#1
Hey y'all.

I never got a solid answser for this so here is a thread for the question :
Toneloss in a pedalboard -> What's the solution ???

My pedalboard consist of 5 pedals (Boss, EHX and Visual Sound).

Is a boost pedal a solution? Like the EHX LPB1 ?

Thanks!
#2
your problem is most likely the Boss pedals. They are not true bypass and will affect your tone more than you think.
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#3
No pedals is the solution to toneloss
Quote by Dave_Mc
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#4
true bypass loop maybe
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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
Unfortunately, Matrix Claw is pretty much right.

The alternative would be to build a pedalboard consisting only of pedals that have high quality buffers. But even still, you'd get some loss.

You can try raising the highs in your EQ, since I believe that's all that tone loss really is, though obviously it won't exactly be the same.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Jul 9, 2011,
#6
So there is no cure to toneloss! I didn't expect to hear that.

Not even a boost pedal ?
#7
not sure that's a great idea- buffers can stack and interact and add noise etc. Going all buffers can arguably do more harm than good. generally true bypass + minimum number required of good buffers + buffers in the right place is the way to go.

EDIT: ^ a boost or buffer would work if all your other pedals were true bypass. since a lot of your pedals are already buffered, I'm not sure that's the problem. the problem is more likely to be too many buffers, or poor quality buffers. and the way to solve that is a true bypass loop (assuming you don't just want to start from scratch and buy different pedals).
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 9, 2011,
#8
Maybe you're (probably) right there. But I've found that true bypass is a lot worse for your tone than good buffers. Since TB allows your tone to gradually degrade through your signal chain, whereas a buffer keeps it intact.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#9
What is a truebypass loop ? A little device like a pedal ?

If I replace my Boss DS1 by a Visual Sound Son oh Hyde (I read Visual Sound have great buffers), will that do any good ?
#10
^ it's just basically a pedal with jacks and footswitches in it. you plug your pedals into it, and leave the pedals on, and then kick the switch of the TBP loop when you want to turn on (or off) the effects.

another advantage is that you can kick on and off several pedals with one switch.

Quote by Offworld92
Maybe you're (probably) right there. But I've found that true bypass is a lot worse for your tone than good buffers. Since TB allows your tone to gradually degrade through your signal chain, whereas a buffer keeps it intact.


oh, sure. but too many buffers, or buffers interacting, bring their own problems which are arguably worse, and which are arguably much more difficult to cure.

for example, if you're noticing tone loss with an all true bypass pedal setup, to fix that just whack a known quality buffer in there somewhere. problem solved, probably.

if you have a bunch of buffered pedals and are experiencing tone loss, what do you do?

well, true bypass loop, i guess, as i said at the start. but then you still have the true bypass problems, plus the added expense and cables, plus pedalboard real estate knightmare, of the true bypass loop, and you might still have to add a buffer outside the loop if the cables going from your guitar to pedalboard and/or guitar to amp are long and/or highish in capacitance.

that's all i'm saying.
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 9, 2011,
#11
Okay thanks. I'm not sold on the TBP Loop I'd rather buy better pedals.

If I replace my Boss DS1 by a Visual Sound Son oh Hyde (I read Visual Sound have great buffers), will that do any good ?

Are EHX better than Boss ?
#12
Quote by Offworld92
Maybe you're (probably) right there. But I've found that true bypass is a lot worse for your tone than good buffers. Since TB allows your tone to gradually degrade through your signal chain, whereas a buffer keeps it intact.

Really strongly disagree with this. One buffer will drive any length of cable, so any more than one buffer is a waste. At best, the second buffer would be on par with a TBP pedal, but more often they start to interact with pedals or degrade the high end. If you've got one pedal early in the chain on, a buffer elsewhere is a waste. True bypass pedals are my choice because it's really simple to fix their drawbacks, even of dozens of pedals in a chain, all at once - just have one buffer, or decent cables, or one pedal on, active pickups, etc. If a pedal has a crappy buffer, there's no easy fix. If two or more buffers start to degrade tone or interact with your pedals, there's no easy fix.

