Advice on my board-tone sucker!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dank, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    A photo of my Trailer Trash board is below. Since that photo was taken, I have removed the Voodoo Blues, Fulltone '69, the Rotary Phaser and the Tremulator. I have added an Exotic BB+, MXR Carbon Delay and a Tubular Tremolo.

    The board ends with an A/B/Y pedal going to my electric guitar on one side(typically my '94 PRS Custom 24 10 Top) and the other side to a Bose PAS Classic, using a Taylor T5 Koa. The signal chain starts with a Shure SLX wireless into a Peterson rack tuner and then into the board. All wiring on the board is the Lava Cable with the solderless plugs.

    There are no loops or buffers controls on the board. It is simply in out, in out, etc. It starts with the wah, then the compressor, then overdrives to modulation effects, onto boosters (Red Snapper and RC) and finally, the Howie. I often try to use the Howie to brighten the sound at the end of the signal chain.

    I'm losing signal and sustain. It is most evident on the acoustic side. Absolutely no sustain with the T5. Strike a choard, and it just dies.

    I'm not stupid, just stubborn-I didn't want to start adding loops or whatever (I am a bit ignorant with regard to loop devices...seems like a lot of extra wiring). I can't go on like this. I really don't want to lose devices. I question whether the whole board be rewired professionally with loops. What can you all tell me?

    Thanks.

    Dan
    [​IMG]
     
  2. m@2

    m@2 Member

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    I know you said you do not want to add loops, but I would recommend a basic loopmaster to help remove unused pedals in the chain. That was one of the biggest improvements I ever made on my borad, and the wiring is super simple. Plus, you just step on the needed channel (I label them so I don't have to memorize the loopmaster) which to me is easier that reaching with my foot to the 3rd row on a pedal board.
     
  3. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    IMO, you removed two pedals that might have actually helped your signal flow with their buffers -
    Demeter Tremulator
    Maxon PH350
    (I think the Mayer had a buffer in it too)

    So, you've got a much weaker signal than before.
    Maybe a tiny looper to bypass everything when using your acoustic?
    Otherwise, I would go with a multiple looper and plug a good amount of pedals into it (between 6-10, IMO).
     
  4. 2muchstuff

    2muchstuff Member

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    get a buffer in there
     
  5. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I had an EVH Flange and it had considerable tone loss on my board.
     
  6. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    When you say you're losing signal and sustain, can you describe more about this - under what conditions are you losing signal and sustain? Is it worst with everything bypassed, or does it get worse with certain pedals engaged? How does your tone direct to the amp compare with your tone running though the pedalboard with everything bypassed? Have you tried selectively removing pedals from the chain to see if there's one main culprit for the tone loss?

    A looper would probably help a lot, but if you don't want to go that route you could try adding a buffer as close to the front of the signal chain as possible. I use an Axess Electronics BS-2 buffer for that purpose, and it has a noticeable effect in terms of restoring signal strength and high frequencies that get lost in a long signal chain.
     
  7. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    +1. Major tone sucker in my experience as well.
     
  8. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    +1...

    you have a lot of pedals :crazy...i know your sad about this...but you will naturally begin to loose your sustain and tone because of the amount of cable you are using on your board that is...here's a buffer to check out. You might want to think about putting one at the beginning of your chain and another at the end. You can use the first one to push your signal through you first half and the last to your amp.

    Good luck...:banana
     
  9. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    You might check into the Wampler FX buffer or even just getting a VIsual sound pedal in there. Great pedals + a very nice sounding buffer.
     
  10. wc8485

    wc8485 Member

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    Two "book-ended" buffers works well for me and some of the "not so" high quality pedals I use... One at the front was good, adding the one at the end of my chain really was the icing on the cake. Alot that I felt was missing, was restored... to my ears.
     
  11. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    Wow: I must first say that you are all true gentlemen, giving all of this input so quickly. I have nevered tried to isolate the problem to one or two pedals, and I had no idea that the MXR Flanger was a tonesucker.

    If I use a looper, aren't I adding a significant amount of wiring to the board? I like the idea of using buffers; I imaging that the additional wiring would be minimal. I also like the idea of one loop, only, to help with the Taylor.

    Keep those ideas coming!
     
  12. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I'd see where taking the Flange off and putting a buffer at the beginning of your chain gets you. I think it'll go a long way to fixing the problem.
     
  13. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    All right, I really like this idea of adding a buffer or two. Now, two buffers have been mentioned: Axxess at $149. and Wampler at $85. For those who have experience with them, why spend more on the axxess?
     
  14. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    I would think about a looper over a buffer, but realize, my pedalboard max has never been over 10 pedals.

    With a looper, your signal is going straight in and out of the looper unless you kick on an effect.

    I would go through your board..take one pedal off at a time and see what difference it makes.
    Then you can look at either replacing the major tone-suckers with something else (or nothing at all).
    OR...you can pinpoint the biggest tone-suckers to put in the looper, and therefore decide how big of a looper you'd need.
     
  15. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    I'm a bit surprised, as all of my pedals are are on the higher and, and I thought they were "true bypass." I guess the definition of true bypass differs from one builder to another. Further, I use good quality cable and plugs. I should probably start downsizing in the pedal department as well. I rarely use the RC, Box of Rock, Fulltone '69 and Howie. Who wants to buy?
     
  16. Ed Reed

    Ed Reed Senior Member

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    Axess Electronics buffer 1st in line (you could mount it under the board with the power supply). They also have a tuner out.

    Long runs need a buffer.
     
  17. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    Ed, you don't subscribe to the belief of having one on each end? I guess I'll buy one and see how it goes.
     
  18. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    Hossa, you sure have a low pain/tolerance threshold!:AOK
     
  19. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    The problem is not in your pedals...it's all the length of cables needed to get your chain going and finished...you can get a true bypass box but that is soley up to you...I have one from the loop-master for just my delays...

    The "theory" behind using both buffers is that your matching your level signals...first by using the buffer to get through the pedals and second making sure that the same buffer level is going to your amp...

    The axcess is worth it...go to the link I sent you and download the manual and give it a read through...what might work for me might not work for...in the end it is realitive to what sounds good to your ears...
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  20. ylo

    ylo Member

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    Gotta agree. In my experience, every 1/4" jack and every inch of cable contributes some loss, especially of high frequencies. This is in addition to any inherently tone sucky pedals (when off). You may need to:

    1. Cut down on the number of pedals;
    2. Put the biggest tone suckers in one or more loops;
    3. Install one or two buffers, one before all pedals (but after vintage wah and fuzz), and one to drive the signal from the pedalboard to the amp unless the run is pretty short, like maybe 8 to 10 feet.

    If you can borrow two buffers or tuners with good built-in buffers, you can experiment with placement and whether you can get away with only one or none. By the way, it is possible to build a good buffer for about $10 worth of parts, although the aggravation can run into the hundreds of dollars!
     

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