Bass Metaphors


Congratulations on your purchase of the Electro-Harmonix XO Bass Metaphors. The Bass Metaphors is a uniquely designed multi-effect unit that combines a preamp, EQ and overdrive. All are laid out in a channel strip configuration. Additionally, a compressor may be independently assigned through a toggle switch. The Bass Metaphors was designed and voiced specifically for bass players. The parallel arrangement of the effects allows for finely tuned control over each element in order to give you a final tone that fits your style and needs.

The Preamp section is made up of a Dry channel, EQ channel and a Distortion channel. Each channel has its own level control, appropriately labeled. The EQ channel has further controls, which adjust Bass and Treble independently. The Distortion channel is also footswitch accessible, allowing the user to preset a sound to be cut in or out as needed. The Volume control functions as a master volume after the effects.

In addition, a leveling compressor can be cut into the circuit before the output, to add sustain, “punch” or to even out your performance. This is controlled by the “Squash” setting of the toggle switch placed in the center of the case.

The output of the Bass Metaphor is balanced/unbalanced and conveniently accessed by 1/4” TRS jack and by a standard XLR on the side of the unit. Please note that using a standard 1/4” unbalanced plug will bypass the balanced output for BOTH connectors.

Effect Engaged LED - On when the effect is active and off when not used.

Distortion Engaged LED - The LED is on when the distortion is active and off when the distortion is not in use.

DRY Out - The dry output knob allows you to vary the amount of the dry signal heard at the output.

EQ level- Is the adjustable level of how much equalization is inserted into the channel strip. When the EQ is fully down (counterclockwise) there is no EQ in the channel strip. As the knob is rotated clockwise the more the amount of the set treble and bass knobs will be added. At the full clockwise position the full amount of potential EQ is applied.

Treble - The treble knob controls the amount of the 2-pole treble filter that is added to the signal. When turned fully counterclockwise, there is no added treble. As the knob is advanced clockwise, a carefully selected treble frequency is applied whose amount linearly rises to the end of the clockwise rotation.

Bass -  - The bass knob controls the amount of bass frequency that is added to the signal. When turned fully counterclockwise, there is no added bass. As the knob is advanced clockwise, a carefully selected bass frequency is applied whose amount linearly rises to the end of the clockwise rotation. It is also a 2-pole filter.

Note: When Bass filter is combined with the Treble filter you have a 4-pole filter. Scooped midranges to very subtle to overt sonic possibilities can be found. This is a very colorful EQ.

Direct output- signal is connected directly to the input for access of the original signal.

Distortion - Controls the amount of distortion that is introduced into the channel strip.

Volume -  Controls the master volume of the output signal.

1/4” INPUT - Input jack for your bass guitar or instrument.

Direct Out - Your signal is assigned to this pass through output providing you with a dry signal only.

1/4” OUTPUT -Balanced/unbalanced tip ring sleeve balanced 1/4 inch output connector. This jack will accept both a balanced or unbalanced signal.

XLR OUTPUT - 3-pin connector allowing a balanced signal to be sent to low impedance XLR input. IE to a recording console, live mix console or any high end balanced processor.

WARNING: Use only the US96DC-200BI adapter that the Bass Metaphors comes supplied with.  Do not use any other AC adapters. Using other AC adapters with the incorrect rating, even those made by Electro-Harmonix, could cause harm to the unit, the adapter or you. The SMMH does not use batteries.

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Quick Specs
High impedance instrument level input
Balanced XLR output at +4 dBu line level
1/4" balanced/unbalanced output
Dedicated 1/4" unbalanced dry output
Musical treble and bass EQ bands with a level control amount
Switchable compressor with the perfect bass compression
Footswitchable adjustable bass distortion
Tough and compact die-cast chassis
96DC-200BI power supply included
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