A reg'lar Joe (me) does his first A/B bypass test... enlightening!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dancehall, Jan 22, 2008.


  1. dancehall

    dancehall Member

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    By "reg'lar Joe" I only mean that I don't have a history of being a "tone freak" and I tend to roll my eyes at people who describe in great detail the vast differences between two different brands of cables...

    However I do have an open mind, and my hearing is good, and I've been starting to think (possibly just my imagination) that my bypassed pedals were affecting my tone, so I got a Keeley TB loop and tested some of my pedals bypassed against the Keeley's true bypass. Here are the test subjects:

    EHX Micro POG (supposedly true bypass but just wanted to test)
    Boss TU-2 tuner
    Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
    Boss BD-2 Blues Driver (Keeley phat mod)
    Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
    Digitech Digidelay
    Danelectro Tuna Melt tremolo

    Now there's some conventional wisdom (at least from what I've read on this board) about some of these pedals sucking tone and I didn't want that to affect my judgment so I was careful to do the tests as blind as I could, closing my eyes and stomping on the loop until I didn't know when it was bypassed or not.

    Before I reveal the results, anyone care to have a guess as to what ended up on this greenhorn's NAUGHTY list, and what on my NICE list? Just to be clear, I'm talking about any noticeable tone change at all.
     
  2. doublee

    doublee Member

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    Lay it on me! I'm ready!
     
  3. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    Guess:
    Danelectro=naughty
     
  4. TimH

    TimH Supporting Member

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    I'd guess the TU2 is on the naughty list....the Digidelay would be a prime candidate too...mine broke twice so it was hardly ever on my board :rolleyes:
     
  5. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I'd say TU2 and Danelectro. The Digitech stuff seems to have pretty good buffers.
     
  6. jayn

    jayn Member

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    There is a common mod to improve the SD-1 bypassed tone, so I'll vote for it. There is another mod to stop the bleed when the gain is over half too.
     
  7. dancehall

    dancehall Member

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    some good guessers here.

    NAUGHTY:
    Boss SD-1
    Danelectro Tuna Melt

    NICE:
    Micro POG
    BD-2
    CH-1
    TU-2
    Digidelay


    The Tuna Melt clearly made my tone darker and dynamically flatter. The SD-1 was not as bad but still an audible difference.

    As for everything else, I really WANTED to hear a difference, especially in the TU-2 and Digidelay which I have heard some nasty things about, but testing blind I had to admit there was no discernible difference at all.

    Of course, these are just my findings, and I realize that others may have superior hearing to mine, but in the end this stuff is just for ourselves anyway because we all know the audience can't tell the difference, so I found it very interesting. :)
     
  8. sditreubgk

    sditreubgk Member

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    And what about the EHX??
    my ''true bypass'' Memory Man is my most tone sucking effect beside my wah!
    I have a loop-master unit ordered to fix this
     
  9. danelectrico

    danelectrico Member

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    My bass player uses the Keeley modded Boss BD-2. I'm not sure if the different frequencies between a bass and a guitar could have anything to do with it - but when the BD-2 was in line and bypassed, the signal was noticeably squashed and flat and the lows and lower mids sounded strange and unpleasant. Like it was lacking in something. We noticed this at a gig and during rehearsals. Finally we tried putting it in the loop of a Keeley true bypass looper, and everything sounded fine and full again. I wonder if guitar players would notice any audible difference? I must try that sometime.
     
  10. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Fair enough. However, I would be very interested to hear hear the results of an A/B test between ALL your "nice" pedals together in a loop versus bypassed. Even though individually you may not notice a difference, put them all together and you may have a huge diffeence.
     
  11. HBob

    HBob Member

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    I've found that a lot of times the bad bypass pedals may not affect the clean tone of my guitar that much so I run a distortion or OD pedal thru them. That's when I hear more of a difference. The OD pedal's tone will sound brittle and less warm and natural.
     

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