Guitar Tone Trouble Shooting Tips

We love hearing from people new to the world of pedals… except when they’re experiencing self inflicted noise problems. We went ahead and compiled a quick list of things to consider when having noise trouble with ANY pedal- not just a Pro Tone Pedal.

  • How exactly are you powering the pedal? This is the 1st place to look- if you’re getting noise, a cheap power supply could be the simple cause- and simpler fix. We use the Godlyke Power-All here at the shop. The 1 Spot Adapter is also pretty solid.
  • Are other pedals plugged into that supply? This gets tricky- power supplies are capable of powering several units, but not too many despite the amount of plugs you might have available on the daisy chain. You have to do some math to figure out the load being put on the supply. My PERSONAL rule of thumb- never more than 3 on a match- unless its a big boy power supply. For troubleshooting: remove all other pedals from the power supply’s chain
  • Is the power supply plugged into a power strip or directly into the wall? Plugging directly into the wall is probably going to be optimal, but sometimes wall power is dirty and noisy. Get a power conditioner. Now if you simply need to plug more things in… don’t get cheap and buy a $2 power strip. Why would you plug in a $300 pedal into a $2.00 power strip? Get something that can distribute power cleanly and handle surges and spikes.
    For troubleshooting: plug directly into the wall- no splitters, couplers or extension cords.
  • Other pedals in the FX chain? If you’re running a busy pedal board you might have some noise being picked up by your patch cables running next to (or in direct contact with) your power cables. Make sure you’re wired with quality patch cables. pre-made patch cables are great if you simply can not cut them yourself to fit your board perfectly. For troubleshooting: remove all other pedals from the signal chain, run this on its own power source with nothing else plugged in- guitar, pedal and amp only.
  • Where is this pedal in the chain? Pedal placement can create some noise, but for trouble shooting you’re going to want to remove all other pedals and go directly from your guitar, into your new pedal into the amp. This eliminates the “bad pedal” possibility. If you’re clean with the pedal by itself- it may be an issue with the signal flow or something cable related.
  • What kind and what length are the cables you’re using? With the last 7 guitars I’ve purchased I’ve received a free cable. I’ve had high hopes for each, and each one of them goes directly into the trash after 5 minutes of use- they just suck. They’re noisy, and the rubber/plastic is frail. Why do manufacturers of perfectly good guitars insist on sending a crap cable that will do nothing but make you sound bad? So the most often overlooked piece is your cable plugging your guitar into your pedal board… INVEST- but don’t get more length than what you really need. 10 Feet is probably enough but sometimes you need a little more- 14 feet is roomy for small stage use, 21 feet is long enough for just about anything (all of these lengths are assuming you’re running your signal to a pedal board)
    For troubleshooting: Get a short, high-quality cables and see if that helps your noise

There you have it kids… a pretty extensive list of resolutions for simple noise problems.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

 

Dennis

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