Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

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Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby Yankee Tim » Tue May 08, 2012 2:16 pm

FWIW, this is my first post as a confessing former lurker.

I don't know why everyone is all so hating on the HAZ Mutron III+. In my comparison to the real thing, its the closest to sound like the real deal. And I own/owned a Musitronics, wood-box Qtron, DOD EF, Ibanez AF, and have played thru many more. I'm even building a Neutron 'cuz its just damn neato. IMHO, The HAZ is by far the best sounding "clone", if you can call it a clone.

I'll throw my 2 cents (and my empty party balloon) in. From where I see it, Mike B is a grumpy dude who may have thought his gizmo had run its course with the offical ending of disco (that was 1978 BTW), or may have been looking for a payout. In any case, he sold the company and the product rights (dumb on his part) to ARP. ARP shuts down the Mutron line in about a year (see previous ending of disco comment), and sells the rights to Henry at HAZ a number of years later (especially when Garcia became REALLY popular and with the P-Funk renaissance). Who's Henry? An old tech at Musitronics who bailed out when the getting was good. Henry made changes and improved on the design somewhat (more ability to change parameters). One thing he could not do was duplicate the old board. Some on the components were simply no longer made. Some parts were specific to Musictronics, some parts went bye-bye as technology marched along. A good reading on the Neutron tuitorial explains this well, as does the basic understanding that not long ago, the Droid was cutting edge too.

To this fact, Mike is right in saying its not the EXACT same circuit. It can't be as the parts are no longer around! But to be fair, neither is the Qtron family as even that isn't the same curcuit for the very same reasons. In fact, since HAZ legally and rightfully owns the whole Mutron shebhang, Mike & EH couldn't copy the Mutron exactly unless they were really fat-shit stupid. as it would be a legal case waiting to happen. Mike took the cash from ARP and when he did, he lost any right to the Mutron. I find the Wikipedia entry that its and "unauthorized re-issue" to be perplexing, since ARP legally bought the rights to the Mutron, exactly who does Mike think HAZ/Henry needed to be authorized by? LOL

On a side note, HAZ Labs is the company that built the electronics for all the Steinberger guitars/basses and their prodigy. So HAZ/Henry isn't a hack, nor is he stoopid when it comes to licensing agreements. I personally find the III+ to me way better built than any EH, and that's vintage EH included. I have several EH pedals (all vintage, not re-issue) and they have the build quality of a Heath kit scouting project.

So is the Qtron a POS? No, its what Mike thought the direction of the Mutron evolution should be towards (and his legal limit to copy what was no longer his), and Henry's vision of the logical evolution of the pedal should be. Both men were there when this product came to be. Both have a firm understanding of what it was, is and should become.

From what it looks like from here, is that Mike has a enuff sour grapes to make alligator wine over this. Maybe he has regrets. Maybe he's angry at himself (rumor mill had it that he developed a "problem" during the high times of the 1970's). But the fact that he hosts a website to tell the world that he ain't getting any money from HAZ and that his bread is buttered by EH. Damn shame, but a valuable lesson learned about intellectual property rights though.

And for anyone else considering buying a HAZ unit. Go right ahead and forget the haters. You'll love it as much as I do. Just make sure you get the later ones with the DIP switches and the 24V AC power adapter. Oh, and good equipment and a LOT of patience to learn how to use any EF.

And for the HAZ haters, you can put yours in a box and send it to me. I'll give them all a good home.

Make yourself easy,

Yankee Tim
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby Pete B. » Tue May 08, 2012 2:46 pm

I had one.
The on/off button only worked about half the time. That was the only malfunction, and Haz offered to replace the button/switch and "re-calibrate" the unit for $20.
I ended up selling it to guy who wanted to fix it himself, and loves it to this day for Pedal Steel.
I liked the tweakability of the Dip Switches.
It had a nice "Blurp" to it, as I recall.
In the end... It's simply... Not what Jerry used.
I tried several others also. Never compared the Haz side by side with a Musitronics.
Now I'm an Original Mu_III player.
It's all good.

'Ain't no time to hate...
:cool:
Last edited by Pete B. on Tue May 08, 2012 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby mgbills » Tue May 08, 2012 3:28 pm

Must...employ...blind...faith! Don't ... aggsk ...questions! I'm in counseling with my wife, because of a recent statement where I may have insinuated for my waning years I will only wear black sweats and black t-shirts. I've also been putting food coloring on my thumb & index finger to simulate nicotine and burns(other). Wouldn't be a problem if I hadn't quit smoking in '88. Certain sacrifices must happen to refine finger vibrato, and pick attack. I can't even speak publically about the things I've done to raise my vocal range by a major 3rd. :shock:

I've never had a Haz. I bought a Mutron, because I heard Pete's after playing a Qtron for years. The Mu..was just there. I'll get another Mu for the little rig. I love it.

