#1
When I go from my guitar straight to my amp, I get a tone that I like.

When I put all my pedals in (it doesn't matter how many, one pedal does the same thing as all five of my pedals), the tone gets muffled and grainier.

I've got a TC Electronic Polytune 2, an MXR 10 Band EQ, a Pro Co Rat 2, a Moog MF Drive, and a TC Electronic Flashback Delay.

What could I do to fix this problem?
#2
Your problem is that you have all true bypass or half-assed bypass (the EQ) pedals. You're losing treble etc. because nothing is helping your signal through the long cable runs. All you need is a buffer at the start of your chain. What kind of budget do you have? (You can get pedals with good buffers built-in and that's probably a more fun way to do it since you get a pedal too.)

EDIT: What cables are you using? And what's the rest of your gear? Shouldn't matter overly if you're already getting a tone you like straight in (since a good buffer should put you back to that point), but I might as well find out, just in case.
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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
Dave_Mc

My instructor recommended I get the JHS Little Black Buffer... what do you think?

My guitar is a Fender Telecaster (with a humbucker in the bridge) and my amp is a Vox AC30C2. I'm using a Mogami Gold guitar cable to go from my guitar to the amp right now, and the patch cables are fender/squier cables.
#4
I haven't tried the JHS (or indeed any JHS pedals), but I'm not that keen on them as a company- they basically make expensive clones of other pedals (there's a bunch of backstory on them if you do some detective googling). That might be biting off your nose to spite your face, though.

I like the buffer on the EHX soul food, though there have been some complaints about EHX build quality. But you get the klon buffer, and also a klon overdrive, for not too much money. It has a switch inside it to turn the buffer on and off.
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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?
#6
This is an interesting thread and I'm glad to see it came up. So many players get the idea that "true bypass" is always the way to go but Dave is right if all your pedals are true bypass you probably have created an additional tone issue especially if you use a 20 foot cord going to you effects and a 20 foot cord going to the amp. That 40 feet of cable plus all the interconnecting cables for the pedals can be a tone killer if everything is true bypass.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#8
^ they all add up, though, and those fender/squier cables might well be pretty high capacitance (I would guess). As do the connectors. It's not just the length, it's the length, the capacitance, the quality of the connectors, plus you have a half-assed bypass pedal in there which are often notorious tone suckers (at least if the input impedance is low relative to the output impedance).

Quote by kaiburns1
Dave_Mc

I don't really want another overdrive though, as I have two.


you can never have enough

seriously, though, that's fair enough. i mean, if you'd rather get a standalone buffer, that's alright. there are tons of companies who make them, though.
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?
#10
there shouldn't be any need to get the higher quality patch cables if you get a buffer, a buffer should fix that. ditto with the half-assed bypass EQ pedal (as long as you put the buffer in front of it).

in theory, at least. i'd try the buffer first though, because with any luck it'll be all you need.
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 Jan 1, 2017,
#12
In addition to the cable run itself, and all the capacitance that cheap connector cables add, there's also the issue with the connectors ON those cords themselves (and, to a lesser extent, the internal wiring that connects one connector with another inside the pedals).

FWIW, this is one of those areas where a good multiFX/modeler really makes a difference. Most will allow you to string together up to eight FX per rig, and they completely eliminate connectors and connector cables as a source of interference. There's also no real question of "full bypass" issues. And, of course, they eliminate each of those connectors as a single point of failure in glitching your rig.

As an aside, the Variax VDI cable from a Variax guitar to one of the appropriate modelers/amps eliminates any capacitance issues *and* any noise issues normally associated with single coil pickups.
#14
^ only flaw in that is that you'd tend to put reverb at the end of your chain... and having the buffer at the front will make the most difference. especially since there's a half-assed bypass pedal 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?
#15
The TC Electronic Flashback has an internal dip switch to change the pedal from True Bypass to Buffered Bypass. Check out the manual from their website.

Mesa also recently released an entire line of buffers but I don't have any experience with them.

I also got rid of a ton of noise in my pedal setup by using some Mogami cables. Huge difference.
Guitars:
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. . .
#16
ooh i didn't realise that, that's a good point. i guess so you can have tails? i should've thought of that

delay normally goes at or near the end of the chain, so it won't help with the half-assed thing (if that's what's causing a lot of the tone suck) or with possibly low quality patch cables in front of it, but just to see you could put it at the front of the chain to see if it helps. might as well do that before spending money.
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?
#17
TC Electronic also make a Bonafide Buffer. I love their other stuff and would give it a try in your situation.
Guitars:
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. . .
#18
A buffer and high quality cables is a great place to start. If you're getting hum or other undesirable frequencies affecting your tone make sure you are using a decent quality isolated power source rather than daisy chaining.
#19
have you tried plugging them in one at a time to see if there is a specific pedal causing the problem?