Grateful Dead Music Forum

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Chat about Equipment Info

 #2683  by Jack Straw
 Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:54 pm
waldo041 wrote:the haz labs mutronIII + is nothing like the musitronics mutron III. for one it does not use the optoisolators like the original which give it THAT sound. although electro harmonix has teamed up with the creator of the original and sells a Q-tron that uses a majority of the original circuit plus some newer amenities like true bypass and tighten up the design. another way for the ambitious is to try and make your own. there is a sight that sells the optoisolators
( ) and you can get all the info for the neutron filter at ... filter.pdf which is a break down of the original mutron in a new layout

general guitar gadgets even sells the boards for the neutron filter. all you need is a little soldering skills and patience. i actully cloned my mutron and have an identical copy of my original. hope this helps. peace, waldo
exactly waldo...the new Haz Mutrons can't touch the originals. sure they're nice (and pricey), but place one of Jerry's Mutron's next to a new one, and there's an obvious difference in sound quality all the way round.

I just picked up a TC ELectronics G System, and I must say I'm VERY pleasantly surprised at the envelope/auto wah sounds it has. it blows away most of the floor pedals I've tried

 #2759  by tigerstrat
 Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:27 pm
The other component of Jerry's Mu-Q sound was the fact that he had it in his buffered onboard guitar FX loop, so the Mu always saw a consistent full guitar signal, and he could tame the volume from the guitar without messing up the effect sound. you could also use a Vol pedal at the end of your chain, but I find them to be a pain in the A.

 #2763  by jahozer
 Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:26 pm
Jerrys buffer allowed the same signal to the mutron regardless of volume. That is where the compression comes in. In front it gives a steady signal to the envelope filter. They all quack depending on dynamics. Harder you play the more shril the effect.

The fatness of his envelope sound is indeed the mutron alone. If you ever heard one up close. Its so greasy organic and fat.
You can hear the ovtave when he has it on. Its not always on with the mutron.

Does anyone have any experience with the mini Qtron. I know they dont use the optoisolators but I think it will come close enough for horeshoes and hand grenades. At 80 bucks its worth a shot.
My other option is to build one, but I have never done anything like that at all.

 #2764  by jahozer
 Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:32 pm
Also Lookslikerain,
Try backing of on your guitars volume. that will definately smooth out the sound and fiddle with the sensitivety. Much like women, all envelope filters are persnickity and have minds of their own. What works one day may not work another, and gentleness will get you further than brute force.

 #2786  by tigerstrat
 Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:19 pm
strumminsix wrote:I play Bobby in my GD tribute band. However I worked up a nice Estimated patch on my XT using the Auto Wah and had my lead guitarist drooling who has the Green Envelope.
Pretty sure Bob's sound is basically clean for Estimated. On Shakedown, I believe he uses either a wah or his custom rocker-controlled phase pedal that Cutler built for him, but not an envelope. I've heard Bobby using envelope in unexpected places like He's Gone or China Cat.

 #2789  by jahozer
 Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:49 pm
Its funny you say that Tigerstrat, because I was just listening to an 83 shakedown and Bobby had this caaraazy envelope filter sound. It wasn't the pedal flange,and I doubt it was a wah. I am guessing it was some rack mount device. I always liked Bobby's "squashy" sound. Even through the nineties when his tone was a bit harsh, imo, he had that cool "SQAAAASH" to counterpoint Jerr's leads.
Now in He's gone, thinking back, it seems that when he is doing that mellow envelope thing, that may indeed be controlled by a pedal. I am remembering a 93 Estimated>He's Gone with a distinct wah wah wah phrase.

 #2793  by pharewellphish
 Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:07 pm
i got a qtron and im havin troubles keeping the sound good when im playing on the higher strings down the neck... suggestions?

 #2797  by tigerstrat
 Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:22 am
Once again, the key to these things is controlling the volume once you have found the sweet spot.

You can't reduce the signal going into the effect without messing up the attack and decay charateristics, so the thing to do is to control the volume post-effect, by either of two methods: Volume pedal placed after the Q-Mu or at the end of the FX chain, while leaving your guitar volume maxed (simplest)... or like Jerry, an onboard unity-gain buffered effects-loop (involving installing a tiny EMG JG-2 or CAE CB-1 preamp, TRS 1/4" jack, mini-toggle DPDT switch and 9V battery to your guitar) which sends out to the effects, then returns to the guitar's volume pot, and finally out to the amp.

Jerry had only been using his Mu-Tron III for a few months when he and Cutler devised the onboard loop and installed it in his Travis Bean TB-500 in December '76, so I figure the finicky effect must have been giving him problems right from the start. What an ingenious solution!!

 #2815  by waldo041
 Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:43 pm
i would like to add that some higher output pickups will also help get more consistent tracking from the mutron. it does love a nice clean signal. just my 2 cents

 #2844  by shakedown_04092
 Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:20 am
This discussion is f---ing GREAT! I love this site!

I just ordered the Haz Mu-tron+, so once I've used it for a week or so, I'll post some feedback. It is a re-issue, and I was debating between it or the new Q-tron, but decided to go w/ the Mu-tron+ based on advice from a few guitar players I know.

This "building your own" seems VERY curious to me...I may try that, even though I know nothing about building a pedal. Gotta start somewhere!

 #2848  by tigerstrat
 Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:43 am
That's what we've been trying to tell you is that the HAZ is not a reissue, it is a totally different pedal, using different technology. The EH Q-Tron is more like a reissue, because it was designed by the inventor of the original Mu, and uses the same methods, with a few updates. but hey, if you found someone who likes them, that's something to go on.

I've been warned away from them for years, but I must admit I've never tested one. I've tried Q-Tron, original Mu3, Boss FT-2, Boss AW-#, and DOD FX-25. The Mu3 (when my power supply working) is the best sound, but they are old and likely to have reliability issues. The Q is right behind, followed by the FT-2... the Boss AW-2(3?) was the pits, and I've never tried the FX-25 with a buffered-loop equipped guitar, but I remember being very underwhelmed by mine when I owned it.

 #3571  by jahozer
 Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:45 pm
I have to say that I luuuuuuv my new Mini Qtron. While not quite the mutron, but god damn its close. Soooo smooth. I had come to terms with my green monster dod, but now that I have the Q, I ain't goin back.
For 80 bucks, I may be as close to the mutron as I need to be. I had decided that 300-500 is just too much for me for an envelope.

 #3572  by jahozer
 Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:47 pm
pharewellphish wrote:i got a qtron and im havin troubles keeping the sound good when im playing on the higher strings down the neck... suggestions?
I am noticing the same thing. Certain notes disapear. Try to keep the signal hotter. I can overcome it with compression before the envelope, and get that steady bwow sound.

 #3574  by waldo041
 Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:36 pm
may i suggest the EH Q-tron. The maker of the original mutron collaborated with EH to design it. it is really close to the same design with a couple of addition's. and it' only 150 bucks!!

it uses the led/ldr(light detecting resistor) optoisolator just like the mutron. john in Darkstar Orchestra uses one. i believe his is the q-tron+ with even more features. the mini-q uses an ldr opamp like the musitronics micro v. neither feel as organic as the led/ldr envelope like mutron or the qtron. just tryin' to help. :D


 #3579  by tigerstrat
 Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:30 am
Actually John uses the regular Q-Tron. The "Q+" just means the pedal has an FX loop of it's own. Supposedly an octave pedal sounds pretty differnt when placed in the "Q+" loop. Otherwise the two models are the same.