do pedals detract from ur tone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    i got an ehx bass balls and zoom 708, i usually play with them but i did a gig the other day and i have been to laxy to set them up again so i bin playin straight to the amp, my tone sounds like 10x better! it sounds meatier and fuller and deeper and just better all round, is it my pedals taking away my tone?
  2. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Pedals without a true bypass will drain your tone.
  3. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    so bcuz the zoomz bypass is sucky then is that y? will my ehx be cool?
  4. YES

    pedals, especially cheaper ones, and ESPECIALLY zoom units seriously destroy your tone. Its best to try to go for TRUE BYPASS units or find some way to true bypass your other pedals (ex. a seperate pedal that can bypass all your effects and cut strait to your amp... thats what i use)

    also the ehx with reduce the quality as well but not nearly as bad as the zoom will...
  5. with digital multi-fx it's harder, but with most analogue pedals ( e.g. boss, ehx, dod, etc,etc ) it is possible to make a true bypass modification..
  6. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    most effect pedals WILL suck the life out of your tone...You might be able to get away with 1 or 2 in line, but after that,you're gonna notice a big difference...Agreed on the true bypasss, try to use pedals that offer this....Boss's GT-6B has true bypass,but digital isn't everybody's bag...I've always had the best luck running my effects in the effect loop,but that will NOT work if your effects are -20 db input and output, like most pedals are....I've used an Alesis Midiverb and the GT-6B with great results, but they are -10 db units...
  7. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    YES. I had a Big Muff which killed my tone when turned off. I now use 3 BOSS pedals, OC2, ODB3 and CE2B and they don't kill my tone at all.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Hallelujah - another one has seen the light!! ;)

    Yup I haven't used any pedals since the 80s on bass at a live gig - pedals are OK for guitar (!!) but bass tone sounds so much better, the cleaner you can get it!!

    Throw all those cheap pedals away and spend the money on a decent amp that has sufficent headroom to really deliver a great tone.
  9. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    What Simon Cowell said.
  10. Most pedals do not have 'true bypass' wiring and you will suffer something called 'insertion loss' or a slight decrease in high end and overall dynamic response and it is more noticable on bass than guitar. There are several ways to avoid this or counteract the effects of insertion loss. First good connections are a must, spend a few bucks for some good quality short cables, I use George L's for all my short cable runs. Using a bass with active electronics or a line driver pedal will help against signal loss, I use an older MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver at the beginning of the signal chain. Modifying your pedals to a true bypass is an inexpensive way to clean up your signal. Also using a constant power supply will help as some older pedals seem to loose output as the battery drains. Using a loop selector to go from effects to clean is also a good alternative, Boss used to maks a pedal called a PSM-5 that served as a power supply and loop selector that was quite good and offered silent switching.
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    A good friend who is a professional monitor engineer says that anything you put in the signal path is going to degrade your sound. (This is a guy who uses about 10 Aphex Dominators and a 128 channel Midas board at a typical gig.) Any pedal will do the same, even those with true bypass due to insertion losses, contact losses, etc. (Insertion loss occurs anywhere you have a mechanical connection such as the input jack of your bass.) Usually the loss is not noticeable, unless you have golden ears like my friend. Some effects do change the tone, but in a desireable way. My Moogerfooger Low-pass filter definitely effects the tone even when off. I have it in a true-bypass loop for that reason. Still, sometimes I will leave it in the loop while off because it adds a moog-like thickness to the bottom end. So the question is not does this pedal detract from you tone, but does it do so in an unpleasant way.
  12. my bassballs does affect the tone when it's off. very subtly, but it does. luckily, i don't have much use for it right now, so i just go -> SABDDI -> amp.

    say, bruce, why do you even read this forum? :D
  13. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    im trying to sell my envelope filter for 20
    i found the only 2 effects i really need... a distortion and a tremelo... thats it though
    the ev filter... kills my tone badly.. as do most DOD effects IMO
  14. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    what are effects loops and where can i get a decent bypass pedal from and roughly how much? (UK) thanx :)
    edit: oh yeah I got both pedals on adapter things so they go straight into the wall ;) no batteries in my pants
  15. CS


    Dec 11, 1999



    I bought one from him in real life but he does do mail order and is a nice chap.
  16. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    The true bypass or not true bypass deal is that if you use it then you are effectively making one long lead which causes its own problems. Use the shortest and bestest leads you can get away with (I bought a George L end stock drum and some connectors and made my own lengths).

    The reason that some effects units 'suck tone' is because the maker has used noise reduction circuitry which lops of treble or clarity. Another reason is the whole high impedance low impedance issue. Some players use a low impedance buffer like a VHT univalve or a unit with it built in (Roger Meyer stuff or ZVex SHO).

    So recap

    use as little effects as possible
    sort out your leads
    use a TB box
    use a buffer

    good luck
  17. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    It's not just the bypass issue - the longer the distance between instrument and amp (ie, the more crap the signal has to go through) the more loss of signal you endure, since instrument cables and pedals aren't exactly the best conductors...
  18. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's not really a problem, since your signal will become low impedance because of the pedal. Copper cable is pretty much the best conductor you can get for this purpose, unless you use silver cable.