The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!



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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Ryan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:01 pm

Holy Schnikes wrote:I prefer 18V on this one as well, sounds incredible. Less compression, more wide open, natural feel and sound. Regardless of voltage, I feel there's more than enough gain on tap. High gain settings at 9V had too much sizzle with my setup though.

I'll get back with settings now that I'm through comparing voltage. Pretty huge array of options with this pedal and quite the variety of awesome sounds.


Thanks Shannon! Just curious, with the high gain setting being too sizzley for you, does your amp have a bright switch and was it on? You tried the treble at noon or less? The low gain setting needs a higher treble knob position to sound as bright, the high gain setting has way more highs so it needs a lower setting... I had a really hard time balancing the treble content of the two modes since the high gain mode adds a lot of highs.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:39 pm

I will have to order a Y wire from Voodoo Lab... just curious to try it at 18v.
In my setup it's awesome at 9v.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Ryan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:49 pm

You got a soldering iron and some heat shrink, Syl? You can hack up two normal cables and make a voltage doubler. If your heat wave is still going on you probably don't even need the soldering iron! *smile*
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:19 pm

Ryan wrote:You got a soldering iron and some heat shrink, Syl? You can hack up two normal cables and make a voltage doubler. If your heat wave is still going on you probably don't even need the soldering iron! *smile*

I have 10 pedals on my board, so I need all on my 8 cables... will have to order one of those Y cable (just to experiment) because, there's no more place to connect other pedals... I have to use a dasy chain to power everything on my board.

The heat is not so bad now... :)
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Ryan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:22 pm

Your heat came here! It's a blazing 25C here right now!

Well you should definitely try your pedal (and every pedal that can handle it) at 18V, it definitely changes the character of dirt pedals.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:45 pm

Ryan wrote:Your heat came here! It's a blazing 25C here right now!

Well you should definitely try your pedal (and every pedal that can handle it) at 18V, it definitely changes the character of dirt pedals.

Since I don't have that cable yet, I will try it at 12v when I'll get home tomorrow... output 1 to 4 with the switch on (on the PP2+).
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Holy Schnikes » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:53 pm

Ryan wrote:Thanks Shannon! Just curious, with the high gain setting being too sizzley for you, does your amp have a bright switch and was it on? You tried the treble at noon or less? The low gain setting needs a higher treble knob position to sound as bright, the high gain setting has way more highs so it needs a lower setting... I had a really hard time balancing the treble content of the two modes since the high gain mode adds a lot of highs.

Ryan, first off, I think the pedal is voiced well. I can't imagine trying to get that part right with all the options and tweakability of the Elements, a tall order for sure!

I've been using it with my Carr Slant head, 40watt Deluxe Reverb style amp. Also use Humbuckers for the most part, higher output but always passive. No bright switch on my amp which is good, not a fan of treble honestly, especially the piercing sort.

At 9V, it really wasn't an issue of the pedal being overly bright or trebly and if so, the EQ fixed it right up. More of an issue of the overall "character" of the distortion, just had that tail-end sizzle. 18V was the opposite, very natural break up and huge sounding. I know it's cliche, but more "amp-like" to my ears, more dynamic response, that sort of thing.

I know this is totally subjective stuff here and amp/guitar is gonna make a big difference in sonic results. I've owned an OCD and Boiling Point awhile now and people rave on the 18V thing with those. However, I get more sizzle with high voltage in those instances and prefer the 9V option.

Hard for a builder to predict these interactions but having the option to change offers the needed solution, imo. I never struggle with which to use either, one always sounds FAR better to me right off the bat.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Ryan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:26 pm

I think I found that setting noisy in the high gain mode with my PP2+.. although I have a couple noisy outputs on mine... the thing is, and I thank Shannon (Holy Schnikes) for this info, the PP2+ is limited to 60mA in the 12V mode and that's pushing it with my pedals. Give it a try though, always experiment!

Shannon, thanks for those thoughts and the info!

