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Which pedal/s is sucking my tone the most?

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,768
There's a pic of my pedal board below, for those that have these pedals... Which is sucking the most tone out of my amp, even when not being used? I don't want just guesses, but actual facts.

I've taken them off one by one, but after 10 minutes, my ears start getting dead..... But I can tell a signifigant difference when plugging straight in to the amp compared to through the pedal board.

Bottom left to right: Mentatone Blue Collar Overdrive > SRB808+ > Stock Ibanez TS9 > Rt66
Top left to right: SD Pickup booster > Fender tuner > Stock Boss tremolo > Danelectro delay > Danelectro Transparent Overdrive

 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,892
Well there are a lot of buffers on your board.

I'd say the Tuner, Trem, Delay, TS-9, and perhaps the SD booster, and Route 66, could be messing with your signal. You could buy or build a true bypass loop box witha tuner out. You could use a few buffers in the chain if you like the tone.

The best thing to do is start experimenting with an a/b box to see which pedals are the culprit.

Good Luck.

dk
 

Scott Naylor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
317
Seconding soulsonic here - that Dano delay (along with many of their pedals from that era - one of my kids has an all-Dano retro board) usurps guitar tone in a big way. If you don't mind your guitar being relegated to signal-generator-only status, then it's not a problem.

btw, I was thinking how nice a CC would look on your board!

best,
Scott
 

Hugo Da Rosa

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,389
It's not just your pedals that could be the cause of your tone loss. Your patches, where your buffers are placed, and how long of cables you are running contribute to tone loss. Yes, a particular pedal could be a big problem to any tone loss you are experiencing. But if you are hitting something like the the Rt66, tuner, trem, or delay early in your chain, it can cause some unwanted tone loss. You aren't going to really get a definite distinction when plugging in these pedals one at a time. I would say just try reordering your pedals and maybe using some different patches to see if that helps effect your tone.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,951
It's not just your pedals that could be the cause of your tone loss. Your patches, where your buffers are placed, and how long of cables you are running contribute to tone loss. Yes, a particular pedal could be a big problem to any tone loss you are experiencing. But if you are hitting something like the the Rt66, tuner, trem, or delay early in your chain, it can cause some unwanted tone loss. You aren't going to really get a definite distinction when plugging in these pedals one at a time. I would say just try reordering your pedals and maybe using some different patches to see if that helps effect your tone.
Ditto...and get a "looper" pedal (not looper that plays the same thing over and over, but one that has an "effects loop" you can put tone-sucking pedals in).. and TEST. It's the only way.

As hugodarosa points out here, it is way too oversimplified to ask for "which pedal"...

Some pedals are known "tone-suckers" that is true...but..

Sometimes it is the cables, too many, wrong kind, etc.
Sometimes it is PEDAL INTERACTION...this can mean pedal order but can mean other things as well.

What I mean, say you have a pedal that alone into amp sounds great. You add a second pedal after it....suddenly "tone suck". Well, it COULD be the second pedal, and this is the conclusion many people jump to, but it ALSO could be the interaction between the two pedals...it's all about input and output impedances. It also could be that 3" cable between them.

You might find trading the two pedals places fixes the problem (or not). It also could be if you took pedal number 2, alone into amp, IT too sounds great and when you add pedal number 1 after...bad again.

Personally, I like the Visual Sound (Route 88, if it has the standard VS buffer) buffers a lot. If you get a looper, and I were you, I'd take the tuner pedal out of the whole shebang, and when done building up pedalboard use the looper to keep tuner out of the circuit and only use it when needed. Also, it must be a pain to tune if you have to turn off all pedals to tune isn't it?

Best thing, get a looper...REBUILD your pedalboard from ground up, meaning add one pedal at atime, but in the looper pedals loop, so you can "AB" switch between guitar->looper->amp, and guitar->looper->pedals->looper->amp. Then you build up again one at a time and listen between when bypassing all pedals and not.
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,084
The effect of tone sucking is cumulative. You have several known tone suckers on your pedal board.

