weird problems with effects chain

Discussion in 'rec.music.guitar' started by Grant, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Grant

    Grant Guest

    I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    started typing before thinking) are:

    Amp
    |
    Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    Dod Ice Box Chorus
    Boss GE-? EQ
    Proco Turbo Rat
    Fulltone FD2
    Boss CS-3 compressor
    Budda Wah
    |
    Guitar

    All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    or more than enough for all of the above pedals).

    Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:

    1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???

    2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...

    3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.

    (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)


    Comments, insights, etc., welcome.

    - Grant
  2. kwahoho

    kwahoho Guest

    i'm not 100% sure about this, but i think most pedals need some kind of an
    input to stay "on". for ex., if u take the RV-3 pedal by itself, power it up
    and stomp on it to turn it on, it never will. it'll turn on only if u
    connect ur guitar to it. the reason is to save battery power, so that the
    pedal doesnt turn on by accident and drain the whole battery. so, for ex if
    u disconnect the output of the FD2, u should all the pedals after that go
    off...

    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgm4n0$dbq$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    >
    > I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    > on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    > started typing before thinking) are:
    >
    > Amp
    > |
    > Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    > Dod Ice Box Chorus
    > Boss GE-? EQ
    > Proco Turbo Rat
    > Fulltone FD2
    > Boss CS-3 compressor
    > Budda Wah
    > |
    > Guitar
    >
    > All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    > (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    > supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    > or more than enough for all of the above pedals).
    >
    > Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:
    >
    > 1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    > cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???
    >
    > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...
    >
    > 3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    > signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    > then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    > There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    > a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    > went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    > difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    > the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    > something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    > I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    > to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.
    >
    > (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    > Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    > songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)
    >
    >
    > Comments, insights, etc., welcome.
    >
    > - Grant
    >
    >
  3. > From: Grant <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu>
    > Subject: weird problems with effects chain
    >
    >
    > I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    > on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    > started typing before thinking) are:
    >
    > Amp
    > |
    > Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    > Dod Ice Box Chorus
    > Boss GE-? EQ
    > Proco Turbo Rat
    > Fulltone FD2
    > Boss CS-3 compressor
    > Budda Wah
    > |
    > Guitar
    >
    > All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    > (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    > supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    > or more than enough for all of the above pedals).
    >
    > Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:
    >
    > 1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    > cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???
    >
    > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...
    >
    > 3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    > signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    > then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    > There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    > a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    > went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    > difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    > the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    > something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    > I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    > to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.
    >
    > Comments, insights, etc., welcome.
    >


    Gee, Grant, that's an awful lot of boxes in a chain. I would guess that:

    1) keeping the signal level where it's supposed to be through all that would
    be trickier than it might seem; and

    2) your clean, unmodified tone with all of them switched off has gotta be
    mud.

    Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of the original
    signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    using a 50 ft. guitar cable. They each make up for it by adding a preamp
    section to restore gain, but some of the original signal quality has still
    been sucked away. If you're only using one or two effects, this problem
    isn't too significant.

    But multiply this phenomena by the number of boxes you have in the chain,
    and you're likely to have a damn pretty garbled signal at the end. If there
    were no electronics inside any of the boxes, i.e., if there was simply two
    inches of cable inside, between the jacks, you'd still notice significant
    signal degradation, simply from all the connections.

    The farther this garbled signal goes down the chain, the worse it gets, and
    this is all each device has to work with, to begin with.

    You should be able to use two or three effects in a row without too much
    trouble, but putting together everything you have here really requires a
    knowledgable and experienced tech to get everything going without weird
    stuff cropping up. That's why the "big boys" have techs put their
    pedalboards together for them, because it isn't as simple as just hooking
    them all up together when you have that many.

    The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the compressor's jack
    has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's plugged in, and thereby
    breaks the series connection.

    The 3-4 hz. pulsing is probably the chorus or the delay, because they're the
    only ones that would have repeating cycles like that. It's even possible
    that something is generating some radio frequencies that are being picked up
    by something else. It's possible that weird signal stuff is leaking through
    the common power supplied to everything. Try the whole thing powered only by
    batteries, and see there's a difference.

    If you have an effects loop on your amp, put the chorus and delay through
    that. They'll sound better there, and get them out of the chain up front.

    Start with the device you want the most, get to know it well, and add others
    in one at a time.

    If you really need to keep everything you have here, I would suggest getting
    a few A/B or true bypass boxes, and divide your effects into sections or
    combinations, so that when you're only using two or three at a time, the
    signal bypasses the ones you're not using.

    And don't forget that the truly good stuff on guitar happens with your
    hands, not your feet!

    > (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    > Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    > songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)


    Amen, brother!

    Zoid

    z9design.com
  4. D.R

    D.R Guest

    > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...


    1). Unsure that you use quality shielded cables between each.
    2). If you amp has any overdrive/distortion, then you need the modulation
    (eg: chorus, reverb, eq) effects in the effects loop and wah, compressor,
    overdrive, etc before the amp.
    3). Ensure everything is well grounded/earthed
    4). Ensure you are away from any electrical device that will cause
    interference
    5). Divide and Conqueor the problem...Test each pedal separately and add
    them one by one until you find the culprit.

    D.R.
  5. TB

    TB Guest

    Grant,

    I tend to agree that at least one of your problems involves an issue with
    the power somewhere, and I would certainly start by tackling that before you
    move on because it just may take care of the weird pulsing sound you
    describe. I don't think it's the sheer number of pedals -- I run through a
    baker's dozen before the signal hits the amp without much loss of signal,
    although most of my effects are true bypass.

    I suggest a bit of troubleshooting:

    First, pull one pedal at a time out of the effects chain and see if the
    problem persists. This may involve more than one pedal, but you might get
    lucky and find it's only one.

    Second, try batteries in the pedal you've isolated (or in all of 'em if you
    haven't) and see if the problem persists.

    Something else too: I don't own a Fulldrive, but I can tell you that both
    my Soulbender and my '70 pedal REALLY don't like coming after buffered
    pedals, which I believe is the method used by Boss. (I know it's what
    Ibanez does, 'cause I can't put my tubescreamers before the fuzzes or they
    sound horrible.) So, it wouldn't surprise me if you pulled out the
    compressor and everything was hunky dory....

    I suspect problem number 1 isn't a problem at all.... I'm just guessing,
    but I suspect the way the compressor is wired (unlike most effects) shuts it
    off when there's no input even when it's drawing DC from an adaptor.
    Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I suspect that cutting power to
    the compressor could also cut out everything else following it on the power
    path (as opposed to the signal path). But, I may be talking out my
    behind....

    Good luck!
    TB

    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgm4n0$dbq$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    >
    > I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    > on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    > started typing before thinking) are:
    >
    > Amp
    > |
    > Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    > Dod Ice Box Chorus
    > Boss GE-? EQ
    > Proco Turbo Rat
    > Fulltone FD2
    > Boss CS-3 compressor
    > Budda Wah
    > |
    > Guitar
    >
    > All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    > (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    > supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    > or more than enough for all of the above pedals).
    >
    > Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:
    >
    > 1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    > cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???
    >
    > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...
    >
    > 3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    > signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    > then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    > There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    > a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    > went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    > difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    > the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    > something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    > I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    > to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.
    >
    > (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    > Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    > songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)
    >
    >
    > Comments, insights, etc., welcome.
    >
    > - Grant
    >
    >
  6. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Guest

    Let me try to clarify some of the misinformation that's been posted here so
    far (I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this is exactly the type of
    place where this type of not-exactly-quite-correct info shows up, then gets
    repeated, and pretty soon no one can tell the difference between the rumour
    and the truth):

    1st post: so, for ex if
    u disconnect the output of the FD2, u should all the pedals after that go
    off...

    untrue. Most pedals have the ground connection to the battery broken by the
    input or output jack, which is a 3 connector type. That way, when you plug
    the pedal in, it effectively swtiches it on as well, and vice versa, thus
    saving battery life (he was right about that part). However, unplugging one
    pedal will NOT kill the power on all the others (if I understand your post
    right - you mean the pedals are dead, not just in bypass mode right?)

    2nd post: Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of the
    original
    signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    using a 50 ft. guitar cable.

    also untrue. Most effects use a buffered output stage, which provides a low
    impedance output. You could probably run a 50ft cable of the output of that
    stage and not notice a big (if any) difference). The reason you start to
    lose treble and tone off of a long guitar cable is because your pickups are
    high impedance, making the effect of a long cable more dramatic. The
    impedance is the issue, not the signal level (although there will be some
    degradation, of course, but it shouldn't be terribly noticeable). I know
    I'll get flamed by the golden ears crowd for that one, but your killer tone
    will NOT turn to total shit because you've got some stompboxes in there - in
    most cases.

    2nd post again: The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the
    compressor's jack has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's plugged
    in, and thereby breaks the series connection.

    Only a moron would design a power supply for pedals with a series
    connection. Since it is unlikely that a moron would have the ability to
    design any type of power supply, it is illogical to conclude that this one
    has a series connection. Further, if indeed it were a series connection,
    unplugging any of the pedals would kill the rest of them, and since you
    mentioned the CS3 specifically, I assume that it is only this pedal which
    causes the problem.

    3rd post: 5). Divide and Conqueor the problem...Test each pedal separately
    and add
    them one by one until you find the culprit.

    absolutely true. This can get confusing, as you try a bunch of different
    stuff and forget what works and what didn't, but it's the only way to
    accurately analyze the problem.

    5th post: Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I suspect that cutting
    power to
    the compressor could also cut out everything else following it on the power
    path (as opposed to the signal path).

    See answer to 2nd post again.

    So how do we fix this mess? Post 5 had a lot of good advice, and I would
    follow it (except for the Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I
    suspect... part). This reeks of a power supply problem - the wierd thing
    with the CS3, the sampled sound interference etc. It's possible that your
    power supply is shit. Are all your effects centre negative (the Boss ones
    are, but I'm not sure about the others). Double check that before you plug
    anything back in. There should be a little diagram on or near the DC power
    jack that shows you the polarity.

    I would try everything with batteries first (ouch! that'll be a small
    fortune right there - maybe use a cheaper brand just for testing). Try each
    effect individually with a battery and make sure that it funcions the way
    it's supposed to. There could be an intermittent ground in one of the
    pedals. If everything is good, add each effect one at a time until the
    problem arises. One of the posters mentioned keeping batteries in all of his
    effects for insurance. That's also a good idea (like keeping spare cables,
    strings, tubes, fuses, etc.) It's possible that the DC pop from unplugging
    the CS3 is being induced in the power supply line somehow and triggering
    some sort of protection circuitry. At this point, it's kind of guesswork,
    but keep us posted (sorry about the pun) and we'll see if we can nail down
    the problem. Since all the effects are uses, it certainly is possible that
    one of them is screwed, but I'm voting for the power supply at this point.

    Let us know what you find out.


    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgm4n0$dbq$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    >
    > I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    > on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    > started typing before thinking) are:
    >
    > Amp
    > |
    > Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    > Dod Ice Box Chorus
    > Boss GE-? EQ
    > Proco Turbo Rat
    > Fulltone FD2
    > Boss CS-3 compressor
    > Budda Wah
    > |
    > Guitar
    >
    > All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    > (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    > supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    > or more than enough for all of the above pedals).
    >
    > Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:
    >
    > 1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    > cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???
    >
    > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...
    >
    > 3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    > signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    > then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    > There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    > a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    > went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    > difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    > the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    > something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    > I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    > to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.
    >
    > (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    > Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    > songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)
    >
    >
    > Comments, insights, etc., welcome.
    >
    > - Grant
    >
    >
  7. TB

    TB Guest

    In my own defense (I guess), I would point out that I ADMITTED I was talking
    out of my ass on the "Depending on how the daisy chain is wired" bit.....
    :p

