Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe v. Moog Moogerfooger MF-101?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You don't see me much in these parts. ; )

    I'm considering doubling my stage pedals (I only use a single tuner regularly) and look for a good filter to add some new textures to my live sound. For the record I play reggae that is tinged with some soul and a li'l bit o' funk from time to time. Thinking less in terms of 70's rock/funk and more in terms of ASWAD's Dub Fire, Denis Brown's Promised land...but with some flexibility.

    I've had sound advice that the 'best' (subjective) 'filter' (envelope, low pass) is the Moog...But I also know it has some drawbacks (noise, no true bypass, size). It looks like the Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe might fit the bill too, seems to get good reviews and love and is in the same price range.

    I'm not going to buy 456645671214 pedals and resell to test the whole field. I'd rather start at the top. In the past I've avoided most bass effects since my experience is that they tone suck and/or low end suck. I'm not willing to sacrifice the depth and heft of my current sound. In the past non-true bypass pedals (in my life as an occasional guitar player) have driven me to distraction because I can still hear the effect when off.

    I'd love to hear YOUR input. Pros and cons and and outliers.
  2. Dominick C.

    Dominick C.

    Jul 2, 2012
    Austin, Tx
    I don't like mean people or mean comments....
    The buffer in the Moog kills it for me. You need a bypass looper to use it as far as I am concerned. That said it is a great filter, my second favorite ever. I sold mine due to size and lack of bypass, I used the funds to by a xero deluxe. Also a great filter but not quite as "funky"? My favorite filter is the Mutron III, but again issues with size and bypass. I have been meaning to try a proton from 3leaf. I wasn't a fan of the Grove regulator but that is not a huge surprise since I wasn't a fan of the Meatball I had either. The other filters I've had were all more synthy and turned out not to be my flavor.

    The best "new" filter I've played was defiantly the Xero Deluxe. Like I said it is not quite as funky but it sounds great. I hated that it had a power inlet on the side of the pedal it ruined the aesthetic for me.
    BurningSkies likes this.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Cool. I've put my name (email) on the waitlist for the xerograph deluxe...I pinged the website and got a really quick and friendly reply, which was a really nice surprise. I'm told that it'll be a 'new and improved' version, so I'm interested in what changes might be in store...too.

    My initial thought is that the Moog may have the vintage thing down, but I haven't loved non-true bypass pedals and the buffer isn't something that I'm psyched to have added to my tone when not in use, since my current signal chain is pretty clean and pure and I'm not looking to add anything to that mix just for the chance of using a filter for a song or two during the night. I'll start out with the IE pedal, if that doesn't suit, I'll work from there.
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I play reggae too... and, I've had - one mf 101, 2 Xero Ds, 2 GR2s, 2 protons, one wonderlove and 2 standard xeros.

    I know, it's a sickness.

    Between the mf 101 and the Xero D, I say Xero D all the way. But, of the others, i dug the GR2's softer funky and dubby grooves.

    So, I still use a standard Xero in my space doom dub band for filter sweeps and low pass filtering.

    I currently on the hunt for a new envelop filter and am thinking I want to try the new Xero D.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
    BurningSkies likes this.
  5. the funkiness thing comes from the xero and xero dlx being a low pass and not a band pass, int´s more of a "funky" growl than a quack!
  6. I owned a Xero Deluxe some time ago - and I found the pedal difficult to trigger with lower output basses and guitars - I sold it because of this.
    Am I alone here?
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I'm generally not a huge effects person, because I have a hard time not feeling like they're pulling the deep lows out of my sound. My ownership list is short...and unused. I have a Q-tron that's still in original box, I have a classic brown Octave, a 5hitty phaser that I once used for guitar for a bit of a Lee Perry Black Ark feel, a Crybaby (also guitar), and a true oddity an Ibenez bi-mode chorus. For me being a reggae player, I have more interest in delays...I have a pocket full of delay pedals, but mostly use a Roland Space Echo the board. ;)

    I'll most likely not be using anything as a straight LPF...I have a really really dialed in 'natural' reggae tone with my Dingwall/Monique/fEARful setup and that'll remain about 95% of my general playing tone. This will be for one or two songs that maybe have the need for an exploratory bass tone that's a little more out there and/or 'active' I'll probably be adding an expression pedal for a more dynamic effect.

