Boss TU-2: Tone suck or no?

npsiwak

Member
Messages
79
Well, consider yourself lucky :D I've heard some volume pedal/tuner combinations steal so much tone it sounded like the guitar's tone knob was turned down to 5... I remember one time at a studio session, me and the engineer spent the better part of 30 minutes in the control room trying to figure out why the bass had suddenly lost all its punch and treble. After checking every outboard connection, switching input channels on the board etc we found out the bass player was using the parallel out on the DI box to feed his tuner... I suppose we were the suckers, in teh end, for not checking the source signal first :jo

Anyway, consider yourself lucky. Usually, the impact of sticking a tuner in the tuner out jack will be noticeable. If you're using active pickups, or if the volume pedal isn't first in line, I'd expect the tone loss to be negligible (if audible at all). But with passive pickups and the vp/tuner first in line, you really should lose some tone... I guess it just goes to show that there are no absolutes in this business :)

/Andreas

isnt there alot to do with the input impedance of the pedal, especially when your running it on the parallel output of the volume pedal. the input impedance of the TU-2 is rated at 1Mohm, which is pretty big...i suppose you still could get some bleed off of higher frequencies. One solution is to make a buffer circuit with an even bigger input impedance and put that before the TU-2. id have to go look at my old textbooks to figure that one out though...
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,038
No---with it last in your chain. It drives the signal from all the "true bypass" pedals before it to my amp well. If it does anything to the tone, I like it.
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
I recently started using mine at the end of my chain, wanted to remove its buffer from affecting all of my OD pedals unique character and attack.

With the TU-2 1st in the chain, it tended to make the OD's sound similar to each other in a generic sort of way whereas now, they sound more individual as they should.

The buffer in the TU-2 1st adds some top end zing and I tend to like this for my heavier tones more along the shred and harder rock styles, seems to facilitate speed picking.

Moving it to the end eliminated this "benefit" for when I am playing those styles of music but made some other tonal improvements that I deemed more important like being able to really hear the pups/cable/OD pedals interaction while still providing buffering now that its in last place from the last pedal in my board to the amp for larger signal chains on larger stages.

Moving it from 1st to last place, the tonal difference was immediately apparent and was better overall for me. Its as if I can really hear the Rat, Beano, AC Booster, Mongoose as individuals versus a more generic output they were before with pre- buffering

In fact now I have my guitar go direclty into my OD's all of which are true bypass and I find this to render a more accurate tone as the pedals designer intended since OD's are designed with input sensitivity, and signal coupling through a cap as a key factor in rendering what they do.

Change this relationship with an outside pre buffer and you get something different. Some OD's have higher than normal input impedance and placing a buffer before them, will masks its true tone

I never found it to be tone sucking, just slightly tone altering as I have described but am working on being to switch buffering in the 1st poisition in and out as an option.

isnt there alot to do with the input impedance of the pedal, especially when your running it on the parallel output of the volume pedal.

if your talking about a passive volume pedal, yes, parallel signal routing even to a dead end like a tuner is dividing your signal voltage, affecting the impedance coupling at that point in your chain just like using the middle pickup position on a les paul, its no different.

The more you divide, the more you shunt current to ground reducing gain, brightening the signal some.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
12,143
I recently started using mine at the end of my chain, wanted to remove its buffer from affecting all of my OD pedals unique character and attack.

With the TU-2 1st in the chain, it tended to make the OD's sound similar to each other in a generic sort of way whereas now, they sound more individual as they should.

The buffer in the TU-2 1st adds some top end zing and I tend to like this for my heavier tones more along the shred and harder rock styles, seems to facilitate speed picking.

Moving it to the end eliminated this "benefit" for when I am playing those styles of music but made some other tonal improvements that I deemed more important like being able to really hear the pups/cable/OD pedals interaction while still providing buffering now that its in last place from the last pedal in my board to the amp for larger signal chains on larger stages.

Moving it from 1st to last place, the tonal difference was immediately apparent and was better overall for me. Its as if I can really hear the Rat, Beano, AC Booster, Mongoose as individuals versus a more generic output they were before with pre- buffering

In fact now I have my guitar go direclty into my OD's all of which are true bypass and I find this to render a more accurate tone as the pedals designer intended since OD's are designed with input sensitivity, and signal coupling through a cap as a key factor in rendering what they do.

Change this relationship with an outside pre buffer and you get something different. Some OD's have higher than normal input impedance and placing a buffer before them, will masks its true tone

I never found it to be tone sucking, just slightly tone altering as I have described but am working on being to switch buffering in the 1st poisition in and out as an option.



if your talking about a passive volume pedal, yes, parallel signal routing even to a dead end like a tuner is dividing your signal voltage, affecting the impedance coupling at that point in your chain just like using the middle pickup position on a les paul, its no different.

The more you divide, the more you shunt current to ground reducing gain, brightening the signal some.

Excellent post, thanks. When I finally trade my PW tuner back for a TU, I'll try it at the end of the chain. If I don't like it, I can always A/B switch it out of the signal path.

Thanks again for an informed view on the subject.
 

drmike

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37
I was quite struck by the difference between placing the tuner first and last in the chain and I discovered this completely by accident. I had no idea how much my tone was being altered when the tuner was first. When I placed it last in the chain everything had opened up as if a blanket had been removed from the rig.
 

Laroosco!

Member
Messages
2,604
why hasn't it worked? it's not a tone "sucker" as much as a tone "driver", outputting a very strong buffered signal that is usually then immune to losses.

This is exaxctly what mine does. I love it and will never replace it for this reason.

btw, I always put mine last in line and it doesn'ty get in the way of my fuzz pedals. Never had a problem with tuning.
 

Blues Lyne

Member
Messages
3,464
I've always put mine last in line so that I could easily mute everything before the amp. The other day, I was tinkering with one of my dirt pedals and hooked it up along with the other dirt pedals, but not the TU-2. They all sounded funny to me. Kind of ratty and just different that what I'm used to from them. The next night at rehearsal, I plugged them all in with the TU-2 last in line and they sounded much better, smoother and fuller. I'm not sure why a buffer at the end would make that kind of difference, but I'm leavin' it there.
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
The TU-2 last in the chain is really the place for it and I used it 1st in the chain for years :jo

I cant believe the difference it makes and in some ways it defies some pro practices of using a high quality Line Driver Buffer 1st. I read a description of Peter Strouds rig recently and he uses a Line Drive 1st but I noticed he uses a 30 foot cord before his pups see a pedal so that has to be the distinction here.

Maybe for our applications where our total signal chain is under 25 or 30 feet before we are at the last pedal a Buffer 1st is more hindrance than help but beyond the last pedal I know for me my total signal chain can add up to 40 feet so the buffer last is placed where that limit for Hi Imp signals seems to be, between 25 and 30 feet.

Try sending a Line Level signal from your stereo over good quality rca cable for more than 20 or 25 feet and the hum creeps in. This is a -10dbu line level signal which is hotter than a guitar signal and is a low impedance unbalanced signal and if it hums at that theoretical limit, your guitar signal being a high imp unbalanced even weaker than -10dbu is even more susceptible

The TU-2 at the end divides the total distance, inserts the buffer just where its needed and being at the end, minimal tonal coloration.

Why I had to wait years to find this out is maddening
 

goldenboy

Member
Messages
214
I finally had a chance to put my TU-2 at the end of the chain. Not sure if I heard a difference in my set up. It did make a difference in how my Sun Lion behaves in a good way so there it stays!
 




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