Hiss in amp when pedals are plugged in

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by torza, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. torza


    Sep 20, 2005
    Hey all. So I was using my friend's Orange Terror bass head, and was getting a lot of hiss. This was when my pedals (2 of them new) were plugged in but nothing was engaged. I then tried to plug the bass directly into the amp, and the hiss was much quieter. Now I know this is a noisy amp to begin with, but the change in hiss volume was noticeably different.

    Now forgive me for not being the most technically knowledgable fellow around here, but where could this hiss be coming from? I find it strange that the amp was getting this noise even with all of my pedals shut off.

    FYI, my pedals are Boss tu, Boss OC2, Mxr M80, Boss CE5, Boss DD5, Boss RV3, and Sansamp powered by Voodoo Labs PP2.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Even if your pedals are not engaged, they are still turned on.

    How are you powering the pedals? Do you have too many pedals on a daisy chain in the pp2?
  3. CAW


    Apr 18, 2010
    How are the pedals powered? Maybe you've got a ground loop when using the pedals? If they are AC powered, you might try standard ground loop troubleshooting tactics.

    Or is the noise different than 60Hz hum?
  4. I dont think that hiss comes from a power supply. Electronics can generate self noise especially older units. I would remove the pedals in turn until the hiss dissapears. It might be the cumulative effect of many pedals. so you might have one than one culpret. I could be just that you are listening throught a different amp. Is the bass output lower than usual? Was the amp gain higher than usual?
  5. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Lot of boss pedals in the chain. I'm not a fan of their bypass.
  6. Get or build an effects switcher or looper. This will allow you to insert or remove pedals to the signal chain as you need. I can post the DIY links if you want to try it yourself, I did it. Soldering skills and wiring skills are a must.

    The alternative is to go for boutique pedals that don't hiss.
  7. torza


    Sep 20, 2005
    Hey guys thanks for the replies! I'm powering it with a Voodoo Labs PP2. It's only 7 pedals and I was playing a reasonable, not too loud volume. I was using a couple of crappy patch cables too, so who knows? I'll check each individual pedal, some of you have said.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Even with an isolated supply like the PPII+, it is still possible for ground plane noise to leak into the audio path via the patch cords. It's not super common, but it does happen now and then. Unfortunately there is no practical way to predict or prevent this. The only solution is using the process of elimination to figure out which pedals happen to have some problem with each other or with the amp.

    Also try using different patch cords. :)