Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby bcresci » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:40 am

I know this is tough to diagnose via a message board, but thought I throw this out there for some ideas. The effects loop on my guitar has been behaving badly lately. At the start of gigs everything is fine. At the last two gigs, the effects loop has either cut out, or I've noticed a loss of high-end and volume sometime during the first set. The first time, when it cut out, I unplugged everything, plugged it back in, and all was back to normal. The second gig, it wasn't a total loss - just some high end and volume - when I kicked in the overdrive all seemed to be OK.

Does this sound like loose wiring in the guitar? Possibly a cable that's a bit flaky? Any way to effectively test either of these? Something tells me a cable might be bad somewhere.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Re: Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:51 am

Could be a dead/dying battery ?
:D
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Re: Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby bcresci » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:22 pm

The battery powering the buffer was brand new. But the non-effects loop was working fine - and the signal goes through the buffer either way. The pedal board is powered by One Spot - so the pedals all had good power. That's why I seem to be leaning towards a loose connection somewhere?
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Re: Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:51 pm

If it were mine I would

1)check all the cables for shorts, make sure they are all good. open up the jackets and see if the ground wire is touching anything it shouldn't be. test the pedals outside the obel with the wires to make sure its not the pedals connections.

2) check your junction box and make sure the 1/4 " plugs are resting in the jacks properly. if they are askew/bent/wedged in there then they can have a bad connection.

3) check your guitars wiring point to point that they are good, and make sure any bare wire connections have a piece of electrical tape covering them to make sure it doesnt short on something when you pack it all back in there and close the lid.

Thats really all you can do. Otherwise it may be an issue with the wiring schematic or maybe the switch. So many variables!!! Goodluck! JB
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Re: Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby NSP » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:11 pm

I've had similar issues over the past few months. I rewired my entire pedal board, made sure all guitar electronics and outboard cables were good, fresh batteries, etc....and I was still having intermittent weirdness. I actually had complete signal loss right as I was about to rip into my solo during Estimated at the Grateful Garcia Gathering :shock: Signal returned after a short time, but I had no idea what caused it to cut or return...not cool. Finished the set without any further issues, but man that kind of shit drives me crazy.

I finally (last week) narrowed it down to my Qtron Plus going flaky in a very strange and random way. I eventually just wiggled the mode knob on the pedal and could manipulate the signal loss. The sweep switch was also acting funky.

Not sure if this will help you as there are so many variables as JB mentioned, but ya gotta check and isolate all points in the signal path that could be causing the issue.
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Re: Troubleshooting the Effects Loop

Postby bcresci » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:11 pm

Thanks guys. I will check all those things. The fact that it's intermittent is what drives me so nuts. The guitar was fairly recently checked by some guys I trust - they check for bad solder joints everywhere. So I'm leaning towards one of the pedals or cables is acting funny. Unplugging the stereo OBEL cable didn't fix anything when I was having trouble, but after I replugged all the pedals, all was OK.
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