#1
Hi all. I used to use a BOSS ME-50 multi effects unit for all of my guitar signal processing, but I recently joined a new band and wanted to upgrade to separate effects pedals before we start gigging. I have read that chaining multiple pedals together can really muddy up your guitar tone though. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this something I should be concerned with? And if so, are there any good remedies? Here's my current setup:

Vintage V100 -> BBE Boosta Grande -> Dunlop Crybaby Wah -> MXR Phase 90 -> EHX Deluxe Memory Boy -> Marshall AVT50.

I would like to add tuner, tremolo, and whammy pedals to the setup as well so it is going to look more like:

Vintage V100 -> BOSS TU-2 tuner -> BBE Boosta Grande -> Dunlop Crybaby Wah -> Digitech Whammy -> MXR Phase 90 -> BOSS TR-2 tremolo -> EHX Deluxe Memory Boy -> Marshall AVT50.

I know the AVT50 isn't the greatest tone in the world to begin with, but it does have an AX7 tube so I'm pretty happy with the dry sound from the overdrive channel and would like it to stay that way when the pedals are switched off. Thanks.

- Dannecticut
#2
you can test yourself if it's a problem, if you can be bothered. plug straight into your amp and note how it sounds. then plug into all your pedals and plug into your amp and note how it sounds. if there's no difference (or very little difference) it's not worth worrying about.

it's worth being aware of it (just in case if you add a pedal and your tone goes to crap, you'll know where to start troubleshooting), but it's probably not worth worrying about, kind of thing.

easiest cure is probably a decent buffer. those new pedals you're thinking of adding should have buffers in them already. with any luck they'll fix any problems you're having.
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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
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#3
Yeah, my gear lives at the bass player's house where we have our rehearsal space so I don't have access to it all the time. I'll be playing around with it ASAP to see what kind of effects these things are having on my tone.

Thanks for the tip about using a buffer. I'd never heard of them before and now I'm finding all kinds of useful info about them.

I can't find anything definitive on the Whammy v4, but it looks like most BOSS pedals are buffered which will be nice since the chain will start with the TU-2 and end near the TR-2.
#4
Needing a buffer isn't going to be your problem with that chain. If anything you've got too many buffers going on. The TU-2 has one, the BBE has one, the crybaby has really bad bypass (not a buffer), the whammy has one, the TR-2 has one, and only the one on the BBE is what I'd call a decent buffer. So the rest are just going to be filtering and coloring your tone unnecessarily. It might be a problem, might not, but unless you have a crazy long pedal chain or a very unusual situation, the optimal number of buffers is either 0 or 1. The Wah and the Whammy both have a fairly bad bypass and you may notice some degradation with just those two.

On the other hand, the AVT isn't the most sensitive amp in the world, maybe it will sound just fine as is. Give it a try, at least. Anything we tell you here is just idle speculation, the easy answer is to try the pedals and figure out if any of them are giving you issues.
#5
The "tone loss" described is most often a low pass filter effect -- higher frequencies are attenuated while lower frequencies pass through. This occurs in long signal chains for a menagerie of reasons, but one of the common ones is a long coaxial cable acts as an RC filter, with longer cables having lower cutoff frequencies, eventually dropping into the audio regions. This can be prevented by dropping the output impedance of the first pedal in your signal change; a "buffer." You can either buy/build a dedicated pedal or get something with buffered output.

Nothing that hasn't already been said, but figured you might be interested into the "why."
#6
Is it true that you can test if a pedal is true bypass by unplugging its power supply and seeing if it still passes signal? There is so much conflicting information about which pedals have what type of bypass. At the very least the wah and whammy are universally cited as having bad bypasses. According to digitech, the phase 90 isn't true bypass either. That's good to know about the BBE though. Worst case scenario, I'll have some fun building a true bypass loop strip and driving it with the BBE. Thanks guys!
#7
If it does that, it is true bypass, but a lot of companies are using relays and whatnot now so some pedals are true bypass but won't pass signal with the power off. So it can give you false negatives.

There's really no need to sift through 'conflicting information.' It's usually very easy to figure out, if you know what you're looking for. Some pedals have changed over the years, but I've yet to see a pedal with true bypass that didn't have that feature listed somewhere in the marketing or manual. If it's not true bypass, they'll either say nothing (boss) or tell you how great their bypass buffer is (BBE).

Just googling "XXX pedal buffer" and/or "XXX pedal true bypass" usually clears it up quickly. I just double-checked all those pedals and it took me less than a minute. I don't know what you're searching that comes up with conflicting information, but it shouldn't be that hard. If you're getting conflicting information you're looking in the wrong places.
#8
Quote by dannecticut
Is it true that you can test if a pedal is true bypass by unplugging its power supply and seeing if it still passes signal? There is so much conflicting information about which pedals have what type of bypass.


No, it could be half-assed bypass.

And as colin rightly said, a fair few true bypass pedals these days use relays (which require power).

All removing the power supply tells you is that there's no buffer in there.
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?