Synergy Amps, Are They Worth It?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by XPT707FX, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    He wants participation from the manufacturers and I don't ever see Peavey or Mesa playing ball. Maybe EVH if we're lucky.
     
  2. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    Just noticed this..

     
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  3. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I like how nasty it gets when he starts doing the Rhythm stuff and pushing it to do stuff it's not meant for really. Nice and nasty.
     
  4. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    I’m just waiting for the Bogner and Fryette modules to be released and I’ll pick up a SYN-1 again.
     
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  5. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    John Browne makes a P90 equipped PRS guitar sound good for metal, so I can't imagine this sounding bad either... :D
     
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  6. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    I just picked up a Fryette LXII power amp, and am deciding between the Axe FX 3 and synergy. Anyone with opinions on both? I feel like as mentioned Axe is the better deal but synergy does have the manufacturers involved as well as the analog aspect for the purists, as well as not going down the tweakers rabbit hole.
     
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  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I think that in the long run, the Synergy stuff wins big time. One will eventually get tired of the digital interface of this and that and selling an OLD piece of digital gear is like selling the previous day's newspaper, obsolete. Analogue Pre-amps and amplifiers age differently when they have a good build quality, which I believe it's the case for Synergy.

    The setup may be a bit expensive at start, but then, changing amp tones is just a fancy pedal away, so... and re-selling a pre-amp module should be fairly easy. The brand is building momentum and more so now with the Vai module...

    I just think they could invest also in MIDI control for EQ, GAIN, VOLUME, Module channel and Preset Memory, preferably with Continuous Control response. That would be super great...
     
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  8. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    - Midi would be incredible for these on the Gain or volume alone.
    Did you see the new Opeth Synergy Rig? Looks great. Looks liek AxeFx no longer covers all the bases for them. They use the Synergy power amp too.
    - The thing to keep in mind with the Synergy is that the Amp is also part of the system if you want to take full advantage of it. it' snot just an amp it has stuff going on in there that changes up stuff based on that little switch on the back of some of the modules.
     
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  9. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    As far as the power amp goes, I'm thinking in the SYN5050, it is independent from the preamps, it has no sound options only accesdible with the Synergy modules, so that switch sound more like a voicing...?
     
  10. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Apparently I was confused about the switch. The switch on the back of the module is a channel select option so you can select which of the one channels you get to use if you're using the older Egnater and Randall MTS units.
    - The Syn5050 is still part of the entire system though because when a module is inserted it will automatically rebias the amp based on the type so you can have a Fender vs Marshall vs Modern tube power amp bias. This is why it's special over the LX-ii being used with Synergy stuff because this amp will change it's bias settings based on which module is being used to make it more like the real thing. I don't think the LX-II does that, but it does have a flat type mode switch for when usig modelling units.
     
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  11. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    ^ I'm pretty sure this wrong. The syn 50 50 is just a stereo tube power amp that goes with any system;it's not adjusting bias- that happens in the syn 1 or syn 2 preamp chassis
     
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  12. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    I thought the cathode switch on each module did that, as opposed to the Poweramp?
     
  13. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Yeah, I'm wrong and confused apparently. The Syn-30 and Syn-50 talk about doing that, not the Syn50. From the Synergy website: AUTO SENSING
    The SYN30 features a patent pending technology that “senses” which preamp modules are being installed into it. Once a module is detected, the SYN30 adjusts the cathode biasing circuitry on the built in 12AX7 tube, to best match the original amplifier channel design on which it’s based

    At first I think it's talking about the power section, beause when I think biasing I don't assume preamp tubes. But then the Syn50 makes no mention of it, but then again the Syn1 and SYn2 make no mention of it either. Only the Syn-30 and 50 heads and the combo mention it. So the way I read it seems they're talking about the 12ax7 in the power amp section of the amp because why else would it need ot sense anything at all if it all just in the module anyways? Interesting because no mention on any of the other products.

    - The swtich I'm fairly sure is for the selection of the channel when putting inot the older chassis by Egnater and Randall.
     
