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Pedalboard-mounted pedals and amp's effects loop confusion.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Magneto, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. I'm trying to decide how I'm going to run some effects pedals with my amp, and I thought I'd throw it by you people and see what you think. I do realize that these types of questions have been addressed many times, but never seem to be in the configurations that I'm considering.

    First off, I currently have
    1. an EQ-31 (rackmount) that I'm running in my amp's effects loop.
    2. BDI21 preamp (running preamp)
    3. Behringer bass limiter/enhancer
    4. Behringer bass chorus

    I plan to mount the BDI, limiter, and chorus pedals on a pedal board. This I would want in front of me on stage. It would be easy to power the pedals with one power supply. The EQ would stay with the amp's effects loop.
    I want the BDI21 before the amp's input. It helps boost the output and I like the way it sounds.
    I realize that the limiter would be best used as the LAST pedal in the effect's loop (post EQ) , even though I could use it as the LAST device before amp. If I ran the limiter in my effects loop, I would need to run a couple of 20 foot cables to and from it on the pedalboard. I'm trying to figure out just how to best run these without having tons of long cables everywhere.
    The EASIEST way would be to simply run from bass to BDI to chorus to limiter to amp (using short pedal patch cords) , leaving the EQ where it's at in the effects loop. This would require 2 short patch cords, probably a 20 footer from pedalboard to Amp, and one 20 footer from bass to the pedalboard.

    What would you people do if you wanted the best performance without a mess of extra cords introducing noise into the system??


  2. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio

    What kind of amp are you using?

  3. Behringer BX3000T head on a homebuilt 2x15+ horn cab... It has effects send/return if that's what you're wondering...
  4. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Okay, you don't really need to run the limiter in the effects chain of the amp. It will effectively do it's job as the last (or first- depending on the application) pedal in the chain.

    I would dump the 1/3 octave graphic eq. It appears that you aren't using the EQ to change your tone on the fly, but as a permanent part of you preamp. Your bass amp should have enough sound scuplting ability on it's own (it appears to have a semi-paramtric eq) and if not you still have the Sansamp knock off to assist. If you still feel the need to have an EQ, get one in pedal form so that you can at least toggle between the two sounds.
  5. Thanks for the input, but the EQ stays. The Behringer head does not have enough EQ for my tastes, Especially mid control, which is not parametric. Although I could probably get by with a 15 band EQ, the 31 does work for me. I've owned a few pedal EQs, and they always seem quite noisy, especially when boosting any high frequencies. I don't usually need to turn it on or off on the fly.

    I was mostly concerned with the limiter. If it was a rack unit, I'd simply run it after the EQ in the effects loop. But doing that with this pedal would require several more long cords running to and from the amp, and I just don't know if there would be any significant benefit to running it that way.

    I'll probably just get the short patch cords and run from bass to BDI to chorus to limiter, then to amp. Leave the EQ in the effects loop and see what shakes.
    Any more ideas and opinions welcome..

  6. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Then perhaps you should rethink the bass head that you are using- a semi-paramtertric or fully parametric eq SHOULD be superior to using a graphic. If it is not, then the EQ points (in the case of a semi parametric) on the head's pre-amp aren't correct.

    This is still more support for my last statement- I would rethink the head you are using.

    Anyways, any eq pedal of decent quality should not be noisey. I've had personal experience with the Boss and MXR eq's and they were fine. If boosting highs, remember the eq will boost whatever is already there. It will ALL stand out, including any noise.

    You may not be able to run the pedal in the effects loop of the amp if the line level isn't adjustable.

