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Sound Quality

Props to Alesis for making a VERY clean, very solid sounding unit. Many of the effects are really nice sounding, although I think a lot of overkill went into them. For example, a "phaser" really only needs 2-3 settings to create any sound you want. Alesis has like 8-9, and few settings really change the sound. The "sampling" is a joke, and must have been placed in the unit only as a selling point- because it is really useless. The reverbs were always ok, but I had problems either having the washed out in the mix, or being to loaded in the mix. The ring modulation is decent, and the delays are great. Phasing, chorus, flanging was standard- sounded good, but nothing to write home about. My main complaint is at the pathetic EQ in this unit. Too many settings that do too little. And the EQ sounds terrible in this unit. Alesis would have been better off simply removing the whole EQ settings from this unit, as it is more of a earsore than anything. Another problem was the need to constantly fidget with level settings. One preset was direct and in your face, while the next setting chopped the signal volume in half. So, I'd have to say that much work needs to be done on that end. The presets were poor-fair, offering a good base for someone to screw with, but nothing that I'd personally ever use.

Reliability/Durability

I had mine for 5 years, toured 3 times, and it never burped once. Being in a poor-mans-GWAR, I'd have expected it to take at least one turd, but it was extremely reliable.

General Comments

I play trippy, Jesus Lizard-GWAR-Janes Addiction type music and the unit (after hours upon hours of screwing with it) did come quite close to achieving the sounds I wanted, but at a price of countless hours of tweaking. I've played for 20yrs, and have always been a "tone freak", and will say that save the lame EQ settings, I always had the killer tone. If it were lost or stolen (when I had it) I'd probably try something else, but it was $ for $ the best unit I've had. However, in the long run, I switched to stomp-boxes for the ease and control of sound- giving up a lot of the bells and whistles for durability and user-friendlyness. But then again, I'm an enemy of rackgear (now) and until they come up with something similar the the old MXR multi-effect racks, I'll stick with stomp boxes.

 

However, in the studio, this unit was a Godsend!




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