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Feedback problems :(

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  • sleepyheadkh
    started a topic Feedback problems :(

    Feedback problems :(

    Hey guys, so I was recently blessed with the opportunity to purchase all new gear. A new amp, pedals, pedal power supply and guitar. Thing is, I am having problems with feedback, crackles, hums, and uneven volume levels with my pedal board. Any suggestions, tips, or help will greatly appreciated!
    This is what I'm running with.

    Gretsch Power Jet > MXR Custom Comp > T.Rex. Dr. Swamp Double OD > OCD > MXR Boost/Line Driver > MXR GT-OD > BBE Sonic Stomp > Ernie Ball Volume Pedal > TC Nova Delay > Vox AC15C

  • rundmc
    replied
    Like some others have said sometimes it one pedal or one jumper that causes the problem. Check all of your connections and rule out every pedal and cable, after that it could also be an issue with your pick-ups or the wiring in your guitar. Issues like this, in my experience, almost always come from a particular pedal or cable though.

    Leave a comment:


  • DunedinDragon
    replied
    My advise..."Hum X". This is a little device that plugs into a wall socket and isolates your equipment from ground faults and other wiring problems. I use these extensively throughout my stage setup for every power outlet we plug into.

    That will help with any power related hums and such. The other issues are more than likely just related to you getting familiar with all the new equipment and getting it set up right. It's not surprising you might experience feedback issues given the semi-hollow body design of the Gretch especially if it's outfitted (as most are) with the Power'Tron pickups. Combine that with several overdrives you have a feedback monster on your hands.

    It's really hard to diagnose where all the issues are coming from without knowing your settings and setup. I assume the volume inconsistencies you refer to occur when you switch the AC15 from clean to boost channels. That's fairly normal and the best way to deal with that is to plug directly into the AC15, set the master volume, then tweak each channel's volume and tone settings until you have a pretty good match in volume with the general tone you're looking for out of each channel. Be aware that tone controls are just specialized volume controls that deal with a frequency range, so getting the right tone might also require adjustment to the channel's volume control to get it even.

    Now, onto the pedals. Start with the volume pedal. I don't know if the Ernie Ball has to be calibrated or not, but if so do that then adjust the amp's master volume and pedal to gain control over the overall volume. I play a Gibson 335 which is similar in design to your Gretch so getting the volume right and avoiding feedback is going to be a balancing act. Adding in your overdrives and line boost pedals is where things will get interesting. I don't use them as I have a modeling amp and handle most of that within the amp itself, but it's going to take some time to adjust those setting to get the overdrive pump you want without affecting the overall volume.

    Like others have stated some of the noise (pops, hums, etc) may be coming from your wiring of the pedals...or it could be just a noisy pedal. Sometimes you can affect this by changing the order of pedals..sometimes you just have to deal with the fact that a pedal is noisy by nature. Personally I think you've got too many pedals doing the same basic thing, and not enough pedals doing other specialized things like chorus, phase shifting, or specialized sounds. No matter how you slice it, it's going to take some time to get all this new equipment balanced and set right. It just comes with the territory of all new equipment.

    Leave a comment:


  • Smitty
    replied
    I agree with Hitch! Have had the same problem two different times in two different buildings. Bottom line? My rig is power conditioned...I won't play without it...and here are a couple of added bonuses...conditioned power is quieter power, AND you get a bit more headroom...even out of the 9V stuff.

    Smitty

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    OK, Cole's Notes for ya:

    A ground loop occurs when you've got 2 (or more) connected devices with effectively 2 paths to ground. What winds up happening is that each device has a different potential, which forms a sort of loop antenna giving you hum (this is the low hum...60Hz). That is very very simplified, but make sure that every device in the chain goes to ground at the exact same point. Ground looping can actually get to be very dangerous, since you've got this excess voltage running around in the system. You know when you are playing guitar, and just by touching the strings it can get quieter? You become the ground for your guitar. Do that on an amp or other gear, and you could get quite a shock.

    Other noise causes are bad power (common in older houses), lighting (especially dimmer or fluorescent) on the same circuit as your gear or other running electrical equipment. I once heard table saw noises through an amp I had from the guys doing construction down the street.

    Your most foolproof solution would be to get yourself a power conditioner (http://www.zzounds.com/item--FURM8X2), and plug everything into that. Try different outlets everywhere you go, and find the cleanest one. And eliminate that ground loop if that is what you have!

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    OK, Cole's Notes for ya:

    A ground loop occurs when you've got 2 (or more) connected devices with effectively 2 paths to ground. What winds up happening is that each device has a different potential, which forms a sort of loop antenna giving you hum (this is the low hum...60Hz). That is very very simplified, but make sure that every device in the chain goes to ground at the exact same point. Ground looping can actually get to be very dangerous, since you've got this excess voltage running around in the system. You know when you are playing guitar, and just by touching the strings it can get quieter? You become the ground for your guitar. Do that on an amp or other gear, and you could get quite a shock.

    Other noise causes are bad power (common in older houses), lighting (especially dimmer or fluorescent) on the same circuit as your gear or other running electrical equipment. I once heard table saw noises through an amp I had from the guys doing construction down the street.

    Your most foolproof solution would be to get yourself a power conditioner (http://www.zzounds.com/item--FURM8X2), and plug everything into that. Try different outlets everywhere you go, and find the cleanest one.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ok, I'm short on time right at this moment, but I'll toss up the reader's digest form as soon as I can.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'd love to hear about ground looping.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Good advice so far. You don't necessarily need to test single pedals at a time, but adding in one at a time to the whole chain is the best idea. That will also allow you to experiment with the order.

    Bad power can cause what you are hearing, as well as bad cabling, and ground looping. If you want to know more about ground loops, just ask. It's a little involved.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Well, so far I havent tried this at church. I had this major influx of pedals over the weekend, but I will post the results when I plug in at church. It may be different. At the moment I've only played this set up on my second story apartment, so maybe that could contribute to the noise? Maybe the fact that the pedal board is so close to my amp and theres tvs and computers close around...hm....

    Leave a comment:


  • jackswords
    replied
    First of all, I'm so happy for you. Looks like someone blessed you tremendously. Second of all, you accidentally bought 3 overdrives.

    I'm not an expert, but the first thing I'd try to do is isolate where the problem is happening. Sometimes it's one pedal in particular. Sometimes it's the interaction between pedals. Sometimes it's something else.

    So start with just guitar and amp. Take everything out of the signal chain and add them back in one by one. Then you might even try adding one pedal, taking it out, then trying the next one (that is, so you only have one pedal in the signal chain at a time). Smarter people than me can tell you if that's a waste of time or not.

    Also, do you only have this problem when you're plugged into a PA?
    Is it only when you're tied into a certain electrical loop at church? Try plugging into a different outlet.

    When you track it down, I'd love to hear what the problem was. I might run into the same problem later.

    Leave a comment:

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