Chairmen Of The Boards Finally Talks About The ML10X 🥳

So, it finally happened! I don’t know how many times I’ve asked those guys to talk about it but now they did. Mason “The Rig Doctor” Marangella (Vertex Effects), Grant Klassen (Goodwood Audio) and Brian Omilion (Omilion Audio) just released a new episode of Chairmen Of The Boards where they made a long awaited update on the state of looper switchers and MIDI controllers. The ML10X is the last one they dive into.

The State Of The Switcher 2024

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I wish they would have been more familiar with it. Mason never misses an opportunity to preach the gospel of buffers. It would have been curious to know his thoughts on a buffer on every loop along with an input or output interface that is also buffered.

Well, I don’t think Mason would view a buffer in every loop as something necessary. A buffer in each end of the pedalboard is what he’s usually advocating for. And as far as I’ve understood it the only pedals that should stay outside of such a setup are old school designs such as fuzz, univibe and wah as they need to see the guitar signal as pure and unaltered as possible.

So if you have a fuzz or univibe in any of the loops of your morningstar that means you need to have your first buffer in one of the loops as well since it needs to come after them in your signal chain. Obviously it can share a loop with whichever of those that comes last (daisy chained) as long as it comes after it.

Obviously there’s no point in having a wah in any of the loops of your Morningstar as you need to physically engage it whenever you want to use it so the wah goes before the Morningstar.

…but every loop of the ML10x is buffered with no option to turn it off. You wouldn’t want a fuzz in the loop without appropriate cabling/components.

Actually, Mason never misses an opportunity to promote RJM. He always casts a shadow on every switcher except RJM. Obviously, he has financial ties with them.
Morningstar is the new gold standard and all three of the “Chairmen of the Boards” know it.
I left a comment in that video that got several thumbs up.

Does the RJM have buffered loops as well?

My understanding is that you can not only add or remove the buffers but you can also decide where you want them.

So, there’s probably the reason why Mason would prefer RJM’s switcher then.

Indeed. He has also voiced a preference for an all in one format switcher.

Ok, well, I don’t really understand why Mason thinks an all-in-one format is preferred. As a pedalboard builder you’d think he would like the idea of being able to hide the actual unit with all the loops underneath the board and just have the MIDI-controller up on top. That lends itself to a way cleaner board. Much like hiding the power supply underneath. Also, not everyone is interested in being able to switch channels on their amp/amps with their switcher. In their case it’s an unnecessary cost to have that as a built-in feature.

The main reasons I am drawn to the Morningstar ML10X is the fact that each loop is true stereo with the potential of being split into two mono AND the fact that it is somewhat expandable. Buying any Switcher is a fairly serious investment so they SHOULD be completely expandable in my view. For me that would be a priority if I was trying to design the switcher of tomorrow.

Now, the ML10X is not fully expandable since you cannot re-arrange the pedal order between two units but at least you can connect two of them for really large pedalboard builds. I don’t think you can do that with the RJM or any other switcher on the market. I’m not sure about any of the Sound Sculpture Switchblade units but those things are just way too expensive for me anyway. They are also more like a classic rack-type product and that’s not really my thing anyway.

I do however wish the ML10X didn’t have buffered loops. That’s clearly a downside in my view and I honestly don’t see the point of that :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. Let the customer decide where he/she wants to place a buffer IF they want them. This will create problems for those with vintage gear or any pedals sensitive to buffers. Excluding the buffers would also probably lower the overall production cost of the unit so… I don’t understand why they did that :thinking: Perhaps this is a question @james could answer? Perhaps there’s a really good technical reason for having buffers in every loop?

The buffers are going to be required to split the loop into two loops without loosing volume. My opinion, the ideal situation would be to have the ability to turn them off when using mono in simple mode.

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Yes, the buffered are required for the matrix switch IC as well as for the splitter and merging features.

Having switchable buffers will not work. If your Fuzz pedal absolutely needs a high impedance signal, it can really only be at the start of your signal chain, because the moment you move it around in the signal chain, it’s going to see the low output impedance from your other pedals at it’s input anyway.

The easy solution would be just to wire a resistor (you can try 10k to 50k) in series (if you can do that in your cable, if not an external box)

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