Effects loop in a pedal? Raven labs PHA-1? . . . ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by craigb, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Y'all,

    I'm considering my next gear purchase and have a couple of things I'd like it to do and want to know what anyone knows of out there that will get the job done. What it needs to do:

    1) direct box/preamp/amp simulator - for practice I'm now plugging into the PA (hey, we've got 2 PA cabs with 2-15"s each so that's more speaker cone area than my 1x12 combo or 1x15). I'm using my BFX-708 as my "preamp" to do this and it kind of sucks for that. It's fun to have the effects but the bypass isn't a true bypass and I'm not liking it for this application much. I may try doing this for smaller gigs as well to save on gear hauling.

    2) switchable or blendable effects loop - I like playing with the effects of the BFX and we are doing a new song where I'll want to use it. But I don't want it in my signal chain when I'm not using it for effects. Is there a pedal (like an A/B switch) that will route my signal through it when I want to but not when I don't? I could do that with 2 A/B pedals but that's getting ridiculous. A blendable effects loop would be even better. Neither of my amps have switchable effects loops either.

    3) headphone amp capability - I have a Dunlop Bass Ace that I use for practicing at work and it's not particularly great. A better sounding headphone amp would be very nice.

    Now if money were no object I'd get a Sansamp BDDI to cover direct box and amp emulation and a Raven Labs PHA-1 for the blendable effects loop and headphone capability. But my budget is looking more like one or the other. Any comments on what I can do? A pedal that did a true bypass of a loop would be cool and then I could do the BDDI and get most of what I want. If the PHA-1 line out is adequate for going to the PA then I could go that way and get a lot of capability. I suppose I could go with the PHA-1 to start and later add a BDDI - the PHA-1 output is probably no worse than the BFX for hitting the PA.

    Any suggestions or comments? Other things I should be looking at?

    Thanks for the help
  2. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

  3. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    The first question is east! Get a Sans Amp! They are a tad expensive, but worth it!
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Steve Lawson uses Raven stuff and is a bit of a gadget guru try sending him a PM or e-mail.

    The pedalboard bloke is Tom I think he frequents the effects board at http://www.webervst.com and I think remember think that some of the regulars have used them.

    happy hunting
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Hello David no time no type
  6. Boss also makes a fx loop in a pedal called the LS2
  7. I recommend the Boss LS-2.
    I use it with a BP-8 on the "A" loop only.
    In A/B mix mode, the LS-2 takes
    the effects signal in loop "A" and mixes it
    with a straight dry signal from the empty loop "B."
    Adjust individual gain pots for just the right wet/dry mix.... and their you go. Stomp on it to bypass. Bypassing in this manner provides a much cleaner signal then the bypass feature on the BP-8.

    Any-who, check it out.
  8. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey that is cool! Thanks for pointing me at the LS-2. There is a whole lot of capability in there. An LS-2 for effects looping and a Sansamp may be the ticket. An upgraded headphone amp can wait a while.
  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I've heard that the Rolls mini mixer is a good cheap ($80) headphone amp, at least if you've got a preamp in the bass. It has two 1/4", an XLR, and RCA inputs (each with level control) and a headphone and line out. I'll probably get one when my Chapman Stick arrives, and I'm looking at the 2-channel Raven Labs preamp. Does anybody know if the effects loops on the Raven gear work better for pedals or rack/line level FX?
  10. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I've got an LS-2 - I use the A channel for my Chorus and Bass Iq and channel B has my Deep impact and Octabass - that way I can switch the Deep impact on and the octave at the same time without having to jump on two pedals at precisely the same moment !

    In a couple of songs I'll not use the effects but turn up the gain on one channel - allowing me to boost the volume in certain sections of the song.
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    The LS-2 is a great choice for your switchable effects loop needs - probably the cheapest way forward there.

    For the preamp - the PHA is cool - great headphone sound, easily good enough to run into a power amp and use as your main preamp.

    The Master Blender is a better bet for more complex routing - you can then have an effects loop on either channel, or one for both, you can run two instruments into separate EQ sections and out of the same master out, and the effets loop is blendable. If you put the effects loop on halfway, and have a volume pedal patch set up on the BFX, you can just turn the BFX down when you're not using it, and run clean, and then run a mixed signal when you turn it up with the volume pedal...

    The Sansamp is a great box too...

    The PHA doesn't have an XLR out, but the Master Blender does.


  12. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the input. I had dreams of finding everything in a single unit but that's not going to happen. Your message is making me take another look at the master blender. It's got the DI out that I want for going into the board. I've got some thinking to do - either an LS-2 and a Sansamp or the Master Blender. I think it's a win-win situation, both ways would be good, just provide different options. And someday maybe I'll pick up a PHA.
  13. catwig1


    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Has anyone seen this:


    I think it could have everything. :)
    I have been looking for a headphone amp for some time and I have tried the Raven Labs PHA. I feel it doesn't have enough volume for a passive bass and pro cans :( I wonder if the Sadowski does, but I don't need a DI (I have the SABDDI :) ) but it can't be a bad thing to have a Sadowski. I'm in the UK and nowhere here has the Sad RSD-1 to try. Anyone compared these????


    (I need more gear now DAMMIT :) )