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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 361 Member Since: 11/10/2013

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Apr 26 17 7:53 AM

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Hi Everyone!

I received the Fender Bassbreaker 15 last night and direct in it sounds great! I guess i just love amps vs all the sims I have tried over the years and I am now in a position where i don't need to worry about direct recording at night with little ones.

so that being said, I have a few pedals I want to try and use at particular times but i also will want to use the amp raw. So it kind of goes like this for now

Guitar - Tuner - Strymon Opto comp - Wah - strymon Flint tremelo/reverb - BLackstar modulation - Noise or gate pedal - amp input

In the effects loop is a strymon timeline. 

my question is this, i THINK I am hearing that even with all the pedals OFF or Bypassed the direct sound is a little different, thinner maybe? should that happen? its very easy just to unplug the cable and plug the guitar in direct but just curious if there is some residual signal thru these that even bypassed will affect the direct raw sound?

thanks so much!
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soapfoot

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Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

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Apr 26 17 8:10 AM

Yes, and no. Or yes, OR no.

Depends on the pedals, how many of them, etc.

Here's the short version--

Magnetic guitar pickups output a weak high impedance, low level signal. It's VERY susceptible to interference/noise, so must use a shielded cable.

Shielded cables have inherent cable capacitance-- this will vary somewhat by the brand of cable, but certainly by the LENGTH of cable. About 18' or more of typical cable and you can start to notice a difference at frequencies of interest.

Now, with that as background information...

"Bypass" doesn't always mean the same thing in a pedal.

Sometimes it's a mechanical "hardwire" bypass (or "true bypass"), meaning that the switch bypasses the pedal circuitry as though it weren't even there... the guitar signal is completely routed around the pedal circuitry. This is usually the "boo-teek" option, and the theory is that this is the "best" way... but theory and practice is not the same, and it's not that simple (more later...)

Some other pedals implement a buffer in bypass mode. Instead of a completely passive hardwire bypass, the signal is instead routed through a simple buffer amp. This lowers the impedance somewhat, but otherwise theoretically leaves the signal unchanged. What's the advantage of this? I'll get to it later. But suffice to say that some buffers are very well-implemented, and others less so.

Finally, some pedals have a cheapo passive bypass scheme where they simply give the straight signal a "path of least resistance" around the pedal circuitry, but the pedal's circuitry can still present a partial load to the pedal. Older wah pedals, many older fuzz pedals, etc are like this. This is generally "no good" and can audibly change the sound (guitarists call it "tone sucking"). These are usually best modified for true hardwire bypass.

Now.

If you have a 10' cable, one pedal, and then a 5' cable to the amp, hardwire "true bypass" is probably a good way to go. It won't sound much different than straight wire in these circumstances.

However, if you have a 10' cable, five pedals each with 1' of cable between them, and then a 15' cable... you will want at least one buffer in your chain. If you have nothing but "true bypass" pedals your sound will be noticeably impacted for the worse. That's a lot of cable capacitance, even with superior-quality cable. Lowering the impedance of the signal with a buffer will help negate the influence of the cable capacitance on your sound.

Hope that helps.

brad allen williams

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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

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Apr 26 17 8:47 AM

wow! yes it totally helps Brad, thanks again! I def heard a diff in the sound and thought it had to have some residual something going on.

I think the strymon's have true bypass, but the chain is long and I have no idea with these little 1 foot connector cables are decent or not, they are made to connect pedals but who knows. I didn't even think about the cables as well in this!

The good news is for a specific sound, or lead say, then the thinner sound with the effects is actually ok, it was that large, raw direct amp sound for alot of rhythm stuff that i felt was losing some of its hit.

you are the man! thanks!

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

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Apr 26 17 9:26 AM

No problem. What is your tuner pedal? And your gate pedal?

It's possible that those have buffers, and that the buffers might be "not-so-good."

Some older BOSS pedals have buffers that aren't the best (perhaps not the worst, but not the best).

brad allen williams

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

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Apr 26 17 9:40 AM

Polytune is true bypass.

Not sure about the Blackstar modulation nor that Decimator noise reduction pedal... one or both of those may have a buffer, perhaps even a cheap or poor-sounding buffer.

Long cable runs unbuffered usually tend to cause top end to roll off... not the other way around. that's why I suspect you might have a poor-sounding buffer to blame, rather than cable capacitance, if you perceive the sound to be getting thin or 'hard.'

Try this--

Remove the Blackstar modulation pedal and the Decimator NR pedal from the circuit and see what bypass sound sounds like then vs. straight wire. If it sounds "normal," add back in the Blackstar first... then the Decimator.

