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Meridian Funk-U-Lator (fixed!)


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I bought one of these recently after seeing some excellent demos online. It arrived today but the envelope side of the pedal makes a scratchy fuzzy racket. It’s a shame because the pedal sounds great on the demos. I also note that the dry bass sound doesn’t come through when using the envelope so maybe something has come loose inside. 

Ive requested a refund (bought via Reverb) so we’ll see what happens.. 

Here’s the demo anyway:

Real shame it’s broken - doubt it would be easy to repair?!

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On 06/02/2021 at 14:31, ped said:

I bought one of these recently after seeing some excellent demos online. It arrived today but the envelope side of the pedal makes a scratchy fuzzy racket. It’s a shame because the pedal sounds great on the demos. I also note that the dry bass sound doesn’t come through when using the envelope so maybe something has come loose inside. 

Ive requested a refund (bought via Reverb) so we’ll see what happens.. 

Here’s the demo anyway:

Real shame it’s broken - doubt it would be easy to repair?!

Sorry to hear that.

I’d totally forgotten about the existence of this pedal and fancy checking one out too. 

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13 minutes ago, krispn said:

The tones the guy gets on the demo are bangin and this would be my choice ifi needed these types of sounds and I've said it before but that drum groove is t-i-g-h-t!

Yes it's a great demo, there's another good one with a German chap playing a Marleaux. I really liked the sound of the octaver+synth side actually, but a real shame about the other. The envelope sounded nice - band pass I think, which I prefer as long as I can blend in some clean. Shame it was buggered. Reverb have escalated the claim now and were keen to learn that the item was sent loose in a thin cardboard box. It was really dusty, too, so probably not tested.

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2 minutes ago, dodge_bass said:

Brilliant (!)....hope you get it sorted soon.

Thanks, it's an interesting test of Reverb's policy - thankfully I paid by card so I think I am entitled to their buyer protection, whereas if I used Paypal they basically farm it out to them - which would normally be OK but I think it would be in Reverb's interest to give enhanced protection to people using their platform to pay. We'll see...

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Ok that’s weird. The seller messaged in the end to say sorry to hear the problem and that he’s find out how to do a refund. In the meantime my case was handed to the reverb team who have just emailed to say they have refunded me and I don’t need to return the pedal?! 

Not sure if that’s because the seller said ‘keep it’ or not - but strange. 

So do we think it’s repairable? Any ideas who might be able to have a look?

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58 minutes ago, ped said:

Ok that’s weird. The seller messaged in the end to say sorry to hear the problem and that he’s find out how to do a refund. In the meantime my case was handed to the reverb team who have just emailed to say they have refunded me and I don’t need to return the pedal?! 

Not sure if that’s because the seller said ‘keep it’ or not - but strange. 

So do we think it’s repairable? Any ideas who might be able to have a look?

https://www.owenelectronics.co.uk/

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30 minutes ago, krispn said:

Contact Meridian and who knows they might sort you out. 

Thanks yes I’ve messaged them and their luthier is a member here who has given me their technicians address. I’m hoping they can provide some schematics or something for a UK tech to use (although they might not need that?)

I’ve bought some GK accessories like a breakout box from Keld Ampworks

http://www.ampworks.co.uk/tag/pedal-repair/

So have emailed them. I’ll give Owen a try as they came as recommended also. 

It’s certainly worth fixing I think

 

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  • 1 month later...

Big shoutout to Rowan at Keld Ampworks who has repaired the pedal. It's on it's way back to me. Luckily Franco at Meridian Guitars was able to help remotely. 

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Ok got it back. Plugged it in using one spot supply. Noise still there. Constant deep cracking when the wah is engaged. Have it a gentle tap and voila it’s fine... but still no dry signal coming through with wah engaged. 

Octave/synth side working and sounding fine. 

Think I might smash it up with a hammer

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35 minutes ago, ped said:

Ok got it back. Plugged it in using one spot supply. Noise still there. Constant deep cracking when the wah is engaged. Have it a gentle tap and voila it’s fine... but still no dry signal coming through with wah engaged. 

Octave/synth side working and sounding fine. 

Think I might smash it up with a hammer

if you want to just pop it in the post, I have a hammer in my hand right now, happy to save you rummaging through the shed.. 

 

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It’s really annoying. The repair guy says it might be my power supply that’s frying it somehow (I use a 1spot with Joyo ZGP on each pedal, which works perfectly with everything else). If it’s true then the pedal is a liability if it can’t take a slight fluctuation. I tried two other supplies and got the same noise which disappeared when I tapped the pedal. Still no dry signal on wah side. 

On a positive note it makes a good paperweight. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a slightly older unit, bought in the big custom graphics group purchase over on TB some years back...2014!!!. Mine has only 5 knobs and no fancy VU meter. Seen here, bottom left. The pedalboard flow runs input into the Boss tuner, left to right on the bottom row. Then Out of the MXR bass Overdrive into the Markbass MB7 and again, left to right on the top row, out putting after the Zoom MS-70 CDR. For me, the Meridian Funkulator worked best with a buffered EQ in front of it. In my case it was an MXR Bass Preamp with the internal switch set to buffered bypass. Feed it something like this on the input and a lot of the gremlins go away. The Octave Down is pretty much and OC-2 clone. The filter isn't anything amazing, but the sweet sound (IMHO) is the octave up. Very synth, very nice sounding. The Filter just adds to that great sound. Put it all together and it's a very sweet sounding one trick pony. I'd love to be able to mimic this great sound on my current board / SA C4.  It looks like the newer unit is much more functional and tweakable...lots of great sounds in there for sure. I hope your new mods have fixed it for you.

