#1
I noticed today that my guitars all sound better when I have them directly connected to my amps instead of going into a set of true bypass pedals first. I tried all the pedals individually, tried different cables and a bunch of different guitars (Epi Les Paul Standard, MIA Peavey Predator, Peavey T-60 and others). It was true for all three of my amps (Fender Princeton Chorus, Crate V5 and Vox ADVT50 Valvetronix). Any time there was anything - tuner, wah pedal, phaser, compressor, flanger or digital delay, all turned off and supposedly true bypass - between the guitar and the amp, the guitar sound was missing some of the treble bit and sounded a bit "dead". On the other hand, if I connected the two cables directly to each other by a double-female connector, no change in sound. So it's not the cables, it's something about the pedals (all Joyo's except the Dunlop wah and a Seiko in-line tuner). If this is a well-known phenomenon, I apologize, but I've been playing for three years and never heard anyone mention this before. The current solution is to move all the pedals to the effects loop of the Princeton Chorus where they don't seem to hurt the sound when they're switched off. The downside is that I can no longer use them with my other two amps.

Any idea what's up?
#2
the extra length of guitar cable when using the pedals is what is making the highs go away. You would actually be better off if one of your pedals was buffered (a good buffer) this will help add the highs back in.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
Lots of true bypass pedals in a chain suck tone as much as a shitty wah. If you want to run all those pedals you need a buffer or two in the chain. Analogman makes nice buffer pedals.
#4
Seems like I just independently discovered tone sucking. I had heard the term before, but now I know precisely what people have been talking about. Thanks very much for the info. Would the Visual Sound Tone Buffer sold by Amazon solve the problem?
#5
Quote by jds2
Seems like I just independently discovered tone sucking. I had heard the term before, but now I know precisely what people have been talking about. Thanks very much for the info. Would the Visual Sound Tone Buffer sold by Amazon solve the problem?

It would help

what length of cables are you using?

My board has 2x 18 ft cables, 1 1ft cable and 3x 6" cable on my rig and there is a bit of high end loss but with my bad monkey in the chain I don't notice it
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
Quote by Robbgnarly
It would help

what length of cables are you using?

My board has 2x 18 ft cables, 1 1ft cable and 3x 6" cable on my rig and there is a bit of high end loss but with my bad monkey in the chain I don't notice it


I have a 10 foot cable to the guitar, then the little 6" cables between pedals and a 6 foot cable from the last pedal to the amp. When I connected the 10 and 6 foot cables directly together (female / female adapter), no tone suck.
#7
Quote by jds2
I have a 10 foot cable to the guitar, then the little 6" cables between pedals and a 6 foot cable from the last pedal to the amp. When I connected the 10 and 6 foot cables directly together (female / female adapter), no tone suck.


What brand are the cables? Especially the little ones between pedals.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#8
Quote by the_bi99man
What brand are the cables? Especially the little ones between pedals.


Cheapies. Not a good idea?
#9
Quote by jds2
Cheapies. Not a good idea?


Yup. Bad cables are bad. And your signal chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you've got enough good brand name cables, even if they're longer, try running your pedal chain with only the better cables and see if the tone is sucked as much.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#10
Unless there's something wrong with the cables, it shouldn't matter what kind of cables you use (if we are talking about instrument cables of the same length). Of course cheaper cables are more likely to have something wrong with them. But a properly working cable should sound like a properly working cable, no matter how cheap or expensive it is.

But of course try different cables.


BTW, what you are describing happens with my MXR Micro Chorus, which is supposedly true bypass. But there's a treble cut, even if I used my shortest cables. And it's the only pedal in the "chain".

You could also try the pedals individually and see if some of them seems to suck more tone.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
one other thing that is rarely mentioned is the quality of the signal path through the pedals themselves. if the jacks aren't great quality you can lose some signal strength there as well. dunlop whas don't have great buffers.
#12
And that's why "true bypass" is more complicated than it seems. If your signal has a long path to travel before it reaches the amp, you will need something to keep the signal strength up - a boost to make sure it reaches the amp before it fades into nothing. And that's where a buffer comes in.

All Boss pedals are buffered for example, and have a buffer of reasonably good quality. Using a Boss TU-3 tuner at the start of the pedal chain and some other pedal with a buffer at the other end of it would help a lot.

You do want your tuner to be the very first thing your signal reaches for tuning accuracy, and effects like distortion and wah also needs to be in front of the amp so putting things in the effects loop really isn't a good idea to get around the problem.

