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pedalboard PROBLEMS need help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by henryjurstin13, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. I am losing signal in my rig & need help find the culprit.

    Bass > pedals all in series, no loopers > amp.

    The sound is fine & constant, and all of a sudden the volume decreases more & more, then I have nothing. I can pull my instrument cable from my board & go straight to the amp & it works fine. Finish the song, go back to pedalboard & it is fine for a while. Then.... it will happen again. I can find no rhyme or reason as to when the signal goes, or as to anything that might be causing it. I am using a Visual Sound One Spot power supply.

    It makes me think the problem is coming with my power, because the signal fades & goes away. Usually, with cable problems they either work - or they don't. Intermittent problems can be detected by wiggling cables around. But, why does it come back & work fine after I replug? I don't turn my power supply off, I don't unplug anythign except the cables going into my pedalboard.

    Ideas? And, FYI, this is one of those problems that you can't make happen... like when you car is doing that 'thing' but, you can't get it to do that 'thing' when you take it to the mechanic. :help:
  2. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    I would first separate all the pedals and run each one sepratly through you rig.

    So if you board consists of pedal 1, pedal 2, and pedal 3 just go from you bass to pedal 1 to your amp. Then try bass to pedal 2 ro you amp and so one and see if one of you pedals is causeing the problem.
    Nephilymbass likes this.
  3. I don't think this will help, and I am not just avoiding advice. Because I can't make the problem happen. For example - when I start to lose signal/volume, I continue to play & then I have ZERO signal/volume. I can unplug my instrument cable from the pedalboard input & plug into the amp - and when I come back... everything is perfect.

    FYI. I use a Line 6 bass - which is first fed into their power supply/direct box. I thought this might have been the culprit, actually - I was blaming the Line 6 instrument itself, but this weekend I played Friday with the Line 6 and it happened a few times... Saturday night I played 2 other basses & left the Line 6 in its case - and I still had the problems. I was not using the Line 6 power supply at all. So, I do know it is not a Line6 issue, it is in my signal path somewhere else.. what could cause the signal to fade away and then come right back strong as it was originally?
  4. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego

    I ts pretty clear that something is wrong with one of your pedals. I mean if you plug right into your amp and everything works fine then its not your bass or the DI or the amp and if all your doing is adding your pedal board to the signal and then that doesnt work then it would seem pretty logical to think it would be your pedal board.

    So figure out which one it is by running them individually into your amp. And on top of that if you really think its something wrong with your one spot then go out and buy a bunch of 9volts and see if that helps
  5. I can't make the problem happen though... so tearing my pedalboard apart & running one at a time probably won't tell me anthing... I have it plugged up & running now - no problems at all. Moved every jack, cable, cord, power, etc... i can't even get it to do anything except perform right.

    I know I have a problem, and it will happen at the gigs this coming weekend - I just don't know how to track it down.. Right now everything is plugged up & working perfect. ughhhh, this is soo frustrating...
  6. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I had a similar problem a few years ago. What you're dealing with is frustrating, but you really should test each element of your signal chain individually. The problem with mine was a crappy bypass in a Russian Big Muff. Sometimes it would stay bypassed and sometimes it would creep in and out gradually. The way the switch was wired to the output jack was screwed up so it would totally silence my signal. BTW, what pedals are you using? I can't think of any other solution unless you try to isolate the culprit systematically. Good luck.
  7. I just spent 20 minutes playing turning everything on/off, on/off, on/off... wiggling wires & moving knobs... nothing.

    I didn't want to tear my pedalboard down, but... I guess for my sake - it can only help... you always find things in the last place you look, so looking in one more place surely can't hurt anything.
  8. Bass-shy
    How can I tell if I have a problem like this? If it is giving me fits randomly... is there anything I can do to aggrevate it?

