Low Pass, Start and Stop) but only one control for the mix (no volume control). I read some issues about volume drop (I don't want to spend even more cash on a boost) and levels too high for the distortion.

    Has anyone compared these two?
  2. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    For the record, I'm a keyboardist, and I run relatively dry bass synth tones through a variety of effects. I also use a Peavey Spectrum Bass II synth module, which also has some very natural-sounding bass guitar patches. Not the same as the real thing, of course!:bassist:

    Anyway, I've only heard clips and seen videos of the MXR M82, and they are all very consistent, so I figure I have a good feel for the sound and features. I own the Riddle Qballs, which is the "guitar" version, but I find it to be awesome on all my bass tones; no low end loss whatsoever.

    I've been able to get the M82 sound from the Qballs in band pass with blend. It definitely takes some tweaking, but it gets there, and I've found it easy to get back to my favorite settings. I haven't directly A/B'ed them, so I don't know if it absolutely nails the M82 sound, but it gets very close to my ears - close enough that I'm not gassing for the MXR. I can't even begin to tell you all the other great and useful tones you can get from the Qballs. Get the Distortion (more of a fuzz, really) trimpot modded to the outside. It interacts with the Blend control in beautiful ways!

    I noticed a volume jump (not huge, but obvious) with the Qballs in low pass, and pretty much unity gain in band pass and high pass with blend. YMMV.
    fretless19 likes this.
  3. chumbo73


    Nov 8, 2012
    I'm mostly worried about the QBalls volume drops and gain jumps but has so many options!

    I guess the M82 would be the safe option.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The MXR is an awesome pedal for sure, I use mine frequently, but the Q-balls is a "wackier" effect overall. More variety in the sounds you can coax out of it. That's my take on the 2. You just need to know what you want out of an envelope filter. The Ehx Bassballs is another option, but that's altogether more quacky and distinct as either one of the other 2. Of course, there are dozens more filter effects, to muck you up even more.
  5. MXR is great for bass guitar. The Ehx cut lots of volume and bottom end for me...fun for bedroom stuff though!
  6. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I'm pretty sure I've tried every envelope filter on the market. I'm exaggerating a bit of course, but finding the perfect auto wah was a kind of odyssey for me. The one I settled on was the Q-Balls, and I've never regretted it. I have had none of the issues that others have had; not to negate their experiences, but with my gear it works great. It's got a lot of knobs, and they're very interactive, so prepare yourself for a bit of a learning curve when dialing it in, but once you get the hang of it, you can get an incredible range of sounds out of it.
  7. I've played both. Even owned the Qballs for a brief period of time. The MXR is a better choice, and slightly more affordable too. I think it just has sounds that can be used more easily in "real world" situations. Echoing one of the above statements though, the Qballs is a fun bedroom toy.
  8. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I use the Qballs live, and in recent memory had two different bass players approach me to find out what I was using because they liked it so much. By "real world situations" are you referring to covers? I play mainly originals, so I'm not trying to duplicate anyone's sound. I really can't tell you which pedal is better for that. But I object to the idea that the EHX is a mere bedroom toy. It does take some dialing in, though.
  9. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Me too. And I get plenty of low-end beef even with the Riddle instead of the Enigma.
  10. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    In your opinion, maybe. But totally false in mime.

    OP, you'll need to try these 2 units (or more) in person. Filters are way too personal to go by opinions here. Don't you have a GC near by?
  11. Also, the MXR has a smaller footprint if that's important to you.
  12. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i own both and i think that they're both very nice pedals.
    my qballs has no low end loss or low volume issues so i don't know where you got that info.

    between the two, even though the enigma qballs is alot more variable, i actually prefer the the MXR.