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Aphex 204 Aural Exciter Question


davio

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For some reason this little piece has recently attracted my attention. I'm wondering, though, about the practical application of the two channels. I'm assuming that most of us play through a mono rig with little need of a second channel on a piece of equipment like this. So, to those of you who have/use/used to have/used to use one of these (or even those who would venture to speculate), what would you use the second channel for in a live setting? Would you leave it untouched and just deal with one side? Would you rig up some sort of A/B/Y footswitch to utilize the full potential for a variety of sounds? Is there a rack mounted single-channel version out there? Discontinued, maybe?
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I use an Aphex 204 in my bass rig. It sounds great. I run one channel through the efx loop of my SVT III. In a typical club gig I'll use one SVT III and a single 4x10. I have a second SVT III which I use for larger shows and I'll run the other channel on that SVT's efx loop. I occasionally play in 1500 seat+ venues where a stereo rig can reasonably be used.

 

The 204 is a flexible unit, and sounds great on bass. I've had older Aphex and BBE units. I've been using an aural exciter of some kind on my live rig since 1984.

 

They add clarity you can't get from traditional EQs. The trick is to use them subtly. If you overdo it, it will interfere with your sound and get annoying.

 

Aphex also makes a the bass exciter pedal, which is basically a single channel of the 204.

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Aphex also makes a the bass exciter pedal, which is basically a single channel of the 204.
What he said.

 

 

I used to use a 204, but I sold it. I liked it for a while, then I got tired of it. And one channel always was unused. I guess I could have used both channels since I have a stereo amp running into two cabs, but both cabs get the same signal so there was no point.

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I used to have an Aphex with Big Bottom, liked it at first. But I didn't need the EXCITER section because my rig is already very defined and clean and extended in upper mids and treble even for the brightest types of tone.

 

And the more I used the Big Bottom circuit the more I realized it was just another way to arrive at compression for lower freq's and it really didn't extend the low extension - it just FILLED more, actually widening the tonal and volume gap between low B string and the upper-pitched strings. Getting a different B string was a better way to solve the problem, and without the extra rack space, noise, or cost.

 

The various exciter cirucits and bass boosters/synthesizers etc are all right for rigs that are somewhat deficient, but if it's already there they detract, I think.

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Thanks for the input, guys. As I've mentioned before, I don't use any kind of effects right now save a touch of overdrive from the gain stage of my head when I'm playing with my rock band. I don't particularly like having pedals cluttering up my area so I was thinking about the possibility of adding something rack mountable. I've been looking, reading, asking, trying all kinds of stuff to lead up to my eventual purchase of better gear but I've realized that being a poor college musician definitely makes it hard to save any significant amount of money.

 

I've played with the Bass Exciter pedal in music stores and liked what I was able to do with my sound on comperable rigs to my own with small adjustments of sensitive knobs. As I said, I don't really like having pedals around if I can avoid it (save my TU-2 that I keep on a short leash in front of my rig) so I was looking into other possibilities.

 

GB, the things you mentioned as undesirable in your rig are exactly what I'm looking for to improve the sound of my "somewhat deficient" rig. In effect it's an inexpensive multi-band compressor of sorts that does a few other things to bring out the sound that my cabs seem otherwise unable of reproducing.

 

I guess I could use the second channel for my 15 when I use it and dial it in as an "effect crossover" almost (I doubt that that is the term I'm looking for) so that I can bring more of the bass out of the 15 while the 410 does what it's supposed to. Crap, that would require another power amp if I'm using my head. But if I used it in my rack amp that's currently collecting dust, it might be quite interesting. Now that I think about it, my XLS 402 would be nicely matched to my current cabs if run in stereo!

 

Sorry for thinking while typing, guys. Again, thanks for the input. I've got some thinking to do...and maybe some stores to go to soon.

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Davio, you might look at a BBE unit; i think it does a better job with midrange and treble by time-shifting the three different bands, while the Aphex approach to Exciters actually adds/creates overtones that weren't there in the original program material. To me that approach sounds more artificial.

 

And then get a Rane DC24 (cheap on Ebay too!) or some other good multiband compressor if you want the appearance of more low end without any impact on string balance or transparency. This just stomps BIG BOTTOM all to hell and has a number of other functions that are icing on the cake (downward noise expansion, crossover, limiter, pro-level output).

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I think and type all the time. I love my Eden, but I like to experiment and have thought about a Pod XT, I don't need all the models and effects, so maybe a SansAmp Programable for some variety, or maybe some other tube pre/DI, or...

 

I wrote to BBE and they said basically not to use it before my head. It was best used after the preamp but before a power amp. I guess that leaves us "head" users out. Yet they make a pedal version. I'm confused...

 

sorry...

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SteveC: I think and type all the time.
We'll maybe get to that further down ; }

 

 

I love my Eden, but I like to experiment and have thought about a Pod XT, I don't need all the models and effects,
Didn't you already have one of those for about a week or someat? ; } ... Arguably just the preamp functions and features alone could justify the price of the unit, if you write some decent presets. I think the tones are there. The effects other than the preamp types could be left OFF entirely if you can't deal with them or don't want them. That approach alone can give one various overdrives and distortions, and presets can also be written for specific BASSES even unto standup.

 

 

I wrote to BBE and they said basically not to use it before my head. It was best used after the preamp but before a power amp. I guess that leaves us "head" users out. Yet they make a pedal version. I'm confused...
Yes, it appears you might be. Because a lot of heads place an effects loop or preamp out/power amp in jack set on the back. That's where you would place a BBE or other such a rack unit in the signal chain.

 

EDIT: although I think your Bergantino already has plenty of clarity.

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Sorry, davio, I guess I hi-jacked your topic a bit.

 

The effects loop is pre EQ on my Eden so I still wouldn't be running post pre and pre power. Although that would probably be a better option. I'd rather not use a rack unit as I am currently not racking anything.

 

I do like what the subtle use of these units does.

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No worries on the hijack Steve. :)

 

I decided to talk to Mike (FunkyLemz) about the possibility of getting one of the Aphex units as he's really good at bargain hunting. Seems he's found a guy who's selling one for next to dirt cheap and if I end up not liking it or prefering the BBE or other comperable piece I can make a good $50 or so off selling it at the current used price.

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