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Guitar Amp & Effects setup questions
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Guitar Amp & Effects setup questions
frozenkore
Okay, so I've been playing guitar for quite a while. I have some really nice equipment. I've never really played in a band or anything so most everything I've learned, I've learned on my own. Due to this, there are a lot of holes in my education and I'd love to hear some input to help me close those holes off. This isn't a guitar forum, but I'd rather talk with ya'll on the most off the wall topic then go somewhere else grin.

The setup:

I don't remember my exact chain (because I haven't changed it in about five years), but it goes something like this: Wireless -> pre-amp -> tuner -> sonic conditioner -> hush -> effects -> power amp -> speakers. Now I don't remember if I'm using the effects loop on the pre-amp or not, but I'm pretty sure I'm running straight through.

The pre-amp and effects are both midi controllable.

Question 1)
What is the advantage of using an effects loop as oppose to sequential (e.g., guitar -> distortion pedal -> amp -> slayer solo)?

Question 2)
Hush / Sonic Conditioner: I use the hush to get rid of hum and feedback but it does have quite a dampening affect on your sound (i.e., forget sustain). The conditioner I think was an impulse buy and I really don't remember what it does. All I know is that it has added a timbre to my sound that I've grown accustom to and kind of like(?). Do I need these or are there better solutions?

Question 3)
Effects: I have a Lexicon MXP-550 currently. Right now it is a pain in the ass because I don't have a midi controller to change settings so it just kind of looks pretty. I want to engage it more, but I almost think this unit is more suited for outboard than a guitar effects processor. So on that note, would I possibly be better off with a guitar effects processor such as a Digitech GSP1101? Now I know this question begs another question -- what kind of effects are you looking for? To be honest, I'd be happy with the basics like delay, flanger, phaser, chorus, reverb, and shit like that. The MXP-550 can do all of that, but again, I wonder if it would be better suited elsewhere?

Question 4)
2x Preamps: Let's say I get an GSP1101. This is labeled as a preamp / processor. Well, I have a preamp and a damn fine one at that. Is there an issue in having two preamps as long as I watch my levels? I would almost like an effects that could be transparent when I want it to be and I don't know if this would work that way. With the lexicon, I can bypass it and go on with my life. I get the feeling the GSP1101 is meant to have the effects engaged or disengaged but you still are going to run through the preamp which means it is not transparent.

This last question is one of my larger questions because I know a friend who uses a old digitech board as a preamp and a standard power amp as his rig. Originally that blew my mind, "wait where's the guitar amp?" However, I've come to understand basically that he's just doing the same thing with different gear. What I have trouble with though is how to integrate all of this together. Again, my system works but I pretty much don't use effects but have them to use and I want to integrate them better but don't know how to go about it (or at least my options).

I'm looking at midi foot controllers to I can change my preamp and my effects whatever they may be. I haven't decided if I'll use petals again, but I might have to in order to obtain certain effects (e.g., wah-wah).

Thanks for reading! I look forward to here input.
bar|none
This is a really interesting article on the guitar effects chain from a company that knows what they are doing.

http://www.effectrode.com/website/tubevibe/vibe_placement.htm
frozenkore
Very nice article, thanks! It's interesting to see certain things in chains I've never considered. For instance, using the article's chain:

Guitar -> Compression -> Gain Fx -> Equalisation -> Modulation Fx -> Delay -> Reverb -> Amplification

I have never used compression, I just go directly from guitar to preamp which is my gain stage (I don't know when to / not to use compression or how to use it correctly). Another is, I've never used an external eq (I've only used the tone adjustments within the preamp).

Now I'm sure that this is a general chain and that depending on your setup, one piece of equipment would cover multiple grounds here. For instance, the MXP-550 (or is it MPX-550...) will allow you to route a modulation fx to a delay or reverb effect. Which is funny because until I just read that article, I didn't really pay much attention to that.

Now this can be considered more of a general sound producing question, but when do you use effect sends vs. inline? Why do you use effect sends vs. inline? Growing up from squire guitar pack and slowly adding pedals you learn the inline method quite well. Now that I've grow'd up and have more options I don't think I understand them.

Thanks again, the article was very insightful as I've never sat down and "thought" about the order of modulation effects with others when I used stomp boxes. I think a lot of the time, I just plugged them in in any particular order (though I want to say I kept distortion first).
Chuck E. Jesus
you'd most likely want to use the MPX w/ the FX loop, that way you aren't distorting the verbs/delays/etc with the pre-amp...

a pedal compressor is generally used to give the guitar more sustain w/o a lot of distortion...
frozenkore
Chuck E. Jesus wrote:
you'd most likely want to use the MPX w/ the FX loop, that way you aren't distorting the verbs/delays/etc with the pre-amp...

a pedal compressor is generally used to give the guitar more sustain w/o a lot of distortion...