    TB

    "tempus fugit" <toccata.no.spam@ciaccess.com> wrote in message
    news:ZsEXa.4348$1T5.2136@nntp-post.primus.ca...
    > Let me try to clarify some of the misinformation that's been posted here

    so
    > far (I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this is exactly the type of
    > place where this type of not-exactly-quite-correct info shows up, then

    gets
    > repeated, and pretty soon no one can tell the difference between the

    rumour
    > and the truth):
    >
    > 1st post: so, for ex if
    > u disconnect the output of the FD2, u should all the pedals after that go
    > off...
    >
    > untrue. Most pedals have the ground connection to the battery broken by

    the
    > input or output jack, which is a 3 connector type. That way, when you plug
    > the pedal in, it effectively swtiches it on as well, and vice versa, thus
    > saving battery life (he was right about that part). However, unplugging

    one
    > pedal will NOT kill the power on all the others (if I understand your post
    > right - you mean the pedals are dead, not just in bypass mode right?)
    >
    > 2nd post: Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of

    the
    > original
    > signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    > using a 50 ft. guitar cable.
    >
    > also untrue. Most effects use a buffered output stage, which provides a

    low
    > impedance output. You could probably run a 50ft cable of the output of

    that
    > stage and not notice a big (if any) difference). The reason you start to
    > lose treble and tone off of a long guitar cable is because your pickups

    are
    > high impedance, making the effect of a long cable more dramatic. The
    > impedance is the issue, not the signal level (although there will be some
    > degradation, of course, but it shouldn't be terribly noticeable). I know
    > I'll get flamed by the golden ears crowd for that one, but your killer

    tone
    > will NOT turn to total shit because you've got some stompboxes in there -

    in
    > most cases.
    >
    > 2nd post again: The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the
    > compressor's jack has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's

    plugged
    > in, and thereby breaks the series connection.
    >
    > Only a moron would design a power supply for pedals with a series
    > connection. Since it is unlikely that a moron would have the ability to
    > design any type of power supply, it is illogical to conclude that this one
    > has a series connection. Further, if indeed it were a series connection,
    > unplugging any of the pedals would kill the rest of them, and since you
    > mentioned the CS3 specifically, I assume that it is only this pedal which
    > causes the problem.
    >
    > 3rd post: 5). Divide and Conqueor the problem...Test each pedal separately
    > and add
    > them one by one until you find the culprit.
    >
    > absolutely true. This can get confusing, as you try a bunch of different
    > stuff and forget what works and what didn't, but it's the only way to
    > accurately analyze the problem.
    >
    > 5th post: Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I suspect that

    cutting
    > power to
    > the compressor could also cut out everything else following it on the

    power
    > path (as opposed to the signal path).
    >
    > See answer to 2nd post again.
    >
    > So how do we fix this mess? Post 5 had a lot of good advice, and I would
    > follow it (except for the Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I
    > suspect... part). This reeks of a power supply problem - the wierd thing
    > with the CS3, the sampled sound interference etc. It's possible that your
    > power supply is shit. Are all your effects centre negative (the Boss ones
    > are, but I'm not sure about the others). Double check that before you plug
    > anything back in. There should be a little diagram on or near the DC power
    > jack that shows you the polarity.
    >
    > I would try everything with batteries first (ouch! that'll be a small
    > fortune right there - maybe use a cheaper brand just for testing). Try

    each
    > effect individually with a battery and make sure that it funcions the way
    > it's supposed to. There could be an intermittent ground in one of the
    > pedals. If everything is good, add each effect one at a time until the
    > problem arises. One of the posters mentioned keeping batteries in all of

    his
    > effects for insurance. That's also a good idea (like keeping spare cables,
    > strings, tubes, fuses, etc.) It's possible that the DC pop from unplugging
    > the CS3 is being induced in the power supply line somehow and triggering
    > some sort of protection circuitry. At this point, it's kind of guesswork,
    > but keep us posted (sorry about the pun) and we'll see if we can nail down
    > the problem. Since all the effects are uses, it certainly is possible that
    > one of them is screwed, but I'm voting for the power supply at this point.
    >
    > Let us know what you find out.
    >
    >
    > "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    > news:bgm4n0$dbq$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    > >
    > > I recently purchased a bunch of used effects on e-bay and installed them
    > > on a home-built pedal board. The effects (in reverse order, because I
    > > started typing before thinking) are:
    > >
    > > Amp
    > > |
    > > Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
    > > Dod Ice Box Chorus
    > > Boss GE-? EQ
    > > Proco Turbo Rat
    > > Fulltone FD2
    > > Boss CS-3 compressor
    > > Budda Wah
    > > |
    > > Guitar
    > >
    > > All of the effects are powered by a single daisychain power supply
    > > (forgot the brand, but it's some fancy solid-state thing, and it's
    > > supposed to be able to put out something like 1.5 amps of regulated 9V,
    > > or more than enough for all of the above pedals).
    > >
    > > Now for the weirdness, which comes in several flavors:
    > >
    > > 1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power. Plugging the
    > > cable back in restarts all the pedals. What the ....???
    > >
    > > 2) Somewhere in the chain (I haven't succeeded in isolating it yet),
    > > there frequently arises a pulsing sound (freq. around 3-4 per second)
    > > which sometimes resembles an ultrashort piece of sampled guitar sound
    > > being replayed repeatedly at low volume, almost like from a boomerang.
    > > It comes up at random times after I've been playing for a while and then
    > > persists indefinitely, unless I power off all the pedals and then
    > > restart them again. Fortunately, it's only audible when I'm not
    > > playing. Switching pedals on and off with the foot switches makes no
    > > difference. At first I thought the RV-3 was doing this (after all, it's
    > > a delay), but I found that the pulsing sound gets louder when I engage
    > > the FD2, suggesting it's originating early in the chain (but it's not
    > > the wah, which I had for a long time before all the other pedals).
    > > Again, unplugging the output jack from the CS-3 has the effect of
    > > shutting off power to *all* pedals -- when I plug it back in, the
    > > pulsing has usually gone away, for a short time at least. Could a
    > > compressor that's malfunctioning theoretically produce a pulsing sampled
    > > sound? I wouldn't have thought that there's any digital sampling going
    > > on in a compressor, but I could be wrong...
    > >
    > > 3) Now for the worst part: At my last gig, I suddenly started losing
    > > signal intermittently -- my guitar volume would fade drastically and
    > > then return after anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.
    > > There was no crackling or abrupt in/out syndrome like you'd expect from
    > > a bad connection -- it was more of a deep sagging effect that came and
    > > went for no apparent reason. Switching pedals off didn't make any
    > > difference. Switched cables to no avail, so ended up going straight into
    > > the amp, whereupon the problem went away, suggesting it was indeed
    > > something in the pedal board. Unfortunately, it's so intermittent that
    > > I haven't succeeded in systematically tracking it down, and I'm afraid
    > > to use my pedal board in a gig again until I do.
    > >
    > > (On the bright side, I discovered that going straight into my new Gibson
    > > Goldtone GA-15RV sounded pretty damned good for the most part, even on
    > > songs that I thought absolutely required chorus, delay, etc.)
    > >
    > >
    > > Comments, insights, etc., welcome.
    > >
    > > - Grant
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
  8. Guncho

