MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

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robolenno
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MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by robolenno » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:54 pm

I purchased an MS-70CDR a month or so ago and I love the form factor and quality/variety of effects, however I immediately noticed a continuous high pitched hum (at around 5.5 khz) whenever the pedal was on. At first I thought it might be power related but the pedal was running on batteries which of courses should not introduce any power related noise. I tried running it on a power supply as well, using different cables, different guitars and amps, plugging straight into the audio interface of my computer... everything I could think of to rule out other possible factors, and the noise was always there. I also noticed it only occurred when an effect on the pedal was engaged. When the pedal was on but set to an empty preset or "thru" mode the noise wasn't there, which meant it obviously had something to do with the DSP in the pedal.

All that to say, I eventually contacted Zoom and they told me it must be a defect and instructed me to send it in for a replacement under warranty. After sending it in I got a notification from Zoom saying they had confirmed the issue and were shipping me a new one. So I was of the assumption that the one I had purchased was just defective and that this was not a normal characteristic of the MS-70CDR. However I got the new one today and it has the EXACT same problem.

This is pretty confounding. I know this is a cheap digital pedal and you tend to get what you pay for, but it's still hard for me to believe that this is an inherent issue with all of these pedals... due to the fact that Zoom confirmed there was a problem, I've watched several demo videos of the pedal in which I couldn't hear the noise, and I've only been able to find one other complaint from a user with a similar issue (that was on a different forum and there weren't any worthwhile answers provided there).

To be clear, the noise isn't super loud. It's subtle, but it's definitely there and anyone with a functioning set of ears would be able to hear it through a guitar amp set at a moderate volume. It makes it unusable for me, particularly for more quiet ambient type stuff.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? If this is just a characteristic of the DPS in the MS-70CDR how is it that more people haven't noticed it and brought it up?
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by Jim_Fogle » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:59 pm

I do not have the pedal.

I would contact Zoom once more. Be sure to attach any emails or digital copy of any written correspondence you received. Though Zoom tested and confirmed the issue with your first petal they most likely figured it was an isolated issue. Your follow up may help Zoom realize there is a common issue.
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NucleusX
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by NucleusX » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:10 pm

Hi robolenno.

Your the first CDR-70 owner I've seen chime in with this common issue from the other recent Zoom pedals.
This issue your experiencing has been reported quite often from what I've read, although the majority of
complaints have mostly come from users that own the MS-50G, MS-100BT, G3/X, G5, and A3, which all
share simular DSP firmware/hardware. Most of these reports also said it only happened when an amp-sim
was engaged, which the CDR-70 does not have. I personally own all the MultiStomp models and haven't
noticed this issue with the CDR-70, so you have me curious now to see if I can replicate it. The majority of
reports I've seen, are usually met with the same response from Zoom as what you received. I'm sure Zoom
are well aware of it by now, and have been for years. The fact that they haven't issued any firmware updates
directly addressing this problem across their range of pedals suggests to me that it is beyond their control,
and might very well be inherent at DSP firmware/hardware level like you have observed, wether they admit
it or not. I also think Zoom will stay dark on the matter, which is their their usual MO, as the scale and scope
of the problem is too big for them to address and would most likely cost them more than they are willing to
spend. Its a "possible" huge can of worms (with hints of the word "recall") which they would want to avoid
like the plague, but I can't validate that theory. Have you tried putting an EQ in the chain to see if you can
reduce or increase the offending frequency around the 5khz region ? I'm willing to do some tests with you
if you wish to continue this thread further, just hit me up. Something that comes to mind with amp-sims, is
that they could be just "amplifying" the high pitched noise, making it easier to identify what was already there,
which at this point is loud enough to become an audible issue for someone to be motivated enough to complain
about. There's not much anyone can do but try to manage their way around it. This really is one for Zoom to
address, as I highly doubt QC could let so many pedals out into the market that where defective. I'm willing to
bet it affects most, if not all mentioned units produced. Be interesting to see if this problem still remains with
the new G5n, as it seems to be the first Zoom pedal to have a revised DSP/firmware foundation not akin to
all the other Zoom pedals mentioned before. Sorry I couldn't give you better news. Now i'll stop my rambling.

Nuke.
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streuth
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by streuth » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:42 pm

I just got a ms100 bt, not sure if this is the same thing happening with yours but I had a similar sounds when an amp model was in the patch, if it's the same thing go into the amp settings (I think the 3rd page) and then change from line to combo amp (or whatever makes sense for what you are plugged into). Mine was set to line and I was plugged into my combo and it had a high pitched sound on that setting.
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by NucleusX » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:38 pm

Just to add for clarification.

