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Foot pedal damaging speaker?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by goran, Jun 26, 2003.


  1. goran

    goran

    Dec 17, 2002
    Croatia
    Endorsing Artist: Bartolini
    I stated playing in a new band, noise-funk oriented and as addition to my rig, I play through Ibanez Tube Screamer pedal (distortion-like effect). Is there any chance of damaging speaker?

    Amp is Fender Bassman 100 (100 W tube head) and cabinet is Peavey 115BX (350W, 4 ohms). Reason I'm getting worried is some metalic cracking-distorting sound coming from speaker when I play harder on E string (this happens when pedal is turned off). It distorts because i set volume high (nearly max), but this cracking freaks me out. It is not noticable when playing with a band, but I can hear it when I play alone. Could it be weak battery in pedal?
     
  2. Most problems with pedals start with the battery. Another problem you might be having is the nut that secures the 1/4 jack on either side of the pedal box may be loose. Make sure both the input and output jacks are good and tight. Sounds like you describe can also come from a bad cord. Swap out your cords and see if it makes a difference. If everything is working properly, you should be hearing any "cracking" sounds at all.
     
  3. Maybe you're overdriving the input circuit of the pedal. An passove or active bass played very loud and at max volume COULD put out more than a simple 9-volt-powered pedal can handle. If you can borrow an AC adapter you could find this out. Most AC adapters put out more than 9 volt (could even be 12 volts, don't worry about it). This could buy the pedal more headroom.

    BTW did you try to play this loud without the pedal, i.o.w. are you sure it's the pedal?
     
  4. Your speaker is probably OK, but it sounds like you are asking too much from your amp. I'm an advocate of 100 Watt tube amps, but if you are turning it up nearly all the way, it's not enough power for your gig.

    Chris
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    get a big muff pedal. They sound meaner on bass. and get a bigger head(that sound funny)
     
  6. goran

    goran

    Dec 17, 2002
    Croatia
    Endorsing Artist: Bartolini
    I'm sure that I'm not overdriving pedal because my bass (Jazz bass deluxe MIM) has the weakest signal I have ever heard. Amp starts to distort only after 8 or 9 on volume and master volume and that when I dig it harder (I have heard people complaint about same amp starting distort on 4 or 5 using other basses).
    It is pedal, that's for sure, because I tried playing without it and there was no noise of that kind.
    I know I should be getting stronger amp but at the moment I'm stuck with it.

    --BTW, do you think it is normal for bass with active electronics to be so quiet?--
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    How far are the pickups from the strings?
    Raise them a little and you'll get more volume IME.
     
  8. goran

    goran

    Dec 17, 2002
    Croatia
    Endorsing Artist: Bartolini
    I tried everything concerning hardware (pickup position, string height...). I believe that problem is in electronics.
     
  9. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    OK so you're sure it's the pedal. I believe you.

    That pedal is designed for guitar, not bass. I'm just guessing, but maybe the lower frequencies are freaking it out.

    Lend it to your guitarist and see if it works properly for him.
     
  10. goran

    goran

    Dec 17, 2002
    Croatia
    Endorsing Artist: Bartolini
    I have to do some recording today and tomorrow. When I try it out, I'll let you know.

    My original question was: Can I in any way damage speaker with that pedal? Throbbinut says "no" but I would like other opinions, just to be sure. (I think not because amp is only 100W, and cabinet 350W so square wave forms of signal can't damage it - it would be different if both amp and cab were about same power).
    I don't have experinence with using effects as I always prefered clean bass so this is all new for me. I noticed that I lose lower freq. when engaging pedal - it was not ment to be used with bass but it's all I have right now.
     
  11. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    You're meant to be overdriving the input circuitry of the pedal - it's an overdrive pedal, that's how they work.

    The Tube Screamer does sound great with bass but you do lose a lot of bottom end with it - maybe the weird sound on low notes is just that the lack of bottom is more obvious on the lowest notes. Whatever it is, you're unlikely to damage anything.

    Alex
     
  12. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I have seen cases of distortion pedals killing tweeters and horns.
     
  13. You're right, and I don't want to bash anyone, but most overdrive pedals use anti-parallel diodes to get the overdrive sound. Most of them don't actually overdrive a preamp, because that would sound too harsh and metallic (the cracking described by the original poster). In fact, the signal is first buffered by an opamp (impedance matching), then amplified by another opamp (gain) then clipped by a set of diodes. At least, that's how it's supposed to be and both the Boss MT-2 and ODB-3 pedal (I own both) use this layout. So yes, you can overdrive a distortion pedal.
     
  14. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I just checked up on the Tube Screamer schematics and they're the same - input buffer which remains clean and then the overdrive stage. I presume with tube-based circuits this isn't an issue because even the input buffer circuit sounds nice when overdriven?

    Alex
     
  15. Yes, my thoughts exactly.