    Guncho Guest

    Modulation effects do not "have" to go through the effects loop. I
    use my Boss DD3 delay and MXR Phase 90 in front of my amp, (which is
    what I use for overdrive) and it sounds fine to me.

    Chris
    star.star
    www.starstar.ca
  9. Sudsy

    Sudsy Guest

    On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 00:58:40 GMT, "TB" <tim956454@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >I tend to agree that at least one of your problems involves an issue with
    >the power somewhere, and I would certainly start by tackling that before you
    >move on because it just may take care of the weird pulsing sound you
    >describe. I don't think it's the sheer number of pedals -- I run through a
    >baker's dozen before the signal hits the amp without much loss of signal,
    >although most of my effects are true bypass.


    A little OT . . but a suggestion most probably know. I use a LPB-1 at
    the front of my effects chain (well . . after the Wah and tuner ;-),
    and it does wonders to boost the signal, give the amp a little more
    "oomph" and helps project the guitar sound above the band better.
    TTYTT . . .that was the best investment I made . . without the LPB-1,
    the sound seems flat, but with the LPB, it makes the sounds come alive
    just enough to make a difference . . .

    Sudsy . . .
  10. > From: "tempus fugit" <toccata.no.spam@ciaccess.com>
    > Subject: Re: weird problems with effects chain
    >
    > Let me try to clarify some of the misinformation that's been posted here so
    > far (I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this is exactly the type of
    > place where this type of not-exactly-quite-correct info shows up, then gets
    > repeated, and pretty soon no one can tell the difference between the rumour
    > and the truth):


    > 2nd post: Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of the
    > original
    > signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    > using a 50 ft. guitar cable.
    >
    > also untrue. Most effects use a buffered output stage, which provides a low
    > impedance output. You could probably run a 50ft cable of the output of that
    > stage and not notice a big (if any) difference). The reason you start to
    > lose treble and tone off of a long guitar cable is because your pickups are
    > high impedance, making the effect of a long cable more dramatic. The
    > impedance is the issue, not the signal level (although there will be some
    > degradation, of course, but it shouldn't be terribly noticeable). I know
    > I'll get flamed by the golden ears crowd for that one, but your killer tone
    > will NOT turn to total shit because you've got some stompboxes in there - in
    > most cases.


    One DOES lose signal quality with each box that is put between the guitar
    and the amp. It usually isn't too objectionable a problem until there are
    two or three in a series, but it doesn't take "golden ears" to hear it
    happening. If one puts SEVEN in a row, yes, it's going to turn to "shit."
    Elementary.

    I freely admit that I'm no expert on hooking seven up in a row, because I've
    never done it. I could never get past two or three because the fundimental
    sound was degrading so badly, becoming rubbery, indistinct, and losing
    highs. I can only imagine what seven would be like.

    > 2nd post again: The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the
    > compressor's jack has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's plugged
    > in, and thereby breaks the series connection.
    >
    > Only a moron would design a power supply for pedals with a series
    > connection. Since it is unlikely that a moron would have the ability to
    > design any type of power supply, it is illogical to conclude that this one
    > has a series connection.


    This is not logic. It is simply someone wishing to call someone else a moron
    (I hope they feel better now). If we hook seven things up in a row,
    disconnect one, and they all shut down, does logic lead us to believe that
    there's no series? That the power being supplied is parallel and independant
    to each?

    >Further, if indeed it were a series connection,
    > unplugging any of the pedals would kill the rest of them, and since you
    > mentioned the CS3 specifically, I assume that it is only this pedal which
    > causes the problem.


    "1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power."

    What part of that didn't get communicated properly?
    >
    > 3rd post: 5). Divide and Conqueor the problem...Test each pedal separately
    > and add
    > them one by one until you find the culprit.


    > absolutely true. This can get confusing, as you try a bunch of different
    > stuff and forget what works and what didn't, but it's the only way to
    > accurately analyze the problem.


    I believe I said something to that effect...

    "Start with the device you want the most, get to know it well, and add
    others in one at a time."
    >
    > 5th post: Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I suspect that cutting
    > power to the compressor could also cut out everything else following it on the
    > power path (as opposed to the signal path).
    >
    > See answer to 2nd post again.


    Calling someone a moron is so enlightening, we really do want to read it
    again as a study in logic.

    > So how do we fix this mess? Post 5 had a lot of good advice, and I would
    > follow it (except for the Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I
    > suspect... part). This reeks of a power supply problem - the wierd thing
    > with the CS3, the sampled sound interference etc. It's possible that your
    > power supply is shit. Are all your effects centre negative (the Boss ones
    > are, but I'm not sure about the others). Double check that before you plug
    > anything back in. There should be a little diagram on or near the DC power
    > jack that shows you the polarity.
    >
    > I would try everything with batteries first (ouch! that'll be a small
    > fortune right there - maybe use a cheaper brand just for testing). Try each
    > effect individually with a battery and make sure that it funcions the way
    > it's supposed to.