 

September 22, 2014 - 001.jpg

Edited by GMC
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43 minutes ago, GMC said:

I have a slightly older unit, bought in the big custom graphics group purchase over on TB some years back...2014!!!. Mine has only 5 knobs and no fancy VU meter. Seen here, bottom left. The pedalboard flow runs input into the Boss tuner, left to right on the bottom row. Then Out of the MXR bass Overdrive into the Markbass MB7 and again, left to right on the top row, out putting after the Zoom MS-70 CDR. For me, the Meridian Funkulator worked best with a buffered EQ in front of it. In my case it was an MXR Bass Preamp with the internal switch set to buffered bypass. Feed it something like this on the input and a lot of the gremlins go away. The Octave Down is pretty much and OC-2 clone. The filter isn't anything amazing, but the sweet sound (IMHO) is the octave up. Very synth, very nice sounding. The Filter just adds to that great sound. Put it all together and it's a very sweet sounding one trick pony. I'd love to be able to mimic this great sound on my current board / SA C4.  It looks like the newer unit is much more functional and tweakable...lots of great sounds in there for sure. I hope your new mods have fixed it for you.

 

September 22, 2014 - 001.jpg

Nice pedalboard! Yes I found it reacted quite differently depending on what you put through it. Like most envelopes I found it sounded best with single pickup basses. I really like the sound of the filter, especially with the clean bland, which unfortunately is the part of mine which refuses to work. 

Meridian have offered to fix it free of charge which is really kind, I'll get round to sending it at some point. I will check my power supply as instructed by Keld first to make sure it's not that, otherwise I'm completely stumped.

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OK it's on it's way to Meridian tomorrow. They have very kindly offered to fix it free of charge. Fingers crossed!!

It's certainly a nice pedal to look at!

 

IMG_7263.jpeg

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It's a sweet looking pedal for sure. Your version is very much expanded than the version I bought back in 2014. You have a VU meter, an Octave side input gain. Very useful as the octave easily gets overwhelmed and distorts...which also adds an interesting sound. I'm not sure on the Synth frequency, however it's certainly got an EQ going on. The right side / filter is very much expanded. My version has only 2 knobs and they really control the quack and input. So it's nice to see that side far more expanded. The filter on my pedal is much simpler and pretty much controls how much of the "one sound" you get. Where as the demos of this version are way more versatile. In fact, I think this expanded version is a lot more versatile than my 2014 version. 

It's a very pretty looking pedal...or in this case it's more of a panel. Have you ever looked inside these things? There's a LOT of components and circuits. 

Good luck with your repairs, it's a fine unit and worth every penny.  

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12 minutes ago, GMC said:

It's a sweet looking pedal for sure. Your version is very much expanded than the version I bought back in 2014. You have a VU meter, an Octave side input gain. Very useful as the octave easily gets overwhelmed and distorts...which also adds an interesting sound. I'm not sure on the Synth frequency, however it's certainly got an EQ going on. The right side / filter is very much expanded. My version has only 2 knobs and they really control the quack and input. So it's nice to see that side far more expanded. The filter on my pedal is much simpler and pretty much controls how much of the "one sound" you get. Where as the demos of this version are way more versatile. In fact, I think this expanded version is a lot more versatile than my 2014 version. 

It's a very pretty looking pedal...or in this case it's more of a panel. Have you ever looked inside these things? There's a LOT of components and circuits. 

Good luck with your repairs, it's a fine unit and worth every penny.  

Thanks, yes I had a look inside - two big PCBs stacked together covered with bits and bobs!

I like the sound of the filter side, but as it sounds like a band pass (which I prefer for the quack) it needs dry below it too. The octave/synth side is great actually, and works fine currently. I've never been a huge fan of octaves but this one sounds really musical and the synth/fuzz that you can add in gives it a bit of a unique bite.

I've downloaded your C4 patches and will give those a try later!

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's back!! Franco has fixed it and it's working perfectly. What a legend. 

I've been playing with it for the last hour or so and it sounds fantastic. The octave side is especially thick and with the synth added it feels warm and funky. I don't usually like octavers much but I haven't had one for so long it's great fun. The synth frequency is switchable giving two very different flavours, and with balancing the dry, -1 and synth there are many cool sounds in that.

The wah side took some fiddling; I'm pretty sure the attack control acts a bit like a resonance control too, and the way 'volume' actually changes the peak a little too I think. Either way, it's a band pass which I really like for cutting through a mix and now the dry blend works! It sounds especially nice when driven by the octave side, which you can use to push the envelope even more using the level control on side 1. It's got a lovely 'quack' to it and although a totally different flavour to my 3leaf something about the combination of both sides of the pedal in one sounds really greasy and phat. 

IMG_7528.jpeg

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