Who else counts how many things are plugged together just for your rig?

eclecticsynergy

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Each of my boards has a couple of always-ons last in line before the amp. Tuners are buffered bypass, but fuzzes and a couple of other things are in line before them.

Nearly everybody knows that old school fuzz circuits like interacting directly with the pickups and don't take well to a buffer in front of them. But a lot of players don't realize that a buffer immediately downstream from one can mess with the tone too.

I keep my small board at home. I count thirteen pedals (including two always-ons: tiny green EP preamp from Henretta and a Bearfoot Pale Green as endstage EQ and gentle amplike compression) but not counting the little Deadbat which starves voltage to the Bonetender and isn't in the signal path. A OneSpot CS6 underneath powers them all.

Kind of odd that a little board wound up with four green pedals but it just worked out that way.

Since this pic was taken, I replaced the Fuzz50 with a Unit 67 compressor, and put an Alexander Quadrant in place of the Echophonic because I wanted tap tempo and presets - I'm getting too old to be kneeling down to tweak the delay every couple of minutes.



Some have said I have way too many drive pedals. Still, the two along the top row just in case of a clean backline amp, and I only kick the little Blue Rain on for pick drags (along with the echo, that's why they're so close to each other). Fuzz50 stays on for a whole song at a time, as does the right half of the JMP11. Both have great cleanup so I can leave 'em on for a different flavor & texture yet still control my gain from the guitar.

So that leaves the Bonetender fuzz, the Pale Horse (TS) and half of the JMP11 which serves as my hot button lead channel. Plenty, but not really excessive IMO.
 

Special Ed

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Pedals that don't have true bypass have buffers. It's one or the other. That's why it doesn't make sense. That article is poorly written.
There is a third scheme called Hardwire Bypass. Not seen as much these days but it's still out there. The MXR MicroAmp is a good example.
 

bottlenecker

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There is a third scheme called Hardwire Bypass. Not seen as much these days but it's still out there. The MXR MicroAmp is a good example.

I do remember finding out what "hardwire bypass" was back when crybabys still had it. I forgot it existed, and I think so should everyone. Maybe that article is really outdated, but it seems more useful to just say "avoid hardwire bypass".


No pedals, one pedal, fifteen pedals, no matter how you slice it, I am just amazed that the mechanical action of my playing a guitar can be translated through a bunch of elections and then be turned into sound by a speaker at the end of the line 🤯

It is amazing anyone can play in time waiting for those electrons to come out the other end, but I still can't get over the fact that record players work.
 

Jakedog

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Guitar > Cable > Hum Debugger > cable > tuner > comp > OD > OD > clean boost > chorus > phaser > delay > cable > head > reverb in FX loop > speaker cable > cab.

Sometimes there’s a wah or envelope filter between the hum debugger and the tuner. Depends on the gig. When I use humbuckers, the hum debugger stays in the bag.
 

schmee

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Well.... regardless of true bypass or etc, pedalboards have a lot of potentially signal loosing contacts. A typical 6 pedal board alone has at least 24 connections relying on simple metal to metal contact. Unless you use a Switcher, your signal passes through them all. With a switcher, it only passes through the ones you are actually using which could be a benefit if you dont use many at the same time.
 

northernguitar

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Too much to think about!

04F6CFEC-9CDA-4EB5-8F52-B5013F34C019.jpeg
 

Pcs264

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I don't worry about this issue at all, and here's why: My signal path is Guitar -> TC Electronics Polytune -> MXR Micro Amp -> Amplifier. The Polytune is buffered, and the Micro Amp has "hardwire bypass", but in this simple setup I doubt that either one matters much. I like using these two pedals much better that the large pedalboard I once used, and I really could do just fine with no pedals. Try it!
 

Marc Morfei

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In a way, it is pretty amazing the many ways the electronic signal is manipulated between the time it is created by your guitar pickup and translated back into audible sound by a speaker. This must be why I have always resisted getting an EQ pedal (even though everyone seems to strongly recommend one). I think: Wait, my guitar, each of my pedals, and my amp ALL have tone controls. I need to add ANOTHER one??
 

jackal

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Unless I'm going straight into the amp, I put a volume pedal last in line so any effects get hit with the maximum guitar signal.
 

11 Gauge

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In a way, it is pretty amazing the many ways the electronic signal is manipulated between the time it is created by your guitar pickup and translated back into audible sound by a speaker. This must be why I have always resisted getting an EQ pedal (even though everyone seems to strongly recommend one). I think: Wait, my guitar, each of my pedals, and my amp ALL have tone controls. I need to add ANOTHER one??
I pretty much agree with you, or at least I've never cared for graphic EQs, with their (IMO) not targeted frequencies that can be boost/cut. I can imagine an actual parametric EQ working out very well, but they're obviously less popular, and the learning curve for the average user is probably perceived as being too steep (and hence the popularity of the simpler graphic EQ).

