My evalaution and decision regarding the MOD DUO X

Hi folks,

I’ve posted a few times while I was evaluating a DuoX kindly loaned to me here in Italy. I’ve had almost a month using it before I had to either return it to the seller our buy it.

And my decision is to not buy it, for the reasons I’ll state below (only technical).

The MOD is nice, I had no problems with setting it up and using the plugin store, and with the help of many users in this forum I managed to get some complex pedalboards running, all well below CPU and memory max, so this was a plus.

Moreover, the near absolute freedom for routing effects in every direction and with as many connections as feasible is certainly a plus. I was able to recreate complex, old-school double- and triple-delays with great ease.

The delay section of the plugin store is awesome, as well is the reverbs.

But then here were the problems I ran into, the last of which completely turn me off:

  1. I run two guitar signals side to side, one clean and the other with distortion at times. But the crossover issue in the Duo X killed that setup, because the clean would get slightly distorted as well. I understand this is a long standing issue, still not addressed;

  2. I play a LOT with loopers, and having them run inside the MOD would be a great plus. I went on to try them all (including the paid one) and, to my bad surprise, syncing is just terrible. I would get a full beat behind my outboard gear within a minute of playing. I had the clock set to master internally to try and mitigate that, but that was also a problem since I have an E-RM clock syncing all the gear, and that one’s steady as a rock. The MOD never properly followed it. I understand this is also a known issue;

  3. I didn’t really have much problem with noise, but when I had it was UGLY. Grinding sounds on top of the last note played as the sound faded were just terrible. I followed some advice from other users (including the guy who loaned it to me) and at times I could get the rumble out. Many of the time I had issues with digital artifacts, it was a certain plugin and not the MOD producing it. Still, it sounded pretty bad;

  4. When the pedalboard is too complex (which was almost everytime my case, with 12 delays either parallel and cascading), it became complicated to use the pedalboard altogether. The lack of a copy/paste feature where I could like build a “chunk” and leave it in some pedalboard, then just copy it to a more complex one was lethal. I ended up creating several ‘base’ pedalboards that I could save-as and then add more to them, but then I got to the point that I needed 3 chunks from 3 other pedalboards combined and there was absolutely no other solution than simply rebuilding it from scratch. Copy/past is such a basic feature, I am astonished MOD doesn’t do that;

  5. I went to finally play with other folks, and the MOD was the bad guy in the room. Whenever there was noise, hum, digital artifacts, it was the MOD. And then I was always off tempo. If the guys weren’t my friends, I’d been kicked out of the room for destroying the atmosphere;

  6. The guitar synth operation is a a very nice feature, but it’s so touchy that even the slightest move on the neck would trigger a sound. I play flatwounds and very clean, still I had issues with fake notes. Other pedals have a threshold feature that filters out very light impulses, but the audio to CV pitch plugin doesn’t have that;

  7. Finally, I tried and tested every single model, preamp, amp and cabsim available (including paid options). For people playing rock and heavy metal, the MOD can take you a long way. But for clean archtop and acoustic guitars, it is terribly lacking. To be perfectly fair, that is the case even with the top multieffects in the market, like Helix, Fractal, Headrush, etc. It’s the old adage that guitar = rock = distortion. But with my Helix I’m able to dial warm and soft jazz guitar tones out of the box fairly easily, wheres with the MOD I had either a ton of hum or an empty, hollow sound. I’ve tried a couple @LorisDonatelli and @rogeriocouto pedalboards and the volume and input gain were everywhere, noise abounded with some amp models, cabsims were very poor, and my last resort, using expensive IR purchased elsewhere, did not produce good results due to the plugin not being able to use a portion of the file.

Therefore, I returned it to the owner with a big thank you but will be keeping my Helix floor unit for now.

I’m not touching on other aspects that are non-technical, such as plugin ownership management and other administrative issues I could observe, I’m being technical here.

That said, I wish you all a great time with your MODs. It’s a fantastic box with lots of potential, it’s just not quite there for me. And perhaps nor ready for the spotlight quite yet.

Thanks and bye to all,
Michael

14 Likes

Hello @delaylover

It’s sad to hear that you’re leaving because the forum could benefit from someone with your perspective.

Although your experience with the unit was not positive, your review is very important especially because you are not keeping the unit and are leaving the forum.

You’ve mentioned using some of my shared pedalboards and you are totally right about the volume and input gain on them.
Some of these pedalboards are from 6 years ago and I started to have a better control of the gain staging only after the “Level Meter” plugin came along.

These days I try to keep the level inside the MOD DUO peaking at -6 dB when hitting (strumming) hard the strings. When playing normaly it ranges between -20 to -12 dB.

On my current pedalboards I have one gain plugin at the begining of the chain and another at the end to lower or boost the signal as need.
So they are more consistent regarding gain staging. They often sound to quiet though.

Could you point to me wich pedalboards have you tried so I can revisit them?

Cheers

7 Likes

@rogeriocouto

I tested a lot of pedalboards, but the ones I mentioned on #7 were:

  1. GTR:Jazz1 - MOD Devices (from @LorisDonatelli)

  2. Two Signal Chains - MOD Devices (yours)

  3. Chorus Maniac (clean funk gtr) - MOD Devices (yours)

  4. Bossa Jamming - (also from Loris)

Thx for your reply.

5 Likes

Altough not the best news, thank you a lot for your feedback and for the honesty of it. We read it and noted it. More than that we acknowledge most of the issues. Some of them are even planned to be tackled - like the copy-paste issue that you noted. Mostly time and the workforce are what are pushing us back on a lot of things.

3 Likes

Very informative, and truly helpful.
Thank you.
Rene

2 Likes