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  14. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Hmm well if you look on the site for each Module specifically they mention "

    CATHODE SELECT SWITCH:
    The VH4 modules features a three position switch allows you to configure the input tube bass response to match the original circuit of the selected module. This will affect the feel and tightness. Each amp designer has a specific combination of components that makes up their input tube circuit. We have selected the three most popular combinations which you can access with this switch. The modules will come preset to Peter Diezel's preferred setting which for the VH4 module is position 2 (2.7K resistor and .68uf capacitor)."

    So sounds like there is a switch on the actual modules.
     
  15. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Ok. I figured it all out.
    - The Syn50 does not have auto sensing. It's a seperate power amp
    - The 3 way switch on the back of some modules is effectively a voicing switch.
    - The Autosensing tech they patented is only on the Syn30 and Sty50 heads and combo at this time which sense automatically and changes up the power amp to suit.
    Check out this Sweetwater vid starting around 3:25. He talks aboutit having automatic sensing.


    - On modules with multiple channels Synergy says there isan additional switch to choose which channel you can use for backward compatibility with the Randall module chassis
    - With older Egnater chassis both channels will still work as normal!
    - With older modules in a Synergy unit those will work as normal too! Forward compatible.


    - What this means is that curerntly to get the full Syngery experience with no comprimising then you want a Synergy Head or combo until something else compatible with the auto sensing tech comes around.
    Here's a link to the grail forum that takes a quote from the Synergy Facebook page from 09-11-2017.

    http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?t=22040&sid=17e71b06095610b85299f68dad4df7f7


    - HOpefully I didn't get somethign else wrong, but what do you expect for free customer service?!: )
     
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  16. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Preamp tubes are pretty much always cathode biased so you don't need to change anything to swap them. I assume that they do mean that maybe the phase inverter biasing of the SYN30/50 poweramp is adjusted to make it feel different but I don't know how exactly this works. The separate poweramp can't do this since there is no signal sent to tell it to do this as the only connection is audio.
     
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  17. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    This same concept has been tried before by Egnater and then as a bit cheaper version by Randall. Everyone seems to agree that it is cool but they never seem to quite prevail. Whether that is due to availability, price or guitarist traditionalism I don't know.

    Digital is starting to be pretty mature as a tech so there is less and less need to buy the latest and greatest model and the most significant improvements are on the UI side. This is an area where digital wins to a significant degree as changing your whole rig is just one button press away rather than needing to swap modules around based on what you need.

    To me the Synergy system is most useful as a "make your own amp" type setup where in a store you would try all the modules, pick the ones you like best and walk out with those as a full amp. There is less appeal in owning a pile of modules when eventually you will be constantly swapping them in and out since the components for installing the modules are so expensive so you are not so likely to buy another SYN1/2/30/50 for that unless you really, really love the Synergy system.

    I don't know about you but I am lazy enough that digging up the module and swapping it would be enough of a chore to just avoid doing it.
     
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  18. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

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    Fwiw you can get those same SLO tones in the Soldano SP77 which usually pops up around $500 and is a 10/10 preamp.

    There’s also the SLO preamp pedal by Koch that is supposed to nail the lead channel but I don’t own that one and can’t vouch for sure.

    Just mentioning for those that see the Synergy as the cheaper option (XR88 and Bogner Fish are $3-4K).
     
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  19. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    The cathode bias thing I think was covered earlier in the thread. Its not in the power amp. It's the V1 gain stage.

    The preamp V1 gain stage is not in the module itself: it's in the dock/Syn amp head. This is similar to how all of these modular things have been (Randall, Egnator, etc.). That's a bit of a problem because V1 is obviously an important gain stage and the cathode bias of a traditional "Fender" is different than where Marshall ended up.

    Synergy's big innovation was to have the dock and amp systems use three different V1 cathode bias values and automatically switch them to match the type of module in use.
     
  20. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    I feel the same way. I really love the idea but it is just too expensive compared to digital units. Knowing myself, I'd buy one module and never bother with the other modules.

    If the modules themselves would cost, idk, 100€, then it would get very interesting. The rack system with 2 modules costs a lot more than a Helix rack.
     
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