Excellent! I think I'm going to be re-routing my system tonight (dust some of those cables off), and I have to make sure this is how it's running. I'll have to look in to the compressor idea.

Thanks!
rolsteins
frozenkore wrote:
Very nice article, thanks! It's interesting to see certain things in chains I've never considered. For instance, using the article's chain:

Guitar -> Compression -> Gain Fx -> Equalisation -> Modulation Fx -> Delay -> Reverb -> Amplification



The only law is - guitar should be first, amp - last in chain smile Think twice if you using reverb or delay at the end, because those pedals used to suck out gain and low frequencies of signal. If I ever using reverb I put it before (!) fuzz pedals.
As far as I can tell fuzz pedals is the core of concept of chain. It is important don't/do drive them hot with compressors or busters as well as it is important - don't/do drive your amp with fuzz pedals.
Also it's important to use combined buffered and true-bypass kind of ones in chain. But this is other story...
frozenkore
I've never thought of doing reverb and delay before the gain stage. I thought I was cool when I bought my MPX-550 and then I sold my stomp boxes sad banana . In retrospect, I'm kicking myself; not for buying the MPX-550, but for selling all my damned pedals.

As far as fuzz pedals, I'm just using my amp's overdrive. I have a MesaBoogie Triaxis which, unlike most amps with two or three channels, gives me like 90 channels. So can setup just about any clean, crunchy, or leady setups I can dream of so I haven't needed fuzz pedals for a while.

This may sound like a dumb question, but I honestly don't know, why is it bad to drive your fuzz pedals with a hot signal from a compressor or buster and likewise to the the amp? Also, what do you mean by "hot signal" exactly, high level high gain?

I have to look into it, but I really hope my MPX-550 is actually true-bypass (I think it is) because there is nothing worse that disengaging your pedals/effects and they are still colouring your signal.

Thanks for the info!

Btw, I never did get my cables rerouted last night hihi . Today though, I have one of these coming in the mail nanners .
rolsteins
frozenkore wrote:
I've never thought of doing reverb and delay before the gain stage. I thought I was cool when I bought my MPX-550 and then I sold my stomp boxes sad banana . In retrospect, I'm kicking myself; not for buying the MPX-550, but for selling all my damned pedals.

As far as fuzz pedals, I'm just using my amp's overdrive. I have a MesaBoogie Triaxis which, unlike most amps with two or three channels, gives me like 90 channels. So can setup just about any clean, crunchy, or leady setups I can dream of so I haven't needed fuzz pedals for a while.

This may sound like a dumb question, but I honestly don't know, why is it bad to drive your fuzz pedals with a hot signal from a compressor or buster and likewise to the the amp? Also, what do you mean by "hot signal" exactly, high level high gain?

I have to look into it, but I really hope my MPX-550 is actually true-bypass (I think it is) because there is nothing worse that disengaging your pedals/effects and they are still colouring your signal.

Thanks for the info!

Btw, I never did get my cables rerouted last night hihi . Today though, I have one of these coming in the mail nanners .


By "hot signal" I mean gain. Some fuzz pedals don't sound nice, if the input is too overdrived by signal from booster or compressor. And contrary - some fuzz pedals sound nice, when input is overdrived by booster, compressor or other fuzz pedal. It is important that you have this part of sound sculpture under control (f.e. use of guitar volume knob or volume pedal).
I haven't lot of experience with lot of different amps. Just Orange AD200 and Hywatt 400, but as far as I could tell fuzz pedals will help you get additional colors to your amp's "natural" distortion.
I'm not sure where to put MPX-550 in chain. Is it have guitar level inputs? Maybe you could use a small mono mixer with send/return mix options to keep basic signal "live"?
frozenkore
rolsteins wrote:
By "hot signal" I mean gain. Some fuzz pedals don't sound nice, if the input is too overdrived by signal from booster or compressor. And contrary - some fuzz pedals sound nice, when input is overdrived by booster, compressor or other fuzz pedal. It is important that you have this part of sound sculpture under control (f.e. use of guitar volume knob or volume pedal).


Gotcha.

rolsteins wrote:
I haven't lot of experience with lot of different amps. Just Orange AD200 and Hywatt 400, but as far as I could tell fuzz pedals will help you get additional colors to your amp's "natural" distortion.


Fair enough, I might have to give it a try, but for the moment, I have to roll with the amps distortion; can't afford a fuzz box at the moment grin.

rolsteins wrote:
I'm not sure where to put MPX-550 in chain. Is it have guitar level inputs? Maybe you could use a small mono mixer with send/return mix options to keep basic signal "live"?


The preamp has a send/return mix so I'm going to try it through there.

Thanks for all the info!
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