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Zoom MS60-B

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6 minutes ago, Osiris said:

Didn't you and someone else (@ped perhaps?) mention an issue with digital noise on the B1-4 a while ago? 

Yeah - but that's very subtle and you have to listen out carefully for it; it's pretty indiscernible when you start playing.

I don't think it is the level of noise that @andruca is referring to, which sounds like what you would get with a non isolated PSU.

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The noise possibly, but I wouldn't have expected a PSU, isolated or otherwise, to have spiked the boxy mids. That sounds more like an issue with the tech, maybe the newer chipsets just aren't as good as their predecessors? Sounds like I'll be holding on to my MS-60B for a while longer.  

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Posted (edited)

OK, I might have not been precise with my claims. The noise happens even on batteries, but it's probably more a result of having to deal with excess EQ stages to combat plain boxy/dead tone. This is a sample of the B1X Four I've had. Nothing wrong with it, no lemon, no power supply problems. I could have gotten away with it, just not after how miserably sounding it resulted when tested side by side with the MS-60B/B3, they sound more full, punchier and brighter with SansAmp emulation EQ controls almost flat and the 160comp behind it. The 180hz boxy peak only worsens the lack of lowend, particularly ruins things as the SansAmp crunch past a certain gain point.

I might be a bit of a nitpicker here. My impression of the B1X Four was excellent, and I didn't care much until I started A/Bing them and trying to get it to sound as fat, defined, bright and punchy. Once I did the Four got old fast.

Edited by andruca
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Posted (edited)

And here's another sample, made some months into owning it. I particularly remember it being a PITA to EQ, this has 180hz severely cut (narrow band), plus some 80hz boost (wider), plus the ZNR I don't need to use on neither my MS-60B or B3 (where I only need the SansAmp and 160 comp emulations to sound like this).

Also gain definitely works in a weird manner in the B1X Four. I kept trying to bring noise down (and also to push preamp and compressor emulations harder) by upping any previous pedals' output volumes, which most of the times did NOTHING (neither push further compression/OD harder nor bring effective volume up so I could lower overall volume -and noise with it-). IDK much about gain structures or whatever, thus can't explain what's different from the B3/MS-60B (they're both just emulations, chained), but you can tell if you do a serious A/B trying to reproduce on the Four a tone you like from the B3/MS-60B. Not even talking same parameters as those simply don't work. If you use the same parameters for (i.e.) SansAmp in the Four it doesn't sound anything like the same parameters on the B3/MS-60B (which obviously sound exactly the same as each other).

Edited by andruca
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@andruca - thank you, both the above posts look really useful / helpful and I look forward to having a careful listen later, although I appreciate it's sometimes hard to hear things on a recorded clip in the way that you can with the amp & cab next to you.

Do your clips above A/B the B1(X)-4 with your MS-60B / B3? A direct side by side comparison of the same clean signal e.g. via a looper might be the easiest way to bring out the difference.

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Posted (edited)

No direct comparison, sorry (and I don't own the Four anymore). Still, just for reference, this is another bass, different bass lines, but the mood is the same (crunchy fat SansAmp, either aggressively plucked or picked). This is the MS-60B, brighter, punchier, bassier. Not only that, the Star Bass in my previous post is a Jazz Bass of doom (sounds pretty much like a Jazz, a hotter and warmer/fatter version, has way more gain and way more bass than almost any Jazz Bass). The ghetto Jazz in this sample is made of parts (all totalling 89€) and it absolutely kills on the MS-60B, it blows the Stingray5 in my first B1X Four sample out of the water, with just the SansAmp and 160comp emulations.

Also the SansAmp overdrive reacts differently, for a starter it doesn't mess my lo-mids with unnecessary distortion (what really screws up the emulation on the Four, but that still might be the overall built-in 180hz peak ruining it).

Edited by andruca
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2 hours ago, andruca said:

SansAmp emulation EQ controls almost flat and the 160comp

I too like this combination, only thing I add is the HPF. 1 pedal instead of three, and my other MS-60B set up as a whacky phaser. 

The B1 Four is in use as comp, pre and HPF on my main board simply because as an 'always on' pedal it slides under the upper row. 

I'm now going to have to side by side it with the MS-60B. 

 

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20 hours ago, stewblack said:

I too like this combination, only thing I add is the HPF. 1 pedal instead of three, and my other MS-60B set up as a whacky phaser. 

The B1 Four is in use as comp, pre and HPF on my main board simply because as an 'always on' pedal it slides under the upper row. 

I'm now going to have to side by side it with the MS-60B. 

Be really interested to get your feedback Stew on a side by side comparison.

@andruca - boxy mids are never nice and can vary depending on the instrument, venue and rig. My approach has always been to avoid them entirely rather than emphasise them - am I missing something?

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Be really interested to get your feedback Stew on a side by side comparison.

@andruca - boxy mids are never nice and can vary depending on the instrument, venue and rig. My approach has always been to avoid them entirely rather than emphasise them - am I missing something?

I'll get to it soon, @Al Krow, I'm awaiting delivery of a special new pedal which is going to create a fascinating challenge to my board layout. B1-Four may be coming off anyway, but it will need extracting from the underground carpark! 

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20 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Be really interested to get your feedback Stew on a side by side comparison.

@andruca - boxy mids are never nice and can vary depending on the instrument, venue and rig. My approach has always been to avoid them entirely rather than emphasise them - am I missing something?

I agree, that's why I was severely attenuating 180hz (with a narrow Q). I moved the frequency around testing to get to those 180hz (all of this while A/Bing with the MS-60B, same bass, same amp).

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@Al Krow

Didn't take long to do this as it turned out. Just took me ages to get around to it. In each case the settings are the same - the B1 FOUR first the MS-60B second. The results were so overwhelmingly conclusive I stopped after 3 different effects. You see 4 because the first pair are the pedals flat, no eq.

Of course FOUR owners need not despair, there is the bass, mid, treble , volume overall controls which can level the playing field.

 

 

 

Edited by stewblack
Trying to get the *+*^$^ sound to embed
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Thanks Stew - definitely not despairing as a B1-4 owner :) it's giving me half a dozen gigable effects each worth £50 to £100 a piece if I had to get a dedicated pedal instead, headphone amp, drum machine and tuner all for £50 used...so I really can't complain! 

Edited by Al Krow

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks Stew - definitely not despairing as a B1-4 owner :) it's giving me half a dozen gigable effects each worth £50 to £100 a piece if I had to get a dedicated pedal instead, headphone amp, drum machine and tuner all for £50 used...so I really can't complain! 

I still keep mine on my main board, its going nowhere: noise gate, HPF and compressor in a box not much bigger than 20 John Player Special for 45 quid?? 

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9 minutes ago, stewblack said:

I still keep mine on my main board, its going nowhere: noise gate, HPF and compressor in a box not much bigger than 20 John Player Special for 45 quid?? 

Ditto. Although I never managed to quite take up smoking. Mis-spent youth on my part, I'm afraid. 

Edited by Al Krow

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33 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Ditto. Although I never managed to quite take up smoking. Mis-spent youth on my part, I'm afraid. 

Ah. Well John Player produced their standard coffin sticks in a blue packet same size as all the other brands. But for the discerning addict who wished to show the world how wide his pockets were, John Player Specials came in a black carton half the thickness but twice the width. 

It was the classy way to stain teeth, fingertips, ceilings and above all lungs. 

I fell for it too. 

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