    Just remember this- your signal chain is just that- a chain. From the bass to the speakers, it is only as strong as the weakest link.
  7. Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. I guess we all know the Behringer BX3000T is NOT the amp of choice, but it does well at a affordable price, which is what I needed at the time I bought it.
    The EQ helps with my 2x15 cab. It's a decent cab, but 15s are not known for doing mids, hi-mids, and highs very well. To be honest, I've never really heard a bass amp that couldn't benefit from some extra EQ control. A 5 band just isn't enough for me. So the amp, EQ, and cab work well together, but my sound was not the reason I started this thread.
    I basically wanted opinions on how you guys would run the limiter and other effects pedals. I did not stop to think that the pedals might not work well in the amp's effects chain, so thanks for the heads up. I guess I'll be experimenting to see if there's any differences from one config to another.
    For now I'm gonna get the smaller patch cords and run the BDI to Chorus to Limiter before amp input.

  8. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yes, priorities after all.

    Actually, 15's can do mids nicely. Many PA's have 15's that handle the midrange and do so well. Listen to Billy Sheehan's sound- lots of distorted mids, all handled by 15's.

    They are put there, beleive me. Ampegs, Demeters, Aguilars, Edens (just to name a few). You see, the eq is just another pre-amp stage and can do as much damage to your sound as it can do good.

    Let me empasize something here- your don't have a 5-band eq on your amp. You have a 3 band. You high and low EQ point have adjustable frequency.

    In the end, this is all you really can do.

  9. Good point. Some 15s do mids better than others. Most won't do hi-mids and highs as well as 10s and 12s, but there are always exceptions. With 15s, sometimes a bit more EQ-ing is needed, which is why I use the rackmount with my rig.
    PA speakers also use x-overs and horns and most systems use a multiband graphic EQ. They would tend to be kinda limited with only the mixer's individual channel eqs, wouldn't they?

    I guess EQs do more good if one knows how to use one. I try to get the best possible sound from my amp's controls before turning to the graphic EQ for help.

    Are we talking about the same Behringer amp? My amp has 5 EQ controls.. Bass, mid-bass, mids, hi-mids, and highs, along with deep and bright switches that add deeper bass and more brilliant highs. It also has a shape switch that scoops the mids. Aren't you describing something like a parametric EQ? I honestly don't have much experience with these.

  10. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    15's do hi-mids in PA's. The are very good all around speakers. As I said, there are many bassists that use 15's that don't have a muddy low sound. PA's do not use an EQ in the same way you ar using it with your bass.


    A PA doesn't use an EQ as a "pre-amp" to shape tone in the manner that you are using it in. A PA uses an EQ to cut specific frequencies to eliminate feedback to compensate for room acoustics. This why mixing board with strong pre-amps (such as Mackie) are important, and many utilize Perkin's pre-amps (3 or four band eq's with sweepable mids)

    Well, again you may not be the problem- it may be the amp. My pre-amp has a built in two band fully parametric EQ, and one of the band is the mid range spectrum. I don't understand why yours wouldn't unless it is by poor design. After all you have to ask yourself, how many good rigs require the use of a graphic eq (which, beleive it or not is much more limited than a parametric in this situation).

    Mag- I understand that finding "your sound" is an ongoing struggle that is often limited by money , time and resources. I do understand that you can only do what you can do at the moment. Please understand I am not critisizing what decisions you have made, just attempting to give you things to consider if not in the immediate future, but in the long term.

    I may have read it wrong. I looked at the picture and saw three bands of eq labeled "Bass", Middle" and "Treble". Placed between these I saw two smaller knobs labeled "140 hz" and "1.6 kz" which I assumed were sweeps for the "Bass" and "Treble" boosts knobs.

    The description at Zzounds says it is a a 5 band eq, but that doesn't sem to be the case. I'll check out Berhinger's website and see if I can discover anything.

    EDIT: While I can not find you model on the Behringrer sight, I did find the BX4500H (which seems to have the same pre-amp section) and it is just a straight 5 band EQ as you said. The EQ points are 50 hz, 140 hz, 500 hz, 1.6 khz and 7.5 khz. It make no mention of two important items: the cut/boost of thse frequecies or the q width of the cut/boost, which can be problematic.