Complicated True Bypass Problem

Volitions Advocate

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1,239
This is one for you gearheads and DiYers Bear with me because this can get kind of convoluted.

I'm a big multi-effects junkie and I like to use Boss pedals because of their features.  But they suck my tone really badly.  mind you everybody knows that.

I guess to start I'll let you know what my signal chain looks like so I can better describe my problem.
Guitar > Dunlop Crybaby > Boss GT-5 Processor  > GT-5 Effects loop [Digitech Grunge > Metal Zone > OS/2 > EQ > Phaser > Delay] > Stereo outputs on my GT-5. Left side into my Rivera Tube amp, Right side into my Crate Solidstate amp.

I put the stompboxes into the loop of my GT-5 because it helped a lot in cutting out the Tone suck when I"m not using them.  The Problem is when I turn the loop on to use 1 pedal. i still have 4 others sucking all my tone.. so that sucks.  And then even when I turn the loop off and put my GT-5 in bypass my crazy over the top tube distortion (I use the same amp as Adam Jones and Mick Thompson) sounds like a Blues driver at half gain with no bottom end.  To solve that problem theres a simple solution, put my whole effects board through the loop in my amp.  Problem with that being that I use 2 amps and if I did that I would have to figure out some way to hook my other one up.  I'm sure I could piggy back it somehow but then it would just be emulating the sound that my tube amp puts into the signal instead of interpereting the sound from my signal in its own way (yeah i sound ridiculous but still bear with me)  Also I can't do that because my amp is designed to be used with a subwoofer, and its the only one I know of that has this capability built directly in.  I know a lot of guys that scoff at this but let me tell you If i was a coke head I'd give up cocaine to have a sub with this amp it sounds incredible. In anycase, this is relevant because the sub output is a Dry output and doesn't include anything that goes through the FX loop in the amp.  Which makes effects like my slowgear totally useless, and If im using a stompbox distortion, the subwoofer is going to be punching out a clean tone. which just wont do.  So I can't use the FX loop on my amp. at least not for this application. (i'm thinking of just throwing an EQ and Compressor pedal in there, but thats for later).

So....  Follow me still?

This is what I'm thinking I need.
I have 2 options for the pedals, and I can do 1 or the other or both if i was going for overkill.
I dont have the time or the patience to mod all my pedals to tru bypass, with boss pedals its an enormous headache and you have to mangle them to do so.  So I was thinking of building a Tru bypass box.  just a long thin stompbox that goes on my board just underneath the pedals that has an In/Out for each pedal and a 3pdt switch to turn it on or off.  Problem solved. leave the pedals on and just add or remove them from the signal chain, since they dont suck tone when activated.  And I dont have to mess with the malarky of programming whether or not the loop is turned on in my patches, because i can just put them before my processor and use them whenever I want.

OR.  I can get one of those blend pedals. I wish i knew where to get them, i found them on a site once, some guy makes them in his basement.  Its an expression pedal that has an fx loop on it. with heel down you get direct signal from your guitar through it, and with toe down it goes through the loop first.  and everywhere in between its a blend of the 2 signals.  would make fx switching with my stomp boxes rather sleek and smooth and I like that idea, but then I run the same problem as before with having only 1 or 2 pedals being used and the rest sucking all my tone.  So to fix that id need to do BOTH of these solutions I've just come up with. What a nightmare.

But we havent even touched on the subject of bypassing my effects processor.  And with the problem of running 2 amps this gets very annoying.
I need a Line Selector kind of pedal that does something I dont think any pedal out there does which means I'll probably have to make it myself.

Id put it after my Wah and Stompboxes (once they're in true bypass) so that I can still use them anytime I want and put the line selector right in front of the GT-5.  Now what I need is for it to have 1 input from the guitar. and then 2 going out to each amp.  So it needs to be able to double the signal without loosing any of it.  Then I need the loop for the processor.  Which would need to be 1 send. and 2 returns, one for left and one for right. and each one of those needs correspond with the 2 existing output jacks so that my stereo effects work properly.  So by toggling it id get Guitar > Stompboxes (true bypass) > Crybaby (true bypass) > 2 Amps   /    Guitar > Stompboxes (true bypass) > Crybaby (true bypass) > GT - 5 w/ Stereo outs > 2 amps.

