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Pedalboard going mute during gig: help !

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassmike62, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member


    I apologize in advance for this long post.

    Halfway through our gig last night, my sound went almost mute during a song, which never happened before. I only got a very weak signal out of the amp, which was also DI'd out to our PA.

    We finished the song bass-less, I unplugged from the board and went directly into my amp and finished the gig that way. So at least I know it’s not the bass or the amp.

    Current gear (pedal board pic at the bottom): Passive Fender and Squier Jazz Basses > fDeck HPF series 3 > Boss TU-2 > Digitech Bass Synth Wah > MXR M87 Bass Compressor > Saturnworks Single Bypass Looper, in which is looped a Boss LS-2( Loop A: MXR M85 Bass Distortion // Loop B: EHX Stereo Electric Mistress > Zoom MS60B ) > Tech21 BDDI > ART Tube MP > Gallien-Krueger MB212 (Line6 G30/PedalTrain Novo18/1 Spot CS-7)

    I use the powering functions of the Boss TU-2 to juice the fDeck and the Compressor and the Boss LS-2 to juice the Bass Distortion and the Single Bypass Looper. I also use the appropriate converter to transform the CS-7 18v outlet into a 9v. The CS-7 juices everything, except for the wireless unit and the ART Tube MP, which are powered by their own walwarts.

    I went through a long troubleshooting this morning and my back-up CS-7 to check all pedals, patch and power cables one by one. I also checked all the CS-7 outlets. Everything works fine for the most part, I even plugged in before pulling everything apart and had no issues.

    But I have a few working theories:
    • Faulty patch cable. I don’t remember exactly where it was placed, but for 2 out of the 3 potential spots, that patch cable could have been accidentally touched by either me or the singer, killing my sound. Long shot theory, IMO, but not ruled out
    • ART Tube MP: this preamp is last in chain before the amp: could it have been overloaded ? A fellow bassist was in the audience and his 1st impression was a lamp going out (the MP contains12AX7 Tube).
    • mA requirements: to best of my knowledge, I respected CS-7 and pedals mA requirements when using the Boss LS-2 and TU-2’s powering outlets. I could’ve been mistaken (not likely, I rechecked everything last week, but I don’t want to eliminate this option yet) and I was not juicing Boss pedals. Could this be the source ?
    • EHX Stereo Electric Mistress : its input jack can be easily disconnected. But it’s in a place where it cannot be bumped unless turning the board over, which did not happen. Not likely, but not 100 % ruled out.
    • MXR M85 Bass Distortion: during one song about 15 minutes before everything went mute, I stepped on the switch and couldn’t get the pedal ON (no effect on overall signal). I didn’t make much of it at the moment, I just thought I tapped it too lightly. But during troubleshooting this morning, I’m finding the pedal behaving in a way I never seen a pedal behave before:
      • The pedal works without a powersource and with both jacks plugged in, I can click the pedal ON and OFF and get signal (never seen that before). No effect and not lights come on though, just a dry signal though;
      • When both jacks plugged in (switch ON or OFF, doesn’t matter and can’t tell anyway because no lights come on), another funny thing happens when I plug the powersource in: volume come in gradually, sort of like when plugging into a pedal or amp equipped with tubes. Never seen that before.

    Does anyone have a clue as to what caused everything going almost mute ? Is the M85's odd behavior the cause or merely a consequence ? Any other tests I can perform ?

    Help :)

  2. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    That MXR M85 does sound suspect. Also, the MXR M87 comp has a lot of forum reports of killing the sound and failing. Someone posted that their failure was an opamp in the M87.

    Bassmike62 likes this.
  3. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Reproduce the error at home. Play through the set and see if it goes out. If you have a cable tester, use it first. If you reproduce the error you can troubleshoot more easily.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  4. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    I read the same reports as well and from what I understood at that time,comments seemed to target early-production units. Nonetheless, following your post, I rechecked the M87 while varying settings and cables and got no issue, so it's off the hook for now, at least. But I'll keep an eye on it, thx.

  5. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I had similar issues due to bad patch cables. And the problem would come and go, so it would not always happen. If you can, check all cables with a cable tester, and twist them (gently...) to see if one has a problem. But indeed, from what you're describing, the MXR M85 seems suspect...
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  6. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Either bad patch cable or the MXR would be my bet
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  7. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    I mentioned the comp because your description of failure is exactly how some described their M87 failures... 'no sound and then later can not find a fault'. I wasn't aware that MXR had solved this issue.

    Bassmike62 likes this.
  8. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    I’ve had my board “brown out” before because I didn’t have enough power for everything.

    As soon as I ran separate power to my wireless units, all was well.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  9. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    My bad patch cable behaved that way. It is now residing in the garbage bin, ain't taking any chances with it :).

    Hmm.... I'll check it up. Maybe I wishfully thought issues were gone. Thx.
  10. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member


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