#1
Hey everyone,

I have a question about some pedals slightly dropping (what I perceive to be) volume and highs/upper mids.

Here's my full chain as it stands right now:

Guitar > Korg PitchBlack+ Tuner > Joyo Vintage Overdrive > Bad Monkey > ISP Decimator > Dunlop Original Crybaby GCB-95 Wah > Mesa Roadster Input > FX Send > MXR 10-Band EQ > Joyo D-Seed > MXR Black Label Chorus > FX Return > 2x Celestion V30's (Mesa is the 212 combo)

My Power Chain is Mesa into wall directly. Board plugged into a heavy gauge industrial extension chord/strip that is plugged into the same house circuit as the Mesa though a different outlet.

There is a small common household power strip mounted to the underside of the board that a dedicated wall wart for the MXR 10-Band and a One-Spot share. The One-Spot is daisy chaining all of the other pedals together.

I'm having the volume and tone loss with each of the MXR Black Label Chorus, Bad Monkey, and Wah.

From what I've researched all of those are buffered pedals and all of my other pedals are true or hard bypass.

The volume and tone loss occurs when any of the pedals are either in the chain or isolated as the only pedal. I'm comparing the tone when the pedals are off so that the pedal's effect doesn't skew my perception.

I've also swapped patch cables, lead cables, and changed power plugs on the daisy chain - all to no affect.

I noticed this by plugging straight into the amp one day instead of dragging the entire board out (you'll understand if you have kids!) and then noticed the issue in the loop today doing some testing.

So what choices do I have to correct this?

Replace the offending pedals?
I've read some about putting in a pedal that has a good buffer before the offending pedals but I'm not sure what this really entails.
I also saw a suggestion to put in a try bypass loop pedal but that seems like way overkill for my needs.

Out of the 3 pedals I like the MXR Black Label Chorus. The Bad Monkey was an opportunistic pick up and I can replace with something else. The Wah was another opportunistic pick up for $15 just to play with.

I'm sure I'm not the first to have this issue so I'm open for some suggestions!
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#2
I stopped using my Bad Monkey for this exact reason. That's where I'd start 'twer I you.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#3
if you like the bad monkey then replace it with a Digitech Hardwire CM-2 overdrive that will solve the tone loss (at least from that pedal) and give you a simiar sound. i'd also look hard at the cry-baby as i know my original had more than a little tone suck (replaced it with Morley wha's and am much happier).
#4
Quote by Cathbard
I stopped using my Bad Monkey for this exact reason. That's where I'd start 'twer I you.

This is going on Craigslist tonight. Sell this and some other stuff and maybe get a Timmy you post about so much!
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#5
That was what I replaced it with. Timmies rock.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#6
I went through this and finally got it right with my pedals. Boss pedals ended being the economical solution for my board. I already had a dd3, but I had my noise gate after it before returning in the loop, which I thought made sense. I moved that to the front of the loop with the dd3 being last. If you have any Boss pedals, or a pedal that you know is buffered, like a tube screamer, try placing one in your fx loop, and maybe one right after your crybaby. They don't need to be on, just powered. I almost bought one of those bypass loopers, but someone clued me in that that wouldn't help. I also had to get rid of a problematic pedal, which was a Boss chorus, ironically. Good luck, I know what you're going through.
#7
Or simply replace the wah with a Morley and there's all your buffer needs covered.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#8
Quote by Cathbard
Or simply replace the wah with a Morley and there's all your buffer needs covered.

The Morley Wah would take care of the input path but I'll still need something before the MXR Chorus for the FX loop signal path.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
Quote by metalmingee
The Morley Wah would take care of the input path but I'll still need something before the MXR Chorus for the FX loop signal path.


1 buffer should be all you need unless you are running stupid long chords. most fx loops in amps are buffered as well.
#10
Why do you need a buffer in the loop? The loop IS a buffer.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#11
Hmm. . .

When I have the MXR Black Label Chorus in the Loop and powered off, when I engage the loop I notice the volume and tone drop. I'm running either 16' or 18' loop cables.

So the full loop goes:

FX Send > 18' cable > MXR 10-Band > Joyo D-Seed > MXR Black Label Chorus > 18' cable > FX Return

I've reproduced the volume and tone drop with just the MXR Black Label Chorus in the loop.

There is no loss when I remove the chorus.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#12
Then the problem is the Chorus pedal itself. As I said, your loop has a buffer, what's adding a second one going to do?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Thanks. I didn't realize the loop was/has a buffer. That probably would have changed my initial post!

Then that Chorus pedal will most likely go too!
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#14
I did some more research on instrument level and line level, particularly with this MXR Chorus.

1. The Dunlop manual is very, very basic.
2. Dunlop doesn't list if this pedal is instrument or line level explicitly and doesn't list the +/- dBu
3. The manual suggests running the pedal before the amp input so it looks to be instrument level.
4. The pedal is buffered and not true bypass.

So is the issue I'm hearing from putting an instrument level pedal into a the line level part of the amp signal path?
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#15
Quote by metalmingee
I did some more research on instrument level and line level, particularly with this MXR Chorus.

1. The Dunlop manual is very, very basic.
2. Dunlop doesn't list if this pedal is instrument or line level explicitly and doesn't list the +/- dBu
3. The manual suggests running the pedal before the amp input so it looks to be instrument level.
4. The pedal is buffered and not true bypass.

So is the issue I'm hearing from putting an instrument level pedal into a the line level part of the amp signal path?


more of a design flaw really. some pedals have a volume drop (or occasionally increase) and do suck a little tone. some MXR pedals ore known for that as are a few of the older Electro-Harmonix ones. it may work better for you in front of the amp but you may still notice a slight drop. keep in mind that the older MXR pedals wee designed before fx lops.
#16
i thought the crybaby was half-assed bypass. you can fix that with a good buffer upfront, but bad buffers are harder to fix. you can do a true bypass loop but that's a bit of a faff with extra cables etc.. probably easier to just ditch the bad monkey if it's the culprit, it'll likely cost you no more to get a better-sounding od pedal with a better buffer (or true bypass) than it will to effect a true bypass loop.

problem is, that bad monkey is likely fixing the half-assed bypass of the wah. so if you remove the BM you'll get rid of its tone suck but the wah's tonesuck might suddenly become apparent. EDIT: actually not if you keep that chain. the decimator has a good buffer.

though most people put a wah closer to the front of the chain.
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#17
Quote by Dave_Mc
i thought the crybaby was half-assed bypass. you can fix that with a good buffer upfront, but bad buffers are harder to fix. you can do a true bypass loop but that's a bit of a faff with extra cables etc.. probably easier to just ditch the bad monkey if it's the culprit, it'll likely cost you no more to get a better-sounding od pedal with a better buffer (or true bypass) than it will to effect a true bypass loop.

problem is, that bad monkey is likely fixing the half-assed bypass of the wah. so if you remove the BM you'll get rid of its tone suck but the wah's tonesuck might suddenly become apparent. EDIT: actually not if you keep that chain. the decimator has a good buffer.

though most people put a wah closer to the front of the chain.

Thanks. I really only have the Bad Monkey and Wah to play around with. They're both up for sale at this point and if I need/want something similar I'll probably go with True Bypass.

My main concern is the chorus pedal in the loop at this point!
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .