Cable Length and Effects Loops

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by BigED, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. BigED

    BigED Member

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    I’ve been reading up about quality cable and cable length, and the effect it has on your tone. I’ve read the Pete Cornish view on true bypass and how you don’t want to run 60 feet of cable unbuffered. My question is, do effects loop runs count in this?

    If I run a 20 ft cable to a true bypass box and then another 15ft cable to my amp, I’m running a total of 35 feet unbuffered before the amp input. I know I can put a pedal in the chain, but I’m not sure that a simple Boss Chorus pedal would do more good than harm as far as a buffer. Assuming I have another 15ft there and back run for my effects loop (30 ft total and assume no pedals in play – just another true bypass box connecting them directly together), am I now running 65ft of unbuffered cable? Is that bad?

    Or does the effects loop not really count in the unbuffered signal loss issue because it is after the preamp?

    I was going to pick up some Lava Canares (I find $30 per cable acceptable, I’m not looking to go higher in price) to replace all of my current cables (mix of Whirlwinds, etc.). I was just wondering if I was running too much cable all together. I don’t see how I could make it any less, still use an effects loop, and still be able to move around on stage. All of the effects in my board are going through a true bypass box with George L’s in between them, so when I hit bypass on my switch/looper (Wobo Proglooper), the clean signal goes through zero effects. The path is: Guitar ---> Proglooper ---> Amp Input, Out through Amp Effects Send ---> Proglooper Effects Input ---> Out Proglooper Effects Output to Amp Effects Return. (4 cables represented by each arrow.)

    I’m looking for any advice or encouragement/discouragement.
     
  2. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I'm not an expert on this, but I believe that cable runs of that length in the loop will not be an issue, because the loop is typically a line level signal, much stronger than the weak instrument level signal put out by your guitar. I have 40+ feet of cable run in my effects loop, with no noticeable signal degradation.

    Those of you who are more technical, please correct me if I'm wrong on the technical stuff.
     
  3. Structo

    Structo Member

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    By the way, I saw the other day that somebody (can't remember the brand) makes a snake like cable for running the effects to and from a pedal board to the effects loop,

    So you don't have to run two separate cords, it combines the two cords in one cable.

    Looked like a good idea, don't know how the quality or capacitance.
     
  4. BigED

    BigED Member

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    Yeah, that's pedalsnake. I'm not interested because I have no problem just running a cord wrap around my cables to keep them together.
     
  5. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Member

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    Sounds like a Pedalsnake. http://www.pedalsnake.com.

    I've often wondered how a pedalsnake compares to the high end cables. Has anyone compared the two?

    John
     
  6. BigED

    BigED Member

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    My 2 Boss pedals (Chorus and Delay) are both in the loop pedals, hence I don't want to use them before the input. When I use distortion, I go through a Maxon OD-9 tube screamer, then an ISP Decimator, then the amp input. I assume one of those pedals would buffer my signal.

    But when I play clean, I use my true bypass looper to kick the OD-9 and Decimator out of chain. So my signal would go through 20 ft, then the true bypass looper, then 15ft of cable before hitting the amp input. I'm wondering just how bad of an idea that is.
     
  7. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I run a very similar setup. In my effects loop I have an Axess Electronics GRX4 looper. In the loops are a Timefactor, a Verbzilla, a Boss PS-5 Super Shifter, and a Destination Rotation. I have a 20 foot Lava cable that runs from my amp's effects send to the GRX4's input, and another 20 foot Lava that runs out of the GRX4 back to the amp's effects return.

    It works beautifully. With the effects loop engaged and all the GRX4's loops bypassed, it sounds virtually identical to my guitar direct-to-amp sound with no effects hooked up at all. That tells me that the tone loss from all the cables and devices sitting in my effects loop is very minimal indeed.
     
  8. KTT

    KTT Member

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    I have nearly 50ft of cable in my marshall dsl loop,i have to so the pedals will reach the front of the stage,and time based effects sound awful in front of an already distorted amp, and all the effects in the loop are true bypass, and im not hearing a loss...maybe the loop is buffered?
     
  9. BigED

    BigED Member

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    So it sounds like loops are ok, because the signal has already been preamped, hence it is a more powerful, less delicate signal.
     

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