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Signal Chain Preference/Opinions/Experience

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rice, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Rice

    Rice #bluecollarbassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    San Diego, CA
    Hi TBers!
    Not sure this qualified to be a survey, but I'd love some input on my signal chain, and what you would do it given the options I'm working with.

    So the long and short of it is, where should I put my pre-amp, compressor, bass amp and pedal board in relation to each other. (Mainly the pre and the comp...) I'm not an electrician by a long shot, so I mainly curious about the practicality to the various setups and how resistance/load pairing could or couldn't come in to play, or driving/squishing the gain stages at various points in various orders, or whatever... Some combinations seemed considerably noisier than other, for example, so maybe it's user error and there's a better method. ;)

    The scenarios I'm playing with:
    1. Bass --> pedal board (see pic)--> tube pre (Summit Audio)--> head (Mesa 800+): compressor (Fredenstein) run through the FX loop
    2. Bass --> pedal board --> pre --> compressor --> head
    3. Bass --> pre --> compressor --> pedal board --> head
    4. Bass --> pre --> pedal board --> compressor --> head
    5. Bass --> pre --> pedal board --> head : compressor through FX loop

    As far as the ear test goes, my favorite setup up was #2.

    I'm mainly curious because I'm trying to determine if I want to stay with the rack stuffs I already own, or invest in pres & comps in pedal form for my board. (Six in one hand, half dozen in the other, right??)

    Attached Files:

  2. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I’m not a fan of effects loops unless using the effect return as an input.

    I like #2.

    Try it with a twist, instead of into the amp’s input, run the chain’s output into the effect return. This will bypass the preamp on the 800+.
    Rice likes this.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    If I am using compression for subtle smoothing I like it before any EQ. If the compressor is post EQ it will key off whatever frequencies are strongest and this can create a sound and feel that I find unnatural. Peak limiting would go late in the signal chain with the idea that you don't hit the limiter unless something goes wrong.
    Rice likes this.

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