Post Number: 2
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 9:05 am: |
Hi, i love alembics and am looking at purchasing a little darling, georgeous guitar. My concern is i still want to use a bunch of effects on her and worry that the active electronics wouldn't play nice with a tubescreamer nor a AM Ross compressor.
My plan would be to also purchase a F1x to use it as a tube buffer before the pedals, as I hope this would bring the audio level to an appropriate level the effects can accept. Then the signal would route through a bunch of effects and either go to a Bruno cowtipper 22, or a McIntosh Power Amp.
Ideas? Will this work?
Post Number: 1534
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 10:25 am: |
Welcome to the club! If your concern is that the active electronics in an Alembic are too hot for your stomp boxes, then putting a pre-amp between guitar and effects will only exacerbate the problem. I have both a '76 Series I and an '83 Electrum, along with two other instruments with Alembic guts that I play through various pedals on my board. These include an AnalogMan "Dyna Ross" Compressor and a silver moded TS-9 Tubescreamer. Both work fine with a little tweaking. You may need to adjust the internal pre-amp trim pot in your guitar to make them play nice together, but I really don't think an F-1X is either necessary or even helpful in this context.
Bill, the guitar one
Post Number: 58
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 11:47 am: |
And just to add a "real life" comment, I have a Tribute and use a pedal board with a TS-808, Qtron, Wah, EQ, and a UE-400 in the rack. The effects actually seem to work "better" with the Tribute than with my other guitars. Plus the tone filters really add shape and sensitivity to the effects. Bill makes a really good suggestion regarding a pre-amp, but I don't use a pre-amp and have found great tones from the effects straight out.
Post Number: 1535
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 12:06 pm: |
If you play a Tribute, or any Alembic instrument, you are using a pre-amp. Alembics use low impedence pickups that require a pre-amp to bring the signal up to usable levels. It is in your guitar and is adjustable by means of a trim pot. That's why you have a battery. Jason's idea is to use another external pre-amp - an F-1X. This is something that I counseled against.
Post Number: 491
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 5:40 pm: |
I have a Little Darling and had no problems with any effects (and I use a lot of them), except for my Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face. The tone got extremely muddy. I probably could have fixed the problem by adjusting the trim pot, but didn't want to tamper with it as all other pedals did just fine. I bought a Frantone "Sweet" and had no further issues. I find my Alembic to be very "pedal friendly."
Post Number: 535
|Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 11:49 pm: |
I use an orion and had no problems with my boss pedals chorus or my dunlop crybaby. I had problems with my Pro-com rat pedal and went on a long on-line search and here for overdrive/distortion pedals that worked well with Alembic guitars. Eventually heard that I could turn the gain down which worked fine but still it doesn't sound as though the guitar sound wants to be distored. Still is a bit buzzy.
On recommendation I bought a Line6 Pod XT Live pedal board. Which I use live now more for convenience, and was more cost effective to get one box rather than 3 more pedals. But have to say its "ok" but not a great sounding device. Better with non alembics though. Alas I still don't like the fact that with digital pedals you can't get a true bypass and they just don't have it right yet.
To keep my signal clean I now use a an external line switcher so that i can keep my sound out of the processing loop until I need an effect. Also I use primarily a Fender twin amp for live playing so i can put the effects in the send-return loop and blend the amout of wet and dry signal to keep the original guitar tone when the effect is switched in as well.
Post Number: 492
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 8:06 am: |
Interestingly, Pete Cornish makes a case against "true bypass." I've never heard anyone else speak negatively about it, but then...he's Pete Cornish!
Post Number: 1538
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 8:18 am: |
Very interesting. I wonder how the Alembic pre-amp we already have in our instruments stacks up ohm-wise to Cornish's pedal-board mounted pre-amp?
Any of the electronic guys, don't hesitate to chime in!
Post Number: 63
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 8:46 am: |
I bought my first Alembic (thanks AGAIN Kevin!) from a board member here.
The reason why he was moving on was becuase his "boutique" effect pedals were not behaving well with the active electronics in the Skylark. I know he comes around here once in a while...Kev, could you name those pedals?
I do not use any really special pedals, and have not experienced any problem EXCEPT I learned the filters really make a difference on the tone. Having them full up is weirdly TOO much treble sometimes.
Since I moved on to the Further I still have not had any problems, except when I ran a boss od-1 into an already overdriven (on purpose) preamp. That made a really awful sucky sound but attributed to the two pedals being on at the same time. The effects loop (like the Tribute mentioned earlier) does make the effects sound better, 'cos they always get the same signal.
I've always wondered what an effects loop in a Darling guitar would be like, find out for me will ya? :D
Post Number: 64
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 9:16 am: |
After reading the true bypass link, I think that Pete is right on the head with true bypass....in most situations.
Some of us here are exempt from this theory because our instruments contain an impedance buffer to compensate for the changing of impedance when effects are on or off, true bypass or not. Mainly in the Further or Tribute guitars, but the impedance buffer can be used even if you do not have an effects loop.
For instance I installed a CAE Sound Jangletone Impedance buffer in my Phiga Bolt (same buffer as Jerry had in his Cripe Lightning Bolt, I got to talk to the guy who did the "voicing" on the circuit woo hoo) and it made a huge difference in the consistency of effect behavior even though I do not have an effects loop in that axe.
Post Number: 212
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 2:26 pm: |
Hey Roger, glad to hear from you. I just saw your further in your profile, and it sure looks sweet. As usual, I am lurking in the shadows of the Alembic site...
I think that the conclusion that I eventually reached was that active electronics and fancy fuzz pedals are bitter enemies, and do not want to cooperate with one another. Other effects I tried worked fine, but any germanium fuzz was quickly repelled, and no amount of trim pot adjusting would solve the issue. They were mainly zvex effects I was using, but the above comments about the Rat and Fuzzface come as no surprise. Those sorts of pedals seem to be more sensitive to the guitar circuit than many other effects. For instance, a zvex fuzz factory can do a pretty good theremin impression, and at the right settings, you can even change the pitch with your volume and tone knobs. With active electronics everything just sounded liefless, lacking most of the high end definition.
I wonder, would alembic ever consider building a guitar with an active/passive switch, or do the nature of their pickups preclude this as an option? Forgive my ignorance regarding electronics.
Post Number: 4231
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 2:52 pm: |
Kevin; I believe it is the case that the pickups are low impedance and thus a preamp is required.
Post Number: 538
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 3:08 pm: |
When I was referring to bypass, I was talking about the digital effects. Maybe I have good ears but when I plug the guitar into the Line pod thingy then that into an amp
. Even with a programmed patch with no effects there is a big difference between the sound you get compared with unplugging the line pod and plugging your guitar lead directly into an amp.
So I have the effects in the send and return loop of my line switcher and can remove from the signal path.
I contacted Line6 about this and they say that whenever an instrument is plugged in, the signal goes through the ad da converters before reaching the output jacks.
I still use it live as the music I'm playing requires a variety of sounds and its convenient.
Post Number: 493
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 4:57 pm: |
Don't get me wrong. I really like my POD XT Live. As you said, for convenience when it comes to conjuring up a whole host of sounds, you can't beat it. It's so much nicer, stepping on a couple of pedals and bringing up any number of patches I've created as opposed to kneeling down and turning dial after dial on a bunch of pedals.
Granted, I'm no audiphile, but my simple take is that if you're playing original material or covering one artist, the conventional pedalboard is great. But if you're playing everything from The Eagles to Van Halen, then a digital effetcs processor is just what the doctor ordered.