How many do this test for pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Guitar Dave T, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    I am constantly amazed at how many pedals suck tone when not engaged, and yet I see them on people's pedal boards all the time.

    How many of you actually A/B test each of your pedals, gaging what your signal sounds like with the pedal in the chain, turned off versus with the pedal totally removed from the chain? You may be amazed to find out.

    Tuners and some A/B/Y boxes are some of the worst culprits, BTW.
     
  2. sixstring531

    sixstring531 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,980
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    sw mo
    Thats why I built a very simple true bypass a/b switch that kicks the tuner out of the loop. Does sound a lot better and cost all of $20. I really need to get good patch cables - I feel my cheapies are really hurting the tone.
     
  3. Passenger84

    Passenger84 Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    Absolutely. It amazes me how much some suck tone. I keep all my pedals in bypass loops.
     
  4. charmboy

    charmboy Member

    Messages:
    1,686
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I tend to avoid those types of pedals completely. Often (not always of course) if a pedal has a crappy sounding buffer when it's off, it can tend to have negative effects on tone while on as well. I currently have all true bypass pedals in my chain with a good clean boost (zvex SHO) at the end as a buffer. I'm not a true bypass snob or anything but it just seems that the pedals in my price range that sound good tend to be TB; If I could afford some of those Cornish pedals with his great bypass buffers that would be a different story.
     
  5. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I did that and removed like two pedals from my board because of it. Those damn Boss COSM pedals suck tone like no other. The analog ones are okay though.
     
  6. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    Can you post a quick wiring diagram of that a/b switch for a redneck tech like me who can solder real well, but is confused by all the A/B switches out there with additional resistors and other potentially unnecessary components? I built a bare-bones one years ago that popped like mad.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I once found a Morley A/B/Y switch laying around from the 80's that has gobs of componentry and just sucks the tone right out of everything it touches. The small, extruded aluminum built Boss A/B switches don't seem to do much better.
     
  7. GTRJohnny

    GTRJohnny Member

    Messages:
    3,481
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    Keeley Looper is great for this... :)
     
  8. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    What signal could you pass through that Boss A/B switch though? It's just a switch box. I use one to control the channels and reverb in my amp, and it's not like it can possibly suck tone while modulating a switch inside the amp.
     
  9. guitarpkr67

    guitarpkr67 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,238
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pineville, LA
    What you are using is not an A/B switch. It's just a 2 button footswitch. At least that is what it sounds like.
     
  10. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas

    Different box - not the same thing. The ones I've tried were A/B boxes, not internal amp switch controllers.
     
  11. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

    Messages:
    940
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal...
    Might I recomend someone to you...

    THE LOOP-MASTER...

    and yes I do check them for tone suckage...:crazy
     
  12. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

    Messages:
    29,370
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    K7C 4K8
    Almost everybody loves Jimi's tone. Jimi didn't have true bypass.
    I can't tell you which of my pedals is or isn't true bypass. People like my tone and more importantly, I like my tone.
     
  13. Prodigy

    Prodigy Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    Nah I don't check. I think my tone is fine and the audience wouldn't be able to differentiate the minor discrepancies anyways.
     
  14. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Correct. I misunderstood. :hide
     
  15. DaveG

    DaveG Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,506
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    High Desert, SoCal
    I plug straight into my amps when I play at home, usually into my pedalboard at gigs, can't tell any appreciable difference.
    Maybe there isn't any? :)
     
  16. seiko

    seiko Member

    Messages:
    3,966
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I honestly don't care anymore. I try and set the sound of the whole chain -- guitar, pedals, amp -- to where I like it and it sounds good without worrying so much about individual elements. Maybe if I was a session guitarist recording a lot I might worry about "tone suckage" but with a loud drummer and another guitarist its more about getting the right balance and figuring out the best spots for sustain and feedback with the amp cranked.
     
  17. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    True that. I have some Jetter pedals that pass through as true a tone as anything out there. Same with a my Zen Drive and Xotica AC Booster.

    My ancient Boss DM-2 Analog Delay and Planet Waves Pedal Tuner, OTOH...
     
  18. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    See, I just don't agree with that approach anymore. Cleaning up the chain, for me at least, adds so much more dynamic presence and tonal brilliance than "processing everything up" with overly buffered tone, which, IMO, sounds weak and insipid.
     
  19. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,475
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    I hate the term sucks tone... A typical "tone sucking" device such as a pedal is in most cases, removing some highs... in some cases that is a good thing. However if a pedal, even when bypassed is doing strange things to the character of the dry signal or attenuating the dry signal by substantial drop in db: that plain SUCKS - ;)
     
  20. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,448
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Interstellar Wossname
    Speaking as as a Tele player, sometimes a little tone suck can be a good thing.
     

Share This Page