I agree that it's totally subjective and that's the case for every piece of gear in the world, works for some but not for others and that's life... I just want to make sure it's as useable as can be for as many as possible. And I worry that my particular gear and/or playing style has influenced the pedal in a direction that isn't great for a majority of people. So all of you early adopters that feel like your pedal could be less or more anything just let me know and we'll work it out.

Thanks again for the feedback, I appreciate it!
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:05 pm

Ryan wrote:Image

I just tried those settings...

Ryan, Cleanness Mode and Woofer Wailer Square Setting are KILLER!!!!
Those two and my fuzz like setting are some of my favorite.

I modified the Cleanness Mode setting a bit... a little more drive, less volume and the mid to max... awesome. :thumb:

I really like this pedal. :!!!:
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby StopReferencing » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:22 am

Ryan wrote:
StopReferencing wrote:I'm sure this is a personal preference, but IMO, the vast majority of Elements settings sound better at 18v. There's kind of a pinched quality to the gain decay at 9v that (usually) didn't work all that well for me, especially at more traditionally br00tal settings.

Having said that, I think my favorite setting was gain up, asymmetrical clipping, bass up all the way, mids dialed to taste, treble at noon, mid-freq up. At 9v. Fucking ragged.


Thanks for the review and I don't think you're wrong. When you mention the pinched quality to the decay, do you mean in a certain clipping position or just in general? 'Cause I think the lower clipping position (with lots of gain and bass) can make for a pinched/choked/strangled kind of sound and I wonder if that's what you mean to. But I also think the high gain stage is running a little hot.. a little too close to unstable which makes it kind of start and stop oscillating at high gain/high bass settings and it affects the decay.

You know, gents, there's a lot of ways to tune a distortion pedal... a lot of paths to wander... this week we were contacted by a new retailer who wants to do a top notch demo of the Elements and it's got me to thinking that maybe I wandered a bit far down the left hand path.

The Elements is set up to run a little hot... it makes for cool tones in some situations but allows for not cool noises in other situations. The clipping diode settings were chosen to have 3 very different sounds but maybe one of those settings is too easy to make weird/not-loveable-by-all sounds.

I've become anxious about this new retailer and their new demo vid and I've spent the last few days pondering small changes to the Elements to make it play nicer. Basically just to make it so it's not so easy to get a weird/not loveable sound.

I've lowered the gain in the high gain stage a little bit, enough to to take away a bit of saturation, a bit of background noise. I've changed the lower position diode arrangement to never be able to make a choked/pinched/strangled sound. Neither are huge changes, they just sort of sweeten the pedal up a bit so it gets along nicer. Depending on how you use the pedal you might not hear these changes, my changes are mainly audible in the last half of the gain knob in the high gain mode and the lower position diode setting. I'll of course change anybody's over if they'd like, maybe wait until the video is out and you can see if you hear any differences.

This is kinda reminiscent of my 2009 Cosmichorus adventure, I definitely went down a wrong path with that first v2 version. This isn't as extreme as that was, but it's made me realize that I design and test and use pedals in a very specific way and when a bunch of people use a new pedal they use it in different ways that teaches me a bunch of stuff about the pedal that probably will require some changes.

Here's a question I have too for you guys.. bright switches on amps? The Elements in high gain sounds awful with amps that have a 'bright' switch on. 2/3 of my amps don't have that option, and my main design and testing and building amp doesn't have a bright switch either, so it's not a sound that I design for. Do lots of you guys use amps with bright switches? Do you expect distortion pedals to sound good with the amp's bright switch on? Do most distortion pedals sound good with the amp's bright switch on?

Flippin huge post, sorry!


Sick post. How's it going, man? We haven't emailed back and forth for like, over a year. :hello:

I'm pretty sure we're hearing the same "pinched" sound - I think it's maybe in the upper mids, just sounds like LEDs to me, if that makes sense. The newer Way Huge stuff (Swollen Pickle, Green Rhino) exhibits a similar artifact at higher gain levels, but it's something a lot of people either don't hear at all or don't see as problematic. In The Elements, it disappeared completely when the voltage was upped to 18, and I definitely experienced varying...intensity of its occurrence when adjusting EQ/clipping. I don't think it's really a drawback, just not something that works for me (I'm sickeningly picky, as evidenced by my revolving door-esque buying/selling habits).