    My signal chain:
    Line 6 Power supply/DI
    Korg DT10 tuner
    Emma DiscumBOBulator
    Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
    Ibanez TS9DX
    Fulltone Fat Boost
    MXR Phase 90 EVH
    Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe
    Boss DD-20

    powered via Visual Sound One Spot
  9. the first rule of any troubleshooting is "eliminate the variables." So as much as you don't want to pull the board apart, you kind of have to if you want to find the problem in a sensible amount of time.

    Your other option is to wait until the problem occurs, then take the output cable and move it from the last pedal to the second last pedal and check again. Then, move it to the third last pedal and try again... repeat until the problem goes away.

    I know what you're thinking, "But it's intermittent, nifty!" Welcome to my world my friend - electronics can be a fickle beast some times. If you cannot reproduce the fault in the above method, you basically have to pull the thing apart and test each pedal long term (like overnight or a couple of days straight.)

    A third option would be to put batterys in everything and ditch the power supply temporarily. Then, run gigs and jams and see if the fault occurs again. Trouble is you have to disconnect all the pedals during downtime so that the batterys don't run down!

    Still another thing to look for is the status LEDs of the pedals. Turn them all on at the same time and look for one LED going dark when the fault occurs.

    Feel for heat coming from the power supply, it could be that it's being overloaded/overheated. Perhaps a pedal is unhappy with a drooping power supply voltage and is behaving strangely.

    etc. There's no easy way around this, sorry!
  10. that is what I was thinking about the power supply maybe being the culprit. i have spoken with Visual Sound about me running all of those pedals from 1 power source & even though on paper, everrything is fine.... you never know what pedal is being shady with how much power they want...

    and yes - i am gonna run batteries this weekend... just takes the fun out of it, but... as many other things - you gotta know the bitter to be able to fully experience the sweet.
  11. Using a coomon power supply is really nice but 9 devices might be too much to ask, no matter what 1spot sez. Looking over your efx chain I can think of 3 devices that may be draining the supply and killing the chain. The Line 6 is gonna suck up a lot of juice and my experience with Line 6 stuff is to use their power supply. The Voodoo Labs Micro Vibe and especially the Boss DD-2 could also be draining voltage to the point of a brown out.
  12. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    If you want to go the lazy man's way and you are in no hurry, pull one pedal off your board each time you gig. If the problem comes back, pull another one off.

  13. The Line 6 is a power supply all of its own for the Line 6 bass. It is in no way connected to the One Spot. The Line 6 powers my bass, and truthfully - I thought this had to be the culprit, being a digital bass & probably the weakest link. However, I did not even use my Variax bass Saturday night, nor the Line 6 power supply -- and still had the problems.
  14. Bassbrad -- if my problem exists due to the Power Supply; why can I unplug & plug back in & have no problem? My instrument signal shouldn't make a difference should it? OR, does the lack of signal (from my bass) give the pedal a chance to 'reset' itself & come back on, until the next time it fades?

    The signal usually fades out & I have nothing, which to me - sounds like a power problem... because all of the cable problems I have ever had - came from the signal going in & out. Not fading away.
  15. BassIsFun17

    BassIsFun17 Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    i get this problem from time to time aswell

    i found if you check the couplers to see if one of them is dead you'll find the problem
  16. Couplers -- do you mean the 1/4 cables? or the daisy chain for the power supply?
  17. BassIsFun17

    BassIsFun17 Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2006

    the small 1/4 cables
  18. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    If you overload a power supply, it can go into thermal shut down. And when it cools off, it will run again. As to how long it takes to cool down and restart depends on the design.

  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Another (less likely) possibility is there is a bad solder joint to a capacitor inside one of your units. Anytime I hear "intermittant" I think "bad solder joint", which will work fine until you jostle it just so, or depending on the weather, etc. And a draining cap with a bad input could conceivably cause a signal to fade away rather than cutting in and out abruptly.

    But I vote for thermal shut down of the PS.
    philipgannon likes this.
  20. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    What about your patch cables? Could it be that they are "twisted" in a certain way? When you unpluggg your board, they might get twisted another way. When you replugg, they might get twisted back?

    I sometimes have this problem with my George L's. Too much or not enough "turns" on the screw....shorting the signal out.