T-Rex Quint Machine or Sub'n'Up Mini for "natural" sounding always on 1 octave up?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NoiseNinja, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    So I already own a Sub'N'Up Mini that I use as an always on 1 octave up polyphonic effect to mimic sort of an 8 string bass effect.

    However I suspect it to be the cause of the huge random tone changes I experience, I am looking into this issue at the moment, and expect my to have reached a final conclusion tomorrow.

    If it turns out it in fact is not at the fault of the Sub'N'Up I will get pretty frustrated as I seem to have rules out anything else by now, pickups, jack output socket, headphone amp, headphones, patch cables, instrument cables and other pedals, but I'll be keeping the Sub'N'Up at least, as I am actually really satisfied with the polyphonic 1 octave up effect I have dialed in via the tone print editor, practically flawless tracking, almost unnoticeable latency and in the mix sounding pretty close to natural.

    If the conclusion however turns out to be what I expect, that my Sub'N'Up is faulty I am seriously pondering on looking elsewhere for a replacement, and I pretty much narrowed that down to the T-Rex Quint Machine, as the octave up of that also seems to sound pretty natural, unlike the somewhat organ/synth like tone of the EHX POG pedals, and I expect to be able to push it's octave up tone the last bit of the way to perfection by placing it in one of the effect loops of my Boss LS-2 with the 1 octave up effect full on and an equalizer placed after it, and then use the LS-2 for clean blend.

    Will be a bit more circumstantial and take up a bit more space than just a Sub'N'UP Mini would, but that wouldn't bother me as long as I can achieve as great a result as with the Sub'N'Up, which brings me to the question, how does the latency and polyphonic tracking (including double stops and chords) of the 1 octave up effect on the T-Rex Quint Machine compare to that of the Sub'N'Up Mini, and would I have any reason to believe it being less prone to go faulty down the line?

    I should maybe point out that while I am going for an always on 8 string bass effect I prefer the tone of the octave up to be less bright and a bit lower in the mix than it typically would be on a real 8 string bass, and the Toneprint I managed to dial in on the Sub'N'Up Mini that I use currently pretty much nails that spot on.

    What does people who have experience with both say, Sub'N'Up Mini, or perhaps the regular bigger version, + Toneprint editor, or Quint Machine + Boss LS-2 + equalizer, for a natural sounding always on 1 octave up effect?

    And just to get that out of the way I wasn't happy with the job the Digitech Ricochet, that I tried out before I got the Sub'n'Up Mini, did, and I don't like the somewhat organ/synth flavored tone of the octave up on the EHX POG pedals.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
    AlexanderB likes this.
  2. Huge random tone changes? What do you mean by that?
  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Just so that we are on the same page, part of my main tone is always having the 1 octave up effect on, blended with cleans to get an effect somewhat similar to that of an 8 string bass.

    Well, I mean what it says, without having changed anything in my setup sometimes it sounds absolutely perfect, other times it will sound boomy and muddy, and other times again it will sound weak and anemic with no low end and an excess of high frequency content, as I mentioned in the OP I have been through all the parts of the setup I can think of, including different power supplies and using different power outlets in my apartment, which are another couple of check points I think forgot to mention on the list in my OP.

    And yes, this is about my ampless setup used with headphones at home, haven't had a chance to see what happens at rehearsals yet, but it would basically be the same setup just going into a poweramp and a full range cab, rather than a headphone preamp and a set of headphones, and yes I have also tried using a different headphone amp and different headphones.

    Usually these changes will happen between practice sessions, as in having turned my setup on and off and then on again, but has happened during practice sessions as well a few times.

    At the moment I have cut my signal chain down to the basics without any excess effect pedals only used occasionally and without the Sub'N'Up otherwise usually always on 1 octave up effect, and so far the tone changes haven't happened yet, so seems like I am on to something narrowing the issue down, but sometimes there can be a long while in between the tone changes happening, like be fine for a whole day, through several shorter practice sessions, but then other times it can change within a matter of 10 minutes, so too early to conclude anything from this test yet.

    Keeping track of it by recording samples every once in a while and comparing.

    The plan is then that if this seriously cut down setup proves to indeed not cause the random tone changing issue, then I will add the Sub'N'Up once again, and if then the issue reappears while that is added to my signal chain, then I will know for certain that that is in fact the source to the problem.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  4. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    No pedal is gonna replace the 8 string.

    My 2 cents.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Well, honestly I like to have full control over the octave up signal, over basically non at all on a real 8 string bass, and having the improved playability of only dealing with 4 strings, also to replace the 28,6" scale Ibanez Mikro Bass that I use for this, tuned in F# standard tuning, as in 2 half steps above regular E standard tuning, for a specific musical project that has my main focus currently, I would need to have a custom one build.

    As I mentioned in my OP I do have my 1 octave up tone set less bright with a bit less output than the octave strings on a regular real 8 string bass normally would be/have, and as such were never really aiming at approximating a real 8 string bass tone, so not even sure an 8 string bass would be fitting for this project I have going on (even if in the nature of that setup it does have much of the same qualities as a real 8 string would).