    "Try the whole thing powered only by batteries, and see there's a
    difference."

    Obviously a failure on my part to communicate effectively.

    > There could be an intermittent ground in one of the
    > pedals. If everything is good, add each effect one at a time until the
    > problem arises.


    "Start with the device you want the most, get to know it well, and add
    others in one at a time."

    Again, I am wondering why, when I say it, it's "rumor...
    not-quite-correct... misinformation," but when someone else says it, it's
    "the truth?"

    Inferiority complexes are a defense mechanism that commonly manifest
    themselves by not being able to feel good about one's self unless they are
    belittleing someone else.

    One may well have some insights to contribute here, but one doesn't have to
    try to destroy other's contributions, in an attempt to leave theirs as the
    only one standing, to be useful.

    And if one might think that running through seven outboard effects before
    going into the front of the amp isn't going to degrade the signal, they
    obviously need a bit more experience with the problem, or more finely
    trained powers of observation.

    I would humbly suggest that some people lighten up. Contribute. Add to the
    knowledge. That they don't post as an ego stroke. And not assume that
    everyone who is also contributing here with what they they have learned is
    going to lay down and die in shame when presented with the brilliant
    presence of someone else's alleged expertise.

    Zoid

    z9design.com
  11. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Guest

    Thanks for the probe into my psyche.

    >One may well have some insights to contribute here, but one doesn't have to
    > try to destroy other's contributions, in an attempt to leave theirs as the
    > only one standing, to be useful.


    Not trying to destroy anything, but if something is posted that isn't true,
    or at even that I simply disagree with, I can correct it, cant't I? I live
    in a free country - maybe the laws are different where you live.

    FWIW I have 5 effects in my chain with no audible signal degradation. You
    could never get past 2 or 3? What are you using? I do agree with your
    statement that there will be some degradation of the signal; this is almost
    self evident. However, if no one can actually hear the degradation, it
    becomes irrelevant.

    My point is that it seems very unlikely that the OP's problems are the
    result of the signal degradation that everyone is so terrified of. Others
    have responded and said they are running even more pedals without any
    noticeable degradation.

    Also, the moron thing was not directed to you personally. Have you ever had
    a string of those Xmas tree lights that are wired in series? You know the
    kind that has none of them lit up if one of them is burned out? OK, so as
    you're trying in vain to figure out which bulb is defective are you not
    thinking "what kind of %$#$ moron designed this?" They don't make Xmas tree
    lights like that anymore, for that very reason. Does it not seem highly
    unlikely to you that somewhere someone decided that would be a good design
    for a pedal power supply? Not to mention the disadvantages for isolation
    that a series design has.


    "Boyd Williamson" <zoid@z9design.com> wrote in message
    news:BB54DE16.F6E3%zoid@z9design.com...
    > > From: "tempus fugit" <toccata.no.spam@ciaccess.com>
    > > Subject: Re: weird problems with effects chain
    > >
    > > Let me try to clarify some of the misinformation that's been posted here

    so
    > > far (I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this is exactly the type

    of
    > > place where this type of not-exactly-quite-correct info shows up, then

    gets
    > > repeated, and pretty soon no one can tell the difference between the

    rumour
    > > and the truth):

    >
    > > 2nd post: Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of

    the
    > > original
    > > signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    > > using a 50 ft. guitar cable.
    > >
    > > also untrue. Most effects use a buffered output stage, which provides a

    low
    > > impedance output. You could probably run a 50ft cable of the output of

    that
    > > stage and not notice a big (if any) difference). The reason you start to
    > > lose treble and tone off of a long guitar cable is because your pickups

    are
    > > high impedance, making the effect of a long cable more dramatic. The
    > > impedance is the issue, not the signal level (although there will be

    some
    > > degradation, of course, but it shouldn't be terribly noticeable). I know
    > > I'll get flamed by the golden ears crowd for that one, but your killer

    tone
    > > will NOT turn to total shit because you've got some stompboxes in

    there - in
    > > most cases.

    >
    > One DOES lose signal quality with each box that is put between the guitar
    > and the amp. It usually isn't too objectionable a problem until there are
    > two or three in a series, but it doesn't take "golden ears" to hear it
    > happening. If one puts SEVEN in a row, yes, it's going to turn to "shit."
    > Elementary.
    >
    > I freely admit that I'm no expert on hooking seven up in a row, because

    I've
    > never done it. I could never get past two or three because the fundimental
    > sound was degrading so badly, becoming rubbery, indistinct, and losing
    > highs. I can only imagine what seven would be like.
    >
    > > 2nd post again: The power supply is obviously a series connection, and

    the
    > > compressor's jack has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's

    plugged
    > > in, and thereby breaks the series connection.
    > >
    > > Only a moron would design a power supply for pedals with a series
    > > connection. Since it is unlikely that a moron would have the ability to
    > > design any type of power supply, it is illogical to conclude that this

    one
    > > has a series connection.

    >
    > This is not logic. It is simply someone wishing to call someone else a

    moron
    > (I hope they feel better now). If we hook seven things up in a row,
    > disconnect one, and they all shut down, does logic lead us to believe that
    > there's no series? That the power being supplied is parallel and

    independant
    > to each?
    >
    > >Further, if indeed it were a series connection,
    > > unplugging any of the pedals would kill the rest of them, and since you
    > > mentioned the CS3 specifically, I assume that it is only this pedal

    which
    > > causes the problem.

    >
    > "1) I found that if I unplug the signal jack from the output of the
    > compressor (i.e., the cable that runs to the input of the FD2), then ALL
    > of the pedals shut down, as if they weren't getting power."
    >
    > What part of that didn't get communicated properly?
    > >
    > > 3rd post: 5). Divide and Conqueor the problem...Test each pedal

    separately
    > > and add
    > > them one by one until you find the culprit.

