Electro-Harmonix Bass Synth: Old or XO?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by xray, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. xray


    Feb 15, 2009
    Kona, HI
    I was looking at these and wondering if there was any difference in quality between the old big box and the new XO? Are they voiced the same?
  2. I have the new one, and the quality is excellent all around. I don't know about the old one.
  3. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I haven't owned the XO, but from reading here it sounds as if tonewise it is slightly different but has the advantages of smaller form factor, better bypass (mine tone sucked badly), and standard 9V power supply instead of the 24V mine has.
  4. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    Old, definitely Old big box model

    I've had both (multiple times), the tracking was a lot better on the big box (some of the best tracking I've ever found in an analog octaver), and an overall thicker sound.

    New one is small and doesn't require 24v power, but it glitched out a lot, and didn't sound a good to my ears.
  5. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    i thought the new ones were digital as opposed to the old ones which were analog. I've also heard that ehx reliability isn't that great for their newer models.
  6. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    Nope. Both are analog.
  7. EskimoBassist


    Nov 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    The Resonance control on the XO unit is only effective over about a quarter of the range and it still requires an isolated power supply, despite being 9v -ve tip.

    My preference would be for an older model, either modded for True Bypass or placed in a TB loop.
  8. AgressivePassiv


    Feb 3, 2011
    I own the old style and A/B'd it with a newer one. I wanted a smaller footprint but the old one won out. The old big box sounds way thicker to my ears but that version needs the true bypass mod. Mine was unusable in bypass mode before I sent it to Analogman for the fix.
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I remember talking with BigChiefBC about it as he had both; he expected the new one to be pretty much just like the old one, but found the old one to sound better (to what extent I don't know).
  10. xray


    Feb 15, 2009
    Kona, HI
    Thanks, I've heard about the "thicker tone" on the big box. Guess I'll start working that angle since I'm not worried about board space.
  11. Nno Mar

    Nno Mar

    May 4, 2012
    I have made an A/B test and the old one is much better. The sound is just more deep and has more body.

    It has disadvantages as mentioned, but still, I'd stick it in a Boss LS2 and use the old one!
  12. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA

    The BMS has always been one of the core pedals of my "sound". So when EHX came out with the XO version, I was so excited to go down to 9V power and save a little space, but I was disappointed. The voicing of the filter is different, both the resonance and freq range. It's not bad, per se, but I was hoping it was going to sound identical and it doesn't.

    And the octaver reacts differently, as well. I'm not saying the old one tracks perfectly; as a matter of fact, I like to play chords to have it glitch out on purpose. But when the old one glitches, it bounces around really cool and musically. When the new one glitches out, it mostly drops out instead of bouncing around. Some may prefer that, but I have a song that depends on that bouncy glitching.

    The XO one is not a bad pedal, I could see some people preferring it. But it wasn't as good for my needs. I will echo someone above that if you get an old one, definitely get it modded for true bypass, the old bypass is simply dreadful.
  13. I found the newer one lacking for my needs. I could get cool sounds out of it but not what I wanted.
    I never owned an old one, but I played a few. They were great.