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Losing signal output when using pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Manitou, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Hi, all.

    Noob question here, but when I use either my Sans Amp or my TU-2 tuner, I hear a noticeable difference in volume level when the pedals are disengaged/off.

    I go from my bass to the box, and from the box to the input on my amp. I'm using a Fender Bassman 100 at home.

    I use a 10' cable from bass to box, and another 10' cable from box to amp.

    Am I doing something wrong in how I hook this stuff up, or could it be the cables themselves?

    This is really aggravating. Thanks for any help!

  2. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    You're not doing anything wrong.
    Some pedals don't have a true bypass when switched out,the signal still goes through part of the effect circuit.
    Some are worse than others, the effect is known as "tone sucking".
    One way round it is to use a "Bypass box".
  3. Thanks, Paul!

    Any suggestions on a good bypass box?
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    For a tuner (or any alternate signal path/sansamp, if your amp has 2 inputs) all you need is an A/B box. They're pretty cheap, some have leds to let you know what channel you're on. I miss that on mine sometimes. I haven't tried a lot to know what the best sounding A/B is.
  5. Actually this signal chain byproduct is known as "insertion loss". There are a number of causes and possible solutions to consider. 1st would be a preamp or other device that can serve as a line driver to boost output that helps to combat insertion loss. I use an older pedal from MXR called a Noise Gate/Line Driver at the beginning of the chain and it is also an active DI. Bypass pedals are also another solution but I do not have a suggestion there except to say that I use a Boss PSM5. Modifying your pedals to true bypass is a solution but it is at times not possible or actually a change to make to some vintage pedals as insertion loss is a part of their sound and it could detract from their value. Also some other pedals suffer insertion loss that increases as the battery drains so a regulated power supply can at times solve the problem.
  6. Pharmecopia


    Jul 31, 2002
  7. Thanks, everyone! It was cheap cables! I picked up a couple of 10' Planet Waves and I've got even better tone than I started with.

    Thanks for the help! You guys are the best!

  8. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Dude, those Planet Waves Cables rock! I just got a couple for my set up, and I instantly noticed more clarity, tone, and punch! Excellent investment guy!

  9. Amen, brother, amen! I noticed an improvement in my tone, too! Good stuff and these were just the nickel-plated ones.
  10. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I didn't know they made nickel-plated ones, mine are gold plated! Have you heard if they're going to make a speaker cable as well?
  11. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I bought a bypass box off the net from Morgan Freeman. It solved the tone suck problem. You can even build these things yourself. I'm lazy and no good with a soldering gun, so I just went ahead and bought one. Prior to buying the bypass, I started a TB thread requesting info from everyone and got great responses. Try doing a search for "bypass box" and read the thread.

    Depending on the type of pedals you have (specifically if they're not true bypass), I think that you'll still achieve a noticable improvement in tone by using a bypass box although you have the Planet Waves plugged in. IMHO, I think that your use of the Planet Waves removed the signal degradation caused by the cheaper cables that you used in connecting the pedals together with your bass and amp. If your pedals are not true bypass pedals, you are still experiencing a tone degradation specifically due to the pedals not being true bypass pedals. A bypass pedal, when engaged, will allow your bass signal to bypass all of the pedals and the cables connecting them; your bass signal will go direct from your bass to your amp, with no signal degradation.

    Happy effect pedal stomping, and Peace!

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