    >
    > > absolutely true. This can get confusing, as you try a bunch of different
    > > stuff and forget what works and what didn't, but it's the only way to
    > > accurately analyze the problem.

    >
    > I believe I said something to that effect...
    >
    > "Start with the device you want the most, get to know it well, and add
    > others in one at a time."
    > >
    > > 5th post: Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I suspect that

    cutting
    > > power to the compressor could also cut out everything else following it

    on the
    > > power path (as opposed to the signal path).
    > >
    > > See answer to 2nd post again.

    >
    > Calling someone a moron is so enlightening, we really do want to read it
    > again as a study in logic.
    >
    > > So how do we fix this mess? Post 5 had a lot of good advice, and I would
    > > follow it (except for the Depending on how the daisy chain is wired, I
    > > suspect... part). This reeks of a power supply problem - the wierd thing
    > > with the CS3, the sampled sound interference etc. It's possible that

    your
    > > power supply is shit. Are all your effects centre negative (the Boss

    ones
    > > are, but I'm not sure about the others). Double check that before you

    plug
    > > anything back in. There should be a little diagram on or near the DC

    power
    > > jack that shows you the polarity.
    > >
    > > I would try everything with batteries first (ouch! that'll be a small
    > > fortune right there - maybe use a cheaper brand just for testing). Try

    each
    > > effect individually with a battery and make sure that it funcions the

    way
    > > it's supposed to.

    >
    > "Try the whole thing powered only by batteries, and see there's a
    > difference."
    >
    > Obviously a failure on my part to communicate effectively.
    >
    > > There could be an intermittent ground in one of the
    > > pedals. If everything is good, add each effect one at a time until the
    > > problem arises.

    >
    > "Start with the device you want the most, get to know it well, and add
    > others in one at a time."
    >
    > Again, I am wondering why, when I say it, it's "rumor...
    > not-quite-correct... misinformation," but when someone else says it, it's
    > "the truth?"
    >
    > Inferiority complexes are a defense mechanism that commonly manifest
    > themselves by not being able to feel good about one's self unless they are
    > belittleing someone else.
    >
    >


    >
    > And if one might think that running through seven outboard effects before
    > going into the front of the amp isn't going to degrade the signal, they
    > obviously need a bit more experience with the problem, or more finely
    > trained powers of observation.
    >
    > I would humbly suggest that some people lighten up. Contribute. Add to the
    > knowledge. That they don't post as an ego stroke. And not assume that
    > everyone who is also contributing here with what they they have learned is
    > going to lay down and die in shame when presented with the brilliant
    > presence of someone else's alleged expertise.
    >
    > Zoid
    >
    > z9design.com
    >
  12. "kwahoho" <kwala@noplace.net> wrote in message
    news:3f2ec7ef$0$40217$39cecf19@news.twtelecom.net...
    > i'm not 100% sure about this, but i think most pedals need some kind of an
    > input to stay "on". for ex., if u take the RV-3 pedal by itself, power it

    up
    > and stomp on it to turn it on, it never will. it'll turn on only if u
    > connect ur guitar to it. the reason is to save battery power, so that the
    > pedal doesnt turn on by accident and drain the whole battery. so, for ex

    if
    > u disconnect the output of the FD2, u should all the pedals after that go
    > off...


    No, not quite. Most pedals use a switching jack for the input; this
    connects the battery when a cord is physically inserted. It makes no
    difference to the switch if the other end of the cable is connected (or even
    if there IS another end or cable for that matter). If a plug is inserted,
    the power is on.

    So, you cannot just unplug the first item in the chain and expect the
    batteries to stop draining. You must pop the cables out of all the input
    jacks.

    Some effects also use a switching jack on the 9v power input which will
    disconnect the battery, allowing you to leave things plugged together all
    the time.

    HTH
    -pk

    <snip>
  13. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Boyd Williamson wrote:
    >>From: Grant <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu>

    >
    > Gee, Grant, that's an awful lot of boxes in a chain. I would guess that:
    >
    > 1) keeping the signal level where it's supposed to be through all that would
    > be trickier than it might seem; and


    It's not. I put the amp volume where I want it with everything
    disengaged. I engage each pedal one at a time and set the level for
    that pedal so that the overall level doesn't change from when it's
    turned off (unless I want it to).

    >
    > 2) your clean, unmodified tone with all of them switched off has gotta be
    > mud.


    Nope. I can't tell any tonal difference between having the pedals in
    the chain or going straight into the amp.
    >
    > Each of these devices is going to cut the quality and gain of the original
    > signal at least a bit, because of all the circuitry involved, kinda like
    > using a 50 ft. guitar cable. They each make up for it by adding a preamp
    > section to restore gain, but some of the original signal quality has still
    > been sucked away. If you're only using one or two effects, this problem
    > isn't too significant.


    On guitargeek.com, I've found that a lot of well-known pro musicians use
    a lot of effects in a chain --- see for example Jeff Trott, the
    guitarist for Sheryl Crow. And others. If it works for them, it's good
    enough for me.


    > The farther this garbled signal goes down the chain, the worse it gets, and
    > this is all each device has to work with, to begin with.
    >


    Even if this is true (and I know it is to a small, and probably barely
    discernible degree), it certainly is unrelated to the problem I was
    describing.


    > The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the compressor's jack
    > has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's plugged in, and thereby
    > breaks the series connection.


    I don't think this could possibly be the case. It doesn't make sense
    electrically, for one thing. About the only place I've ever seen a
    bunch of independent devices powered in series is with christmas tree
    lights. That's where you have something 30 bulbs, each requiring 4 volts
    apiece, wired in series, so that you can supply the whole string with
    120 V. But this arrangement depends on (a) having *exactly* the right
    combination of devices so as to total up to the available supply volts,
    and (b) not taking any device out of the circuit at any time. You could
    never do this with a 9V power supply that is designed to operate
    anywwhere from one to 20 pedals.