Quote by monwobobbo
one other thing that is rarely mentioned is the quality of the signal path through the pedals themselves. if the jacks aren't great quality you can lose some signal strength there as well. dunlop whas don't have great buffers.


Absolutely true. I have a Vox V847 Wah, and that one sucks tone like nothing else. Either you mod the pedal or you just avoid using pedals with bad buffers.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
Last edited by HomerSGR at Aug 23, 2015,
#13
Quote by jds2
Seems like I just independently discovered tone sucking. I had heard the term before, but now I know precisely what people have been talking about. Thanks very much for the info. Would the Visual Sound Tone Buffer sold by Amazon solve the problem?


yeah, the visual sound buffer is pretty good. if anything (and in my opinion) it's nearly "too good"- it sounds a little brighter than plugged straight in, and you may like that or not.

the buffer in the EHX soul food is very good, too, it's one of the cheapest ways to get a good buffer plus a good pedal as well. Might be worth a try, it's little dearer than the visual sound buffer and you get a free pedal too. (Of course, you could always buy one of the V2 Visual Sound pedals which have the pure tone buffer built-in for the same reason.)

Which specific pedals do you have? Some manufacturers claim their pedals are true bypass when they aren't. So you can't discount that, either (though with long enough cables and/or high enough capacitance ones even true bypass will suck a fair bit of tone and will benefit from a good buffer up front).

Quote by MaggaraMarine
Unless there's something wrong with the cables, it shouldn't matter what kind of cables you use (if we are talking about instrument cables of the same length). Of course cheaper cables are more likely to have something wrong with them. But a properly working cable should sound like a properly working cable, no matter how cheap or expensive it is.


nah if the cables are really high capacitance you'll be able to hear it, especially if they're on the longer side. And crappier jacks can add a lot of capacitance as well. Plus cheaper cables often aren't made and/or shielded that well so they can break and/or you can get a lot of extraneous noise as well.

that's not to say you need to spend tons of money- you can get good quality pretty low capacitance cables for around £10-£15 in Europe for the 10ft ones (for guitar to board, and board to amp) and similar quality patch cables for around £5 a pop. I'm guessing prices should be broadly similar in the USA. It's worth not buying the bargain basement ones, but once you hit the pro quality reasonable-value stuff, I'm not sure there's any point in paying more.

Quote by HomerSGR
(a)And that's why "true bypass" is more complicated than it seems. If your signal has a long path to travel before it reaches the amp, you will need something to keep the signal strength up - a boost to make sure it reaches the amp before it fades into nothing. And that's where a buffer comes in.

(b) All Boss pedals are buffered for example, and have a buffer of reasonably good quality. Using a Boss TU-3 tuner at the start of the pedal chain and some other pedal with a buffer at the other end of it would help a lot.



(a) I don't think it'll fade to nothing, you'll just lose a lot of highs.

(b) The boss buffers aren't quite unity gain in most instances (the tuner is likely one of the exceptions, I haven't tried it but I think it has the rep of having a "good" buffer). That adds up if you use a lot of Boss pedals.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 23, 2015,
#14
Quote by HomerSGR
You do want your tuner to be the very first thing your signal reaches for tuning accuracy, and effects like distortion and wah also needs to be in front of the amp so putting things in the effects loop really isn't a good idea to get around the problem.


I really appreciate all the info, and I've learned a lot. In terms of the pedals, every individual pedal caused the same tone suck; interestingly, adding more than one didn't make it any worse.

I'll definitely look at that Boss tuner, since I hate running without an in-line tuner. If it also solves the buffer problem, I'll be a happy guy. I'll also check into the Soul Food pedal as well. And BTW, I also discovered that the overdrive pedals and wah can't be in the loop. So they're on the shelf for now.
#15
if you're goiing to get the boss tuner, there's no need to get the soul food (unless you just want to, of course)- you won't really get any benefits from multiple buffers and a good buffer won't cure a bad one anyway (it'll only cure tone suck from true bypass with long cables or half-assed bypass). i just suggested it in case (like me) the idea of buying a standalone buffer sounds a bit boring whereas getting a pedal which already has a good buffer in it sounds like more of a fun idea.
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?
#16
Quote by jds2
I really appreciate all the info, and I've learned a lot. In terms of the pedals, every individual pedal caused the same tone suck; interestingly, adding more than one didn't make it any worse.

I'll definitely look at that Boss tuner, since I hate running without an in-line tuner. If it also solves the buffer problem, I'll be a happy guy. I'll also check into the Soul Food pedal as well. And BTW, I also discovered that the overdrive pedals and wah can't be in the loop. So they're on the shelf for now.


no reason to shelf them just be aware that there might be a small problem. when just running a couple of pedals out front you most likely won't have to much of a problem.
#17
You're using cheap pedals - buy good pedals and this problem does not happen - Xotic, Eventide, Strymon etc.

