Pedalboard Troubleshooting

I’m having an issue with seemingly random volume changes when playing through my pedalboard. I will occasionally get a sudden increase or decrease in volume when activating or deactivating pedals. In other words, when I hit a switch to turn a pedal on or off I may also get a volume change. The volume difference is usually subtle, but can be drastic at times. This seems to happen roughly once every 15 to 20 times I use a pedal, but it has been unpredictable. I notice the problem more often with pedals in the effects loop (currently Timeline and Modfactor, but also with previous Nova Delay and Brigadier), but have had it occur when using the compressor and drive pedals as well.

I guess I have a relatively complex setup, so I’m hoping I will get some suggestions on where to go next with my troubleshooting. I have tried taking pedals out of the chain and I’ve also tried replacing some cables. The difficulty has been that because of the intermittent nature of the problem, I keep thinking I have it fixed and then it pops up again.

I have the problem with multiple amps and guitars, so I have narrowed it down to the pedalboard itself being the cause of the problem. Does this sound like a cable issue or a need for a dedicated buffer? Is it possibly a power related problem? I’m using a Pedal Power 2 and a Pedal Power Digital.

I will most likely have to take the whole thing apart and rebuild it one link at a time to see if I can isolate the issue, but I’m hoping comments and suggestions on what to look for.

Signal Flow:

Photo of the pedalboard-in-progress:



Rocky Mountain Way By The Atlantic
Gold Supporting Member
Sounds like a cable issue to me.


low rent hobbyist
I'll bet you have a bad George L cable (or two) in there.

When you assemble them, check them with a DMM set to read ohms. They should read only a couple ohms


Member of no importance
I used to have solderless GL's.... had volume drops and cutouts all the time when you least expected it........ got lava soldered cables now for the last two years, number of issues ever? = 0!

nice board by the way!


Sounds like a cable to me as well, sometimes stepping on a pedal will shift one just enough to exacerbate a loose/intermittent short.

Before tearing everything apart I'd try turning the amp up loud and wiggling/bending each of the cables near the ends to see if you can reproduce the volume drop or induce some crackling.
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. It looks like I'll have to start going through and be more methodically with testing all the cables. I have considered switching to soldered cables. Now that I have the board close to being finalized it may be time to make the switch. I've not had many problems with George L's in the past, but I have been doing a lot more changes and moving things around recently. The first thing is to confirm that the cables are the problem and then get it fixed.

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