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Cost of Improving Tone (minimizing tone loss) via bypass looper! Wow!

thegreatma3

Member
Messages
137
So I was thinking about improving tone (minimizing tone loss) by getting a true bypass looper...then I realized how costly it would be in addition to all the pricey pedals and gear one has. Here's the rundown.

Suppose a person has 12 pedals...he/she would then need a 12 bypass looper (assuming he/she wants to run every pedal through it): ~ $250

Then that person would need wiring and one can assume this individual would purchase good quality pedal patches. in general georgle l's, lavas, etc. come in packs of 10 heads which comes to 5 wires to connect 6 pedals. but this person has 12 pedals so he/she needs to buy 1 more pack to connect all the pedals. but of course it takes double the wiring to route everything through the looper.
~$80 per pack X 4 total packs = $320 just for wiring.

so the looper and wiring costs $700 and most likely the person would need a new pedalboard to fit everything and that can range from a minimum of $100 to as much as $300+ for a decent board w/ or w/o a heavy duty case.

In theory, this tone upgrade will cost a nice $800+ minimum. Of course if you have an extensive and expensive rig, then all the more reason to take on such an investment. however, if you aren't a touring musician or who's rig isn't as expensive as others, this tonal upgrade is a pretty hefty sum and worth re-considering! but then again, tone is king for fellow tgpers.

happy tone hunting!

ps I might have miscalculated prices and amount of how much wiring one would need by a big amount which would dramatically decrease the total sum... so let me know!
 

jkokura

Member
Messages
895
No, that makes sense to me - if you go one route.

Thing is, most of the time people use True Bypass pedals around here anyway! Sometimes a looper is there to give you front row access though, and in those cases it's more about access than about truebypassing your pedals.

However, I would bet you could save a LOT of money by making your own cables. Mini ELC is about 1.90 a foot, and you can get Mogami cable for as little as .4 a foot. GLS pancake jacks can be had for less than a buck a piece, so that puts your cables at 2.50 - 3.50 each if you build them yourself. In which case: 250 + 24x3.5 = less than 350, and most of that is in the looper.

However, if you get a programmable looper like the Cusack or Musicom Lab devices, you're looking at 450-500 right off the bat.

Jacob
 

justonwo

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,690
Well you've taken perhaps an extreme example. I put categories of pedals in different loops. I don't put each pedal in a loop. I have my treble booster in the first loop, my ODs in the second, fuzz in the third, and modulation in the fourth. Didn't really create much additional wiring. It probably cost me half an Lava cable kit and a loop master. Not that big a deal really.
 

yerbluesrob

Member
Messages
699
I just got a 10Ch looper used for $150, and I got 32 George L right angle plugs and cables for $130, still a bit costly but worth it in my opinion. If you are patient you can find stuff on the used market that will fit your needs for not much money. I also don't put every pedal in the looper, my looper only has dirt and modulation.
 

jb4674

Member
Messages
6,769
Consider this...

Imagine having lots of pedals (let's say 12..)
Imagine wanting to have endless looping possibilities and having midi control over the pedals and some of their functions

What do you do? Get a relay based midi switching solution. Unfortunately, you're going to drop massive amounts of money but you'll be happy.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
Yeah..it does seem crazy financially and in terms of having all that stuff. I mean I guess its OK when you're Gilmour or Edge or something and a vast array of effects and patches of combined effects are crucial to your performance...but when I find myself thinking about needing a dozen pedals in a vast true bypass looper or elaborate buffered switching systems my reflexive thought is, "Maybe it's time to simplify" -- 3 to 6 max true bypass pedals (the fewer the better), short interconnects, low cap cable.... If I can get down to that I find it much more manageable, pleasant, and cost effective.
 

papersun

Member
Messages
4,789
I only have one pedal that's really a tone sucker (Digitech XP100) so I'd like to throw it in a TB looper, but besides that, why bother?
 

teleclem

Member
Messages
4,690
I don't do it for the tone. I do it for the tap dancing (or lack of it). I can't reliably hit my 8 pedals without nudging the knobs. Lay-out isn't the problem since I've got them decently spaced out (at least compared to most cramped boards here). My feet + size 13 shoes just make it worse.

My truebypass looper was built by a local guy. It cost about 120 USD. The real expense is in the wiring (I use Lavas). It's worth it live.
 

Farbulous

Member
Messages
672
No, that makes sense to me - if you go one route.

Thing is, most of the time people use True Bypass pedals around here anyway! Sometimes a looper is there to give you front row access though, and in those cases it's more about access than about truebypassing your pedals.

However, I would bet you could save a LOT of money by making your own cables. Mini ELC is about 1.90 a foot, and you can get Mogami cable for as little as .4 a foot. GLS pancake jacks can be had for less than a buck a piece, so that puts your cables at 2.50 - 3.50 each if you build them yourself. In which case: 250 + 24x3.5 = less than 350, and most of that is in the looper.

