EHX Polychorus

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burpgun
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EHX Polychorus

Post by burpgun » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:16 am

Hey gang. I caught Preoccupations recently and got a chance to check out bass player Matt Flegel's pedal board. A bit simpler than I expected: a tuner, a distortion pedal I forgot, an EHX Polychorus, a Strymon El Capistan and one other thing I forgot. Or didn't. The real point for me here is to ask about the Polychorus.

Flegel gets this super warm dense chorus sound out of it. It's not like the kind of icy Peter Hook sound, and I like it. I was curious about folks' experience with this pedal--especially on bass--and how it might compare to a Boss CE-2, which I've currently owned for about 30 years. I like the Boss but it doesn't seem to have the same warmth as the EXH, which from internet videos looks super versatile, and more than just a chorus pedal.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Mike S » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:53 am

If you go for this, do not get the new version. Look for the Big Box.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Mike S » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:25 am

I guess I have some more time to elaborate. My favorite chorus pedals are both EHX pedals; the Small Clone and the Stereo Polychorus. I'm not sure about the bass sound of either, other than the fact that EHX released a Small Clone variant called the Bass Clone that seems to use similar circuitry and give you more control, including EQ. I personally have not tried it.

The Polychorus/PolyFlange/Echoflanger is a four-mode modulation laboratory with some delay built in. You can get a great chorus sound out of it, but you need to tweak it quite a bit to get there, whereas the Small Clone pretty much has that preset.
The Polychorus really shines if you want to go to outer space with your sound for some truly crazy effects, like all those great cosmic effects from In Utero.

The current XO version is a more convenient size, but it's on a different voltage and is inferior to the original, offering worse sound and less precise rate control. The Big Box version pops up sporadically and I think a few are on reverb right now. Just remember that it runs on a 24v center-positive power supply.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Iheartreverb » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:33 pm

Interesting topic, would love to know what distortions he’s using. His bass sounds are top drawer!

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by burpgun » Tue May 01, 2018 4:03 am

Thanks for the feedback, guys. My GAS has cooled a bit, and honestly, I'm not sure where I'd put this guy on my board. Another plus sized pedal would cause some chaos.

Wish I could remember his distortion unit. Was pretty baked at the time, but it wasn't anything fancy. I think it was some sort of Boss distortion/overdrive variant, nothing exotic. I love when folks get to great place with common stuff. I'm a big fan of Explosions in the Sky, and they get amazing sounds with cheap guitars and pedals you could buy at any Guitar Center.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by shoule79 » Tue May 01, 2018 7:46 am

Another wrinkle for you, the 90's and later big box reissues did not sound like the vintage ones, exactly. I had a Poly Flange (same pedal, different name) for 20 years, and it was a bit wackier than the reissues were. Both great pedals though.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by cestlamort » Tue May 01, 2018 8:40 am

I haven't used a polychorus on bass but the clone theory does good things to one. (I do like the Peter Hook sound though). FWIW the reissue is pretty darn close to the vintage one we have and comes with significantly fewer surprises on stage.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by 46346 » Sun May 06, 2018 11:59 pm

my Polychorus is getting on in years, probably in it's late 30's.

it is the thickest/warmest modulation effect i i can think of, out of a couple dozen that i keep in my studio. an it's been on my main board for 15 years.

it definitely shaves some high-end off of my guitars, and has a boost in the lower mids. so, while i haven't tried playing bass through it, it makes sense that it could do some thick and chunky bass warbles.

never tried the 90's reissue or new smaller version. i've heard the 90's version being played, though and it strikes me as a bit more hi-fi. could be a good thing, but i do love the warmly corrupting blanket of my old one. trouble is, i find it's best to use a true bypass looper to keep it out of my main guitar signal cuz some of that 'warmth' is 24/7 weather you want it or not!
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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by O Drones » Tue May 08, 2018 5:05 am

In recent photos I’ve seen he’s had the new EHX Polychorus. A Boss distortion too.
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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Mike S » Tue May 08, 2018 5:01 pm

46346 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:59 pm
my Polychorus is getting on in years, probably in it's late 30's.

it is the thickest/warmest modulation effect i i can think of, out of a couple dozen that i keep in my studio. an it's been on my main board for 15 years.

it definitely shaves some high-end off of my guitars, and has a boost in the lower mids. so, while i haven't tried playing bass through it, it makes sense that it could do some thick and chunky bass warbles.

