I just HEARD the light !!!! TONE SUCKAGE!!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Bradders, Sep 11, 2005.


  1. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    Couldn't believe my ears - for years I've read about effects sucking tone , and cables sucking tone, and true-bypass versus non-TBP etc etc etc and - being honest - I grinned - I was never aware of losing anything tone-wise - as I had quality fx, and cables and guitars and amps etc......what did I have to worry about.....MAN what a shock i got today.

    I have a BAD CAT Cub II ( 15w/el84) 1*12 combo in my house - what an amazing amp - strats, teles, LPs, my 68 335, my 65 SG etc - it adores them all and more.

    So I'm slamming away with various bats into the amp direct and then add in my pedal board to see how the amp fares with fx...and I couldn't believe my ears as to how (relatively) lame the amp now sounded with 8 fx and a tuner in line in comparison to straight in. All the edge and bite and "Biggness" had all but gone - it still sounded good - but not AMAZING as it had w/o the fx!

    So -- I finally heard it - the guy who thought either his ears weren't good enough or it was a load of cr@P is now a believer - tone can be effected/affected BIG TIME by fx/cables etc.

    My issue now if figuring out where the "sink" is in the chain...Strobostomp, RC Booster, Mosferatu, Keeley Comp, Analogman Chorus, Fulltone SupaTrem, Ibanez (80s) AD9, Boss DD-6, ZVEX Super Duper 2:1 to the amp..........anyone want to hazzard a guess - is it obvious to you and not to me...:confused:

    BTW - -the Bad Cat Cub is an AMAZING amp - -pricey but amazing - huge for 15W - it's replacing my Dr Z Maz jnr 2*12 - as a portable practise amp - -but will end up being a lot more based on what I heard today....

    Bradders
     
  2. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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  3. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    Interesting - -can you shed any "101" on how this thing works by any chance Macaroni pls?

    I get the idea of a buffer and what that does but don't really get it.....unless there was a buffer before each effect - how does a single buffer do it?

    thanks - appreciate the input/suggestion.
     
  4. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    Both of your delays are buffered, all the rest are True Bypass. I'm not completely sure about the Strobostomp.

    You do have a lot of boosts. Is the tone suckage only when everything's on, or is it even if everything's off?
     
  5. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    Hey Bmore - the suckage is with all fx OFF.......if that helps. cheers
     
  6. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    oh - -and one other thing - -the Strobo tuner is selectable - you can use it true bypass or not.....nice tuner btw.
     
  7. madsr

    madsr Member

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    not really sure..I would try removing each from the chain one at a time and see if you can find the culprit..I had an Ibanez ts9dx that sucked tone when it was off..but it could be any one or more than one that's doing it...
     
  8. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    Take out the DD6 first.

    Then check if you have the Strobostomp set up for TB.

    Then check your cables. I've just started putting together some Bill Lawrence cables and they sound real good. ;)
     
  9. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    It's probably not any one pedal, but rather the long chain. Buy a George L effects kit and keep the links as short as possible between units. More importantly, get a VHT Valvulator. It will power all of the pedals and buffer your signal before it ever sees your first pedal. I use it and love it.
     
  10. jzguitar

    jzguitar Member

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    I have an RC Boost first in line and I pretty much keep it on all of the time to drive the signal thru my pedals. I've only got one buffered pedal in line now (soon to be put in a bypass loop) but all of the true-bypass pedals combined with the cables takes a bit of the highs out. The RC does a great job of keeping the integrity of the guitar signal and restoring the clarity that can be lost to capacitance. I guess the Axess Buffer would do the same, but I like the tweakability of the RC.

    jz
     
  11. devbro

    devbro Member

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    "True bypass" seems like a crap shoot at best. There are several different interpretaions of "true bypass" and everyone has their own flavor.

    A buffer may or may not help you. It depends on how many and what type of internal buffers are within the downstream pedals. A dedicated buffer could even prove counter productive!

    The way I solved this tone suckage was to run all my pedals (except Wah) through a Loooper. If you use a Loooper, the term "true bypass" doesn't apply because the only time the effects are in the signal chain is when I want them there and they're on. I don't run my Wah through the looper because its too difficult to tap dance between the Loooper and the Wah to turn it on and off. Besides it's first in my signal chain and I trust the Teese RMC3 true bypass.

    Get a Looper and never look back. Oh, good cords are essential too. ;)
     
  12. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    Hey Pedro -I have George L's ( very short lengths) between the pedals right now - have jsut read up on teh Axxess buffer ( as advised at the head of this0 and think that's a way to go - -it's not really THAT long a chain - do you guys think - I mena....come on ;)

    The strobo is set for TBPass

    Was thinking teh (Boss) DD6 actually -

    thanks anyway
    Bradz
     
  13. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    'course - there's always a looper - oh man - -I hate choices :)
     
  14. pepperco

    pepperco Member

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    I have both the RC and the BS2, and while the RC is
    spectacular I do not believe it can do what the BS2 can.
    The RC will definately add back a little juice and sizzle,
    but it is colored. The BS2 will make it sound more like you
    are plugging directly into the amp. Thats been my experience.

    Lots of good advice so far, Once you can admit there is
    tone suckage, then you can start to get help for it.

    I would second the looper recomendation, at least
    one big loop for ALL of the pedals, that way you can
    also trouble shoot cable and power issues. Go back to
    square one, bypass all of the pedals, and see what its
    supposed to sound like, before you start adding stuff in.
    George L's work great for me also. One other trick I do
    is use only a 12 foot cable to the pedalboard, and an
    Identicle 25 foot cable to the amp. This way if I need
    extra lenght for a bigger stage its there, if I don't need
    it at least my cable length is consistant, and hopefully
    my tone will remain a little more consistant also.
     
  15. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    all of the above is good advice

    First, use the same cables for everything. I can tell the difference if I've got one cable that is a different brand or make from the rest

    Second, Isolate each pedal. Try each effect alone and see how it effects your tone by itself. You may find one pedal alters your tone in an unuseable way. And you may find another pedal alters your tone but you LIKE IT. For example, my cables and pedals tend to darken my tone just a little bit which works for me... but I had to get rid of a wah pedal in my chain that sucked bass and made my Low E string flabby
     
  16. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

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    Take the Ibanez and Boss out of the chain and see what happens.. I think that is going to be your problem..
     
  17. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Even a looper will cause some signal loss because you are still running through the switches and internal wiring. I run a boost at the end of my signal chain set at unity or just above to keep a nice signal gong to my amp and it seems to help.
     
  18. heybulldog

    heybulldog Member

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    or try this: work with the tone controls of the amp and guitar to overcome/ effects of signal loss- i think the bad cat 's tone circuit should be strong enough to do that to some extent. good luck!
     
  19. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree with this, not great buffers in those suckers.

    A buffer first in chain will decrease some of the problem, the SHO has a VERY good buffer which is on all the time (the footswitch adds boost), so I'd try that first. I'd put the AD9 and the DD6 into a loop (or two loops if necessary) and you should be good. If you need a final boost, another SHO or something similar should fix it...
     
  20. wopr

    wopr Member

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    Older versions of the Analogman Chorus are not true bypass. This is from his web page:

    "The Analog Man Chorus now has true bypass, depth knob, and cool silk-screened, darker blue hammertone powder-coated cases for durability. Also using the highest quality circuit boards, double-sided to isolate the signal from any noise, and professionally soldered for perfect, reliable circuitry. These also have more shielding, less jumpers, and no volume drop when the pedal is switched ON. Still has the same awesome sounding circuit!"

    http://www.analogman.com/clone.htm

    --steve
     

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