You get what you pay for. Even some Boss pedals suck tone. Line 6 dl4 had a major tone-suck. In this day and age a pedal tuner is a waste of money unless you plan on using it to power other pedals. Clip tuners work fine.

Buffers are not necessary unless your running ridiculously long cables. I suggest you re-stock your pedal board with nothing but quality pedals - test each one by itself - if it sucks tone, it goes.
#18
Quote by reverb66
In this day and age a pedal tuner is a waste of money unless you plan on using it to power other pedals. Clip tuners work fine.


Pedal tuners are more than just a tuner. They are a simple way to cut signal to the amp, which is extremely useful when you're switching guitars in a live setting, making it's quiet between songs etc.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#19
Quote by reverb66
You're using cheap pedals - buy good pedals and this problem does not happen - Xotic, Eventide, Strymon etc.

You get what you pay for. Even some Boss pedals suck tone. Line 6 dl4 had a major tone-suck. In this day and age a pedal tuner is a waste of money unless you plan on using it to power other pedals. Clip tuners work fine.

Buffers are not necessary unless your running ridiculously long cables. I suggest you re-stock your pedal board with nothing but quality pedals - test each one by itself - if it sucks tone, it goes.


what are you talking about? most of that is flat-out wrong.

testing one by one is maybe not the best idea either, because once you hit a certain length of cable, tone suck which wasn't noticeable all of a sudden can be. So you might bin a pedal when in actuality it's just the length of cable starting to make itself known. You'd want to test that pedal by itself as well before being sure the pedal is the culprit, in other words.

normally you can start to hear the adverse effects of cable length between about 10-20ft, I think. With one 10ft cable to the pedalboard and one 10ft cable to the amp you may well start to hear it. Certainly if you're using two 20ft cables instead of 10ft. And it compounds further if you're using high capacitance cable.

most boss pedals suck tone- most don't have unity gain buffers. with one pedal, you likely won't notice, but use multiple pedals and that signal loss starts to add up.

you don't always get what you pay for, either. sometimes you do. sometimes you don't. there are a lot of chancers in the boutique market (not all, there are also a lot of good companies).
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?
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
what are you talking about? most of that is flat-out wrong.

testing one by one is maybe not the best idea either, because once you hit a certain length of cable, tone suck which wasn't noticeable all of a sudden can be. So you might bin a pedal when in actuality it's just the length of cable starting to make itself known. You'd want to test that pedal by itself as well before being sure the pedal is the culprit, in other words.

normally you can start to hear the adverse effects of cable length between about 10-20ft, I think. With one 10ft cable to the pedalboard and one 10ft cable to the amp you may well start to hear it. Certainly if you're using two 20ft cables instead of 10ft. And it compounds further if you're using high capacitance cable.

most boss pedals suck tone- most don't have unity gain buffers. with one pedal, you likely won't notice, but use multiple pedals and that signal loss starts to add up.

you don't always get what you pay for, either. sometimes you do. sometimes you don't. there are a lot of chancers in the boutique market (not all, there are also a lot of good companies).

Dave, stop making sense your fukkin up everyone else that's here
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
what are you talking about? most of that is flat-out wrong.


.


If a pedal is suffering tone loss because of 10 to 15 ft of cable to the point where it's noticeable and significantly sucking tone, it's not a good pedal and probably doesn't belong on the rig of someone with ears- there's no argument to be had here. Who out there has less than that length of cable on their rig?

I've spent years fighting with pedals and amps - they aren't all created equal - many suck and the sooner you rid them of your chain the easier your life gets. You guys can encourage all the buffers and solutions you want, but the guy is using pedals that cost under$50 and is wondering why he's getting tone loss - it's not exactly a rubix cube of a puzzle.
#22
but a (good) buffer will cure most problems (apart from other crappy buffers). stick a good buffer in front of half-assed bypass pedals (the main culprit in really severe tonesucking)- voila, problem gone, most of the time. Some expensive pedals have half-assed bypass too, it must be said (e.g. the MXR EVH Flanger)- what about your "spend money" advice now?

a pedal won't cause tone loss due to length of cable. that's a fundamental misunderstanding of what's going on. if a pedal genuinely sucks tone it will suck tone regardless of the cable length (e.g. crappy buffer or half-assed bypass with low input impedance). If your tone is sucking because of cable length that's due to the cables, not the pedals.