never tried the 90's reissue or new smaller version. i've heard the 90's version being played, though and it strikes me as a bit more hi-fi. could be a good thing, but i do love the warmly corrupting blanket of my old one. trouble is, i find it's best to use a true bypass looper to keep it out of my main guitar signal cuz some of that 'warmth' is 24/7 weather you want it or not!
I think all of the big box versions are the same but individual units may have slightly different settings for the same sounds because of the legendary Mike Matthews lack of consistency. For the 90's version, they just moved the position of a couple of knobs and added a stereo output.
The XO version is an entirely different animal. Having owned both, the XO sounds much brighter and the repeats/oscillations start out fast at the lowest setting and can't go as slow on the sweep rate as the original. If someone wants to play Radio Friendly Unit Shifter using the XO...good luck.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by 46346 » Fri May 11, 2018 2:51 am

Mike S wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 5:01 pm
46346 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:59 pm
my Polychorus is getting on in years, probably in it's late 30's.

it is the thickest/warmest modulation effect i i can think of, out of a couple dozen that i keep in my studio. an it's been on my main board for 15 years.

it definitely shaves some high-end off of my guitars, and has a boost in the lower mids. so, while i haven't tried playing bass through it, it makes sense that it could do some thick and chunky bass warbles.

never tried the 90's reissue or new smaller version. i've heard the 90's version being played, though and it strikes me as a bit more hi-fi. could be a good thing, but i do love the warmly corrupting blanket of my old one. trouble is, i find it's best to use a true bypass looper to keep it out of my main guitar signal cuz some of that 'warmth' is 24/7 weather you want it or not!
I think all of the big box versions are the same but individual units may have slightly different settings for the same sounds because of the legendary Mike Matthews lack of consistency. For the 90's version, they just moved the position of a couple of knobs and added a stereo output.
The XO version is an entirely different animal. Having owned both, the XO sounds much brighter and the repeats/oscillations start out fast at the lowest setting and can't go as slow on the sweep rate as the original. If someone wants to play Radio Friendly Unit Shifter using the XO...good luck.
the reissue big box version (1999/2000?) is quite a different circuit from the 80's version (also big box, of course). the main bucket brigade IC was changed from Reticon SAD1024 to a whole other type (Panasonic MN 3005, i believe). there's quite a fidelity difference right there. and the way the delayed signal is mixed back is very different too. my favorite mode on the original is with the Blend switch off. the reissue did not even have this switch on it, i don't believe you can achieve the full dry warble like on the original.

i think Howard did a real good job on designing a sustainable reissue. he brought the Polychorus into the 21st century, righteously, and i'm glad all those Stereo Polychoruses are out there for our edification. but they are quite different from the early models.

i agree that there is a lot of variation from one 80's unit to another. the guy i bought mine from had bragged about how he had tweaked the internal trim pots to his liking. i really like it too! i also have the early Polyflange and Echoflanger, which of course are the same circuit, but less radically tweaked on the trim pots. i set them up as clean as possible, but they are still dirtier, darker, noisier, and potentially drier than the Stereo Polychorus.

i've never been near the XO version, but i believe you about it!
...cheers!
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Mike S
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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Mike S » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:48 pm

After using a very old thread as a guide, here's how to sound like Ron Emory on a big box Stereo Poly Chorus, which I assume would also work for Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Damned

Mode-Flange
Feedback-10:00
Tune/Delay-2:00
Rate-11:00
Width-1:00
Sweep Filter-On

For anything on Beneath The Shadows, just turn the Sweep Filter off.

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by dc » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:25 pm

favor to ask -- could anyone with a big-box PolyChorus send me a PDF of the yellow "manual/suggested settings" card that came with the unit? i'm getting ready to list mine (ca. 1998 version) and have the box and all literature except that card (which i'm certain is in a folder around here with some other manuals, i just can't seem to find it after a move). PM me please if anyone has this card and can scan and send me a file. thank you!! 8)
in this land / right now / some are insane / and they're in charge

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Re: EHX Polychorus

Post by Mike S » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:21 pm

dc wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:25 pm
favor to ask -- could anyone with a big-box PolyChorus send me a PDF of the yellow "manual/suggested settings" card that came with the unit? i'm getting ready to list mine (ca. 1998 version) and have the box and all literature except that card (which i'm certain is in a folder around here with some other manuals, i just can't seem to find it after a move). PM me please if anyone has this card and can scan and send me a file. thank you!! 8)
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