    Yeah, that sound decent for me. I'm not going to be slapping and spanking in a traditional 'funk' sense. I love that tone, but it doesn't really fit for what we do.
    I'm going to drop it here because I referenced it earlier...but I'm thinking of things that would fit into this 'family' of vibe:

    Lots of character and tone happening that creates a really nice soundscape.

    Interesting. Any playing around I've had in the past, you needed to hit any of the envelope style pedals with a fair amount of 'high end' content to get them to trigger in a profound way...I don't know that I will have too much issue with this because I run my Dingwall pretty hot (both pickups coiled in series internally then also in series with each other)... But I do note that the IE site mentions using one of their OD/gain pedals in front of XD for best results.
  8. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. I will spare you suggestions of rare pedals. By your self-description, the Moog is not for you.

    What is for you is either the WMD Super Fatman or the Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe.

  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Thanks! Yeah, the Moog was the initial suggestion by a studio friend who hit up Chuck, the bass player from Dopapod for me to see what he was using and liked. The non-true bypass and the buffer always being engaged in the chain is definitely not ideal. I'll check out the WMD as looks pretty nice just from a quick glance, although I see people have had problems with what looks like noise and grounding issues.
  10. jwr

    jwr Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    I don't recall having any issues with the Moog or feeling like it needed a bypass looper. Mine was dead silent.

    IMO they are too different to compare.

    The moog is fat and thick and the Xero is bubbly and synthy.

    Get both!
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    heh. Maybe. We'll see where it all goes. I'm surprised to hear someone voice opposition. Nearly everything I've seen has people swearing off the MF-101 for the IE.
  12. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I'm a Moog head and think that other than the Mutrons, nothing really touches the feel and quack of the Moog. I need to put it back on my gig board.

    The beef with the Moog can actually become a great thing if you have a small pedal setup. Like the Mutron, the Moog's drive is always in-line so there isn't a volume spike when engage it. In a complicated pedal setup, that always on gain can really change things. In a simple setup, it can be killer. I gigged for years in London with just an Analogman Juicer comp, a Mutron/Moog MF-101 and a SVT/810 setup in a band that played a lot of reggae and dub. I used the Mutron a bit more probably but would use the Moog often in crappy clubs where the additional power filtering of the Moog was really helpful in keeping noise down. I could set both up to get a nice bit of touch sensitive drive and then the ultimate quack.

    The Iron Ether will fit better into a complicated setup and it's easier to power and smaller. But it doesn't sound better by any stretch.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Well, here's the thing...I don't have a complicated setup, but I have a really KILLER tone that has become a 'thing' in terms of the band's sound...meaning that my 'live tone' was also replicated 100% for the soon to be released album. The producer of the album, who is now with us in live situations about 90% of the time still raves about it on the gig. I'm really worried that the addition of a non-true-bypass pedal with buffering is going to change that balance and given I'd be using this effect for only one or two songs in the set tops that may be a huge sacrifice if it does alter the 'un-effected' tone of my setup?

    My thought process on the Moog is that I'm moving from not having anything besides a tuner on the floor to having a filter and also an expression pedal...and in the case of the Moog...I'm guessing an AB box I can retain my original tone and use the effect...which is starting to get a into a bit of a cascade situation.

    The other problem, is that I can't really try before I buy to compare. So I'm probably in a place where I have to buy one, use it for a bit then spring for another and use it and then figure out if either or both work well and which fits in a gig situation better.
  14. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Here's my two cents:

    I will die with the Moog. If I have to make provisions for the drive circuits to be removed, so be it - now there can be three layers of effect - bypass, dirty boost, and effect on. Power is a simple thing these days. It really is such a musical and smooth pedal that it can't be beat.

    The XD I see as its twisted younger bro who hasn't been able to enjoy a drink of scotch yet. It responds both faster and slower than the Moog, has a bunch of cool features that the Moog needs CV routing through other boxes to accomplish and has a less refined tone. These are all qualities in my eyes, it's an awesome alternative.

    I would say this:

    If you go Moog, you WILL love the filter tone, might need a bypass box for it (no big deal because it can be passive, or you could have the Moog modded, there is lots of room to do this.). There is the added benifit of having expression control over other parameters.

