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Discussion Starter #1
Feels like X-mas ! ;)

Been finding amazing stuff lately at amazing price !

This add showed up and went to get it right away, its got 2 modules that I`ve been after for a long time... :confused:

The Octave and the Distortion Wah. ;)

Here are the add pics:



I've been collecting these for over 20 years and use them regularly to jam with.

These are in my jam bag at all time:

 

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Is there an "envy" button to click on? You're one lucky bastard. I have the Waveshaper module, thatI bought from Active Surplus in Toronto, damn near 40 years ago, but have never seen any others since.

The predictable failure of pretty much every modular effects system since the very beginning was that they all had proprietary form factors/standards and would only ever make one of any given category of effect. So you HAD to like that company's phaser as much as you liked their distortion, etc. IIRC the PME system did include a foot switchable loop insert, though, to optimize compatibility with other FX.

Even when it might take on different forms, such as Line 6's experiment with the interchangeable modules for the Tone Core pedals, it could be limiting (Line 6 never came out with a phaser or octaver in the series).

Still, I'm jealous of your score. That's a piece of modular history there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there an "envy" button to click on? You're one lucky bastard. I have the Waveshaper module, thatI bought from Active Surplus in Toronto, damn near 40 years ago, but have never seen any others since.
Yep ! Lucky as hell... ;)

Been accumulating them slowly just to get that module or this module... Very slow process...

Your Waveshaper is of big interest to me ! :cool:

The predictable failure of pretty much every modular effects system since the very beginning was that they all had proprietary form factors/standards and would only ever make one of any given category of effect. So you HAD to like that company's phaser as much as you liked their distortion, etc. IIRC the PME system did include a foot switchable loop insert, though, to optimize compatibility with other FX.

Even when it might take on different forms, such as Line 6's experiment with the interchangeable modules for the Tone Core pedals, it could be limiting (Line 6 never came out with a phaser or octaver in the series).
I understand it being limiting for certain but the Korg`s effect are very good in pretty much all effects. The phaser and Compressor are really really good, a big plus for me on bass.

Still, I'm jealous of your score. That's a piece of modular history there.
:D Still need a WaveShaper... hint hint... ;)
 

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The Waveshaper is probably not in any shape to be usable for you, though I'll see what I can do.

If you do a Google image search for modular guitar effects systems, you'll see a bunch of different ones; some even launched within the last decade. But it has always been a bit like Apple products, where the initiator wants you to use their system, with no attempts to collaborate with other pedal-makers on somethings as universal as, say, the Eurorack system. Sequential Circuits had one, MXR had one, Vesta Fire had one, and they all tanked. More recently, even JHS tried to launch one ( JHS Pedals Introduces 500 Series Modules And New Pedals ) a few years ago, but it seems to have stalled.

There are a few factors that have stood in the way of these things catching on. One, I mentioned earlier is that there was no agreement or collaboration on form factor (although the influence of Eurorack format may remedy that if folks are willing to play along). A second is that when such attempts at modular are launched, the launching company doesn't provide a complete range of effects. So the person who might be tempted to go modular is still stuck with the prospect of combining things they have and like with a wholly different system. If it's a floor-based system, like the PME, and incorporates loop selection for "outsider" pedals, then that improves the usability a bit, but it's still not as convenient as a compact pedalboard or fully integrated unit like the PME. And of course, the PME only has 4 slots (the loop selector module would necessarily occupy one of those 4 slots). At a time when a typical guitar player might have a wah, overdrive, chorus, and delay,"only 4 slots" was viewed a bit like the way Bill Gates used to view 64K of RAM (how much more do you need?). BUt pedalboards have become more complex and the range of effects players want on hand has widened substantially. Yes, as Frenchy's pics show, you could simply add another quartet. BUt then we're up to a fairly large pedalboard. If those 8 cover every single tonal base you want, great. But there are things "missing" from those 8, and new stuff will invariably come along.

So modular form-factors either have to be universal, so as to accommodate any new FX, or else VERY compact, such that a modular system and any additional outboard stuff can sit on the same floor unit, and remain usable.

Which brings us to the other big challenge: switching. Stompboxes are desired by players not only because you get to pick and mix whatever tonal flavours from whatever manufacturers you want, but also because they come with their own "switching system" in the form of a stompswitch. Once you go modular, you either need to plan around an integrated switching system (which the PME thankfully does), or you have to have an arrangement that permits floor switching of a table-top or rackmount set of modules. And that requires an agreement across manufacturers as to HOW effects would be switched. For instance, if they all agreed to simply provide in and out jacks (and maybe a tap-tempo jack) for their effects, and a hypothetical rack system simply included a module with relay or electronic switches that you'd run patch cords to from the effect modules, and you could actuate the switching module by some standardized bank of switches on the floor. I actually use such an approach for my own modular system. Maybe it's out there, but I have yet to see a true-bypass switching module. Yes yes, I know there are all those loop-selector units. But they all require that you run 1/4" phone plugs to and from the particular effect, and take up an awful lot of room because of that. They also introduce more combined cable length from all the to-ing and fro-ing from the pedals to the switcher. There has got to be something better and simpler and more standardized if modular is to ever become a lasting thing.
 

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Inspired by your find, I unearthed the Waveshaper and fired it up. Or at least I tried to. Discovered some very shaky solder joints and repaired them, after which I finally got to hear the thing for the first time in at least 25 years. Very interesting. Not a synth, but not your dad's fuzzbox either. Contrary to what I had assumed, it is not monophonic; i.e., you CAN play chords. The range of sounds afforded by the Waveform control s not as wide as I'd hoped for. Perhaps I need to listen to it more closely under other circumstances. More interesting is the Sustain control which tends to have more impact on the overall envelope than I anticipated, yielding some soft attack and gated sounds. There's a trimmer on the board, which I dickered with before I discovered the bad solder joints. I'll need to dicker with it again tomorrow and find out where it should be set to. t will be interesting when combined with a filter. Korg wasn't thinking classic rock when they came up with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice write up on the pedal. I never tried one so don't know what it can or cannot do.

I'm impressed that you can easily use it without the power board. I still have lots to learn...

Real happy you got it going again !
 

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Thanks. Googling around will net one a listing of the pinouts on the connector. I suspect that the switching on the PME console is likely electronic, given the physical actuators. But as long as one knows what's input, what's output, what's ground and what's V+ (I'm using 9V), you can easily wire up an external power jack and a stompswitch with indicator LED.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After you so eloquently explained it, makes perfect sense. I never opened a module and never took a look at a schematic for these. I'll investigate this more.

I did play with the pedal board yesterday to get familiar with the pedals that were new to me. The Distortion Wah has lots of settings and changes drasticly from one sound to another, the Octave is just great ! ;) Will be playing with it some more tonight.

I did take the time to clean the board.

 

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Running the Octave V before the Dist Wah should probably get you a lot of the sounds one would normally use an EHX Microsynth for.
 
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