PLEASE HELP. I cannot get a decent tone from my QC, at all


Hope everyone is well!

I’ve had the QC for about a month and a bit, and for the life of me, I cannot get a decent tone from it. As soon as I plug my US Fender strat in, all factory tones sound thin, scratchy overdriven, like a hot DI box. I have tried multiple different guitars, every cable I have, different input gains, impedances. I cannot get any preset to sound even as good as guitar rig 5 when comparing.

Comparing tones using the QC as an interface, and going through my SSL2 as an interface, tones are identical. I have tried different I/O cables, the same.

I have tried capturing my amp, and it sounded awful. At every IN 1 and IN 2 level, the same result.

Neural DSP were initially responding to my emails trying to help me, they recommended that I tried different input gains, obviously I already did that, then they told me to set up a simple signal chain where I put the QC in between my guitar amp (mic was a SM57) and my audio interface, to see if the tone was changing here after putting my QC in the chain, it wasn’t. I recorded all results into logic at about -12 dbfs.

The problem arises when I plug my guitar into IN 1 of the QC, to begin the capture and creating a reference, the tone I hear is immediately scratchy overdriven and harsh…

The resulting capture sounds nothing like my amp either.

Neural support had since stopped replying, but after 10 days, and this morning replied with exactly what they told me to do on day, ‘have you tried changing the input gain…?’ - which is what even I did on day 1.

I am exasperated and dont know what to do, this thing is unusable.

I am amazed that neural can’t entertain the idea that this unit is faulty, I am beyond convinced that there is something wrong with the I/O on this unit, what I am hearing simply cannot be what everyone is raving about.

Any tips would be highly welcome.


*** I plug my US Fender strat in, all factory tones sound thin, scratchy overdriven, like a hot DI box.**

Sounds like maybe you’re missing a cabinet block, try adding a cabinet block after the amp block to see if that resolves your issue.

  • List item Have you tried download other peoples presets from the cloud? I would try download some of Neural’s ones to start with to see if the issue is your guitar / input gain / output gain etc.

If you believe the unit is faulty then take it back to wherever you purchased it and have them take a look at it.

The best tones rarely come that easy, I am an old Positive Grid Bias Head user and found that the UI was far easier for creating sounds, however the level of detail I can go into with the QC is far better so I know in the long run my sound will end up being 100% more awesome.

Based on your description of the tone, it sounds almost as if there is a problem with the IRs. The description sounds like when you have an amp without a cabinet, which I’m sure isn’t the case.

I had the opposite experience with the QC in that it’s the first modeling device I was able to create great sounding preset from immediately. In the past, I always had to tweak endlessly or buy presets from people who did all the work. So I’m convinced something just isn’t right in your unit.

If you haven’t factory reset it, I would try that. Look up the procedure and reset the unit to factory settings, just in case. If you’ve done this and it didn’t help, my only other suggestion is to bring it to someone who has one so you can compare, if that’s possible. I know you may not be near where anyone like that is.

I do think Neural should at least get on a video call with you to go into the unit and try to figure it out. Otherwise, a replacement seems in order.

I hope one of these options solves the issue.

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Don’t know if I can help, but personally I’d try the following:

  1. Make sure you have a cab block.
  2. “Tried and true” presets that sound good to you, e.g. from YouTube.
  3. Using super simple presets.
  4. Try an empty preset - just a line connected from input to output. Record both DI and “wet” and compare the results. Is there audible distortion or weirdness compared to the DI?
  5. Also compare the QC DI to an interface DI - do they sound the same? Make sure to volume match, input gain at unity with both devices and input impedance also the same. This and the previous item are meant to isolate at what point weird stuff happen.
  6. Try to reamp a good sounding DI (e.g. from your interface if you don’t trust the QC). This will isolate interaction with the guitar and bypasses ADC/DAC components - you’re staying fully digital and only the internal algorithms matter.

Good luck!

Hi guys, thanks for your tips, really appreciated. Just wanted to clarify, I have defo got cab blocks.

I have compared the most basic amps as they come, VOX AC15, HiWatt, Orange capture, factory amps/captures from the list on the grid, recorded them, compared to the same amp emulations in Guitar Rig 5, and the gr5 sound at least like amplifiers, not great, but much better than the QC. There simply has to be something wrong with this unit.

