MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Equipment made by Dunlop Manufacturing including Rockman, MXR, Cry Baby, Way Huge Electronics, etc.
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rbc
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MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by rbc » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:53 pm

I noticed there are some MXR Smart Gate Pro (M235) users among us. How effective is the M235 at quieting channel switching noises on the Sustainor?

Thanks in advance,

--Bruce
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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by iZheil9152 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:14 pm

I haven't had the Rockman Smart Gate to compare it to, but the dunlop one is ok. When I got it I thought it was two smart gate modules in one convenient rack case. I was wrong. It has two individual gates that you can toggle on/off with one active at a time. Then on the back there is a "Sync" button which allows you to turn the other gate on (designed for stereo audio). In my old setup, I would have the first channel in the fx loop of a sustainor and then the second channel after the final sustainor. When I did this with a clean channel and my acoustic all I could hear was a really quiet signal; when I strummed really hard, I could hear the gate sort of open. There must be a comparator or something to keep the channels sync'd (both closed/opened). So really all you get is a stereo smart gate for $500 with no real instruction manual on how to use it except a flier looking thing that points out what buttons do... or I'm really using it wrong. Luckily I got mine for $160 from ebay.

On to your question... If you use it how I do, after the chorus stereo splitting and before the stereo echo/mixer (Using the sync/stereo mode), nothing gets through when you are not playing (when threshold=high). I even run the sustainor distortions stacked with high gain and volume and it doesn't get through... And that is a lot of hiss.

On another note, I only notice the sustainor popping when switching between channels with stark contrast:
Dist>Edge (no pop)
Dist>Cln2 (pop)

These are just my observations and they could be totally ...eh... wrong.

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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by rbc » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:12 pm

Thanks for your impressions. Too bad the unit is so poorly documented. I guess I could use one after my stereo effects. I have a M135. I've been using it with my AGP and Peavey Delta Blues amp. I'll have to try it with my Sustainor and see how well that works. I'd like to be able to switch between edge and clean 2 quietly. I'll have to take a look at getting a SR&D Smart Gate.
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Guitarvamp
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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by Guitarvamp » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:24 pm

rbc wrote: How effective is the M235 at quieting channel switching noises on the Sustainor?
The Smart Gate is the only thing Dunlop has kept active from the SR&D line. Very little has changed (if anything), electronics-wise. Buying a Rockman unit would be no different that buying a new Dunlop unit. Well, except that the Dunlop has all new parts and will likely cause you grief far less than an aging Rockman unit. :lol:
iZheil9152 wrote:If you use it how I do, after the chorus stereo splitting and before the stereo echo/mixer (Using the sync/stereo mode), nothing gets through when you are not playing (when threshold=high).
Not bashing you for using it differently, but I remember reading that the gate was meant to be used after the compressor, and right before the distortion stage. The thinking being that the overdrive/distortion stage boosts everything, including all kinds of noise in your signal/pickups/lights/poor cable, etc. Assuming you have quality gear and good cables (all of which should make no noise - this is the important part), there should be no extra noise added after the distortion stage.

This, to me, is where the Rockman philosophy gets going. This is why the Rockman gear is pro studio quality. If it makes no noise, there is no need for a monsterous gate. And the Smart Gate isn't even that powerful. It is precision, at just the right point in the signal chain.... again, assuming the rest of your gear is in top order (making no added noise).

Another non-Rockman gate that I really can't say anything bad about is the ISP Decimator. I've heard those quiet some INSANE noise. There is some black magic in those boxes. ;) ISP was started by the same guys that invented the Rocktron Hush (before Rocktron got sold). If you need to tame a noisy beast, check those out.

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iZheil9152
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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by iZheil9152 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:52 pm

Guitarvamp wrote:Not bashing you for using it differently, but I remember reading that the gate was meant to be used after the compressor, and right before the distortion stage. The thinking being that the overdrive/distortion stage boosts everything, including all kinds of noise in your signal/pickups/lights/poor cable, etc. Assuming you have quality gear and good cables (all of which should make no noise - this is the important part), there should be no extra noise added after the distortion stage.
I agree with everything you say. I had it wired that way when I got it. The only problem was one gate would open while the other stayed closed (one in the fx loop of each sustainor). After tinkering around with it, I discovered it acted like a normal smart gate when I used it in a stereo setting (after the chorus splits into stereo). I don't like it that way, but it works.

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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by rbc » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:06 pm

This topic has been quiet for quite a while. I did some experimenting with my MXR M135 Smart Gate pedal, between my Sustainor and Chorus/Delay. It does a really nice job of cleaning up the noise from my blue face Sustainor, particularly when auto clean is engaged. It also helps with the channel change thump when going between a clean and distortion channel. I might still wind up with the Smart Gate Pro. Having a pedal on top of my rack feels a little ghetto.
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RockmanCentralBob
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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by RockmanCentralBob » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:11 pm

I think ISP makes another one called a G String. It uses a 4 cable method... you tap into to signal from your guitar, and becomes the trigger signal. But the gate is then wired in after your gain stage.

My JVM HJS has a similar setup and it works great!

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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by rbc » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:04 pm

RockmanCentralBob wrote:I think ISP makes another one called a G String. It uses a 4 cable method... you tap into to signal from your guitar, and becomes the trigger signal. But the gate is then wired in after your gain stage.
That is cool. I'll have to check into that one.
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Re: MXR Smart Gate Pro with Sustainor Channel Switching

Post by rbc » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:11 pm

Hey, what do you guys think of the MXR Noise Clamp (M195)? It's another of the four cable noise gates.
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