SOLVED Aion's Xenotron (Lovetone Flanger) Not sure if it's fully working ?

eh là bas ma

Well-known member

I wonder if there is some issue with my Xenotron build, because it doesn't always fit the descriptions from the original manual and from Aion's instructions.

I have extra doubts about the Manual control : i can probably achieve some sort of chorusing and flanging effects, but i can't hear any phasing effect.

The modulation is most audible when Manual is fully CW, and it's more and more subtle as i turn it CCW.

Fully CCW, nothing but clean signal. I can get a faint modulation if i turn the Feedback fully CW, and if the BBD trimmer is set in a narrow aera of its rotation, where distortion can easily appear depending on the other settings.

Led 4 on the BBD daughterboard is a transparent green led, from musikding. That's the only one pulsating when Time is engaged. Led 2 and 3 are also lit, but steady.
When Space is engaged led3 stays steadily lit and led 1 and 2 are pulsating.

Looking at led 4 while turning Manual, the led goes from fully bright to fully turned off when Manual is fully CW. Turning CCW, the lowest point is brighter and brighter, until it only slightly pulses when fully CCW. Led 4 is always brightly lighting up at the highest point of the pulsation.

On my build, it's kind of hard to find a position on the BBD trimmer where i can have a modulation both quiet (no ticking, no distortion) and as effective as possible. It sounds like i have to sacrifice either a clean modulation, or the most audible and noticeable effect.
If i try to get rid of every distorting noise, i need to reduce the modulation strength. Instructions mention 11'. That the aera where the BBD is starting to work on my build, at 11' the modulation isn't clean at every settings. Around 2' the effect is more effective on the signal, but it saturates also more easily at some settings.

Here is a sound sample with the controls settings described in the comments :

The controls are : Manual fully CW, Depth fully CW, Rate and Reaction (Feedback) around 12', Action (Mix) fully CW, Input Level fully CW. BBD Trimmer between 11' and 12'.
During the recording, i turn the trimmer to 2', after that, Manual is turned fully CCW, i turn up the feedback when Manual is fully CCW. Then i turn Manual back to fully CW.

I am a bit confused because, according to the original Lovetone manual and Aions instructions, it should be phasing with Manual going CCW, but they also say that there could be some dead aera at each ends of the Manual pot rotation...

Determines the off-set value of the delay time. This gives
the default steady setting for delay time (when the Depth
is at zero). Short delay times (anticlockwise settings) will
give phasing. Short to medium delay times will give flanging
(with regen.). Medium to long delay times will give chorusing
and double tracking" (...)
"the noise factor very much depends
on the context of use. Indeed on many occasions it actually
adds interesting rhythmic and atmospheric articulation.
Some “dead” area at each extreme of this control is normal
and provides extra offset or “swing” for the CV/Pedal input.
Around these regions modulation depth will appear to be
reduced (or even non-existent) "

Does your Xenotron also behave like mine ?

Is it ok that Manual affects the modulation this way ? Less and less modulation going CCW ?

Should i look for some issue on my build ?

Every observations and suggestions are welcome !
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No, that's not it at all. The metal bezels have a prominent home where they belong -- with the hardware. The snap in plastic things just got shoved away out of sight, in a little plastic baggie, buried at the end of the pile of diodes.
I actually bought some 5mm Bezels yesterday. In Black. Some kind of hard plastic. Not shiny at all.
The small one from musikding that come with the kits I never use. To me, they feel a bit too "cheap" (for want of a better word) and those lightsharing LEDs deserve the best.
they feel a bit too "cheap" (for want of a better word)
In my opinion, nothing is ever "too cheap", unless it has a bad impact on the circuit or its longevity. A cheap led bezel can't prevent a stompbox to be fully operational for 30 years, so i can't see how being unexpensive could be an issue.

Bezels made of some old fruit residue, or from a dried bubblegum : ok, i'd agree that's a bit cheap, that's where i would draw the line.

That being said, the misguided distrust toward plastic led mounting-clip can only come from an esthetical issue. Now let's have an honest look on the matter :

Hypothetically, according to several distinguished members's point of view (we have the list of names), a metal led bezel looks better on an enclosure than a plastic one.

So, when we look closer, the plastic bezel looks bad only when it's compared to a metal bezel. If in this world there were only plastic bezels and bezels made in cardbox or something even cheaper, people would surely compare them and express their favour toward the plastic ones.

In philosophy, they call it a judgement of value. We think something is better than something else because we are either conditioned or trained to do so, or because we built some sort of hierarchy in our minds.

Doesn't it remind you of something ?

For example, does your car look "too cheap" because the neighbour has a much better car ? If so, are you going to compete with the neighbour ?

Let's be reasonable...

The esthetical issue is easily solved : the led bezel is only a small part of the enclosure design, the cheapest bezel can't impact the whole artwork design's quality, unless the design is already flawed.

My final point would be a comparison with the most famous brands. They often don't even afford a bezel. Look at Boss or MXR stompboxes : are they "too cheap" or ugly ? Did you know that Walrus uses plastic led mounting clips ?
Consequently, the mere fact of having a bezel on your build is a luxury that shows how much you care about it.

"those lightsharing LEDs deserve the best" ? Many things don't need to be expensive to be effective or beautiful. Surely that's not what we are led to believe in our sick capitalistic societies.

Dear fellows forumites, it's time to wake up. Life is too short, let's sing together and dismantle the fake metal bezel idols, raise our fist against all economical prejudices, and use plastic bezels !
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Hypothetically, according to several distinguished members's point of view (we have the list of names), a metal led bezel looks better on an enclosure than a plastic one.
Wow, I've never been called distinguished before. However, I yield to the wise gentleman. There is a time and place for the plastic bezel. It's all about what is best for the particular pedal.
@eh là bas ma : You need a new pedal project...
Now. And a big complex one...

Ok, points taken. And there are times when minimalistic bezels would be most fitting for sure.
Even the non-bezel ones look very nice in some pedals, but for that situation, how fit them, make them stay put and still be able to dismantle without removing hot glue makes me try to avoid as much as I can. I did one with the clipping LEDs as eyes of a Jack playing card image, and it was hard to make them stay in place properly. Looks cool when I go high gain though.
The metal or black plastic equivalent look very nice and classy. Like my car. Neighbour has the small plastic type of car, so I am OK there.
As far as the Bezel revolution goes, I'll wave the flag when you celebrate the final victory for sure.