    The octave up in my setup basically serving the main purpose of filling some more sonic space and complimenting my bass, as the dominating instrument in a bass/vocals and drums sort of progressive stoner/doom rock duo, rather than being an equal element, though I do plan, when we eventually get to that stage of the project, to incorporate some additional but secondary, much more flavor oriented instrumentation, be it ambient effects, physically played or programmed instruments, post production, and for eventual live gigs handle those either via triggered samples or guest musicians.

    When that is said I do have a keen eye on the Hagström H-8II short scale 8 string bass, and might actually eventually get one at some point, but for my current application using my Mikro Bass and the always on 1 octave up via my Sub'N'Up Mini currently I am not so sure it would make for a better solution, even if I still definitely wouldn't mind owning a real short scale 8 string bass too.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  6. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    I have a Sub N Up a Quint Machine and a TC Electronic Brainwaves. they all pretty much are supposed to do the same thing. I have found the SubNUp to not be as good as the other two and the Quint Machine is the better of the three. IMHO YMMV
    yodedude2 and NoiseNinja like this.
  7. In my collection for octave up I have a UniBass, Quint Machine, Sub n Up mini, various Zooms and the Whammy 1 in the BP8.
    The Quint Machine is the fastest, most transparent and accurate of them all and responds well to all my other effx no matter where it is in the signal chain.
    yodedude2 and NoiseNinja like this.
  8. Thanks for the added explanation. I have the SubnUp Mini, but I've never had the kind of trouble you describe. Hopefully you can figure it out.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  9. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    I tried a Sub n Up in the store. But I bought a Quint. To me the Quint tracks the best of any I have used. I like the overall versatility to add the Fifth Up for some really cool harmonics on some things. And I think the Quint is one of the only simple octave pedals that track a 5th up with real accuracy.

    BTW, I thought the two octave down option on the bass is not necessary. I'm running a HPF on my Berg so that would be useless to me.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  10. I cannot imagine a two-octave-down option being useful to any bassist. IMO the two-octave-down is for guitarists.
  11. soundsupport1


    Aug 17, 2017
    I own a quint, have no experience of the TC, but I have had no problems with the octave up effect - latency and tracking are both good.
    It is a digital pedal with a certain synth quality to the octave up - much less noticable on the octave down, but there nonetheless.

    Definitely worth a try anyhow, they´re not too expensive and you´ll easily sell it if need be.

    yodedude2 and NoiseNinja like this.
  12. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    By now I am pretty sure my Sub'N'Up Mini has been the cause of the random tone changes I have been experiencing, and I think judging from the responses I got here and the couple of bass specific demos on YouTube featuring it that I am now pretty sure that I will end up ordering the T-Rex Quint Machine.

    Looking forward to see if it really, as promissed, does have lower latency and better tracking than the Sub'N'Up, which otherwise, beside obviously eventually going faulty, never caused me any problems in that regard, and if I might be able to run the Quint just as it is, or I will have to run it as an octave up full on only effect in an effects loop of one of my Boss LS-2 pedals so I can manipulate the octave up tone with an EQ pedal and then blend it with clean signal via the LS-2, since I got some rather specific EQ settings dialed in for both the signal feed to the octave engine and the octave up output on my Sub'N'Up to make it fit my preferences perfectly.

    The octave up of the Quint Machine does sound fuller than that of the Sub'N'Up, but I had a bit hard time judging from the only 2 bass demos I could find featuring it on YouTube if it also sounds as natural as the Sub'N'Up octave up (even if a signal pitched a whole octave will always sound somewhat artificial).

    At least I hope this will be of better build quality and not go faulty like my Sub'N'Up Mini did down the line, but I figure alone the fact that you can't edit and store presets via a software editor subtracts a few steps from the Quint Machine's architecture where things potentially can go wrong, at least in my mind thinking that that ought to make the software/program part of the pedal more stable and less prone to develop errors.

    I'll place the order tomorrow at Thomann, which should have me receive the pedal somewhere at the end of this coming week, and I will try to remember to report back with an update in this thread on how it went and what my impression of the Quint Machine is, both on it's own terms and in comparison to the Sub'N'Up.

    Thanks a lot to everyone who dimmed in with their experience and take on this matter, has been a huge help in deciding which pedal to get. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
    Eddie LeBlanc likes this.
  13. ficelles

    ficelles Inactive

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I've had a Quint and tracking is excellent, but it does depend how far down you want it to track and if you hold long notes. Most tracking pedals will follow changing dominant harmonics as a long note decays so the octave will jump around. The only pedal I've found that doesn't have that failing is the Markbass Super Synth.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  14. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Well, as I mentioned a couple of times in this thread the octave up effect will be an always on effect, giving an effect somewhat similar to that of an 8 string bass, so I would naturally have it to be able to track it all the way down to the lowest note of the bass I use it with, which happens to be F#1, as in two half steps above regular low E on a 4 string bass, which my Sub'n'Up Mini seems to handle just fine.

    So if the Quint Machine won't do that that will definitely be a deal breaker.

    But as long as the Quint tracks at least as good as or better than the Sub'N'Up's stock polyphonic octaver, also when it comes to double stops and chords, then it should all be in perfect order and I will be willing to take the risk of venturing into unknown territory, if not though I know already that it won't be for me and then I'd rather make a safe bet and get another Sub'N'Up mini and just hope it won't start acting weird down the line like my current one.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
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