#1
Hey..

today i noticed my pedalboard is sucking a lot of my tone - i thought it was the speaker, it seems like it was my pedalboard doing most of it... (though the speaker is also an issue, just not as much of one as i thought)

my rig is:

guitar -> marshall ED-1 -> EHX small stone -> marshall JH-1 -> Boss DS-2 -> amp

it kind of sounds like the sort of signal loss you'd expect running through a load of true bypass pedals in a chain - single coils sound weak and humbuckers sound muddy and flat, in comparsion to how they sound if i plug the guitar straight into the amp - the difference is like night and day.

as far as i know the marshall pedals and the EHX small stone are true bypass (marshall site says "passive bypass"? is this the same thing?). i know the boss is buffered bypass, though.

i'm a bit clueless as to what i can do to reduce this signal loss so i'm getting at least a decent quality signal into the amp, although i'm aware there's always going to be a certain amount of tone-suck when using pedals.. at the moment i've tried nothing and i'm all out of ideas

anyone got any ideas on how i could improve the situation?
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#2
The first thing you should check would be your patch cables; a weak connection or a bad solder joint can easily cause the symptoms you listed.

If you want to take it to the next step, and if patch cables aren't the problem, trying running through your pedals one at a time to see if one of them causes significant tone loss. The DS-2 and Small Stone probably shouldn't be the issue, though I admit I have little experience with Marshall pedals.

By the way, a lot of guys with larger pedalboards use high-quality buffers to beef up their tone; I high recommend this guy's mini-buffer if that's a route you want to go.

http://www.this1smyne.com/product_list/products/mb-mini-buffer/
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#3
Also, if your pedals aren't true-bypass when they aren't on, that will drain some signal as well. But regardless, the longer you make your signal path, the more capacitance you build up, which kills your high end and clarity. Go with the buffer idea, that will help out a lot. But getting pedals that are true bypass will be a huge step as well.
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#4
Quote by Strangeman86
Also, if your pedals aren't true-bypass when they aren't on, that will drain some signal as well. . .


Not necessarily. A pedal that isn't true bypass doesn't always drain some signal. Buffered can be done right. I've got a blog about true bypass in my profile you can find if you click on the link to my name

<<<<< over there somewhere
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#5
Yep, trying them one by one is the best idea, so you can identify the problem.

I want to second the thought that the Marshall is probably it though.
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#6
well i've tried putting a nobels clean boost that i already had at the start of the pedal chain (just managed to make room for one - my board is actually a tray that i 'borrowed' from the kitchen and stuck some velcro to).

seems to have helped a fair bit, not a great deal though.

at some point tomorrow i'm probably gonna check the pedals individually to see if its one particular pedal with a dodgy bypass - it's getting a bit too late to be checking it properly now (with the volume relatively high, it's more obvious )
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#7
Just a thought, how are you powering your pedals? If it's batteries does one of them need replacing? If using an adaptor, it might not have enough power to power them all. I had a similar problem and solved it with a 1spot power adaptor...Like I said, it's just a thought.
#8
I say the marshall pedals are still the problem as "passive bypass" and "true bypass" are two different things.

True bypass is just that: true bypass, it "bypasses" the pedal pretty much all together when the pedal is not turned on. Straight in, Straight out when the pedal is turned off.

Passive bypass is different, it is not true bypass, atleast i do not think it is. Passive, I think, goes through the pedal and when it is not turned on, it just wont do the effect of the pedal until it is turned on. Instead of the switch being at the beginning and end of the of the in/out of the pedal(as with true bypass), it is at the end only of the pedal meaning it will go in, through both the pedal and the bypass of the pedal, and the switch at the end of the pedal determines if its on or off.

Dont take my word for this im typing this off of memory from schematics i was looking at a long time ago.

Marshall pedals are passive bypass.

From my experiences anything other than true bypass will suck tone.
Last edited by Stryker636 at Apr 13, 2011,
#9
Good buffer > true bypass > bad buffer.
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Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#10
Quote by Ichabod Crane
Just a thought, how are you powering your pedals? If it's batteries does one of them need replacing? If using an adaptor, it might not have enough power to power them all. I had a similar problem and solved it with a 1spot power adaptor...Like I said, it's just a thought.

i'm using a godlyke PA-9 thing, it's basically the same as a 1spot and has plenty of power for all of my pedals all at once, and i actually have a lot of them.. at the moment, since i've added my nobels preamp to the front in order to convert the signal to 2kOhms to try to reduce signal loss, i'm only running 5, and none of them are especially power-hungry.

@stryker - that does sound like it might be the marshall pedals causing the problem. i'll try taking the marshall pedals out of the chain first and see what happens. your description of passive bypass reminded me, actually - with higher gain settings on the JH-1 you can hear the top end of the distortion fizzing in the background while the pedal is supposed to be bypassing it... i forgot about that

EDIT: i've checked the pedals individually and they aren't individually making a noticable difference, i think it's more to do with the combination of all the pedals i'm using contributing to the tone-suckage enough for me to notice a difference, and me being picky about keeping my guitar's tone as pure and un-tainted as possible when it reaches the amp (i'm starting to sound like CasinoEpiphone, now )

i think i just need a true bypass looper which i hear is quite cheap and easy to build, and maybe a good quality buffer if the problem still persists. at the moment having the nobels preamp at the start of the signal chain just sitting idle as a buffer does the job enough to make the difference somewhat less noticable.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
Last edited by Blompcube at Apr 14, 2011,
#12
I have a Marshall reverb pedal, and its bypass isnt great, at all.

I like the effects loop, I actually just built one since I received that email from stewmac. I only use the reverb pedal with my little Champ, since it has no reverb, but I can tell it sucks tone when it is off, more so than any of my other non-true bypass pedals (two tube screamers and Fender tuner). I only use my Wah and 1 of the tube screamers with my Hot Rod Deluxe, and I can definately tell the tone suck of the other pedals. I built that looper so that I can run

guitar>True Bypass Crybaby> 1 Tube Screamer>Looper (Rat Copy, Tube Screamer, Marshall Reverb, Fender Tuner (sometimes a boss delay and chorus))>A/B Box>Amps

I think that is one of the best options, cheap and easy build.
#13
Try running them off batteries. More often than not a daisy chain type power supply like the godlyke tends to cause a lot of problems. What you really need is something like voodoo labs pedal power.

The next most likely culprit is the cables. If you're using cheap crap it could definitely account for tone loss.

Beyond that, none of those pedals are true bypass, but honestly you're only running 4 pedals, and I know the boss and the ehx have reasonably decent buffers. Yes, you'll probably have to deal with a bit of tone loss, but certainly nothing major.