I have tried this using the QC as an interface, and by going through my interface, all input gains imaginable. The tones also sound the same when I monitor through the unit standalone…

I have recorded audio files of all of these tests, and sent them to Neural, they clearly have not listened to them and are just sending me stock emails, after weeks of not replying. It’s unacceptable.

I have tried comparing the DIs as one of you has mentioned, the QC DI is hotter brighter and scratchier for sure.

Nonetheless, I will try your tests including the factory reset…


Hi mate, thanks for these tips.

Can you expand a bit on 6 if you have the time?

Interestingly, I have been having problems with reamping recently, where I used two different Radial reamp boxes and the signals coming back from my amp were identical, but also again very harsh, bright and scratchy…

I had recorded into my interface, saved into logic at about -12 dbfs, then reamped using max output volume on the interface and the reamp box, and the tone back from the amp (Orange combo amp and an sm57), was nothing like the amp straight, the reamp tone is thinnner scratchy and bright.

Weirdly, when I took the same DI signal and reamped it, but with the signal from the reamp box going back into the audio interface instead of out to the amp, the tone of the DI signal was quieter and duller, not brighter like when it goes to the amp. Very strange.

Im thinking is the problem connected to my issues with the QC…? Not sure

Again thanks for your time


hey thanks for your reply, sorry just wanted to clarify, how would downloading neural/other peoples presets help me troubleshoot? Honestly any preset sounds confusingly bad for all the rave reviews the QC is getting…

Hi there,
I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering through all of this with your unit. IF you bought it through Sweetwater I would be talking to my salesperson and insisting on a replacement unit. Especially if you let them know that there were issues before the first 30 days were up. I am sorry I don’t have any technical advice for you. I hope you get some help soon. In the meantime I wish you peace in spite of your situation!

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Could it be the cab block bypass for certain rows in the settings ?

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Because if you downloaded a tone uploaded by Neural DSP and it still sounds awful then it’s not relating to the blocks or the amps you’re choosing it would be down to:

  1. Input gain is too high / low
  2. Output gain is too high / low
  3. Check cab block bypass is not disabled within the devices settings
  4. Take it back to your point of purchase for a replacement - it’s almost impossible not to get a good sound out of this, it just takes fiddling about to get it spot on.

Hi Jack,

Could you help me on your point number 3? How do I get to where the Cab Block Bypass would be? I don’t see it under the main settings… I have only begun to even try to modify things in my QC… I just wanted to make sure that I was not making this mistake on anything. Thanks so much.

note “Global Bypass” about halfway down in the main Settings Menu, under Device Options

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Thank you! Much appreciated. Hope all is well.

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If you haven’t already, bypass the noise gate on the input block. It is extremely aggressive, even at threshold settings where it should not even be kicking in. Too low an input signal dramatically compounds the problem. Don’t raise the threshold - bypass the noise gate. Combine that with adding a few db to whichever input you are cabled in on, via the I/O screen. See if that improves things.

One way to test if the issue you are hearing is caused by the noise gate, too low an input level, or both, is by dialing up an overdriven tone, holding a note, and checking to see how well it sustains. If it is petering out early, the gate or too low an input level may be the problem.

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Can you post a recording of the offending tone? It will be easier to troubleshoot

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Check Xush’s comment below :slight_smile:

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Thanks Jack. I did see that. Xush has been really helpful to me here on the forum. How long have you had your QC?

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No worries! I have only owned mine for about 5 days; I am being patient as I know the longer I use it the better my sounds and capabilities will be - I am very much a ‘plug + play’ type of gear user and can get frustrated quite quickly.

When I got my QC I said to myself, RIGHT I must be patient from now on, specially with a beast this versatile and in-depth.

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Hey Jack
Thanks for the reply. I am going on about 2 months with mine. I mostly cheat by downloading other people’s work! :crazy_face:

I play at church every Sunday. I pretty much only use one preset. I love Fenderish tones. The classic John Mayer type edge of breakup ones. Right now I am using a preset of a 63 Bassman from Worship Tutorials that I got from the Cloud. They have a lot of good stuff.

Great to be with you here. I describe my QC as my MacBook Pro for my guitar. It is 5% tool and 95% toy for me. More than I could possibly ever use. It is fun learning about the infinite possibilities! God bless.


Btw, just wanted to mention that I was not suggesting permanently bypassing the noise gate in my post above, although you could. Was just providing this as one possible troubleshooting measure for testing.