The worst case configuration I find the noise was in Line mode, which is the setting one should be using with recording,
headphones, monitors, or FRFR setups. Correct that changing it to combo minimizes its impact, but that also has an impact
on your entire tone as-well, which reduces your ability to reproduce the authenticity of the amp sim you have chosen, so its
not really a valid fix for those that require the Line conditions based on the external gear being used. It seems quite ironic
to me that Zoom always seems to be designing their pedals of the past few years targeting those in a studio/home/practice
environment, and then messing up the one output mode one would require the most in these target environments, lol. :nuts:
Those using real combo's, head's, and cabs, are most likely the least affected by this commonly reported issue.
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Boink
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by Boink » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:16 pm

This might be an unrelated issue, but it might be the same. I have Zoom g5. When I plug it in an amp I get a high pitched very slightly audible "noise". It's not noise per say, but more of a constant high pitched "whistling" sound that is constant. The thing is when I have any effect in the patch (regardless if it's on or off) I get that sound. If the patch is empty, no sound. If I use a blank patch and then add a model, there it is again.
I'm not sure If my unit has a problem since I have it for 4 years and I always played it in a band setting (I might have missed it before).
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EvtoDJ
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by EvtoDJ » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:48 pm

The topic is fairly old, but anyway....
The MS series high pitched whistling is probably a noise from the internal SMPS voltage converter, that the high impedande input stage easily picks up.
It is even more obvious if you lift the pedal while playing through it, and put it near your guitar's pickups - even outside the pedal's metal enclosure, it still emits this noise around.

If you want to get rid of it almost completely, to the level where the pedal may be used for high-gain sounds, just put another NON-TRUE-BYPASS (electronic bypass, for example BOSS) pedal in front of if, with the bypass mode engaged, so that you use the pedal as a simple high-to-low impedance converter (buffer).
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NucleusX
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by NucleusX » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:06 pm

Excellent post EvtoDJ, thanks for taking the time.

I have long suspected this might be filtering and/or impedance related, but wasn't sure how this could be worked around externally.
I own a Boss AB-2 i could try and experiment with, or do you think strictly a buffered effect pedal would be required instead ? I also
have a an RC-1 which is placed infront of my first MultiStomp in the chain of 6, but i can still hear the high pitched artifact with it off.
There's also the fact that all my guitars are loaded with active pickups, which are inherently low impedance outputs. My high-gain
tone is stellar other-wise, but now I'm starting to think active pickups might be another variable to consider in all this...
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EvtoDJ
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by EvtoDJ » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:49 pm

Hi NucleusX,

A really low-inpedance output true bypass pedal is needed for this job. I don't know about the loop station, but the AB-2 will not do the job.
I personally tried with a BOSS BF-2 Flanger and it seems to work well.
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by NucleusX » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:23 pm

EvtoDJ wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:49 pm
Hi NucleusX,

A really low-inpedance output true bypass pedal is needed for this job. I don't know about the loop station, but the AB-2 will not do the job.
I personally tried with a BOSS BF-2 Flanger and it seems to work well.
Ok thankyou. I have a Radial A/B/Y pedal with true bypass ill experiment with. It has its own dedicated bypass footswitch. I'll post back after I've
tried it in different input positions of the chain. Be nice to do away with that artifact, seems at its worst in Line mode for me, which is the cab mode
I'd prefer to operate within. If i had an axe loaded with passive pup's to test with as-well, i might be able to make some kinda logical sense of it all.
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by NucleusX » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:53 am

EvtoDJ wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:49 pm
Hi NucleusX,

A really low-inpedance output true bypass pedal is needed for this job. I don't know about the loop station, but the AB-2 will not do the job.
I personally tried with a BOSS BF-2 Flanger and it seems to work well.
A quote from a recent post i made in another thread.

"I was advised by another forum user that the noise could be attributed to the input/impedance's,
and that having a buffered pedal placed before a MultiStomp could resolve this. I had to put some
thought into what that pedal might be, and ended up with a BOSS TU-3W, which is the Waza
variation of their famous TU-3. Reason i chose it, was the fact it has a selector switch on it for
true bypass and buffered. It also had to be the type of pedal you would expect to find early on in
the chain. I've only just made the required alterations to my pedalboard to accommodate it, but
soon i will start messing around with them, and passive or active guitars, to see what kind of results
i end up with, and to see if its even a manageable problem."

To further clarify on my Boss TU-3W choice. This to me seems like the perfect Boss pedal to conduct
further tests with, plus the fact i've always wanted a dedicated tuner on my pedalboard anyways.
Being that it can be toggled between a True Bypass, and Buffered mode, which is a rare feature, it
will at the very least allow me to experiment with the input impedance theory in either mode, in
conjunction with passive vs active pickups, which are also different impedance wise. Seems to cover
all the bases regardless of what combinations of pre/post pedals and pickups you could have connected.
I'm quite pleased with this choice even if it doesn't reveal concrete evidence. It will always be the first
pedal in my chain that governs all input impedance and cabling conditions from the guitar, and onto
the next pedal. Quite a versatile pedal in that regard. Oh, and its always nice to see your tuning on
the fly. I'll post back soon with more info.
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Re: MS-70CDR High Pitched Noise

Post by stubbsonic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:37 am

If you can borrow a DI, you can do a little test to see if this improves it. I tried an isolation transformer to get rid of some RF interference, and it seemed to work. With a DI, you could plug into the hi-z input and get an adapter to come out of the XLR output via TS (maybe ring & sleeve connected). See if having the transformer helps with the noise. It might be necessary to have some kind of buffer pedal before the DI.

If it does improve things, you could get a 1:1 isolation transformer box. (The Radial StageBug SB-6 was recommended to me-- not cheap, but might be the best most versatile option.) I'll ping back here after I know more.
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