    > The 3-4 hz. pulsing is probably the chorus or the delay, because they're the
    > only ones that would have repeating cycles like that.


    That's what I thought until I realized that kicking in the gain on the
    FD2 made it get louder. This is *before* the chorus and delay stage, so
    how could increasing the gain make a signal originating further down the
    chain louder?


    > It's even possible
    > that something is generating some radio frequencies that are being picked up
    > by something else.


    Again, I thought of that. But why does it go away (temporarily) if I
    shut off the power to all the pedals and then restart them? It's like
    some memory internal to one of the pedals is getting cleared, until some
    glitch comes along to restart the pulsing.

    > It's possible that weird signal stuff is leaking through
    > the common power supplied to everything. Try the whole thing powered only by
    > batteries, and see there's a difference.


    That *is* something I will try.


    > If you have an effects loop on your amp, put the chorus and delay through
    > that. They'll sound better there, and get them out of the chain up front.
    >


    My amp (a Gibson Goldtone GA-15RV) is very simple and doesn't have an
    effects loop. But as I wrote elsewhere, I tend to run it clean and let
    the pedals provide most of the distortion, when needed.
  14. Grant

    Grant Guest


    >> The power supply is obviously a series connection, and the
    >> compressor's jack
    >> has a tab that shuts the device off when nothing's plugged in, and
    >> thereby
    >> breaks the series connection.

    >
    >
    > I don't think this could possibly be the case. It doesn't make sense
    > electrically, for one thing. About the only place I've ever seen a
    > bunch of independent devices powered in series is with christmas tree
    > lights. That's where you have something 30 bulbs, each requiring 4 volts
    > apiece, wired in series, so that you can supply the whole string with
    > 120 V. But this arrangement depends on (a) having *exactly* the right
    > combination of devices so as to total up to the available supply volts,
    > and (b) not taking any device out of the circuit at any time. You could
    > never do this with a 9V power supply that is designed to operate
    > anywwhere from one to 20 pedals.
    >


    Oh, and another reason why a series power supply couldn't work is that
    it would require each device in the chain to draw exactly the same
    amount of current. You couldn't put a device that normally draws 10 mA
    of current at 9V in series with one that draws 100 mA and expect it to work.
  15. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Guest

    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgonao$1r4$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...

    > That's what I thought until I realized that kicking in the gain on the
    > FD2 made it get louder. This is *before* the chorus and delay stage, so
    > how could increasing the gain make a signal originating further down the
    > chain louder?


    Easy...

    You are still pushing the _input of the other pedals harder_ when you click
    on the FDII. It's gonna' add some input even though you've done the unity
    gain thing. You just added distortion to the equation... IOW, it may be the
    same "volume" you had, but the distortion has been added to the output of
    that pedal and is now affecting everything else after it...


    --
    Jeff
    http://www.mp3.com/JeffLiberatore
  16. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Road Warrior wrote:
    > "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    > news:bgonao$1r4$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    >
    >
    >>That's what I thought until I realized that kicking in the gain on the
    >>FD2 made it get louder. This is *before* the chorus and delay stage, so
    >>how could increasing the gain make a signal originating further down the
    >>chain louder?

    >
    >
    > Easy...
    >
    > You are still pushing the _input of the other pedals harder_ when you click
    > on the FDII. It's gonna' add some input even though you've done the unity
    > gain thing. You just added distortion to the equation... IOW, it may be the
    > same "volume" you had, but the distortion has been added to the output of
    > that pedal and is now affecting everything else after it...
    >



    Sorry, I don't quite agree. When I'm adding gain to the FD2 in the
    experiment described, I'm doing so without there being any (external)
    input to that pedal. If there's no signal at its input, then there's
    nothing to amplify or distort, so its output shouldn't change in a way
    that affects anything further down the chain. Admittedly, boosting the
    gain does add some noise to the what's going down the chain. But what
    I'm hearing is not a pulsing with noise added; rather, I'm hearing that
    the pulsing itself is getting noticeably louder when I engage the FD2.
    This can *only* happen, in my opinion, if the FD2 is seeing the pulsing
    at its *input*, which theoretically should not be possible if the
    pulsing is originating with the chorus or delay.

    Others in this thread have suggested that the power supply might be at
    least partly to blame, and that's what I'm going to look at
    carefully.next. The PS is supposedly rated to give way more more
    current at 9V than I'm actually drawing, but who knows .. maybe it's
    defective. And the only explanation I can think of (so far) for the
    loss of power to all the pedals one one jack is pulled out is if that
    somehow shorts the power supply, so that that the voltage on the whole
    chain drops to zero.

    BTW, one minor complication I've just discovered in testing the pedals
    individually is that I have them permanently mounted (with screws) on a
    wood pedal board, connected by right-angle jacks. There's not enough
    space to plug the guitar cable (with straight-in jack) into the
    intermediate pedals, so I won't be able to isolate pedals until I either
    (a) unmount all the pedals from the board or (b) buy a guitar cable with
    a right-angle jack on one end. Had I known I would have this problem,
    I would have designed things differently!! Live and learn...


    - Grant
  17. > From: "tempus fugit" <toccata.no.spam@ciaccess.com>
    > Subject: Re: weird problems with effects chain
    >
    > FWIW I have 5 effects in my chain with no audible signal degradation. You
    > could never get past 2 or 3? What are you using? I do agree with your
    > statement that there will be some degradation of the signal; this is almost
    > self evident. However, if no one can actually hear the degradation, it
    > becomes irrelevant.
    >
    > My point is that it seems very unlikely that the OP's problems are the
    > result of the signal degradation that everyone is so terrified of. Others
    > have responded and said they are running even more pedals without any
    > noticeable degradation.


    Well, maybe my 2 cents worth here isn't worth picking up off the ground.
    Where I'm coming from, is back when I was doing a lot of gigs fulltime, and
    I was hypersensitive to anything that was different in my setup. I mean, I
    could almost hear the difference in tone from using a different color duct
    tape!