Quote by Robbgnarly
Dave, stop making sense your fukkin up everyone else that's here


LOL thanks
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
Here's one of many good explanations of "true bypass" pedals on the internet. As others have mentioned above having a pedal board full of true bypass pedals can be a problem unto itself but can be easily resolved with a little understanding of what it really means and how to make it work in your favor. You may need a buffer.

"If you only use a few pedals, and all of them use true hardwire bypass, you probably won’t hear much change in your tone, if any. Five or more, though, and it’s time to look at another solution. - See more at: http://www.jimdunlop.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-true-bypassing/#sthash.hVzUBOUg.dpuf
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 25, 2015,
#24
It's not just the cable length (usually the cable in the short interconnecting cables isn't as high a quality as that on the longer cable from guitar to pedal board and from pedalboard to amp), but the connectors as well.

Remember that every time you add a pedal, you add two internal (female) jacks, two plugs and a length of wire (assuming true bypass) between the two internal jacks. The quality of those jacks and connectors often contributes to any losses between guitar and amp even when the pedals aren't engaged.
#25
^ yeah.
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?
#26
Quote by reverb66
If a pedal is suffering tone loss because of 10 to 15 ft of cable to the point where it's noticeable and significantly sucking tone, it's not a good pedal and probably doesn't belong on the rig of someone with ears- there's no argument to be had here. Who out there has less than that length of cable on their rig?

I've spent years fighting with pedals and amps - they aren't all created equal - many suck and the sooner you rid them of your chain the easier your life gets. You guys can encourage all the buffers and solutions you want, but the guy is using pedals that cost under$50 and is wondering why he's getting tone loss - it's not exactly a rubix cube of a puzzle.


you have some good points but seem to have a slight problem as well. you assume because a pedal is inexpensive that it's crap which may not be the case at all. so far Mooer and Joyo (as well as other branded but essetially same) pedals have gotten good ratings as far as quality of sound (except certain digital ones). i haven't really heard any real complaints on the true bypass thing.

while again i agree that buying good quality pedals is the best plan it isn't always the most practical for many. in theory that should apply to the whole rig but lets face it many can't afford a high end amp, guitar and pedals. bad cables or a shitty power supply are often the real culprits.
#27
Many thanks to those who responded with very useful information. I ordered a Boss TU-3 and an Electro-Harmonix Soul Food (set to buffer mode) and added them to the chain (Tuner at the beginning and the Soul Food #5). Everything else stayed the same (cables, power supply, the rest of the pedals).

I'm very happy to say that adding the two buffer pedals completely solved my tone suck problem. It's quite possible that I only needed the buffer right at the beginning by using the TU-3, but I had been looking for an excuse to buy the Soul Food, so I took advantage. As a bonus, I *love* the sound of the Soul Food overdrive. It's hard to put it into words, but it just sounds way better and clearer than all my other overdrive / distortion pedals. It's definitely going to be my go-to from now on.

I appreciate the education on true by-pass, buffered pedals and the dreaded tone suck.
#28
Guitars sound better not plugged into an amp at all imo. Just get yourself a multi-effects pedal with amp and cab modelling and your tone isn't limited by your own amp/amp and cab setup. If you're rehearsing or you've got a gig just bung it straight through the PA.
#29
^^ Sweet, glad it worked for you You could always try the soul food in true bypass mode alongside the tuner to see if the tuner does the job on its own.

pretty much giving yourself bother for the sake of it, though, if it's solved your problem as it is, the problem is solved. And yeah a while back I just caved and got the soul food, I figured having a klone was a decent idea and the fact it had a good buffer was sort of the icing on the cake.

Quote by monwobobbo
you have some good points but seem to have a slight problem as well. you assume because a pedal is inexpensive that it's crap which may not be the case at all. so far Mooer and Joyo (as well as other branded but essetially same) pedals have gotten good ratings as far as quality of sound (except certain digital ones). i haven't really heard any real complaints on the true bypass thing.

while again i agree that buying good quality pedals is the best plan it isn't always the most practical for many. in theory that should apply to the whole rig but lets face it many can't afford a high end amp, guitar and pedals. bad cables or a shitty power supply are often the real culprits.


Yeah. I'm not saying you shouldn't buy good stuff (but as I said above, price doesn't always indicate quality), but if there's a far cheaper solution, why not try it?

Not to mention, even with expensive true bypass pedals and cables, there's a fair chance you'll need a buffer anyway if you have more than a couple of pedals and more than about 15ft of cable. So if you're going to have to get a buffer anyway, why not get it first and see if it does the job before spending tons of money on the more expensive fix?
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?