Currently I've got 3 fulltone 3pdt switches coming in the mail. so i can mod my crybaby for true bypass, maybe stick an LED in there too.  Any clue on how I'd make my blend/expression pedal or my confusing little line selector?

Any opinions on what to do. or new ideas I havent thought of?
Also I have to build my subwoofer for my amp. which is something I'm going to go start another thread about because I need help with that too and this is just way too much for one post already.

Thanks guys.

This isn't wired up in the picture the way i have it now, i just wanted to show you what it looks like at the moment.
n517473612_1025483_4224.jpg
 
K

kreig

Guest
I only read the first 3 paragraphs and these words kept running thru my mind - K-eep I-t S-imple S-tupid (no dis) :laughing8:
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Either use fewer pedals, or get a switcher designed for this sort of thing.

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digital-Music-GCX-Guitar-Audio-Switcher?sku=183401
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Carl-Martin-Octaswitch-Guitar-Effects-Switching-System?sku=152013
 

Crappy

Senior member
Messages
210
GCX switcher is the way to go, It made life with my pedals and rack better.

Now from the look of all those pedals you have, you be looking at using maybe (3) GCX switchers
 

bpmorton777

Senior member
Messages
1,651
enough with all this foolishness!

sell ALL your pedals and get a line6 POD X3 Live http://line6.com/podx3live/

Brian
 

Volitions Advocate

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1,239
I can't stand the Line 6 Multi effects. I"ve tried many. and I just dont like them.

Besides my GT 5 can do everything any Pod can.

I'm upgrading soon to the GT 10 (as soon as somebody in this friggen world has one in stock) which will give me more options.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Uh, yeah, you don't have enough options with your current rig! I'm impressed that you ever manage to play guitar with all that stuff to tweak, it looks like ENIAC or something.
 

Kublai

Senior member
Messages
494
Sorry for the attempted derailment, but, Crappy, is that a Lifeson 355 in your sig?
 

Volitions Advocate

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Messages
1,239
tfarny said:
Uh, yeah, you don't have enough options with your current rig! I'm impressed that you ever manage to play guitar with all that stuff to tweak, it looks like ENIAC or something.

well not all those pedals in the picture are wired up.  I used to use about a dozen pedals strung up in series , right now i'm only using about 5 stompboxes along with my processor, not including wah / tuner / amp footswitch, the rest are just.. sitting there because I don't have anywhere else to put them and  I havent' gotten my blend pedal and hendrix wah yet.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,164
Volitions Advocate said:
So I was thinking of building a Tru bypass box.  just a long thin stompbox that goes on my board just underneath the pedals that has an In/Out for each pedal and a 3pdt switch to turn it on or off.  Problem solved. leave the pedals on and just add or remove them from the signal chain, since they dont suck tone when activated. 

This is exactly what I did with my Boss pedals in my pedal board.

I got the 3PDP switches from fulltone, some switchcraft jacks, a long thin enclosure from Hammond Manufacturing (located in beautiful Guelph Ontario), so me LEDs from digi-key, and a 9 volt power socket. 

It was very very easy to do.  I can walk you though all elements of the construction.

I hooked it up to the my pedalboard's 9v adapter and hooked it up.  Works great and allows you to have those great Boss sounds without that Boss Tone Suck when they are not on. I used this rig for years and it's been flawless.

If I have time later today I'll get some photos of my setup to you.  I'm at work right now  - I'll have to do it when I'm at home.  I can even whip up a quick schematic.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,164
No problem.  Here's a quick schematic.  This is for one pedal - you'll need to repeat this for each pedal that you want full bypass for.

n527102111_1524164_4419.jpg


I apologize for the crappy scanner and my crappy hand writing.  Here's the notes again:

1 - don't connect the power ground to the signal ground.  Keep them separate
2 - choose R1 so that the current through the LED is lower than the rated max.  For example, the panasonic LN28RP is rated at 25mA.  since R = V/I, you get 9v / 0.025A = 360ohms.  I'd use a 470ohm resistor since they are available
3 - if you are worried about ground loops, use isolated 1/4" jacks and don't connect the grounds to J4 and J2.
4 - if you build several of these in series, you don't really need J1 and J2 for the 'inner' ones - you can just wire them directly to the previous/next stage.  Still need J1 for the first stage and J2 for the last stage though...
 