However, if you get a programmable looper like the Cusack or Musicom Lab devices, you're looking at 450-500 right off the bat.

Jacob
This.

Make your own cables. Costs go way down and soldered cables are far more solid than otherwise. I just bought the following and it cost me maybe $100 total not including shipping:

Soldering station - $15
Solder - $30
Rosin Flux - $10
10' Mogami 2319 cable - $4
GLS Pancake jacks (30) - $35

Sources were: redco.com, tubedepot.com, speakerrepair.com

You can get loopers used off the emporium for decent prices, and I've been very tempted myself, but have stayed away from it, because I don't see it as essential to the board. You can probably do better with good cables and a decent line driver.
 

this1smyne

Senior Member
Messages
2,493
make your own loopers AND cables.... and the price goes WAAAAY down.

thats also assuming you have ZERO other cables around.... and that you're buying all new ends for input AND output of each pedal. if you have 12 pedals you've already got at least 11 cables, if you bought the lava kits for those 12, you'll have 15 cables available, meaning if you have NO extra cables you'll be ok with just 2 more kits, not 4... which cuts the cost in half.

also: i think in a looper setting hte cables aren't as important as the pedals are always on in hte loopers and the bad cables are being pulled out of the chain as well as the pedal. so the buffered pedal (all pedals are buffering your signal in some way when 'on') would compensate for a cheaper cable in a loop....

just my .02
 

jnepo1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,025
To the OP, you are looking at it in an extreme manner of expense. There are many benefits to a loop strip and tone/sound is a big factor. Noise is also another, as you are removing pedals/effects out of your loop when they are bypassed.

Also, in the sense of going the solderless patch cable route, that is certainly an expensive and in some cases a frustrating route. the solderless connection, if not properly connected can give you fits. The soldered cable route is a cost effective solution and a consistent reliability solution as long as it's properly made.
 

hawes

Member
Messages
455
Cost me no more than 250 with the loopers and cable. I use a clean/dirty switcher and a 2 looper for modulation and echo. Way less tap dancing this way and still get to remove pedals from the chain to preserve tone.
 

GASaholic

Member
Messages
403
I am waiting on a few lava mini soar kits to arrive. The plugs are the expensive components of the kits. The consensus in another thread about this was that there is usually plenty of cable left over from a kit since you shouldn't use anywhere near 10' for 5 patch cables (10 ends in a kit).
Wouldn't buying cheaper ends to make extra cables from the leftover cable also drastically reduce the cost of cabling? I mean you are still using the good quality cable and the cheaper ends wouldn't have tone loss since it's the capacititive effect of the cabling that cuts the high end.
Has anyone else tried this costsaver of mix and match? What cheap ends would be compatible with mini soars/elc solderless?
 

teleclem

Member
Messages
4,690
Also, in the sense of going the solderless patch cable route, that is certainly an expensive and in some cases a frustrating route. the solderless connection, if not properly connected can give you fits. The soldered cable route is a cost effective solution and a consistent reliability solution as long as it's properly made.
Yeah, I'm thinking of switching out my solderless cables for something reliable. I've never had anything die on me during a gig (it's happened at home), but I'm always scared. The anxiety (& possibility) is starting to make me rethink things.

While I think the issues are probably user error, the thought of one dying during a gig scares me enough now.
 

thegreatma3

Member
Messages
137
thanks for the tips guys! if i ever do get a looper...i'll definitely be getting my cable making supplies at Farbulous's suggestion!

@this1smyne i definitely don't know how to build a bypass looper strip. i was actually thinking that if i were to buy one new, it would be from you!

i failed to mention making you own cables and buying used, which of course is a lot cheaper. I see a lot of people having these expensive cable kits for their entire board and assumed that most went with this route since it probably takes less time to assemble.

one quick question since im new to this looping technology...right now when i have dirt pedal on who's distortion is pretty high it gets really buzzy...if i put it through the bypass looper and engage the pedal will the buzz still remain or go away/be minimized due to however the looper works?

thanks!
 

GASaholic

Member
Messages
403
The buzz will stay I'd imagine unless there is a noise gate built in, which I haven't seen yet. Loopers just switch your signal for each loop in and out of the signal pathway.
 

hawes

Member
Messages
455
The pedal buzz would only happen when the loop the pedal is in is switched on. Basically think of it like you are unplugging it from your FX chain when when that loop is off.
 

teleclem

Member
Messages
4,690
Yeah, it will still sound the same in and out of the looper (it's supposed to at least). If not, there's something wrong with the looper.
 

Structo

Member
Messages
9,555
Do you guys that use the looper pedals find you get any pops from switching pedals that are always on?

Say you have 8 pedals that are all on plus you have a 8 button looper box.
Say you step on the Overdrive button, play a few bars then switch it off.

Do you get any pops or noise when you do that?
 

hawes

Member
Messages
455
i havent noticed any. I usually try to turn on or off all my TB pedals a few times at when i first start playing to get the "pops" out.
 




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