Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for clean & bass tones

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Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for clean & bass tones

Post by stubbsonic » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:08 pm

With my bass going straight into the MS-100BT, there is this slight distortion (like a fizz/flutter on low notes). It makes me think of zipper noise (like 12 bit).

I noticed it last year, and assumed it was something else in my signal path. But I just started another show with a similar setup and I isolated the issue to the MS-100BT. I've never noticed it with guitar, but perhaps it is less noticeable or masked with higher notes.

It's not super obvious, but once I heard it, I could always hear it in everything and couldn't ignore it.

I decided to go without FX on this show. It bugged me last year, as I always want my sound to be really clean.

This is disappointing. There are things I really love about this pedal, but when the basic clean signal is compromised, it's a shame. I'm just venting now. I'll need some time to put this into perspective. Doesn't make we want to trust it for ANYTHING.
Last edited by stubbsonic on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:40 am

Just tried the G3n, to see if it is also an issue there. I can still hear the "buzz" but it is quieter. I don't think I would have noticed it if I wasn't looking for it.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Jim_Fogle » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:58 pm

I'm not a pedal user so forgive for not having a familiarity with the pedals. Are the MS-100BT and G3n guitar or bass pedals? I'm wondering if the pedals are designed for the low frequencies a bass can generate.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:11 am

MS-100BT is kind of an all-arounder. It has amps, cabs and effects for both guitar and bass.

The G3n is for guitar only, and actually was an improvement with regard to this particular issue.

With people playing 7-string guitars, they should have ADC that can handle the low-frequencies. Usually it is the high end where you would hear aliasing, etc.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:15 pm

I checked my 2nd unit and the issue is identical. I don't think it would bother most people, but if I was in early beta testing, that would have sent it back to the drawing board immediately.

I'm looking at getting an RP360, instead.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:16 am

Out of curiosity, I tested my student's B1x Four, and didn't hear the issue through a bass amp. It wasn't the same monitoring environment, so I can't be 100% sure it's not there. Zoom may have used a different ADC or some other design change may have improved the sonics.
Last edited by stubbsonic on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT [AND B1X Four] have sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:10 pm

I borrowed my student's B1X Four, and have scrutinized it more carefully at home under the same conditions as the MS-100B.

It does in fact have the same issue. I play low sustaining notes with or without effects in the chain, I hear this kind of quiet fuzz as the note goes into decay. It is barely noticeable, in fact, at first I didn't hear it, but as I was going through presets, I could hear it with FX modules that "bring it out" so I went back to the empty preset and there it was.

It's really too bad. Otherwise, this is a great little effect box. Many of the FX just sound amazing and are very useful, but again, if my dry signal going in is going to have some unintentional low-level bit-crushing done to it, and all FX are going to bring out this issue even more,-- then this box fails the all important integrity test.

You may say, "well, what do you expect for $100?" It's a fair question. For that price, it's a great little pedal with a fantastic feature set, and for people working at that price-level, it's a very useable box. It is perfect for my student to get to know effects, practice with a drum machine & looper, etc.

The B1X Four emulates lots of expensive gear, very well, even, but because it hoses your signal going into it, it's really not an "expensive" sound any more.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT [AND B1X Four] have sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Nhoj » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:45 pm

stubbsonic wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:10 pm
I borrowed my student's B1X Four, and have scrutinized it more carefully at home under the same conditions as the MS-100B.

It does in fact have the same issue. I play low sustaining notes with or without effects in the chain, I hear this kind of quiet fuzz as the note goes into decay. It is barely noticeable, in fact, at first I didn't hear it, but as I was going through presets, I could hear it with FX modules that "bring it out" so I went back to the empty preset and there it was.

It's really too bad. Otherwise, this is a great little effect box. Many of the FX just sound amazing and are very useful, but again, if my dry signal going in is going to have some unintentional low-level bit-crushing done to it, and all FX are going to bring out this issue even more,-- then this box fails the all important integrity test.

You may say, "well, what do you expect for $100?" It's a fair question. For that price, it's a great little pedal with a fantastic feature set, and for people working at that price-level, it's a very useable box. It is perfect for my student to get to know effects, practice with a drum machine & looper, etc.

