Noob messing around with sickly pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bruiser Stone, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I have an EHX Bass Soul Food and MXR Bass Envelope Filter that both need some work.

    The Soul Food will pass the signal through but does nothing when engaged.

    The MXR works but only when almost maxed out on all the knobs for the funkiest effect. Most everything I would want when a subtle effect is desired sounds like a thick wall of loud, round, undefined mwah. This is my first rodeo with an envelope filter, but what I’m hearing can’t be right.

    Keep in mind you are replying to an electrical novice. I don’t have enough invested in these pedals to take them to someone else and pay them for repairs, but I hate to just give them away. If I can tinker and learn on these, even if I screw them up, at least I will have gleaned some extra knowledge.

    I thank you in advance.
  2. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    You should try emailing EHX. I've never had that exact pedal, but I had an issue with my original POG and they fixed it for free, no questions asked. I think I just had to pay shipping, but honestly can't remember as this was years ago.

    Couldn't hurt to email MXR too. I don't have any personal experience with them though.

    I'd be a bit leery of mucking around with these circuits, and I have some (limited) electronics experience. I'd hate to make it worse if it was a common and/or easy fix. Your call of course. Others may have more directly relevant input :)
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  3. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    Thanks! I’ll ask both companies. I’m not too worried about frying something given my investment, but I would use both pedals if the fix is not too involved.

    Guitar FX Layouts & its forum Guitar FX Layouts - Debugging

    madbeanpedals::forum - Index

    The people on the above forums are friendly and helpful. Tagboard and Madbean have great beginner-level trouble-shooting tutorials, as probably do DSB and FSB, also.

    EHX Soul Food seems to be a switch problem, you could try bypassing the switch and hard-wiring the effect to the jacks to see if the effect itself works, and if so then it's definitely a switching problem and continue troubleshooting from there.

    MXR Bass Envelope could be, honestly, down to the way you play and how you've set the pedal. I've seen other threads where the filter didn't "work" and then the user was given some instruction on how to set the filter based on their playing style et voila ...
    If there is something wrong with the pedal, I'll suggest starting with a simple audio trace through the circuit (here's where those forum URLs above come into play).

    I, too, am an electrical novice, but I've built a few successful pedals and am learning how to trouble-shoot a small-amp build right now. So, if I can do it...

    Sounds like you're in for a fun learning experience, enjoy your journey.
    Bruiser Stone and cheapbasslovin like this.
  5. I'm gonna second what @Feral Feline said. Envelope filters are not a clockwise=more kind of an effect. Sensitivity needs to be set just right to get the bass to trigger it right and having the q too high might make the effect too narrow and therefore harder to hear.

    When I'm looking for the sensitivity sweet spot I set the q to about 12. I then pluck an open A while turning the sensitivity knob until the effect really starts to move, then I fine tune from there.

    Also, envelope filters really like to have pauses to kind of 'reset' the filter. They can be set so you don't need pauses, but for learning how to use it pauses are good.
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  6. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    Thanks again (and so far) for the additional posts. I may have my weekend project planned, tutorials...pause and play, pause...and play....

    I’ve suspected the envelope filter could be user error, but I’ll fidget around some more with it. I bought it with cosmetic issues and a knob or two missing, so it looks like it’s been handed a tough life. The sensitivity setting suggestion seems to be in the ballpark. I wasn’t aware filters require this kind of calibration, so aesthetics aside, the poor thing could just be waiting for me to get with the program.

    And btw @cheapbasslovin I notice you have an AlphaBass. I had one for a time and loved it.
    cheapbasslovin likes this.
  7. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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