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Thread: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization...

  1. #1
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization...

    Hoping to get some opinions on how to best use this pedal. These are kind of "nitty gritty" questions and how to get the best sound with my instrument and this device.

    Not really looking for advice on other pedals or preamps so please don't tell me about how easy your redeye is to use or how great your tonedexter is

    This is the link to the manual:
    https://gracedesign.com/support/manu...anual_RevD.pdf

    1. This is from section 9.3 "Because we designed Felix to play well with a wide array of mics and pickups on a wide array of instruments, the gain control sweep required is more than this single potentiometer can provide. Accordingly, an internal jumper is provided to select between two different gain ranges on the Ch1 line input. This range is set to the LOW setting at the factory, which means the jumper is NOT connected and which closely matches the gains of Ch1 and Ch2.
    If you are using a source that requires more gain (e.g. a low output pickup on a delicate acoustic instrument), you may need to set this jumper to the ‘HI’ position, which shifts the gain range up by 18dB."


    Using my piezo I had never been able to turn up the gain so high that the indicator light turned red, so I figured I should try using this 18db gain range boost. It seems to be helpful, I can definitely get more gain out of my output. I can get the indicator to turn red if the gain is really up. It is a little bit more feedback prone if I really lean into a monitor, but not bad.

    2. There is also a switch to match impedance. From later in the same section.
    "Both instrument inputs have 3 different impedance settings:
    Ch1: med - 1MΩ / hi -10MΩ / low – 10kΩ
    Ch2: med - 1MΩ / hi -20MΩ / low – 332kΩ"

    Based on what I have read here and from what I think I recall of my piezo I am using the med- 1 Mohm switch setting.

    3. The Low frequency control of each channel also has this function:
    "Also, because certain acoustic instruments (banjo) may react better to a higher corner / peak frequency, we have added a Low control range jumper on the main PCB. Moving this jumper shifts the Low frequency up to 250Hz (+/-3dB) corner frequency / 80Hz peak. "

    I tried this but it doesn't seem to do much at all for me, probably because of the range of the mandolin?



    To adjust the settings for 1 and 3 you have to open the pedal up and move a jumper. Not hard at all, but also not something you can adjust on the fly.

    The db boost mentioned in 1 only effects channel 1. Well until now I had been only using channel 2 and everything sounded fine. Great even, especially with the rest of my pedal rig. The nice thing about this is I can experiment with channel 1 and if I am unhappy I can just go back into the undisturbed channel 2.

    With all these options and a piezo pickup, I want to get this dialed in as much as possible. Things sound good. But with all these features I want to make sure I am getting the most out of this device. So I am wondering...

    Am I missing any other settings?

    Is anyone else using these settings (mentioned above as 1, 2 and 3)?

    Any other advice on how to get the best sound out of THIS DEVICE?

    Thanks!
    Dan G.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  2. #2
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    I would be inclined to try the high impedance setting - 1MOhm is too low for a piezo IMO and is more what you would use for a magnetic pickup. You may well find that this boosts the output level as well.

  3. #3
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    Well, I had been using channel 2 on the high impedance which is 20Mohm!

    It did seem to have a better level, which is what led me to trying the 18db boost internal setting...

    I guess I would ask how differently the 1Mohm with the 18db boost would react when compared to the high impedance and no boost? Is there a best way to do this? Lol
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    I would be inclined to try the high impedance setting - 1MOhm is too low for a piezo IMO and is more what you would use for a magnetic pickup. You may well find that this boosts the output level as well.
    1 Meg ohm is the correct setting for most piezo pickups. It will give you the best impedance match. K&K's are 1 Meg and their preamp is set to a 1 Meg input for best results wtih their pickups. Given the factor of 10 in electronics some companies give you a 10 Meg input, 20 Meg is alot.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Registered User mandowilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    I use a K&K pickup on my mandolin in channel one and have it set at 1M input impedance as a result of trying all three settings and not noticing a difference between 1M and 10M. Channel two is fed by a JD Aura dobro pedal and set to 332k to match its 3.5k output.

    With the K&K I left the internal gain setting on low and as it is I get a red clip light at about 12 or 1 o'clock on the channel one gain knob. Plenty of output.

    As for the low frequency control, I don't use it at all. The HPF notch is very effective in removing handling noise and the dreaded thump or thud when set right about 200hz. I then use the parametric mid range control to expunge any honky sound.

    One other consideration is if you are using the effects loop as I am, there is a pad setting inside that effects your output gain. The pad settings are 0, -6, -16, with -6 being the default factory setting.

    My Collings MF5 sounds incredible through this rig and feedback had not been an issue.
    willi

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  8. #6
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    Quote Originally Posted by mandowilli View Post
    ...
    One other consideration is if you are using the effects loop as I am, there is a pad setting inside that effects your output gain. The pad settings are 0, -6, -16, with -6 being the default factory setting.

    My Collings MF5 sounds incredible through this rig and feedback had not been an issue.
    Thanks, I do use the effects loop and didn't think of that either. Your observations seem similar to what I have seen except your K&K seems to be hotter then what was installed on mine (IIRC I have a McIntyre Feather?).
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  9. #7

    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    Adding gain tends to add noise, so I'd be reluctant to do that. If you get sufficient gain with the stock setting, I'd leave it there. It is a testament to Grace that they have given options for the exceptions that occur in the real world, and they bury the switches for a reason. The original factory settings are probably the best for 90% of all applications.
    Silverangel A
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  10. #8
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    Quote Originally Posted by mandowilli View Post
    ...
    One other consideration is if you are using the effects loop as I am, there is a pad setting inside that effects your output gain. The pad settings are 0, -6, -16, with -6 being the default factory setting.

    ...
    Thanks again willi, I think you helped me figure it out. We played for several hours for a friday happy hour at a bar and I had a good chance to ring this thing out. I got a much better sound, dialed in and nicely sensitive. Not a feedback issue at all....

    Which is how I realized - I had had the boost on AND a pedal activated when I had gotten the feedback previously mentioned. And then I was leaning into a monitor (Duh!). When I used the pedal this time I didn't use the boost and the level was much more appropriate.

    Thanks for all the ideas, and anyone else please share if you have experiences with getting the most out of this pedal!
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  11. #9
    Registered User mandowilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Design Felix - internal settings and piezo maximization

    If you have a mixer at home that has Pre Fader Listen capability you can hook up your output of the Grace to a channel and solo it over to the meter. This is great for setting your output level and you will be able to see the effect that any changes such as engaging a pedal or hitting the boost has on your output.

    The advantage of this approach is you are not trying to judge your output level by ear which will vary greatly from small room to large venue.

    Once you do this you will rarely, if ever, have to adjust levels on your Felix. The mixer gets the best signal and adjustments are made on the fader.
    willi

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