Volitions Advocate

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1,239
Ok. I'm actually learning as I go here.  I copied your schematic down on paper and I'm surprised how well I understood it once I drew it outmyself.  And I'm trying to make sense of some things.  I'm using this helpful little THREAD HERE to help me with wiring diagram.  But I'm still a little fuzzy about how to ground everything.  And I"m fuzzy about whats goign on in the J5 area.  I understand thats the 9V jack.  So if i'm wiring this up in series.  How do I tap into the power from each subsequent switch/loop combo?  Cause I woudln't want to have to wire up a 9V jack for every switch.  And after about 4 readthrus I finally understood what you mean by the resistance for the LED.
 

jimh

Senior member
Messages
1,344
Check this out.

http://www.thegigrig.com/acatalog/TheGigRig_Pro-14_BLack.html

 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,164
Volitions Advocate said:
Ok. I'm actually learning as I go here.  I copied your schematic down on paper and I'm surprised how well I understood it once I drew it outmyself.  And I'm trying to make sense of some things.  I'm using this helpful little THREAD HERE to help me with wiring diagram.  But I'm still a little fuzzy about how to ground everything.  And I"m fuzzy about whats goign on in the J5 area.  I understand thats the 9V jack.  So if i'm wiring this up in series.  How do I tap into the power from each subsequent switch/loop combo?  Cause I woudln't want to have to wire up a 9V jack for every switch.  And after about 4 readthrus I finally understood what you mean by the resistance for the LED.

Yea, you don't need a 9v jack for each: one will do for all of them.  Just connect the positive lead (the one going to the switch) from each stage to the ring of the single jack, and the negative lead (the one coming from the LED) from each stage to the tip of the single jack.  Note that the LED has a polarity - it needs to be oriented that way otherwise it won't light up.  It won't blow up if it's hooked up the wrong way mind you, it just won't work.

Regarding grounding, if you are really paranoid, ground your signal grounds to one point on the chassis near the input jack (J1).  BTW this is called a star grounding system.  When I build mine I was not so paranoid and I just chassis grounded everything except for the power, which I left floating (it's grounded at the supply in my case).

I hope to have some pics of my rig to you this evening.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,164
ok, here's some pics of my rig.  I built this pedal board about 20 years ago and it's seen hundreds of gigs and many different pedals.  And it looks it!

n527102111_1528578_9796.jpg


The full bypass strip is the long box at the lower left with three switches.  It's smaller than your setup, but the idea is the same.  Here's a closeup.

n527102111_1528579_50.jpg


The two switches at the right are full bypass switches like you are looking for, and the one on the left is just a channel select switch for the amp.  Let's concentrate on the two on the right.

Inside it looks like this:

n527102111_1528580_335.jpg


The input jack is on the far right, the in/out for the two boss pedals (hooked up in series) is the next two, and the in/out for the Rat pedal is the next pair.  The two on the left are outputs to the amp; one for each channel.  I used switchcraft jacks everywhere, but had to use an open frame jack for the center one since the enclosed type would have hit the switch!  (oops - got my measurements wrong).  I didn't even hook up the grounds on these jacks - the enclosure is steel so I used that for a ground.

Here's a side view:

n527102111_1528581_589.jpg


Here's a close up of the power jack.  you can see I ran all the leads from all three LEDs to it.  The resistor for each LED is soldered directly to the leg of the LED and covered in heat shrink tubing.

n527102111_1528584_1448.jpg


Here's some closeups of the switch and jack wiring:

n527102111_1528585_1700.jpg


n527102111_1528586_1953.jpg


and here's a view of the back.  Yes, those are GeorgeL cables  :)

n527102111_1528583_1086.jpg


I built this box about 5 years ago and it has survived about, er, 70 gigs with me stomping on it.  The fulltone switches have been very reliable.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
 
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