I´m the victim of tone-suck!!!!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Steven, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Steven

    Steven Member

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    I usually suck when I play but I just realized that I´m also having a big tone suck problem with my pedal board :huh... I´ve not been very happy with the tones from my rig lately and yesterday I just tried my amp without the pedalboard and man all of my guitars sounded 237% better straight in than throu the bedal board with all the pedals off. The phrase "blanket on the amp" is very apropriate in my case. Something must have gone terribly wrong with the board or else I´ve been having a "bad tone day" for the last two years cous I havent changed much on the board lately. I´m suspecting that my GGG buffer and/or the volume pedal might be the culprits but now I´ll start pluggin in to one pedal at a time to see what will happen.

    The sound from the board is muffeld in the highs and un defined in the bottom compared to the straight in sounds. The board has 11 pedals (alost all of them T/B) and two buffers:
    Pitchblack>MP FGC>Bi Chorus>Mo Faux Vibe>PTD Uberbone fuzz>Bearfoot HB>Timmy>Crunchbox>GGG IC Buffer>EB Volume pedal with 250kohm pot>Barge Concepts VBjr loop pedal with buffer with DD20 delay in the loop>Amp
     
  2. smallstoner

    smallstoner Member

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    Yep. First in the chain. It's likely not the buffer that's the problem, but all those TB pedals and cords. The longer your signal path is without a buffer, the more high-end suck you'll get.
     
  3. Steven

    Steven Member

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    Thanks fellas!
    The PTD fuzz will most likely hate a buffer in front so I might have to move some pedals around but I wanna have the chorus and vibe in front of the fuzz and the comp in front of the chorus... If I am to keep the chain like that I have to move the buffer to after the fuzz but before the HB, Timmy and chrunchbox. Or else I´ll try to have the comp after the chorus and go chorus>vibe>fuzz>buffer>comp>pitchblack...

    I guess I have a lot of experimenting to do.
     
  4. smallstoner

    smallstoner Member

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    You're right about the fuzz needing to be before the buffer; hadn't considered that. In fact I thought fuzz should always come first, but I'm not an expert on that.
     
  5. Steven

    Steven Member

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    I believe that many fuzzes hate buffers in front but the Bi-chorus and vibe sounds good in front of the PTD fuzz IMO so I guess they dont have buffers in them? I use the Bi-chorus for leslie/vibratone sounds and it dont sound vey good after the fuzz and neither does the vibe IMO.
     
  6. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's time for a true bypass loop. I added one some time ago and my tone is very close to that when plugged directly into the amp. Road Rage makes some nice loopers, some of which include buffers. The key here is to place the vintage-type fuzzes before you hit the looper + try not to keep more than 4 pedals in each loop.

    Example: guitar -> vintage fuzzes -> looper

    If you choose to go with a looper that does not include a buffer, just try to place your buffered pedals as close as possible to the start of each loop.

    Good (short) cabling is also an important factor.

    I play both a Ric 330 and a Jazzmaster, so that high-end chime is really important to me.

    Road Rage's site: http://www.roadrageprogear.com/
     
  7. Steven

    Steven Member

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    Thanks, I had a Pedaltrain Pro board with a 5 strip T/B looper but I downzied my board to a PT Two and ditched the loop strip. Maybe thats when things went wrong. Now I guess I´ll have to experiment with pedal and buffer placement first cous there´s no room for a loop strip on my board right now.
     
  8. antbosca

    antbosca Member

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    I suspect the volume pedal may be the cause of the problem here, but your process of elimination will soon discover the culprit.
     
  9. talanzdad

    talanzdad Member

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    I Agree!
     
  10. awallace

    awallace Member

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    This is an excellent place to start. Take the volume pedal out of the chain and see if things improve. The next place I would check would be cabling. With those buffers there shouldn't be any signal loss going on due to cable length but a bad connection or a conductive insulator making contact with a conductor could be the problem.
     
  11. Peeb

    Peeb Member

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    :agree
     
  12. Steven

    Steven Member

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    OK I´ll see what happens when I start checking things out. I have wired al the cables on the board as short as possible and I use lava cabel with soldered pancake plugs but maybe I have fouled a conection somewhere cous I´m not the best solderer on the planet.
     
  13. hktk

    hktk Member

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    I would check all your connections. Iv found almost every tone suck problem I have had has been from a bung cable. The only pedal issue I have had is my fender volume which likes having a buffer before it. Other than that a looper might have to be your answer.
     
  14. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    imo 11 pedals is enough to justify a true bypass switcher...get the pedals not being currently used out of the chain

    I have 2 pedaltrain pros and a junior LOADED up and in my chain (at home)...at any one time there is never more than 3-4 pedals in the chain...I have most of it on 2 5 channel switchers...it was night and day, I got picking dynamics back, high end back, volum drop was gone
     
  15. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    sounds like it's time to bust out that loop strip again! i had a bit of suck coming from my old DMM and CE-1, so I put those in a japanese apartment Keeley looper and stuck a buffer after the fuzz for good measure and bingo, goodbye tone suck.
     
  16. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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    Use less pedals (no pun intended).
     
  17. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    Other potential issues

    How are you powering this lot? low/bad power can kill tone.

    Tell me about your cabling? that many cheapo patch cables will kill.

    How long and what are the cables going to and from the pedal board.

    PS check each cable, one duff patch lead and.... dead tone.
     
  18. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Yeah, it's a common problem. I noticed a big difference between the pedal board and straight in. I solved most of the problem by getting a bypass looper. You can take big sections of your pedal board out of the chain if you aren't using them. I've found these loopers to be extraordinarily useful to eliminate the tap dance around my board as well. I don't think I would have a board without one anymore. You will still get some tone suck as compared to straight into the amp, but it's not nearly as bad.

    Putting a buffer early in the chain can help as well. I have the Wampler buffer, which I use occasionally. I like the results in general, but it doesn't sound like plugging straight into the amp . . . the tone is somewhat different.

    All that being said, I wouldn't get too hung up on the tone suck problem. You have decided to use a pedalboard because you like to use pedals, so I assume most of the time you are actually using one or more of them. Once the pedals have been turned on, the tone suck problem becomes more or less moot. And, of course, if you like the sound you're hearing, then all the more reason not to worry about it.
     
  19. Steven

    Steven Member

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    Now I have done a very non-scientific check up on the board. My initial findings is that
    1. Putting the GGG buffer as early as possible in the chain helped a lot, and
    2. The Ernie Ball volume pedal is somewhat of a tone sucker.

    I think that I could live with having the chorus after the fuzz (dont use them together very much) but vibe after fuzz sounded horrible in my case. So the chain will have to be vibe>fuzz>buffer>comp>chorus...

    I´m much into using the volume pedal live so I cannot hack it without one, but I cannot have the tone suck of the EB. So I went ahead and ordered a Mission-Engineering buffered volume pedal. Hopefully it will have a significant inpact on the tone suck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  20. MiguelO

    MiguelO Member

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    I agree. I also have had problems with Ernie Ball volume pedals sucking tone. I had to remove it from my rig.
     

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