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Mutro III

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by XtromatriX, Sep 29, 2008.


  1. XtromatriX

    XtromatriX

    Dec 18, 2004
    MD
    Does anyoe know if the Mutron III is digital or analog?
     
  2. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    The original Mu-Tron II was most definitely analog. Digital audio didn't exist when they came out.

    I don't think the re-issues are digital either, but I know they aren't all that great.
     
  3. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Yeah, the reissues are analog. And I love mine! (yes I've used the original Musitronics as well...)

    Honestly, I've been trying for years to find a smaller replacement for my Mu-Tron III+. The problem is, nothing sounds quite as good to me.... except a vintage model, of course!
     
  4. XtromatriX

    XtromatriX

    Dec 18, 2004
    MD
    Thanks Guys, I had a original Mutron back in 79 and it sounded really great to me. Sice I've started playing bass again about 6 years ago, I've purchased a couple digital effects pedals but the envelope filters on them don't soud anythig as good as the Mutron I had.
     
  5. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Try the Maxon AF-9 - Really nice filter pedal :) I only got rid of mine because I bought an old Mutron :D
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm sorry, but I greatly preferred the MXR and EH envelopes over the Mutron III. Had a Zipper back in the day that was the shizzy. Too bad it got stolen. The Mutron was always too bright to my ears.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Minor quibble: digital audio did exist, it was being developed right about that time. However you're right that the Mutron predates the first consumer-marketed standalone digital effects unit (the Eventide HM-80) by a few years.

    I haven't opened a reissue myself to verify one way or the other, but I have seen numerous claims that it's digital. Does anyone on this forum (a) have a reissue, and (b) have some electronics education to make a ruling on digi vs. analog? (I'm not ignoring you Scott- do you have the knowledge to determine with certainty based on looking at the circuitboard?)
     
  8. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    The III+ uses non-authentic components for the variable resistor elements in the filter section, and this will definitely change the nature of the sound.
     
  9. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    That's likely because one person has looked at the circuit board and equated 'surface mount' with 'digital', and then this 'truth' has been copied and pasted all over the net.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That's pretty much what I suspected, but it would be nice to hear one way or the other from an "expert" source.
     
  11. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Hmmmm... I don't think that the III+ is "bright" at all. That's one of my biggest problems with the other units I've tried - they just don't sound "warm" to me. The closest I found was the AF-9, but the response was waaaaay different than what I'm accustomed to with the Mu-Tron.

    As far as which sounds "better" (so subjective) the III+ or an original - who's to say? Arguing against vintage gear is generally a losing proposition!

    Regarding the circuitry difference in the reissue - I honestly feel there are a lot of improvements (based on my ears, not my math skills). There is better low freq retention when the filter is triggered hard, better output, and it has a much more convenient ac adapter!
    I am aware of how the original designer says that the reissue is essentially "junk" and you need to buy one of his designs. That's probably to be expected.

    I'm afraid I don't know how to ID a digital vs. analog circuit based on the board. I was under the impression that it was analog - I'd love to know if it is!

    My only gripe with the III+ (and this applies to the Musitronics' as well) is that it really loads down your input when bypassed. You really need to buffer a passive bass in front of it if you want to preserve maximum fidelity.

    Bottom line, whatever filter floats your boat - go with it! Let your ears be the judge - not the marketing.
     
  12. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Which filter mode did you notice this in? If it was the 'notch' mode, the original didn't have this (but it can be modded in if desired).
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Fair enough. Actually, I shouldn't have brought it up. It was a bit obnoxious, but hey, I'm trying to move so I'm stressed out ;)
     
  14. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I pretty much always use the low pass mode. With older units, while in "up drive" mode, I found that I was missing some lows when playing hard.
     
  15. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    That's interesting, as in up drive + low pass mode obvious the lows aren't less, perhaps the 'peakiness' of the filter is different with the III+?

    I built a III clone using the 'real deal' optocoupler, and it really sounds good. Anything except Q-trons are thin on the ground here in Australia, so it's unlikely I can ever make a comparison with a real III or III+.
     
  16. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I think I'm pretty objective when comparing these types of things. Honestly, the low end loss I perceived may have been related to the lower output of the older device. You know how frequencies & volumes interrelate when listening is concerned...

    The Musitronics that I played through just seemed to emphasize the "peak" more than the reissue. Given the lower overall volume output - less perceived low end.
     
  17. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    That could definitely be the case ... but III or III+, envelope filters are a great way to bring out (and make one work on!) dynamics and expression.
     
  18. i think i may have to make myself a mutron clone i've been putting it off far to long anyone know where to get the optocouplers from banzai effects dont seem to have any
     

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