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Why no love for the EHX Switchblade Pro? (Affordable Boss LS-2 on steroids content)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by catcauphonic, Dec 17, 2019.


  1. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    When I decided to build a 2nd larger board I NEEDED another LS-2 like device so was looking around at options and I saw that EHX had in the last few years released their Switchblade Pro which does everything the LS-2 does and a lot more, for not much more $$ >
    EHX SWBLADEPRO-Large.jpg

    ^ This thing has both A & B loops for effects plus a dedicated clean blend (with the Boss the only way you can blend your clean is to leave everything in one of the loops off), it can parallel either or both of the loops with your clean untouched signal, or it can run each loop in series into the other (A>B or B>A) whilst blending in your clean tone, and it doesn't have that clusterflux of all 3 ins/outs crowded next to each other like the Boss does, which was really annoying to me. The SB also has an internal phase inverter should you run into an out of phase issue with any particular pedal, which I have personally not yet had happen in the 25 or more I've run through them both.

    I honestly don't understand why this unit doesn't get more love around here. Sure, you can jump from the Boss to several things that do similar to the EHX (or less), but they all seem so much more expensive. I can't find any bad reviews or customer complaints on the internet about it.

    I just wanted to give this unit props for its great value, and to anyone considering an LS-2 particularly for its 'A+B Mix' mode (blend), just skip that one and grab one of these!
     
  2. I can certainly see the possibilities, the size of the box might deter some folks but it sure does make connecting in and out of the box a lot easier. Perhaps if it had all top jacks, maybe a tuner out.
     
  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Probably has more to do with the likelihood not that many members here have a use for what it brings to the party.

    People heavily into effect loop switching need more than what a two channel looper can do. So they’re going to spring for something bigger, or a matrix switcher to get more flexibility.

    I personally suspect that with multi effect and modeling units like the Line 6 Stomp selling for around $600 new, the old school loop boxes are either going to have to expand their feature set and come down in price very rapidly or risk going the way of the dodo bird.

    So I think EHX may just be arriving late to a party that’s already winding down with the Switchblade.
     
  4. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I realize some boarders are either all top jacks or NO jacks, but with the current crop of thin connector cabling like EBS has recently put out, it's much much less of a space wasting issue. Besides, then it would have the opposite annoyance that the Boss has with all of those crowded side jacks just moved to crowd the top.

    And perhaps it looks bigger in pictures by itself, but this unit is only about a half inch thicker on 2 sides than the Boss (which uses that room for side cabling anyway!) The SPpro is the same size as the VTbass, TAFM, or the Keeley Caverns, etc. Here's a pic for referenfce >

    20191029_075051.jpg
     
    Nunovsky, thabassmon, jonlimo and 2 others like this.
  5. crguti

    crguti

    Feb 14, 2011
    Scandinavia
    Roughly is the size of 2 boss pedals and the switches are too close. The LS2 is the sh*t, no need to change.
     
  6. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Totally incorrect... As you can see by the last picture in the post that's right above yours, it's the same housing as a VTBass, the TA Fuzz Machine, Keeley Caverns, etc, and it does several things that the Boss can't including

    -2 loops for effects PLUS a dry (Boss can only use 1 loop if you want to leave the other one dry),
    -it can run either loop into the other in series (in both directions) while still maintaining your dry (Boss can only series what's in one loop at a time),
    -it has a phase inverter switch if needed (none on Boss)

    Those top 2 extras are worth that + 1/2" of pedal housing. Besides, the way you have to cram all of those side jacks into the Boss, you're losing that half inch smaller footprint.

    Users who insist on pedals having all top jacks so they can cram them side by side must be dealing with similar switch spacing.
     
  7. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    QUOTE="40Hz, post: 23395855, member: 73668"]Probably has more to do with the likelihood not that many members here have a use for what it brings to the party.

    People heavily into effect loop switching need more than what a two channel looper can do. So they’re going to spring for something bigger, or a matrix switcher to get more flexibility.

