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Username: dan_in_london

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 8:15 am:   Edit Post

Jerry used them, which is normally good enough for me, and Alembic's have them, ditto, but no-one else goes for them, so the question is...

Are buffered on board effects loops a good idea? what are the benefits? what are the drawbacks? and, the reason I'm asking, should I be thinking of installing one on my strat?
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1132
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post


Welcome to the club!. In response to your inquiry, here's my 2 cents. I'm sure others will soon chime in with their opinions, too:


Your effects always see the same signal. This makes replicating your sounds easier as you move from venue to venue. Also, you get to be "just like Jerry".


You're stuck with a two wire umbilical cord. Forget about wireless. You'd better have a backup stereo cable (one of the two is stereo, one mono) as it is unlikely you'll be able to borrow one at a gig if your cable malfunctions.

My Conclusion:

I don't like one wire anchor, let alone two. I prefer to go wireless. On my rig I usually keep my guitar volume at "10". I then go through my pedal board. The last pedal in the chain is an Ernie Ball volume pedal. Thus my effects see the same consistent volume signal at all times. This gives me most of the benefits of Garcia's system without the 2-wire drawback that is a major one to me. The difference is that in my system the guitar's signal is affected by the tone controls before passing through my stomp boxes. I'm currently having a Custom Further built by Alembic. (See it here: http://alembic.com/club/messages/631/18474.html?1138195870) One of the "custom" features I'm getting is having them build it WITHOUT the effects loop.

Bill, the guitar one

(Message edited by lbpesq on March 22, 2006)
Advanced Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 215
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

I had Alembic put one on my Essence/SC bass, and so far, so good......

logic being, I can shape my tone pre-DI, pre-rig and both "see" the same thing ... and I can switch between dry/effects at the flick of a switch~ no pedal dance.... Once it's all up and running, Im looking at an envelope filter, octaver, and SF-2 (still have to find one).... I can also split the signal off one of the pedals and run it to a crossover, leslie, etc......
Username: 7string_thing

Post Number: 60
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 5:09 pm:   Edit Post

what about the tonebone loopbone pedal? its just another pedal, but you can put effects in a loop on the ground. seems like the same deal to me, and it dosnt clutter up your guitar. i always hated a million knobs and stuff. i know its the alembic way to have about 10 knobs or so, but i always though simplicity was key. but for my guitar they did what i asked, and thats why alembic is the best! i say go for the loopbone, you can do the same thing with your feet.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1139
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 7:51 pm:   Edit Post

An effects looping pedal acts as a true bypass. It takes the effects completely out of the signal path when not in use. It doesn't, however, duplicate the "Garcia" effects loop. The point of the Garcia system is that the effects see a consistent signal every time. With an effects loop pedal the effects see something different as the guitar's volume/tone is adjusted. The Garcia system places the guitar's volume/tone controls AFTER the effects. My system (volume pedal last with guitar volume at "10") places the volume control (by pedal) AFTER the effects also. A looping pedal still has the guitar controls BEFORE the effects.

Bill, tgo
Username: daveo

Post Number: 46
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

Hey Bill,

This is another great idea on your part. I like the idea of having the last pedal be your volume. I think the Garcia loop is cool and functional, but I rarely use it because I don't like that second unwieldy cable myself. But for now I just try and keep the effects at a minimum and enjoy the sound of the guitar and amp.

Username: dan_in_london

Post Number: 4
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 8:26 am:   Edit Post

I think the the volume pedal idea is a great one. Of course to take it to it's fullest extent you'd simply set the tone controls on the guitar totally flat, have a cleanest/fullest pickup setting and not touch them and then use some kind of equaliser after the effects and to control the different tones.
I use my volume control pretty much just as an on off switch so I'm not sure a loop helps me. Of course one of Jerry's main effects is an envelope filter which is the most dynamically sensitive effect going. It might be worth having a volume pedal after the EF so you can control the volume seperately to your picking dynamics.

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