Boss RE-20: Tone Suck?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by wildschwein, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    I'm really considering forking out for one of these space echoes in the very near future. I can tolerate buffered pedals but I don't like losing my tone - in the past I have always quickly sold off pedals that I found sucked too much of my guitar signal; especially in the low end department. Some top end suck is tolerable - 'cause that's easy enough for me to rectify. So, before I jump into to buying one can anyone tell me if the Boss will suck anything out my guitar sound?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Angle Loss

    Angle Loss Supporting Member

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    Buffers don't "suck" your guitar tone, they preserve it. You got used to having your treble "sucked" through your rig, resulting in what you perceive as a warm tone with lots of bass (because your high end is being drained away). A rig with long cables+buffer will sound pretty close to a rig with one short cable. You have probably been setting your amp pretty bright to make up for you treble loss. Try the buffered pedal and then reset the EQ on your amp. Boss buffers are pretty good buffers despite their very untrendy and un-hip profile here on TGP. Best of luck to you.
     
  3. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    Thanks for your response. Actually, as a matter of habit, I've always set my treble extremely low and usually turned up the mids and the bass on my amps. I always start with the bass on full and go from there. I like my pie to have some edges but I don't want it sizzling. I have a mixture of true bypass and buffered effects on my board - most of the time buffer circuits don't worry me but on a few pedals I've found that the bypassed tone is heavily thinned - meaning a lot of the bass or even the top end are removed from the sound. Stock Dunlop Crybabies, for example, excel at tone sucking like nothing else I've heard - that's why I always covert them to true bypass. Pedals I can't fix I get rid of; no matter how good the effected sound is. I've never had any tone suck problems to date with Boss units; but before I fork out the cash; which is a lot of money for one effect I just wanted to find out what others have observed with the unit.
     
  4. ?&!

    ?&! Member

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    The RE-20 has low and high EQ knobs, so you can set it as dark or bright as you like. Since it emulates a tape echo, the echoes seem to be rather dark and compressed, which I like a lot. I run it in the fx loop, and I don't notice any tone suck when it is off. I've read threads about people with vastly different opinions of the RE-20 and it's level of tone suck, but I like mine just fine.
     
  5. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    Didn't work for me- the RE-20's buffer definitely affects tone, mostly on the wound strings... it made them a little "mushy", less "punchy". It wasn't a big change, but it was a big enough change for me to sell it. And this was while the effect was ENGAGAED, so I'm not talking about the bypassed tone...so "putting it in looper" was not the answer for me. Maybe I can hear or feel things others can't, I'm not trying to dis the pedal, the effect itself was actually great, but I' very picky about things messing with my tone, and the RE-20 did. Sold.

    FWIW, I've been told the RE-201 did the same thing. So maybe it's actually a correct modeling of the 201. Or maybe it's cheap ADDA convertors. Who knows.

    If it HAD NOT changed my base tone, it would have been a keeper.
     
  6. Teahead

    Teahead Member

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    I don't own one, but a fellow guitarist who plays with me in the band does and I think it sounds great. The only issue I have with it is not the buffer, it's the hiss. He powers with a PP2 and it's by far the single biggest cause of noise in his rig.
     
  7. screamingduck

    screamingduck Member

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    I guess my old ears are blown out cuz I'm using a RE-20 and have had no hiss or buffer issues at all. I'm loving the RE-20 for those long lush echoes you can get and it is the perfect unit to go laong with my trusty DM-2 for short slapback repeats.
     
  8. guitarplayaman

    guitarplayaman Member

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    I don't have a problem with it but to each his own...
     
  9. DrGonzo

    DrGonzo Gold Supporting Member

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    The road to TGP Riches:
    1. Buy an RE-20
    2. Unbox it
    3. Buy a big hammond enclosure
    4. Buy a micro true bypass looper
    5. Stick the RE-20 guts and the tb looper in the hammond box
    6. Goop everything inside
    7. Swirl some gaudy purple/green paint all over the enclosure
    8. Hype on TGP
    9. Sell for $600 each

    Not sure if I am being serious or sarcastic on this. Sad isn't it? :)
     
  10. cameron

    cameron Member

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    I A/Bed the bypassed RE-20 with a direct signal, and the effect of the buffer is minimal, ONCE you realize that the volume control on the RE-20 is in the signal path whether the effect is bypassed or not.

    I have no idea why they implemented the volume control that way. The only reason that makes sense is that that's how an old Roland Space Echo worked.

    The RE-20 most certainly does chew up your tone when the effect is engaged (it strongly colors not just the echoes, but your basic tone as well) but when bypassed, once you set the volume control for unity gain, it does so only very subtly.
     
  11. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Does the RE20 allow you to change rhythms with tap tempo (e.g. dotted eighths)?
     
  12. cameron

    cameron Member

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    It does have a tap tempo feature, but the placing of the repeats emulates the effect of the multiple playback heads on an original RE-201 tape machine.
     
  13. cuttooth21

    cuttooth21 Member

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    I power mine with a PP2 and I notice the same exact thing.

     
  14. cameron

    cameron Member

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    I have mine on its own dedicated one-spot. I first tried placing it in the chain with some other pedals off of a one-spot, and it created all sorts of noise in that situation. Once I gave it a dedicated power adapter of its own it quieted down.
     
  15. Angle Loss

    Angle Loss Supporting Member

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    yeah, those crybabies are terrible and do rob treble. They don't have a buffer system. A fix though (without true bypassing) is to run a buffer in front of a tone robbing pedal to change the impedance and severely reduce the treble roll off of the offending pedal. I do this occasionally with vintage pedals I don't want to modify. Just a general tip for anyone reading.

    I should mention for those that don't know, that there is more bypassing schemes than just true bypass and buffered. The Crybaby and old MXR or EH pedals have a third scheme with loads the bypass pretty bad. True bypass and buffered are much better. Too many all true bypass pedals or too many buffered can have an undesired effect. My board has a few buffered pedals (early in chain, one in each loop-2 loops). That tends to produce the most natural sound for me. I've got around 16 pedals on my board and it sounds surprisingly close to just a single cable into my amp.

    Some good reading on bypassing can be found at:

    http://www.muzique.com/lab/truebypass.htm

    There are more links at the bottom of the page for reading on pedal impedance and buffers, etc.
     
  16. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    You said it alot more succinctly than I did!
     
  17. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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