    I personally suspect that with multi effect and modeling units like the Line 6 Stomp selling for around $600 new, the old school loop boxes are either going to have to expand their feature set and come down in price very rapidly or risk going the way of the dodo bird...

    [/QUOTE]
    Interesting and a very valid take on the way the effects world is changing (along with all other forms of tools, primarily electronics) switching to smaller, lighter, and more digital oriented.

    I realized that I myself am late to the effects party! Only getting into them seriously just under 2 years ago, and still really enjoying the idea of (mostly analog) individual stompboxes.

    No doubt the C4s, H9s, and Aftershocks pack an incredible amount of sounds into those things if you don't mind using an app or a computer program to do it, but for a lot of people (including myself) who don't want to have to dink around with a computer to beam those sounds to my pedals.

    A hobbyist musician who spends all day in an office in front of a computer screen, might not want to come home and have to tinker with my pedal on a computer or app. Heck, I made my living in photography shooting and processing film for over a decade, but when the digital cameras started to get good enough to replace film cameras is when I bailed on it as a profession since I knew it would mean I'd be spending more time processing images staring at a computer via Photoshop instead of working inside a darkroom, which was part of what got me hooked on photography.

    I'm no stranger to computers either, but I am the type that will never have a laptop on stage with any of my bands if I have any say in it.

    I realized the times they are a constantly changing, so I guess you're right regarding the number of folks who won't mind using their puter for pedals, and bigger switching systems for more loops sounds legit (but those take up waaay more room as well, if that's an issue for folks like @crguti)
     
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    There’s no real need to use s genersl purpose computer. There’s embedded CPUs in these multi effects these days. And a host of hobbyists who are using dirt cheap (<$50) tiny single-board computers like the Raspberry PI and Arduino for all sorts of music projects, including synths, recording consoles, and effects. TCE pretty much does that with their digital effects. It’s basically algorithms and DSP programming for their product line.

    The real killer is Line 6’s Stomp. Small, self contained, huge bang for the buck - and here’s kicker - user programmable. You can have literally hundreds of effects at your fingertips, and all available six at a time in the same box. And you can bank something like 200 sets of them. So as your effects chains expand, your stage footprint remains the same size. No more 3 foot by 4 foot megaboards weighing in at 60+ pounds. For live performances, their ascendancy is inevitable. Especially considering their superior reliability compared to a patched together assortment of poorly matched pedals.

    You’d think I’d be happy coming out of 35 years in the information technology world. But I’m not. I still prefer analog effects most times when they’re an alternative. And I also prefer effects that do only one thing (but do it extremely well) rather than “do everything” combo effects. And last time I took inventory there were around 70 mostly analog pedals in the music space I share with my guitarist SO. So I guess that confirms it. :laugh:

    But I’m also not roading effects most times. They’re more a studio thing for me. (And her.) For live performances, I try to stay as close to a cable straight into an amp as possible. However, if I were doing a lot of performing with effects I’d definitely be exploring all the modern alternatives such as IR modeling, DSP based gear, and MIDI capable everything for convenience, cost efficiencies, and overall reliability if nothing else.
     
    AlexanderB and catcauphonic like this.
  9. If I were buying a new blending/switching pedal today, I'd probably go with the EHX. But I bought an LS-2 years ago for $35 and it does the job. So why upgrade?
     
  10. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    If the LS-2 is still functional and doing all you need (+ everything you want), then of course there's no reason to upgrade. I happened to be in need of another LS-2 like device for a 2nd board when I came across the Switchblade Pro. I'm now hooked on parallel processing since I first picked up an LS-2. They're definitely the pioneers as far as blending the clean goes (to my knowledge), but the features the EHX packs go above and beyond, and I'm just trying to make more people aware of it if they're looking for their first LS-2 like device. Carry on!
     