    I was very sensitive to stomp boxes inserted, and most didn't cut the
    mustard because they were just too noisy to begin with. I much preferred
    running straight into the amp, cranking it, and working everything
    dynamically from my fingers and off the controls on the guitar. When I did
    use an effect, it tended to get written into stone, and if the box was not
    there for some reason, I felt I was screwed, so I preferred to steer clear
    of them generally.

    This is very, very different from someone who plays more occaisionally and
    can afford to experiment with a lot of boxes, so I'm probably not the best
    person to comment. I'll drop out at his point and defer to those who are
    more familiar with this particular regime.

    Zoid

    z9design.com
  18. Bill

    Bill Guest

    On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 04:07:51 -0500, Boyd Williamson
    <zoid@z9design.com> wrote:

    >One DOES lose signal quality with each box that is put between the guitar
    >and the amp. It usually isn't too objectionable a problem until there are
    >two or three in a series, but it doesn't take "golden ears" to hear it
    >happening. If one puts SEVEN in a row, yes, it's going to turn to "shit."
    >Elementary.


    Not necessarily. It very much depends on which seven pedals you're
    talking about. Some degrade the signal, even when bypassed, more than
    others. Some don't degrade the signal at all.
  19. Steve

    Steve Guest

    <<
    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgonao$1r4$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...

    > That's what I thought until I realized that kicking in the gain on the
    > FD2 made it get louder. This is *before* the chorus and delay stage, so
    > how could increasing the gain make a signal originating further down the
    > chain louder?


    Easy...

    You are still pushing the _input of the other pedals harder_ when you click
    on the FDII. It's gonna' add some input even though you've done the unity
    gain thing. You just added distortion to the equation... IOW, it may be the
    same "volume" you had, but the distortion has been added to the output of
    that pedal and is now affecting everything else after it...>>

    Possible solution: the way I did it...

    I set everything in the pedalboard to rhythm output level--including the FD2.
    Then, last in the pedalboard, is a pedal for clean boost, making anything that
    went before a LOT louder.

    Side benefit: gives yo a lead volume boost on ANY sound in your pedalboard.


    SEFSTRAT
    solo webpage: http://members.aol.com/sefstrat/index.html/sefpage.html
    band webpage: www.timebanditsrock.com
  20. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Guest

    "Grant" <gpetty@aos.wisc.edu> wrote in message
    news:bgos36$4fq$1@news.doit.wisc.edu...
    > Road Warrior wrote:


    > >>That's what I thought until I realized that kicking in the gain on the
    > >>FD2 made it get louder. This is *before* the chorus and delay stage, so
    > >>how could increasing the gain make a signal originating further down the
    > >>chain louder?


    > > You are still pushing the _input of the other pedals harder_ when you

    click
    > > on the FDII. It's gonna' add some input even though you've done the

    unity
    > > gain thing. You just added distortion to the equation... IOW, it may be

    the
    > > same "volume" you had, but the distortion has been added to the output

    of
    > > that pedal and is now affecting everything else after it...


    > Sorry, I don't quite agree.


    You're allowed! ;-)

    > When I'm adding gain to the FD2 in the
    > experiment described, I'm doing so without there being any (external)
    > input to that pedal.


    Right...

    > If there's no signal at its input, then there's
    > nothing to amplify or distort, so its output shouldn't change in a way
    > that affects anything further down the chain.


    Yes, it will... If you turn the pedal "out of bypass mode" (which is "on"),
    you are adding output to all the pedals after it... Maybe I'm missing
    something Grant, but I've been where you many times in the past. I've been
    doing pedals at gigs for 25 years...

    > Admittedly, boosting the
    > gain does add some noise to the what's going down the chain.


    OK... I'm reading... We agree on that part, I guess...

    > But what
    > I'm hearing is not a pulsing with noise added; rather, I'm hearing that
    > the pulsing itself is getting noticeably louder when I engage the FD2.


    Dude... I think the FDII is adding gain/distortion/*volume* to the signal
    path... Still... I don't know what's causing the initial problem, but I bet
    it's the power supply. I've had similar problems. I ended up dumping the
    daisy chain... Too many pedals that didn't work together well with the power
    supply I had... Now I just run a power strip (on my pedal board) and
    adapters to it. No more problem...

    > This can *only* happen, in my opinion, if the FD2 is seeing the pulsing
    > at its *input*, which theoretically should not be possible if the
    > pulsing is originating with the chorus or delay.


    OK... I disagree... But that's cool. Maybe I'm not getting it... But, ANY
    pedal, especially one beFORE another will affect the one further down the
    line. See, if the FDII is "off" you don't notice it as much. The second you
    turn it on, you do... But really, I don't think this is the crux of the
    problem. I only see it as adding to something that's already there....

    > Others in this thread have suggested that the power supply might be at
    > least partly to blame, and that's what I'm going to look at
    > carefully.next.


    Definitely...!

    > The PS is supposedly rated to give way more more
    > current at 9V than I'm actually drawing, but who knows .. maybe it's
    > defective.


    From experience, I can tell you that some pedals just don't work well
    together in a daisy chain. Polarity differences, impedence issues, etc...
    That's what I found out when I did this several years ago... It was a pisser
    for about a week, them I got smart.

    > BTW, one minor complication I've just discovered in testing the pedals
    > individually is that I have them permanently mounted (with screws) on a
    > wood pedal board, connected by right-angle jacks. There's not enough
    > space to plug the guitar cable (with straight-in jack) into the
    > intermediate pedals, so I won't be able to isolate pedals until I either
    > (a) unmount all the pedals from the board or (b) buy a guitar cable with
    > a right-angle jack on one end. Had I known I would have this problem,
    > I would have designed things differently!! Live and learn...


    Well, the only OTHER thing you could do, is get power supplies for all the
    pedals and plug them into a power strip. Anyway, that's where I am now.
    Yeah, it costs a lot more, but it works for me. If I had the problem you're
    having, I'd be freaking out too... You'll get it right, but definitely check
    out that power source.

    Good luck Grant! :)

    Jeff

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