Another possibility-- for your benchmark straight wire test... were you using a cable longer than 15' feet or so? Because it's possible that a buffer somewhere in your chain is recovering some top end that you lost with a long cable run.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 26 17 9:44 AM. Edited 2 times.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

#6 [url]

Apr 26 17 10:43 AM

That sounds good Brad, i will try that, yes i think the blackstar while it sounds good isnt like a strymon for quality. 

the cables were short, the one from the guitar to the tuner is about 6 feet and the one form the noise pedal to the amp, well that one is probably 10?

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soapfoot

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Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

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Apr 26 17 11:19 AM

Right.

I make sure to have at least one buffered pedal in my chain at all times (I use the Klon Centaur).

The exception is that some older pedals (Fuzz Face, Superfuzz, old Crybaby or Vox wahs, etc) don't like to see low impedance signals. So the buffer should go AFTER those.

brad allen williams

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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

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Apr 26 17 5:15 PM

trock wrote:
Hi Everyone!

I received the Fender Bassbreaker 15 last night and direct in it sounds great! I guess i just love amps vs all the sims I have tried over the years and I am now in a position where i don't need to worry about direct recording at night with little ones.

so that being said, I have a few pedals I want to try and use at particular times but i also will want to use the amp raw. So it kind of goes like this for now

Guitar - Tuner - Strymon Opto comp - Wah - strymon Flint tremelo/reverb - BLackstar modulation - Noise or gate pedal - amp input

In the effects loop is a strymon timeline. 

my question is this, i THINK I am hearing that even with all the pedals OFF or Bypassed the direct sound is a little different, thinner maybe? should that happen? its very easy just to unplug the cable and plug the guitar in direct but just curious if there is some residual signal thru these that even bypassed will affect the direct raw sound?

thanks so much!

If any of your pedals are not true bypass thay can change the sound even when turned off. Wah pedals are particularly notorious for this, especially the classic Dunlop/Vox designs, but lots of other pedals have a similar problem. There are many web pages devoted to doing true bypass mods to various pedals.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

#11 [url]

Apr 28 17 8:08 AM

Thanks John

your right on the wah, i went back like brad said as well and just started with one at a time, when i got to the wah, which is third in line, behind the tuner and the strymon opto, even turned off it was a little thinner.

i also took the ISP noise suppressor out and it helped.

if i run Tuner - Opto - wah - strymon flint tremelo - amp its pretty good now

however i am having a hell of a time with the strymon timeline in the effects loop. its just a wash of swelling delay stuff and sounds terrible. i am trying to find some slight delay settings, some for rhythm electric, slight crunch to just add some depth? probably a wrong word. but more than anything some ones that work for electric rock lead stuff, where i like a little reverb and some delay thats not to noticeable but helps me play better since I'm not the greatest lead person.

while it looks like in everything i have sen on the timeline it can do all kinds of great things, finding simple stuff seems hard.

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octafish

Silverado

Posts: 139 Member Since:28/10/2011

#12 [url]

Apr 28 17 9:04 AM

trock wrote:

[...] I think the strymon's have true bypass [...]


Normally, yes, but for example with the El Capistan tape echo simulation in "Trails" mode (meaning the echo trails remain after you switch the effect to bypass), that pedal is buffered. There may be others, e.g. the Big Sky seems to be switchable between buffered and true bypass...

Last Edited By: octafish Apr 28 17 9:07 AM. Edited 1 time.

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seth

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Posts: 5,634 Member Since:26/01/2011

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Apr 28 17 9:07 AM

trock wrote:
 ...i like a little reverb and some delay thats not too noticeable but helps me play better since I'm not the greatest lead person.


 

Not to be overly didactic, but can I suggest working on your lead playing without effects and get that sounding the way you want? Then you can enhance with effects instead of covering up. I don't mean that as a criticism, but if your ears tell you you're not happy with your lead playing then they'll tell you when you are happy. Unless there's some physical issue the only difference is practice.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 361 Member Since:11/10/2013

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May 4 17 7:58 AM

@seth - thats def what I should do, in all honesty i am not playing shredding 80's rock and alot of them arent all that hard to play, its always been a sort of safety blanket for me. I will try just playing them raw and adding the effects later if they are even needed.

ill def check into that switch to! been playing more with this and its def there, the signal is a little "less" going thru the pedals even off or bypassed. going direct into the amp form the guitar is well quieter and mroe robust although not massively

thanks for the info octa!

Last Edited By: trock May 4 17 8:44 AM. Edited 1 time.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

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May 9 17 2:16 PM

Why put a true bypass in the wah, when you just want to leave it in a static notched position when you aren't "wah-ing" anyway?

Semi joking. Not for everything, but it can work out pretty well for many rock and blues sounds.

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