One buffer is one thing, but I've all but given up on buffers on my boards because they usually cause me more problems than they solve. True bypass pedals are always predictable and easy to work with.
#14
The thing you need to ask first of all is, "Do you even have tone loss to the point where it makes things sound worse?"

so as Rob suggested in the PBT when you asked there, unplug every pedal play for a bit. then plug in one pedal at a time.. if you notice it starting to sound shit when you plug a certain pedal in then thats your culprit and you can replace that pedal or whatever you want to do.

main point, "if it aint broke, dont fix it"
#15
Quote by Roc8995
Really strongly disagree with this. One buffer will drive any length of cable, so any more than one buffer is a waste. At best, the second buffer would be on par with a TBP pedal, but more often they start to interact with pedals or degrade the high end. If you've got one pedal early in the chain on, a buffer elsewhere is a waste. True bypass pedals are my choice because it's really simple to fix their drawbacks, even of dozens of pedals in a chain, all at once - just have one buffer, or decent cables, or one pedal on, active pickups, etc. If a pedal has a crappy buffer, there's no easy fix. If two or more buffers start to degrade tone or interact with your pedals, there's no easy fix.

One buffer is one thing, but I've all but given up on buffers on my boards because they usually cause me more problems than they solve. True bypass pedals are always predictable and easy to work with.


yeah, that's what i'm saying. i normally have a buffer in there because i use a decimator (it's a good buffer, though, at least in my rig it sounds pretty good- it sounds "better" than with it taken out of the chain), but aside from that i'm pretty much good. EDIT: actually now that i think of it i currently have my decimator in the loop

i've heard some people say that with really long cables or effects chains that you might need a second buffer- is there any truth to that?

but certainly you don't need every pedal to have a buffer. if anything you don't want that.

isn't another problem (aside from the noise and interactions) that the gain of a buffer is slightly less than unity, so if you stack them up it starts to get noticeable? Like you might not notice gain of 0.95, but stick 10 pedals in there with gain of 0.95 and now you're at ~0.6 (if my maths are right)... which probably is. o_O

(I just made up a gain of 0.95, it might be better than that, 0.99 say.)
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 10, 2011,
#16
True Bypass looper. Even though its a pain to set up. And you'll have to invest in twice as many cables as you already have and might need to build a new pedalboard. Thats what I'm going to have to do anyways.
#17
The solution to tone loss starts with the ability to diagnose. Like OldMonkey said, go through your pedal chain and check each pedal individually and then as you put them back into the chain. Even patch cables can cause tone loss if the contacts are sketchy. The best place for a buffer is at the beginning of the chain because your pickups are vunerable to loading the signal.

Some pedals affect your tone when off whether you have a buffer or not. You'll just have to decide if they are worth it.
#18
Your pedals have buffered bypass and probably cannot power the length of two cables and all the other pedals. What you need to do is either modify them for true-bypass, which is an easy job, or you can purchase what I just purchased - a dedicated buffer. My one is a tiny thing from a boutique company called This1sMyne. It cost $40 and has almost completely restored my tone, which is running through 7 true-bypass pedals and 6 meters of cable.

You should also consider investing in high quality cables, both for patching between pedals, and from the guitar to the tuner and from the last pedal to the amp.

There are other gadgets that are more expensive that supposedly offer the same type of thing but in a different manner. For instance, TheGigRig offer the Z Cable, while Fryette offers the Valvulator, a valve powered buffer and power supply. It's a large piece of kit and is quite expensive, so I'd suggest trying out the cheaper buffers first, and if that doesn't work then replace your cables, modify your pedals for true-bypass, and pick up one of those two gadgets.
#19
This is a topic that has been burning on me for a little while.....

No offence to your equipment, most of mine is pretty ordinary too but I just don't get the guys that are obsessed with toneloss/tonesuck when they're playing amateur/semi-pro kit! If you're playing a Fender Custom Shop Tele through a Dr Z amp with a £50 cable I'd understand the issue.
But with the stuff that normal people can afford, what difference does it make it if you have to turn the presence up a tiny bit to compensate? If I take a pedal out of the loop, maybe there's a difference but does it sound worse?
If the pedal ruins the sound completely then fair enough but I think it's something that people are getting too worried about. So many great records have been recorded using whatever junk it took to get the job done (and are we all recording with our rigs?), a little treble loss is irrelevant unless your amp is maxed out!
Quote by fly135
Just because one has tone suck it doesn't mean one's tone sucks.
#20
EHX and Visual Sound are some of the worst tone suckers I've experienced but they sound awesome.

See this? Don't get this:



Instead try one of these. Just put all your pedals in it. That way you can even use it as a master on/off if you want:



$30 on sale at loop-master.com right now.
Last edited by papersun87 at Jul 10, 2011,
#21


Lots of good info. I didn't know having multiple buffers could be bad.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#22
Quote by Offworld92


Lots of good info. I didn't know having multiple buffers could be bad.




Quote by Dilberto
This is a topic that has been burning on me for a little while.....