Having said that, I think that something like a well-designed OD pedal will typically have just a single tone control, because it's meant more as 'final tonal compensation' than anything else.

What most folks will probably never realize is that most amps and ODs and such have lots of hardwired tone shaping that's not adjustable. With a favorable sounding amp or pedal, IMO it's all the hardwired tone shaping at the circuit level that makes it sound pleasing. If it was made to be adjustable at every step in the circuit path (even for a relatively simple circuit), you could easily have a dozen or more such controls.

To get things to sound right with a minimal number of pedals, I simply experiment with different combos of OD and boost pedals, usually just ending up with two of them. I also experiment with the speaker used with the given amp. This is how I personally avoid ever needing to use an EQ pedal, and 98% of the OD pedals I use have a single tone control on them. Really the only exception of late is that I use a TC Electronic Spark (4-knobber), but only in conjunction with my Marshall Origin 20, for what I consider to be a more modern overdrive sound (kind of a bit gainier and tighter).
 

W.L.Weller

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This must be why I have always resisted getting an EQ pedal (even though everyone seems to strongly recommend one). I think: Wait, my guitar, each of my pedals, and my amp ALL have tone controls. I need to add ANOTHER one??
Only if you want a different sound than the guitar, amp and non-EQ pedals are already making. Most guitar, amp and non-EQ pedal tone controls are "subtract only." This can result in a lot of subtraction by the time you get to the speaker. On the other hand, a Strat into a Tubescreamer into a Vibroverb (or sub in your favorite guitar/(pedal)/amp "pairing") is going to make a pretty convincing "electric guitar" sound, and may not require any further tweaking.

I pretty much agree with you, or at least I've never cared for graphic EQs, with their (IMO) not targeted frequencies that can be boost/cut. I can imagine an actual parametric EQ working out very well, but they're obviously less popular, and the learning curve for the average user is probably perceived as being too steep (and hence the popularity of the simpler graphic EQ).
IDK, the Boss PQ-4 has 7 controls, and the Boss GE-7 has 8. Is it the visual appeal of dialing in a mid-scoop "smiley face"? Or a mid-boost "frowny face"? Did the PQ-4 cost more when it was new? I know the Tech21 Q-Strip and the Empress ParaEq cost about double what a Boss GE-7 or an MXR graphic EQ does currently, is that part of it?

Maybe another part of the puzzle is that since guitarists aren't used to being able to boost specific frequencies, the potential for "bad" sounding settings is more present?

Or maybe it's just that since I'm not personally after a "Deluxe Reverb" or "JCM800" sound, I gravitate towards things with other options?
 
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11 Gauge

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IDK, the Boss PQ-4 has 7 controls, and the Boss GE-7 has 8. Is it the visual appeal of dialing in a mid-scoop "smiley face"? Or a mid-boost "frowny face"? Did the PQ-4 cost more when it was new? I know the Tech21 Q-Strip and the Empress ParaEq cost about double what a Boss GE-7 or an MXR graphic EQ does currently, is that part of it?

Maybe another part of the puzzle is that since guitarists aren't used to being able to boost specific frequencies, the potential for "bad" sounding settings is more present?

Or maybe it's just that since I'm not personally after a "Deluxe Reverb" or "JCM800" sound, I gravitate towards things with other options?
I think it's probably all of the above, just maybe with more emphasis on guitarists not being accustomed to actively boosting (or cutting) specific fixed frequencies, that are all typically an octave apart.

In hindsight, I was probably lucky to have a Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 in the 80's, and be able to personally witness just how well it worked dialing in just the right midrange frequency...and then change it to 'another right one' for a different guitar, or to a more appropriate one for a more overdriven sound. I didn't end up messing around with a graphic EQ pedal until some years later (IIRC - was probably late 80's/early 90's), and it was stiflingly useless to me.
 

stantheman

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Never!!!
Go Straight In.
Studio recording FX are nice.
If You're Live in front of "People" they'll
be gone after you pee, get a drink, blink.
 

soundchaser59

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Just two, guitar and amp.
But the OP did include recording in his chain. Even if you aren't recording it is still guitar > amp > speaker > mic (if you're on stage) > mixer > amp > pa.
If you record then it's still at least 6 connections.

From my guitar thru my selection of pedals, amp, speaker, mic, interface, DAW, monitors I have around 12 to 15 connections. I took the OP to be counting connections in the entire signal chain.
 




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