#1
So, I've finally got around to building up a pedalboard, and I've had this question for a long time. When people throw around sayings like tone sucking, crappy buffer, and all that stuff, it is simply a loss in signal level that could be cured with any boost like a micro amp/EHX LPB? Or is it literally taking certain tonal qualities out of the signal? If it's the first, then i'm set, but if it's the second, how do people deal with it without buying midi switching/modding every single pedal? Or is it both..
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#2
depends... if it's just treble loss from long cables, a good buffer or boost (as most of those contain a buffer, as far as i'm aware) should help. if it's actually caused by crappy buffers in other pedals, i'm not certain, it's going to get a bit more complicated...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
got some 40+ pedals on my board... so I've read up on this quite a bit.

I can't part with a few of my boss pedals - black label cs-2, old blues driver, dd7, ce5... but they have crappy buffers that will suck tone and really get bad after you chain 3-5 of them together.

my pederson strobo stomp sucks tone even tho it claims to be true bypass...

I would bet $$$ that my twin tube sucks some serious tone with that 'relay' true bypass... but I haven't really had time to test it yet.

it's tricky cause mfg have caught on to the catch phase 'true bypass' and use it knowing full well it isn't what most of us mean by true bypass... but I digress.

here's what I've learned so far:

#1 is true bypass loops. You can buy them, or build them fairly easily. Even tho I'd have a ton of cable running if I ran every pedal I have... most of the time I have 90% of my pedals bypassed on a true bypass loop, and so my cable length thru the board is really only the equiv of 3-5 pedals.

#2 like a prev poster mentioned... a GOOD buffer is key. Kind of surprising more pedal mfg haven't caught on to the idea of a switchable buffer, but it's an added cost that most of us wouldn't realize we need so... there goes that idea.

oddly enough some feel the tube screamers buffers are really nice, but I'm certain you don't want your screamer on all the time. Your options: either get an 'aby switch' (buffer is always on in the y position), make a buffer by reading the craig anderton books or visiting AMZ, or find a compressor or booster with a nice buffer and set it 'almost off' - a good candidate would be the dallas arbiter rangemaster or other treble booster cause it only boosts your highs which is what you loose from long cable runs for the most part.

#3 ideally you want one, or as close to 'one and only one' buffer as you can get. If you have extremely long cables you may need to break this rule... but note that each buffer adds noise.

#4 Ideally you have a buffer in your guitar(obviously if you have emgs this is not a prob). The point is that you are loosing subtle highs and lows as your guitar signal flows thru even a 10' cable to your pedalboard or amp. I don't know if we need to get quite THIS picky... but in a perfect world...

#5 true bypass setups really take advantage of high quality cable. monster cable and george l are about the best... but I certainly can't afford the number of monster cables I'd have to buy to wire up all 40 of my pedals, so I make small compramises...

I use monster cable to go from gtr to board... and my shortest path - ie the path from the first looper pedal to the second and then to my amp (for my tone side), and the path from the fx send to looper to other looper and back to the return is all high quality stuff. The pedals I use 'all the time' are situated with monster or planet waves stuff... and I have more tb loopers within my tb loops (head spinning?)

the pedals I use 'amost never' are std pro co or sometimes whatever's left!

hope this was a somewhat informative summation of many great ideas I've managed to retain from many brighter minds than mine... and please forgive the gratuitous use of ellipsis.
#4
excellent post. I'd add that true bypass will suck tone if you have any amount of cable (as you said, long cables are what suck the treble), but other than that

there was a good article about this in guitar buyer magazine an issue or two ago, but I don't think it's available online, unfortunately.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Quote by mistermikev
yadayada, I have loops within my loops

Dude, I must see a pic of your pedal rig... I dream of tb loops within tb loops.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#6


+1, though, that's got to be one heck of a board.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
Quote by mistermikev
got some 40+ pedals on my board... so I've read up on this quite a bit.

I can't part with a few of my boss pedals - black label cs-2, old blues driver, dd7, ce5... but they have crappy buffers that will suck tone and really get bad after you chain 3-5 of them together.

my pederson strobo stomp sucks tone even tho it claims to be true bypass...

I would bet $$$ that my twin tube sucks some serious tone with that 'relay' true bypass... but I haven't really had time to test it yet.

it's tricky cause mfg have caught on to the catch phase 'true bypass' and use it knowing full well it isn't what most of us mean by true bypass... but I digress.

here's what I've learned so far:

#1 is true bypass loops. You can buy them, or build them fairly easily. Even tho I'd have a ton of cable running if I ran every pedal I have... most of the time I have 90% of my pedals bypassed on a true bypass loop, and so my cable length thru the board is really only the equiv of 3-5 pedals.

#2 like a prev poster mentioned... a GOOD buffer is key. Kind of surprising more pedal mfg haven't caught on to the idea of a switchable buffer, but it's an added cost that most of us wouldn't realize we need so... there goes that idea.

oddly enough some feel the tube screamers buffers are really nice, but I'm certain you don't want your screamer on all the time. Your options: either get an 'aby switch' (buffer is always on in the y position), make a buffer by reading the craig anderton books or visiting AMZ, or find a compressor or booster with a nice buffer and set it 'almost off' - a good candidate would be the dallas arbiter rangemaster or other treble booster cause it only boosts your highs which is what you loose from long cable runs for the most part.

#3 ideally you want one, or as close to 'one and only one' buffer as you can get. If you have extremely long cables you may need to break this rule... but note that each buffer adds noise.

#4 Ideally you have a buffer in your guitar(obviously if you have emgs this is not a prob). The point is that you are loosing subtle highs and lows as your guitar signal flows thru even a 10' cable to your pedalboard or amp. I don't know if we need to get quite THIS picky... but in a perfect world...

#5 true bypass setups really take advantage of high quality cable. monster cable and george l are about the best... but I certainly can't afford the number of monster cables I'd have to buy to wire up all 40 of my pedals, so I make small compramises...

I use monster cable to go from gtr to board... and my shortest path - ie the path from the first looper pedal to the second and then to my amp (for my tone side), and the path from the fx send to looper to other looper and back to the return is all high quality stuff. The pedals I use 'all the time' are situated with monster or planet waves stuff... and I have more tb loopers within my tb loops (head spinning?)

the pedals I use 'amost never' are std pro co or sometimes whatever's left!

hope this was a somewhat informative summation of many great ideas I've managed to retain from many brighter minds than mine... and please forgive the gratuitous use of ellipsis.


great great post, thank to you, this thread is now stickied for me =)
i have 14 pedals in my board (+3 footswitches) and I can say they definitely suck done, i lose a lot of high end in the end. however, i had never though of using my clean boost as a buffer, i might try that (it's an mxr micro amp, i guess it'll be decent enough ?)

edit: i'm with the 2 above, picsplz
Last edited by Darkflame at Oct 27, 2009,
#8
Quote by Darkflame
great great post, thank to you, this thread is now stickied for me =)
i have 14 pedals in my board (+3 footswitches) and I can say they definitely suck done, i lose a lot of high end in the end. however, i had never though of using my clean boost as a buffer, i might try that (it's an mxr micro amp, i guess it'll be decent enough ?)

Isn't that what those micro amps are made for?
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#10
Quote by Darkflame
^i use it as a boost for recording loops so i can have some loops higher than others, and i also use it to saturate my overdrive channel on my amp.. never used it for anything else before lol, it'd make sense

Ya, I'm pretty sure those were designed to boost the level on longer signal chains.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!