But the open-minded view of the Haz is always appreciated. If I find one cheap...I'd bite.
Peace :peas:
M
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby jkstraw » Tue May 08, 2012 4:37 pm

Not having played either I appreciate the view from a different perspective. I understand the desire for the original from a gearhead perspective but it's nice to hear solid reasoning that the HAZ is a great EF in its own right. :cool:
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby strumminsix » Tue May 08, 2012 7:04 pm

Why the hate, dude?
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby tcsned » Tue May 08, 2012 7:09 pm

I've had all three, an original Mu (that I stupidly threw away), a Q-Tron, and a Haz Mutron - all different but I'm perfectly happy with the Haz, though still kicking myself about throwing out the first one :?
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby Staemius » Tue May 08, 2012 7:16 pm

Whatever works man! I find the envelope filters very finicky and each will probably vary depending on your guitar and setup. Never tried the Haz but went through two q-trons and and emma discumbobulator - both really not bad but they just never quite worked to satisfaction for me. I've never had an OBEL but that would have likely tamed the volume boost the q-trons have that drove me nuts. I've been very happy with the envelope filter on my Line6 m9 - surprised me really. The envelope is just too cool and it's 'so' Jerry (a tone we all want to get just right).
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby waldo041 » Tue May 08, 2012 7:46 pm

Yankee Tim wrote:FWIW, this is my first post as a confessing former lurker.

I don't know why everyone is all so hating on the HAZ Mutron III+. In my comparison to the real thing, its the closest to sound like the real deal. And I own/owned a Musitronics, wood-box Qtron, DOD EF, Ibanez AF, and have played thru many more. I'm even building a Neutron 'cuz its just damn neato. IMHO, The HAZ is by far the best sounding "clone", if you can call it a clone.

I'll throw my 2 cents (and my empty party balloon) in. From where I see it, Mike B is a grumpy dude who may have thought his gizmo had run its course with the offical ending of disco (that was 1978 BTW), or may have been looking for a payout. In any case, he sold the company and the product rights (dumb on his part) to ARP. ARP shuts down the Mutron line in about a year (see previous ending of disco comment), and sells the rights to Henry at HAZ a number of years later (especially when Garcia became REALLY popular and with the P-Funk renaissance). Who's Henry? An old tech at Musitronics who bailed out when the getting was good. Henry made changes and improved on the design somewhat (more ability to change parameters). One thing he could not do was duplicate the old board. Some on the components were simply no longer made. Some parts were specific to Musictronics, some parts went bye-bye as technology marched along. A good reading on the Neutron tuitorial explains this well, as does the basic understanding that not long ago, the Droid was cutting edge too.

To this fact, Mike is right in saying its not the EXACT same circuit. It can't be as the parts are no longer around! But to be fair, neither is the Qtron family as even that isn't the same curcuit for the very same reasons. In fact, since HAZ legally and rightfully owns the whole Mutron shebhang, Mike & EH couldn't copy the Mutron exactly unless they were really fat-shit stupid. as it would be a legal case waiting to happen. Mike took the cash from ARP and when he did, he lost any right to the Mutron. I find the Wikipedia entry that its and "unauthorized re-issue" to be perplexing, since ARP legally bought the rights to the Mutron, exactly who does Mike think HAZ/Henry needed to be authorized by? LOL

On a side note, HAZ Labs is the company that built the electronics for all the Steinberger guitars/basses and their prodigy. So HAZ/Henry isn't a hack, nor is he stoopid when it comes to licensing agreements. I personally find the III+ to me way better built than any EH, and that's vintage EH included. I have several EH pedals (all vintage, not re-issue) and they have the build quality of a Heath kit scouting project.

So is the Qtron a POS? No, its what Mike thought the direction of the Mutron evolution should be towards (and his legal limit to copy what was no longer his), and Henry's vision of the logical evolution of the pedal should be. Both men were there when this product came to be. Both have a firm understanding of what it was, is and should become.

From what it looks like from here, is that Mike has a enuff sour grapes to make alligator wine over this. Maybe he has regrets. Maybe he's angry at himself (rumor mill had it that he developed a "problem" during the high times of the 1970's). But the fact that he hosts a website to tell the world that he ain't getting any money from HAZ and that his bread is buttered by EH. Damn shame, but a valuable lesson learned about intellectual property rights though.

And for anyone else considering buying a HAZ unit. Go right ahead and forget the haters. You'll love it as much as I do. Just make sure you get the later ones with the DIP switches and the 24V AC power adapter. Oh, and good equipment and a LOT of patience to learn how to use any EF.