    If you go XD, you Might have to accept the tone (but if you don't have a Moog to compare, who cares), but you will most certainly benifit from buying a dirt pedal or compressor to coax more Moog like envelopes from it.
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Thanks for your input. That makes sense to me. I've been thinking about if I need something in front of either of these to get the most out of them. I really wish there was a way for me to try both, but in smaller markets (probably even larger ones) the chance of a direct A/B is an impossibility. It sort of ends up looking like a 500$ proposition to nail down the right choices. I still have time to ponder this because the next run of XD's isn't happening for another "3 weeks"...And the Moog is available pretty readily online.
    Alien8 likes this.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    And while we're discussing, what's your feedback on the amount of noise, hiss, and/or any other tonal aspects of the preamp/buffer on the MF 101? Keeping in mind that I'm running a very high powered amp setup that's also extremely noise-free.
    Somnambulance likes this.
  17. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    You want envelope or expression control? I've not tried the Moog but didn't care for the envelope action on the Xero at all.

    I've tried an absolute ton of filters and my favourite envelope is the Mr Black Fwonkbeta. The funkiest there is. It does need a boost before it if you have a relatively low output bass though. It's fine with my Fender US P, not so fine with my Squier CV J.
    Somnambulance and BurningSkies like this.
  18. Pacodelivery

    Pacodelivery Supporting Member

    May 25, 2014
    I'll chime here that for vintage sounds the haz mutron iii+ is excellent and doesn't deserve the hate. There are a couple bouncing around the classifieds right now.

    I've had a MXR BEF, an Aguilar Filter Twin, and a Source Audio. BEF pro recently and none of them has come close to the mutron. Which is annoying, cause I'd prefer a smaller pedal and one with a light indicating whether the effect is engaged or not. But I won't sacrifice convenience for that tone.
  19. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Noise: I have experienced noise, however it has been situational - ie old house wiring with the AC wall wart and hydro lines outside that caused it. This noise isn't just a hiss or a hum it's many other things. It's analog gear, it has some quirks. Mind you it was no where near a deal breaker or hard to work around - like a wah pedal and single coil pickups receiving radio. This was one very specific scenario, and of the 40-50 other scenarios I have had the pedal in there has been no noise. With a bypass (ie true bypass loop / mod) you would never hear it.

    Hiss: VERY minor, but present. Nothing that I would worry about in a recording scenario or a mix. If you are doing stops that have to be dead silent, there will likely be a louder hiss or hum from something else. "Hiss" is also the nature of a filter. Again with a TB loop / mod it's likely no problem. It's likely that the XD shares some noise here too, but it hides well.

    Bypass tone / buffer. This is a good thing and a bad thing. You have full control over how hard your signal hits the front end. You can be really quiet, really dynamic (peaking clips ever so gently) or driving the front into saturation. If your filter effect needs a little drive to accent the filter I would say just put it in a loop and use only the filter effect. When you get into the driven tone it can become just a bit spongy and rolled off in the highs; mind you this was actually more of a problem for guitar signals than bass for me. An active signal is affected by this less.

    Now, when you find this happy balance point the sound is warmer, slightly altered. I can't say it's bad or good, just a bit different. For my use I have always just used the TB loop to get around it, but there have been jams where I never turned the loop off and ran in bypass. It's just a flavour, some really don't like it, but I have found it useful.

    Mind you, I firmly believe that the tone from the filter is dependant on the drive section. The XD not having it makes it an ok filter on its own... Adding just a small bit of drive, like really small, adds something that the Moog has in gobs. It smooths the dynamics enough to make the filter sound smoother... It makes the fast setting in the XD less abrupt, which I found to be a huge plus for a good fat funk tone from it. The Moog just does it.

    Either way, you are buying from excellent companies. Taylor from IE has set a new standard for me, he really wants you to love his gear and gets that it's not for everyone. Moog too, is ethical and always does right by the customer.

    Honestly, buy both used, sell one for barely a loss. You might be out the money for a month, but at least you will know!!
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Interesting. That one wasn't even on my radar. Indeed it looks like it doesn't get much love, but I'm willing to explore it further.

    I've been sort of reading about the expression pedal setup with the XD, and it looks like he specifically suggests some rather than others, to be able to adjust the 'throw' of the expression parameters. I think that the ability to mess 'live' with either the envelope or other parameters (like resonance, etc) will probably be important to using the filter effectively since I won't necessarily be using it for stright up 16ths, etc. but in more expansive roots-dub settings that get a bit adventurous. I'm sort of sitting on the crux of a classic roots situation and the chance to explore some more colorful sounds.
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