On the other hand I replaced or modified all of my pedals for hard wired bypass and still noticed a problem.

It was my crappy old patch cables! They were a bigger problem than the pedals!

Now I have all hard wired bypass pedals, except for my Fender tuner (it's like yours, I have no idea if it's hard wired bypass or not, it sounds fine) and my Rotosphere which is in my effects loop, and I use George L's patch cables and it sounds great.
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,768
Your tone suckage is just too much stuff in line.You need to get it down a bit.

Thats the hard part when playing in a cover/original band... I need several levels of overdrive depending on the song and I don't want to have to bend over before and during each song to turn it up and down. I could probably get rid of one OD pedal, but the rest I really need and the other is just for "more" on some songs.

As little delay as I use, I could probably pull that from the board?
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,951
Thats the hard part when playing in a cover/original band... I need several levels of overdrive depending on the song and I don't want to have to bend over before and during each song to turn it up and down. I could probably get rid of one OD pedal, but the rest I really need and the other is just for "more" on some songs.

As little delay as I use, I could probably pull that from the board?
If you want to fix it...

I notice the interconnect cables (at least the ones I can see) look like the Hosa or similar, those molded plastic cables are almost for sure robbing tone. Seems (again, hard to tell) like you have unecessarily long cables also in there at places.

If you go to www.loop-master.com (this from memory, if it is wrong, just google "loop-master" and "pedal") you can find a few variations on loopers. If you had a 3-loop looper with "master bypass" and tuner out, I am pretty sure you would notice a huge difference, even keeping ALL pedals you have today on the board.

You could see if keeping the Route 66 first (not in the looper) gave you a good solid sound, and it is buffered, and then put OD's in one loop, problem OD's and trem in another, delays in another...and tuner out to tuner.

The beauty of this is a couple of things.

1) You only use the pedal "group" you need at any one time.
2) you can "pre-arm". Meaning turn the master bypass to bypass, now you only have whatever you want that is not in any of the loops, you can turn on the pedal(s) you want, like a combination of delay and OD, trem, whatever and then ONE stomp (on the master bypass) will enable all you selected at the same time.
3) Tuner is out of the signal path when not used. Will mute (so even if a non-muting tuner you can use it) when selected.
4) flexibility...maybe it is just the OD's causing problems. One or two in each loop and using your usage of them to guide you, no tap dancing to the back row pedals...
5) before using the 3 (or more) looper on the pedalboard, you can test cables with it (A/B/C comparisons with different cable types) to see if they are affecting sound. Probably wouldn't be drastic with the 3" cables, but I definitely notice sonic differences in 6 foot or longer cables...



If I bought (and I did) a three-loop (or 2, or 4, he custom makes whatever you want) I would definitely get a little one-loop looper for exactly this...troubleshooting...
 

Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,532
SD Pickup booster should be first, and may cure some of your probs.

The overdrive pedals I see, and there are a LOT, seem to be variations on the same theme.

You could be trading tone-loss for convinience. If you just boil it down to

SDPUB>SRB808>Blue Collar>Trem,

you could just learn to fiddle the knobs between tunes, and have a better path.

I owned a Danny pedal once, and it was very lame.
 

ZepFuzz05

Member
Messages
1,429
It's the fact that you are running a lot of unnecessary pedals with different buffers hitting each other and ****** cables connecting them. Here's my opinion on your situation: You need to simplify your pedals down to what is absolutely necessary. It will not only clean up and brighten your tone, allowing a clearer, stronger guitar signal through, but it will also force you to become a stronger player and squeeze as much as possible from a few basic tools.

Honestly, you don't need all of those overdrives - you literally have three tubescreamers. Keep the Ibanez TS9 (to also act as a buffer) and the Menatone Blue Collar. Sell the other overdrives (as well as the pickup booster) and use the money to fund a high quality, low capacitance 10 ft. cable to go from your guitar to your first pedal (in this case, the Ibanez TS9). This way you have a buffer preserving your guitar signal, the Ibanez acting as a compressed mid-range boost, and the Menatone acting as a dynamic main overdrive.