The B1X Four emulates lots of expensive gear, very well, even, but because it hoses your signal going into it, it's really not an "expensive" sound any more.
No expectation of high definition high end sound for the price range
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT [AND B1X Four] have sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:39 am

Nhoj wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:45 pm
No expectation of high definition high end sound for the price range
It's a good point. I do have pretty high expectations. I may be learning to hear more critically, and I may be hearing things I would have missed in the past.

I've used MANY lower-end devices. This is the first time I've heard my signal get THIS particular kind of distortion on the clean sound. It is worse on the MS-100BT, and not as bad on the G3n or B1X Four.

The other factor is the natural evolution of technology. Performance improvements, costs coming down. When they boast about 24 bit ADC (analog to digital conversion), they are talking about a high quality signal path-- theoretically. And if that was the case, we wouldn't expect the kind of distortion I was hearing in the inputs.

However, there are other steps in the signal processing that can be ruining the signal.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT [AND B1X Four] have sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Nhoj » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:31 am

stubbsonic wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:39 am
Nhoj wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:45 pm
No expectation of high definition high end sound for the price range
It's a good point. I do have pretty high expectations. I may be learning to hear more critically, and I may be hearing things I would have missed in the past.

I've used MANY lower-end devices. This is the first time I've heard my signal get THIS particular kind of distortion on the clean sound. It is worse on the MS-100BT, and not as bad on the G3n or B1X Four.

The other factor is the natural evolution of technology. Performance improvements, costs coming down. When they boast about 24 bit ADC (analog to digital conversion), they are talking about a high quality signal path-- theoretically. And if that was the case, we wouldn't expect the kind of distortion I was hearing in the inputs.

However, there are other steps in the signal processing that can be ruining the signal.
My take on the GN is it sound really good, players and users dont how to so they find the analog sound, i found it

sound more natural to me , also there are combinations on the chain thats i found myself, its a like a secret learning curve of tone
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:31 pm

It's true. And I think at least some of distortion I'm hearing -- (odd harmonics, like the sine is being squared) is often a product of some analog devices, tubes, etc. I saw some spectrums of tube compressors and the really torture the signal, but it is well liked.

And you're also right that you can coax some decent sounds out of the G3n if you are patient. There are times when there is a missing parameter. (ONLY ONE PAGE!! Grrrrr!!)
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Nhoj » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:50 pm

stubbsonic wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:31 pm
It's true. And I think at least some of distortion I'm hearing -- (odd harmonics, like the sine is being squared) is often a product of some analog devices, tubes, etc. I saw some spectrums of tube compressors and the really torture the signal, but it is well liked.

And you're also right that you can coax some decent sounds out of the G3n if you are patient. There are times when there is a missing parameter. (ONLY ONE PAGE!! Grrrrr!!)
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:29 am

That's no surprise. The ability to save loops would require a special hardware component, i.e., like an SD card slot, or some other flashable storage. Firmware won't make it into a different box than it is.

If saving loops is another feature you are wanting for Zoom effects, I recommend you start another thread about it.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Nhoj » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:56 pm

stubbsonic wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:29 am
That's no surprise. The ability to save loops would require a special hardware component, i.e., like an SD card slot, or some other flashable storage. Firmware won't make it into a different box than it is.

If saving loops is another feature you are wanting for Zoom effects, I recommend you start another thread about it.
I dont get why people are requesting for updates and changes that realistic will not be done even for the price range alone, its the not right to expect that much
Last edited by Nhoj on Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:49 pm

Nhoj wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:56 pm
I dont get why people are requesting for updates and changes that realistic will not be done even for the price range alone, its the right to expect that much
I don't understand this post.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by Nhoj » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:02 pm

stubbsonic wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:49 pm
Nhoj wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:56 pm
I dont get why people are requesting for updates and changes that realistic will not be done even for the price range alone, its the right to expect that much
I don't understand this post.
im saying its not right to expect too much from the Zoom price range , depends what the price is
Last edited by Nhoj on Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zoom MS-100BT has sonic issue for bass guitar

Post by stubbsonic » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:21 am

Are you saying that if a person wants to save loops or have tails in a firmware update, that it is unreasonable to expect that for this price range?
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