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FX8 MKII noise/hiss problem

Alfi27

New Member
Hey guys,

I recently got a very lightly used FX8 MKII off Ebay for a good price, and I have to say that I'm completely blown away by it - except for one thing, which I haven't decided yet if is a dealbreaker or not... There is an annoying hiss (white noise) when I use the 4CM with my Friedman Smallbox, and I have observed this:

  • Swapping between humbuster and a standard instrument cable in the loop makes zero difference. Going from +4 to -10 helps a lot (after a restart, as some have mentioned before), but it's still pretty bad on -10. None of the pads seem to have any effect when using the loop/4CM.
  • When disconnecting the loop and running everything in front of the amp, going from a regular instrument cable to humbuster makes a big difference. And going from -12 to -6db pad makes it even quieter, essentially the same as plugging straight in.
  • Running both the amp and FX8 from the same power outlet (or not) doesn't change anything.
  • Engaging auto true bypass and no effects changes the noise a little, introducing a little ground hum and maybe dials back a little on the hiss - but effectively no fix.
  • It's not the amp, I tried the FX8 with a BE100 and it was even worse actually. Running standard pedals do, to my recollection, work fine. But I sold off all the delays and verbs etc a little while back so maybe I should find a decent used delay pedal to do an A/B comparison.

I really, really want this unit to work for me, it's pretty much perfect with the amazing effects and flexibility, but this problem is somewhat similar to having a really great car with bad seats... It's a fundamental thing that shouldn't really be a problem. It's got the last firmware version that isn't a beta, and I'm pretty sure I did the factory reset right when I got it. Not super keen on doing it again as I've made some awesome presets, but if it might fix it I'll give anything a try. Any tips or advice at all would be appreciated, cheers guys!
 
I don't remember getting any type of white noise (hiss) from my FX8 MKII with the 4CM.

However, all my Fractal devices do make noise when I am connected to an older computer using the USB connection.

It goes away when I disconnect the USB cable and it doesn't happen on a newer computer.

Are you connected to the computer?

If yes, then disconnect the USB cable and see if the white noise (hiss) is still there.

Also, try going direct into the FX8 then out into the front of the amp.

Is the white noise (hiss) gone?

If yes, then it might be something related to the effects loop on "that" FX8.

Good luck!!
 

Alfi27

New Member
I don't remember getting any type of white noise (hiss) from my FX8 MKII with the 4CM.

However, all my Fractal devices do make noise when I am connected to an older computer using the USB connection.

It goes away when I disconnect the USB cable and it doesn't happen on a newer computer.

Are you connected to the computer?

If yes, then disconnect the USB cable and see if the white noise (hiss) is still there.

Also, try going direct into the FX8 then out into the front of the amp.

Is the white noise (hiss) gone?

If yes, then it might be something related to the effects loop on "that" FX8.

Good luck!!

It's normally connected to the computer, but disconnecting it doesn't make a difference. I even tried unplugging the USB cable entirely from the FX8, but it didn't help. There is no hiss when I disconnect the loop and just go into the front of the amp with a humbuster cable and -6db pad, when I use it like that it's as quiet as plugging straight in. Although it's been some time since I used real pedals in the loop I am 100% sure there was no hiss like this, there was just a tiny bit more hum when using the loop. But I found a cheap used Hardwire DL-8 that should get here early next week or so, so I'll get it confirmed then when I do an A/B comparison with the FX8.

For some reason I'm denied posting when I quote your post, Rex, but to answer you here: I tried that and it did help, but the hiss is still very prominent. The hiss was horrible with the +4 setting, would go as far as calling it unusable... With -10 it is manageable, but still more than I'd like.

I'm very seriously considering to sell the FX8 for an Axe FX II XL+, a little unrelated to the hiss problem actually because the Axe Fx II has SPDIF in and out so I can use it like a true studio effect unit. The effects in the FX8 are almost too good to not be able to use them like that, you will never get full fidelity from the reverb or delay when it goes through the speaker cabinet. And if I ever start playing live frequently I'll probably want to get an all in one floorboard unit or something anyway, like an AX8 or Kemper Stage or something.
 
It's normally connected to the computer, but disconnecting it doesn't make a difference. I even tried unplugging the USB cable entirely from the FX8, but it didn't help. There is no hiss when I disconnect the loop and just go into the front of the amp with a humbuster cable and -6db pad, when I use it like that it's as quiet as plugging straight in. Although it's been some time since I used real pedals in the loop I am 100% sure there was no hiss like this, there was just a tiny bit more hum when using the loop. But I found a cheap used Hardwire DL-8 that should get here early next week or so, so I'll get it confirmed then when I do an A/B comparison with the FX8.

For some reason I'm denied posting when I quote your post, Rex, but to answer you here: I tried that and it did help, but the hiss is still very prominent. The hiss was horrible with the +4 setting, would go as far as calling it unusable... With -10 it is manageable, but still more than I'd like.

I'm very seriously considering to sell the FX8 for an Axe FX II XL+, a little unrelated to the hiss problem actually because the Axe Fx II has SPDIF in and out so I can use it like a true studio effect unit. The effects in the FX8 are almost too good to not be able to use them like that, you will never get full fidelity from the reverb or delay when it goes through the speaker cabinet. And if I ever start playing live frequently I'll probably want to get an all in one floorboard unit or something anyway, like an AX8 or Kemper Stage or something.
One thing about the FX8 is you get a really pure amp/preamp tone going through it compared to the others (no tone suck).

The next thing you should try is just have everything set up normally (4CM with amp and FX8) but nothing in the FX8 preset so that you can hear the pure tone of the amp.

If there is no hiss set up this way then add one effect at a time until the hiss returns.

It might be the way something is set up in your presets.

Good luck!!
 

Sashman

Inspired
I had a FX 8 MKII and I used it with my Friedman BE 100 Deluxe.
The whole Setup was dead quiet, so there must something dialed in wrong.
Reset the FX8 and double check if there is nothing wrong with the cables.
What did you get, when you bypass the FX8?
Cheers
Sash
 

Alfi27

New Member
Alright boys, an update on the case. Finally found the culprit, and I'm so relieved I can't even express it... It's a little weird this and I'll try and keep it short and sensical: so I got the Smallbox in an awesome deal with a friend of mine and decided to use it as a platform to make my dream amp, which is a Fender style clean and Marshall style OD in one amp. Got a custom faceplate from Friedman and everything, and it is an absolute beast of an amp!

But due to my limited knowledge and experience with fx loops, I didn't realise that I had to change things there as well... Shot Dave an email today and he told me just that, it was a fairly simple tweak and I tried it with the FX8 just now. It's as close to "dead quiet" as you can get with an alive amp, a tiny bit of hiss but the stormy weather outside easily drowns it out. It's just as quiet with the FX8 now, as it was with nothing plugged into the loop before the loop mod... Running a Boss SD-1 model from the FX8 in front of the amp doesn't even add any noise, while an actual pedal (my Klon clone for example) adds a ton of hiss.

I genuinly feel 5 kg lighter now, I was looking into getting a big board with an expensive loop switcher and stuff which would both be more expensive, bulkier to transport and a downgrade in terms of effects quality. I only need a Friedman 4x12 now and I'll have the ultimate rig, would have wished that there was a Klon Centaur-model in the FX8 though but I'll spend some time tweaking my way into one that sounds close enough. The FX8 isn't going anywhere, could well be the best gear purchase I have ever made! And thanks a lot to all of you guys for the advice and suggestions, you're awesome!
 
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