I think those "weird/not-lovable-by-all" sounds are neat; I'm almost certain that my favorite setting on tap was one of them. On the other hand, I have tremendous respect for your willingness to improve upon your designs and/or make them as useful as possible the public at large. The changes you're making to The Elements seem highly reasonable, so... :idk:

I think dirt generally sounds shittier with the amp's bright switch on. You can fix it up a bit by re-EQ-ing (the amp, the pedal, or both), but turning the bright switch off has proven to be the most elegant solution when things are sounding fucked through my setups.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:57 am

StopReferencing wrote:Sick post. How's it going, man? We haven't emailed back and forth for like, over a year. :hello:

I'm pretty sure we're hearing the same "pinched" sound - I think it's maybe in the upper mids, just sounds like LEDs to me, if that makes sense. The newer Way Huge stuff (Swollen Pickle, Green Rhino) exhibits a similar artifact at higher gain levels, but it's something a lot of people either don't hear at all or don't see as problematic. In The Elements, it disappeared completely when the voltage was upped to 18, and I definitely experienced varying...intensity of its occurrence when adjusting EQ/clipping. I don't think it's really a drawback, just not something that works for me (I'm sickeningly picky, as evidenced by my revolving door-esque buying/selling habits).

I think those "weird/not-lovable-by-all" sounds are neat; I'm almost certain that my favorite setting on tap was one of them. On the other hand, I have tremendous respect for your willingness to improve upon your designs and/or make them as useful as possible the public at large. The changes you're making to The Elements seem highly reasonable, so... :idk:

I think dirt generally sounds shittier with the amp's bright switch on. You can fix it up a bit by re-EQ-ing (the amp, the pedal, or both), but turning the bright switch off has proven to be the most elegant solution when things are sounding fucked through my setups.


Since I have The Elements, I stop using the bright switch of my amp, I changed my EQ a bit and lower the gain (I really :love: my new amp setup). I also notice all my dirt box sound a lot better now (not only The Elements). So, that's not a problem to me.

This is my second experience with LED clipping... I've tried the Snowdrift... I think that "pinched" sound your describing is really LED (if that make sence).

I'm very happy with The Elements. It's a keeper!!
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby oinkbanana » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:37 am

I'm using my Elements at 18v (voodoo labs ISO5) with an Orange OTR120 (no bright switch)
aside from the FAC voicing knob, the amps eq is pretty weak (no bright switch either) and I really like getting some brightness from a pedal like this.

there's such a wide variety of tones that can be attained from this pedal, i don't see the point of limiting the range of the knobs... i'm always a fan of 'more is better' when it comes to effects.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Holy Schnikes » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:46 pm

oinkbanana wrote:there's such a wide variety of tones that can be attained from this pedal, i don't see the point of limiting the range of the knobs... i'm always a fan of 'more is better' when it comes to effects.

I agree.

Having the voltage options offers a pretty wide variety of starting points, then tweak until you're happy. Everyone will have different opinions of what sounds good no matter what changes are made. The weird sounds that I stumble across are some of my favorites, generally speaking. I wouldn't limit control range unless something was really out of whack and crazy unusable.

I think anyone who looks into this pedal and sees 6 knobs and 4 toggles should expect to do some dialing. That doesn't represent "plug and play" at all to me. What it does say though is there is probably endless variations of dirt/boost/eq in this thing and you can tweak it to death. And when it comes down to it, it's actually surprisingly simple to operate regardless of the daunting amount of controls on board.

Kills at 18V in my setup, I'll be keeping it around for sure as it's already bumped a couple things to B/S/T.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby sylnau » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:30 pm

Just got my 18v cable...

In my setup, I prefer The Elements at 9v.
18v have too much definition (for me)... less fuzz like... more distortion like.
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Re: The Elements, favorite settings, post them here!

Postby Ryan » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:45 pm

Same here, Syl, I much prefer it at 9V. I can see why people like the higher voltage but for my power chords and palm mutes 9V is best!
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