Next, get your tuner out of the signal path, that's one more buffer and cable connection that doesn't need to be disrupting your signal.

Next, I would choose whether you use Delay or Tremolo more and go with one of those boxes. If you choose delay, I would get a True Bypass delay with an additional output (from which you can run your tuner).

This would fit the bill exactly - http://www.proguitarshop.com/product.php?ProductID=948&CategoryID=18

Now you literally have an ideal setup in terms of preserving your guitar sound: A buffer followed by a few essential true bypass pedals. If you need more, throw the Boss Trem in there and see if your signal still seems okay. If so, then you are golden.
 

sodapopinski

Member
Messages
3,383
man your whole board sucks... i kid, i kid, but i agree with that the Dano and possibly the Fender tuner are probably sucking tone
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,768
Here's the deal with all the repeat pedals.... I play in a, mostly cover, band. We play everything from Willie and Johnny Cash to AC/DC, Poison and Metallica and EVERYTHING in between I need many levels of overdrive/distortion..... that's why all the different variations of Tubescreamers. The one I use the least IS the actual Ibanez (maybe 3 or 4 songs a night).

* The Mentatone is my "Marshall in a box" tone (AC/DC, Hendrix)
* The SRB808 is the highest gain pedal on my board, and is used for my 80s rock
* The Rt66 is used for my classic rock tone (compressor isn't used) and southern rock stuff.
* TS9 is used for my country distorted lead tones or along with another pedal to add a bit more dirt.
* The Dano Transparent Overdrive is new and may replace one of the other pedals for a different type of tone.... It's actually a GREAT sounding pedal and could probably do the lo gain country stuff?
* Tremolo is probably my MOST used FX
* delay is on all the time, but isn't really mixed to stand out too much and I could probably do without it if I had to.
* The SD Pickup Booster is used as my "solo boost". With two guitar players, I really need this to bump my signal level up a few db's to step above the other guitar player.
* The Tuner - I've read many reply's that say "take it out", but I'm a tuning freak.... I tune between every song and a lot of times after a solo too and can't be unplugging to "tune up" every song.

That's the story with all the pedals.....

Which pedal out of the Rt66 and the TS9 is the most tonesucking pedal?
 

chuckmoose

Member
Messages
281
I use 14 pedals on my board, including 5 overdrives and a fuzz, and the tone suck is negligible. The amount of pedals is not inherently the problem. Go through these pedals one at a time and see if you can tell where there is a problem. then you may have to go through them 2 at a time, or 3 at a time. Use the best cables you can.

Only you can really answer your question. Many of the pedals could be at issue, but often I find that even cheap buffered pedals can work just fine.
 

205

Senior Member
Messages
564
I don't think anyone can tell you by looking at a picture.
You need to investigate this yourself by elimination.
I believe some pedals will work well in some chains and totally suck tone in others.

Oh and by the way I've got a re-housed (stock wiring) PBJ delay in my chain and it doesn't suck tone. It's my favourite delay and I own a lot of them
 

LowWatt

Member
Messages
3,229
Which pedal out of the Rt66 and the TS9 is the most tonesucking pedal?
It really isn't that simple unfortunately. In many rigs, neither the TS9 or 66 would have much negative effect on your tone. It's that, as was said earlier, you have so many buffers in your signal chain. They are all trying to "fix" your tone and their combined efforts end up mangling it in the process. That's also why the advice of going one at a time probably won't work. It really isn't one pedal doing the damage, it's how the whole comes together.

Are you sure you need that many variations of OD? I understand playing a variety of styles creates a variety of needs, but have you tried using less ODs and stacking them? Like have a light OD and a medium OD and turn them on together when you want more of a distortion tone.

And/or have you tried rolling back your volume control on your heavier OD sounds to see if you can get a light OD just by sending a weaker guitar signal into the pedal? This move doesnt' always work, but certainly simplfies things when it does.

At the very least, an A/B box would pull your tuner out of the chain and allow it to always stay on. If the tuner is always on that would be the biggest tone suck in your chain.
 




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