  11. Robertron

    Robertron

    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    If I still needed an A/B looper I would make this the one.
    This is very similar to my old Badger Effects loop switcher seen in this mega old photo. PYPB01-13.jpg

    In addition to the SBPro's features it also had:
    -Phase inversion switch
    -Footswitch control to toggle Series/Parallel orientation
    -Footswitch to turn off the Dry signal
    -Series volume knob that acted as a Master volume knob inin series mode
    -Much more crowded footswitches
    -Twice the LEDs
     
    catcauphonic likes this.
  12. edbutler3

    edbutler3 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Do you find that the Switchblade is quieter than the Boss LS-2? I'm currently using the LS-2 to split my single into "clean bass" and "dirty treble" channels (using a stereo EQ instead of a crossover) and blend them back together. While the LS-2 has all the features I need, I do find that it's pretty noisy, especially if I'm trying to tweak the balance between channels and turn either of the volume controls past 12 o'clock so that it's boosting...

    The input/output jack layout of the Switchblade also looks more convenient than the LS-2, but really I wouldn't bother making the swap unless the Switchblade is noticeably less noisy.

    Opinions?

     
  13. crguti

    crguti

    Feb 14, 2011
    Scandinavia
    ^ Boss LS-2 is not noisy. Check the rest of your signal chain.
     
  14. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Mine wasn’t noisy, but the tone suck was very real.
     
    thabassmon and DirtyDuke like this.
  15. crguti

    crguti

    Feb 14, 2011
    Scandinavia
    ^ and that’s unthru too.
     
  16. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    The treble cut/roll off with the pedal in my chain was easily perceptible. It’s not an opinion.
     
    AlexanderB and aledeville like this.
  17. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I can't say I've ever had any noise with either the LS2 or SBpro, and while I've read several stories here and elsewhere regarding the LS2s "tone suck", it's never been an issue with my setup either. Those crowded side jacks however :mad:
     
  18. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    The clean-blend of the switch blade isn't needed in my setup since I have Damnation Loop Blender specifically for low-end retention on a couple dirt pedals. So I went with this 'roided out' version of a loop-switcher/ABY/utility box. The momentary switching on the loop channels is super useful for me, and the boost is great.

    Swiss-Things.jpg
     
    rufus.K and catcauphonic like this.
  19. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Ohh yea that's a real looker... kinda curious about that one. Does it allow you to mix loops in parallel, as well as do loop switching in series? (A>B or B>A)? And it does not have a clean blend on it's own, but you got that covered upstream?

    Edit: I love that it has an input for a volume or expression pedal, does that affect all your looped pedals going thru it?
     
  20. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    No, it's only in series, and there's no flip-flopping the order for a specific reason. Loop 1 is unbuffered and intended for pedals that don't like a buffer - dirt, etc. Loop two is buffered for modulation, reverb, whatever. The exp volume pedal is between Loops 1 and 2, and the boost is after both loops. Then you have the tuner out to keep that out of the signal chain as well. The A/B/Both amp selector is nice for a bunch of stuff. Running both of my amps, running an amp/cab while I send the other output to my recording setup. So I can switch easily between the two. Plus, the momentary switching (for loop 2 especially) is great when I can to use phaser or delay for little snippets of a line/song, without tap dancing. In loop 1 I have Bass Whammy > Damnation Loop Blender (with Cat Tail and Fuzz in the loop) > MBD-2. So I get a fat clean blend on my rat/fuzz.

    The way its set up, it effectively kills your whole signal if you go heel down, but it's after loop one. So anything in loop 1 gets the full dynamic signal form your bass - great for octave, filter, drive - anything that would go early in the chain in that unbuffered loop. Then you can lower the volume after as needed without effecting the dynamics of those pedals. On the flip side, you should/would typically have reverb, delay, and modulation in the second loop (post volume pedal). So that's great for doing volume swells and such into your effects (especially delay).

    For sure there are some folks who would prefer some tweaks to the Swiss Things for it to better fit their needs. That said, it's incredibly well thought out and really has a lot of uses as far as utility pedals go.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
    AlexanderB and catcauphonic like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

     
    Mar 2, 2021

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