No offence to your equipment, most of mine is pretty ordinary too but I just don't get the guys that are obsessed with toneloss/tonesuck when they're playing amateur/semi-pro kit! If you're playing a Fender Custom Shop Tele through a Dr Z amp with a £50 cable I'd understand the issue.
But with the stuff that normal people can afford, what difference does it make it if you have to turn the presence up a tiny bit to compensate? If I take a pedal out of the loop, maybe there's a difference but does it sound worse?
If the pedal ruins the sound completely then fair enough but I think it's something that people are getting too worried about. So many great records have been recorded using whatever junk it took to get the job done (and are we all recording with our rigs?), a little treble loss is irrelevant unless your amp is maxed out!


oh, you can definitely get way too anal and miss the wood for the trees if you're not careful.

On the other hand, though, if you are noticing problems and can't quite put your finger on it, or even if you haven't noticed the problems because you haven't tried better kit, it's worth knowing what's going on so that you can make an informed decision on how to fix it.

That's the way I look at it anyway.
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?
#23
Some really good points in this thread!

I think some thing is to make sure you have high quality patch cables, so many people hook up great pedals with poor cables, and it just doesn't make sense! A lot of people complain about the boss buffers, but I have never noticed them colouring the sound in a way which is too offensive, but everyones rig is differnt. I agree with Roc8995 - I prefer mainly true bypass, with a buffered pedal at the beginning of the chain - for me it is a Boss CS3, but for a lot of people their tuner has a buffer in it. Bypass loops are super useful - in the past my board went:

GTR -> CS3 (buffer) -> Bypass looper for distortion (ds, OD, noise gate etc) -> Bypass looper for modulation (chorus, phaser, etc) -> AMP

Which provides a really nice solution because all the pedals that I'm not using are bypassed, and I can turn on/off all distortion/OD and all modulation by one foot switch. It also let me experiment with cheapy pedals as they were completly out the signal chain until I came to use them, so I wouldn't have to take them off my board for band practice.

A good way of testing if a pedal has a shite buffer (if anyone has mentioned this above I'm sorry to repeat a previous post) is to put it in a true bypass loop, ensure it is disengaged, and toggle the loop on off in your cleanest setting and if you notice any change in tone or volume drop when the loop is engaged then you know you have a dodgy pedal/dodgy buffer.
Last edited by ragingben at Jul 11, 2011,
#24
^ ah that's a good idea for a bypass tone test, if you already have a tbp loop
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?
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc
i've heard some people say that with really long cables or effects chains that you might need a second buffer- is there any truth to that?

Could be. It would have to be quite a cable run, though. A buffer should really be able to drive nearly any reasonable length of cable. After the buffer, you've probably got 10 feet worth of cable in the board and then 10-20 at most from there to the amp.

Quote by Dave

isn't another problem (aside from the noise and interactions) that the gain of a buffer is slightly less than unity, so if you stack them up it starts to get noticeable? Like you might not notice gain of 0.95, but stick 10 pedals in there with gain of 0.95 and now you're at ~0.6 (if my maths are right)... which probably is. o_O

(I just made up a gain of 0.95, it might be better than that, 0.99 say.)

Yes, definitely. Some good (read:boutique) pedals have a trimpot inside that lets you adjust the buffer strength, but it's a rare feature. Of course, some buffers are a little stronger and some a little weaker, so they might even out, but running three or four buffers from different manufacturers, even if they're good, is probably going to cause problems.

My solution to all of this is just to use a clean boost pedal set to a tiny boost at the front of the chain. With my les paul, it's on all the time. With my strat, I often turn it off because the treble loss is beneficial with that guitar.
#26
Quote by Roc8995
(a) Could be. It would have to be quite a cable run, though. A buffer should really be able to drive nearly any reasonable length of cable. After the buffer, you've probably got 10 feet worth of cable in the board and then 10-20 at most from there to the amp.


(b) Yes, definitely. Some good (read:boutique) pedals have a trimpot inside that lets you adjust the buffer strength, but it's a rare feature. Of course, some buffers are a little stronger and some a little weaker, so they might even out, but running three or four buffers from different manufacturers, even if they're good, is probably going to cause problems.

My solution to all of this is just to use a clean boost pedal set to a tiny boost at the front of the chain. With my les paul, it's on all the time. With my strat, I often turn it off because the treble loss is beneficial with that guitar.


(a) thanks. and yeah, as you said, unless it's a monster board it'll probably be fine.

(b) yeah, that's probably the way to do it. i guess a standalone buffer with no on/off switch or controls is probably a little cheaper to make/buy, but it's not like most clean boosts are *that* expensive (even the boutique ones), and you have a lot more options with one...

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?