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On-board effects loop for bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by primusfan1989, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    I've been reading a lot about Jerry Garcia's rig lately and the OBEL in his guitars. It was set up so his guitar signal went to an output (pre volume control) to his pedalboard then back to his guitar so he could have a stronger signal going to the effects (a mutron to be specific) and total output controlled by the volume control on the guitar as well as being able to bypass the whole effects chain. Has anyone ever tried this for bass or any reasons why it would be bad?
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Keep in mind, Jerry Garcia smoked a LOT of pot. This sounds like stoner theory at work to me. But ,if you want to run three cables from your bass, give it a shot. You won't hear any difference than guitar->pedals->amp, though.
    thabassmon likes this.
  3. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Much easier to run your instrument up full into the effects with a volume pedal at the end of the chain to control the output going to your amp/DI.
  4. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Well two cables would be used (stereo cable for the send and return, would require a junction box on the pedal board that would have the fx send and return for pedals).
    And so what, I smoke a lot pot too hehehe. As far as it being a stonery theory, you may be correct but I believe they may have been on to something.
    Never liked volume pedals, can't really get a feel for them(they take up a lot of space on a pedal board as well). I've just always prefered the onboard volume control on my bass. Also being able to bypass the fx from my bass would be nice too. They more pedals I try to add, the more the clean sound is colored (very few if any of my pedals are true bypass).
    I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work
  5. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I can't see any reason why someone would want or need to do this.
  6. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Yeah man, trying to wrap my head around it, too....
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I think I may see an explanation here...

    And I do understand poor bypass in pedals can cause tone suck. That is what loopers are for.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  9. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Looper? Im pretty sure I know the kind of units you're referring to but they are expensive . The reason I would do this would be to
    A) have a wide open signal to send to pedals that have tracking issues (octaves, synths, enelope filters ect...) to get a more consistant sound (the reason Jerry cited for doing this)
    B) have it all bypassable by a toggle switch on my instrument (a lot of the sounds I use involve 3-4 different pedals, want to be able switch between them without having to add a bunch to my pedalboard)
    C) have the total output controlled on my bass instead of a volume pedal
  10. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'm with you on the volume pedal. Loopers aren't expensive, and I'd use that to turn a bunch of pedals of and on at once. Not buying the "clearer signal to my octave pedal" bit, but I can understand trying all kinds of shenanigans to get them to track a little better.
  11. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It'd be way less of a hassle to get rid of the volume control in your bass, build a bluetooth wireless volume pedal, stick the pedal at the end of your chain, and put that bluetooth controller into your bass.
  12. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Morgan Hill CA
    Figured I might post to this thread instead of starting my own. Has anyone actually tried this for bass? Any tips/tricks/comments about it in practice? I have played with lots of guitarists who have "Jerry Rigs" and it works painlessly - no need to remember to use a volume pedal, just manipulate the volume control as usual.

    I'm using an envelope follower on some tunes with my current gigging band and it's a real pain to go on to a new stage (with a new-to-us house sound man for the set) , with only a line check, and try to manage all the gain channels.

    Another hiccup might be that I am *really liking* my Audere pre with the 6 way tone switch. I guess I'll have to see if Audere will tap the pre-volume signal to do a loop?

    Thanks in advance for chiming in!
  13. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    My college roommate did this exact thing -- and for the exact reason; perhaps Mutron effects were notoriously sensitive to input levels? -- with a heavily modified Gibson EB-0. To be honest, I can't swear I noticed any sonic difference nor any real practical advantage (other than I guess the ability to turn down the volume from the guitar without impacting the sound of the effects chain) but it sure looked cool, with a big honkin' XLR plug and thick twinax cable coming out of the bass.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    yeah, the only real reason for effects loops in normal guitar rigs is to put delays and reverbs after the preamp distortion of master volume amps where they sound much better.

    if it's about signal strength going into the pedalboard and volume control after the pedalboard, a good buffer up front (or in the guitar) and a good low impedance volume pedal at the end would accomplish the same thing.

    hell, the volume pedal offers advantages, in that you can work the guitar volume and the volume pedal at the same time, for dynamic control of the drive and the loudness of your sound.

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