And for the HAZ haters, you can put yours in a box and send it to me. I'll give them all a good home.

Make yourself easy,

Yankee Tim


do you work for HAZ Labs?

you should know that the actual envelope circuit in the qtron is the EXACT same as the the original mutron? the only difference between the two is the qtrons power supply is 24volts and it's input preamp is different. the HAZ Labs III+ is a completely different circuit and is packaged in an almost identical box as the original to deceive the customer into believing they are getting the real deal or at least a version of the circuit. this is an absolute a fallacy and could be where the bad mojo comes from.

also, the opto coupler is the only obsolete part from the original, and up until a few years ago a good working version was available. that said, one can make there own opto if needed it's only an LED and 2 LDR's enclosed in a light tight package, not rocket science. your lack of knowledge of the actual circuits and what makes up a mutron points to some sort of beef against mike biegel.

and lastly, mike and matthews could have made the qtrons exactly identical to the the original if they wanted. the patent has run it's course, what do you think the neutron filter is designed after? mike sold the copyrights and trademarks of musitronics, but once the patents run their course he, as well as any one else, has the opportunity to do what they want with the circuit. again, your rant leads me to believe you might actually be henry or work for Haz as you really don't pin any absolute factor that makes the III+ closer to an original . you have only expressed your objective opinion in a negative way specifically aimed at mike biegel the ORIGINAL DESIGNER of the Mu-Tron III of which henry/haz, a former employee, merely bought the rights to third party.

peace,
waldo
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby Yankee Tim » Wed May 09, 2012 4:05 am

I think most see where I'm coming from. Of all the filters I've used and own/owned, the III+ is as close in sound and use to the original, which I also own. That one no worky anymore, hence the endless pursuit to find an alternative. Even saw one at a flea market for $100, but for some dumb ass reason I passed it by. They're seem to be many, especially if you go on bass/funk forums, who say its no where even in the ballpark. Now I ain't no pro, but my ear is still my ear, and that just don't ring true to me. As mentioned, I think some of the hate is people who are purists, those that didn't like the business aspect of playout, and then some take the internet chatter and run with it.

But, Waldo, dude, put down the chillum. That's a bit paranoid. I ain't Henry, nor have I worked for HAZ, nor could I pick him out of a Where's Waldo book. So I'm not a plant or "spy" or sumthin' sinister. I'm just a head who misses Jerry a whole fucking lot, and lurked on this board as it first was discovered by me from a google search on how to fix a Mutron (something I will do someday, and I think I have a burnt LED, and I may need the very part that you mentioned). Nice way to greet a new member to the forum, though. :roll:

I think the ultimate fact that needs to be said, is the secret to Jerry's tone was, well, Jerry. All the chips, caps and gizmos in the world ain't his fingers adjusting things to his ear and playing how he wanted. That was and always will be impossible to duplicate. Probably you, like I, have sought that sound from the moment it ended. That search will always go unended.

In closing (for now), I would recommend the HAZ if someone would find that obtainable and not the Holy Grail itself. I'd also suggest a Qtron if that is what is available. From what I've heard of a Neut, I'd suggest the creative to build one (I am so I can see for myself). But I wouldn't steer them away from a HAZ at all. Sounds really sweet to me.

Much love, and be careful around pressurized tanks of gas,

Yankee Tim
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby jkstraw » Wed May 09, 2012 4:11 am

Yankee Tim wrote:Much love, and be careful around pressurized tanks of gas

:lol:
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby playingdead » Wed May 09, 2012 5:21 am

Years ago, I had both at the same time (bought the HAZ brand new in, I think, 1995). Side by side, I could never get the HAZ to trigger or sound right across the fingerboard. Whatever the differences were, it mattered in my setup. Like many others, I'm sure, before information was out there everywhere, I was misled by the identical appearance of the HAZ and assumed (and was told by the salesman) that it was exactly the same as my elderly and cosmetically challenged Musitronics.

When I picked the guitar again in 2004, I was happy with a new Q-Tron and it stayed in my rig, even when I tried to replace it with a vintage Musitronics unit. The Q-Tron was fatter sounding and more what I was after. I also tried a Snow White envelope filter, which was very good but didn't edge out the Q-Tron in my setup.

These days ... well, I won't go there, but I keep a Q-Tron with me at the gigs as a backup. YMMV
Last edited by playingdead on Wed May 09, 2012 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby Jon S. » Wed May 09, 2012 5:22 am

I have a theory about on-line forum gear arguments, supported by a simple algorithm, that if I ever find the time for I'd like to write up in a short article and publish or post somewhere. The short version goes something like this:

The amplitude of the disagreement between two guitarists on any type of gear is inversely proportional to their degree of separation on the following scale: purist - dyed-in-the-wool old school - vintage gear lover w/boutique new gear, too - jack-of-all-trades gearist - digital modeling afficionado.

Examples of practical application:

- You almost never find the purist arguing with the digital modeling afficionado for the simple reason that they are living in different gear universes and neither threatens the other's preferences.

- You frequently find the purist arguing with the dyed-in-wool old school guitarist because, to put it simply, they are supported by sufficient common ground to speak a common language that enables them to narrow their disagreements to discrete, quantifiable variables and thereby threaten each other's preferences.

For me, my best recent move here, gear-wise, was moving to a multi-effect digital modeling platform. Now I hardly argue anymore with anyone! :P
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby strumminsix » Wed May 09, 2012 5:49 am

Yankee Tim wrote: Nice way to greet a new member to the forum, though. :roll:

Your opening post is definitely a weird self introduction. And as you can see, there isn't blanket Haz hate here.
Some use Haz M3's some don't like them, that's pedals. I even know some Jerry types that prefer their EH over the orig M3s.
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby waldo041 » Wed May 09, 2012 8:21 am

Yankee Tim wrote:I think most see where I'm coming from.


Yankee Tim wrote: From where I see it, Mike B is a grumpy dude

Who's Henry? An old tech at Musitronics who bailed out when the getting was good. Henry made changes and improved on the design somewhat (more ability to change parameters). One thing he could not do was duplicate the old board. Some on the components were simply no longer made. Some parts were specific to Musictronics, some parts went bye-bye as technology marched along. A good reading on the Neutron tuitorial explains this well, as does the basic understanding that not long ago, the Droid was cutting edge too.

To this fact, Mike is right in saying its not the EXACT same circuit. It can't be as the parts are no longer around! But to be fair, neither is the Qtron family as even that isn't the same curcuit for the very same reasons. In fact, since HAZ legally and rightfully owns the whole Mutron shebhang, Mike & EH couldn't copy the Mutron exactly unless they were really fat-shit stupid. as it would be a legal case waiting to happen. Mike took the cash from ARP and when he did, he lost any right to the Mutron. I find the Wikipedia entry that its and "unauthorized re-issue" to be perplexing, since ARP legally bought the rights to the Mutron, exactly who does Mike think HAZ/Henry needed to be authorized by? LOL

On a side note, HAZ Labs is the company that built the electronics for all the Steinberger guitars/basses and their prodigy. So HAZ/Henry isn't a hack, nor is he stoopid when it comes to licensing agreements. I personally find the III+ to me way better built than any EH, and that's vintage EH included. I have several EH pedals (all vintage, not re-issue) and they have the build quality of a Heath kit scouting project.

So is the Qtron a POS? No, its what Mike thought the direction of the Mutron evolution should be towards (and his legal limit to copy what was no longer his), and Henry's vision of the logical evolution of the pedal should be. Both men were there when this product came to be. Both have a firm understanding of what it was, is and should become.

From what it looks like from here, is that Mike has a enuff sour grapes to make alligator wine over this. Maybe he has regrets. Maybe he's angry at himself (rumor mill had it that he developed a "problem" during the high times of the 1970's). But the fact that he hosts a website to tell the world that he ain't getting any money from HAZ and that his bread is buttered by EH. Damn shame, but a valuable lesson learned about intellectual property rights though.


quite obvious where your coming from and it doesn't sound anything remotely close to a head who misses jerry! have you read the majority of what you wrote bashing the guy who designed the circuit jerry actually used? henry/haz labs did not invent the mutron and it's circuit is a completely different attempt at an EF, nothing purist about that. like it or hate it, the III+ is not a mutron.

peace,
waldo
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Re: Why all the HAZ Labs Mutron III+ hating?

Postby jenkins » Thu May 10, 2012 12:26 am

Damn so the HAZ is actually nothing like the mutron, at least circuit-wise.
So thats pretty messed up that they dress it up innthe exact same looking case and claim that it's the EXACT same thing. It seems like HAZ even claims to be the ones who invented it.

Sounds like some shady marketing practices if you ask me, they're outright lying to the public about what their product is.
In reality the only thing that are similar is that they kind of sound the same.
Their circuits are not the same.

I'm not ready to say the the OP definitely works for HAZ labs but I gotta say that's exactly what I thought too after reading the first paragraph, I swear I was like "what does this guy work for HAZ or something"?

Thanks for explaining the difference Waldo, it's so awesome to have someone that truly understands allthesw circuits that are important for the Jerry tone...it really kicks ass, all the info that you've been able to figure out and put out about jerry's gear
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