Jump to content
aberdeen-music

Guitar amp feedback problem


meiklejohn
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, although I like to think I know what I'm doing... I really don't. I have started getting some feedback when using my xotic ep booster, I've had it for about a year now and its only just started to cause a problem. I've got a lot of rough ideas of why it might be doing this but was looking for a more experienced outlook.

Is it maybe because we've just turned up that little bit too much and my amp doesn't like it?

Can my amp not hack it?

Am I too close to my amp?

Is my pedal board set up causing it?

Is it that fact my pedals are too cheap and cheerful and need upgraded?

Maybe the fact there's so many speakers all facing each other?

I haven't a clue but I need to fix it!

I play a Gibson les Paul through a Marshall 100 hdfx half stack... With maybe 9 pedals?

Could post pictures of my board and amp if it would help?

Any help appreciated and if you want to come out and help me fix it even better Haha. There's a few beers in it for you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a noise reduction pedal? (NS-2, ISP Decimator, MXR Smartgate etc). Noise can caused by cables, pedals, loose connections, power supplies etc. If it's plugged in to your signal chain it can cause noise. I only use 5-6 pedals at the moment and I use my ISP decimator all the time, quiet sound going into your amp means a quiter one coming out, especially if you are going for a high gain tone.

If you are boosting volume by a considerable amount in the chain that could be the cause. By far and away the worst pedal on my board is a tubescreamer with the volume dimed, luckily that's an easy fix. If the noise gate doesn't help I would start looking at cables for loose/faulty ones, if you use batteries in your pedals a battery that is almost empty will make a pedal sound like a fuzzy dying mess. Those are the simple, easy fixes I can think of.

If it's your amp that is the issue, I have no idea. That's a solid state amp isn't it? No tube issues there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, that's quite a few pedals in the signal chain. I'd by using the bog standard logical approach - i.e. adding (or removing) pedals one-by-one until you find the "noisy" one.

I'm not the most experienced guitarist on here by a long chalk, but I'd bet good odds I've had more kit than most, so here's some tips...

1. Get a good power supply. The PSU can be a major source of noise and if a pedal is struggling to get it's share of the leccy, that only adds to the pain. I have a T.Rex Chameleon and it's the dugs baws.

2. Buy good (top) quality guitar and patch leads, they really DO make a difference. I'd happily demo my Sommer guitar lead against an off-the-shelf one, the improvement is quite dramatic.

3. Ensure your signal chain is in the right order - there's actually NO "industry standard" right order, but pedals react differently in various positions. Play around with the order, see what works both for noise and tone.

4. Everything doesn't need to be dialed up to the max, maaaaaan. Better to have slightly less distortion/effect and no noise.

5. Noise Gates = Tone Suckers. Using an NS2 IMHO is like treating dandruff by decapitation, like Sellotape on a live wire. Locate and fix the problem, rather than mask it, where at all possible

6. Some pedals are just fucking noisy. The worst offenders I've had are Tubescreamer (as Keeno pointed out), Fulltone OCD, Big Muff, Line 6 Tonecore (if you DON'T have the right PSU) and any number of Chinese clones.

Hop this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried any other noise gates than the NS2? That's widely renowned for sucking the most tone of any of the noisegates. The ISP hardly makes any difference, sure it totally kills your sustain if you have it set very high on clean/low gain music, but I don't really find it necessary until you get to metal levels of gain. I also know plenty of people who also swear by the MXR smartgate at the end of their pedal board. Even with a poor youtube vid you can hear the NS2 colours the tone more than the others.

Power supplies and cables is an obvious one, but they are bloody expensive. You are looking at £200+ to rejig your rig with top quality stuff. If you have funny pedals like me, I am not even sure many of them fit the requirements for my pedals. Just make sure to stay away from lots of power hungry 18V and 12V pedals! However even going from cheapo ebay 50p cables to something like the planet waves cables makes a difference as I found when overhauling cables.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have cheap patch leads? But then wouldn't that make every pedal feedback? Should my boost be at the very end of the chain? I assumed it would as if it was at the start wouldn't it just boost the pedals before it? Its not even like your normal feedback you'd hear from a Mic, its a deep grumbling howl that it gives off almost like the speakers can't hack it. I plugged my rig into the other guitarists amp on the other side of the room and it was perfect? Which made me think it might be my amp or the fact I'm standing right infront of it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have cheap patch leads? But then wouldn't that make every pedal feedback? Should my boost be at the very end of the chain? I assumed it would as if it was at the start wouldn't it just boost the pedals before it? Its not even like your normal feedback you'd hear from a Mic, its a deep grumbling howl that it gives off almost like the speakers can't hack it. I plugged my rig into the other guitarists amp on the other side of the room and it was perfect? Which made me think it might be my amp or the fact I'm standing right infront of it?

Have you tried standing further away from your amp?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5. Noise Gates = Tone Suckers. Using an NS2 IMHO is like treating dandruff by decapitation' date=' like Sellotape on a live wire. Locate and fix the problem, rather than mask it, where at all possible[/quote']

UTTER SHITE. Paul, I back you up as much as possible but that is massive bollocks.

You need to use a pedal that actually satisfies this requirement before laying down that quote it would seem!

A good gate does exactly that! It doesn't suck tone, it isolates the unwanted noise and gives what is desired! A very easily regulated unit, but only in the right hands/configuration! :)

I've had 6 of these pedals and have used them al as desired - none without issue and none outwith requirement. ;)

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an NS2 and used it for years. Never noticed any change or colouring in the tone. When strumming the guitar and switching the NS2 on and off, it didn't make the tiniest different. The only difference it made was when the guitar was muted. Less hum from the pickups, and it picked up less of that scraping sound when your fingers slide up and down the strings between frets. Maybe it killed a tiny bit of sustain, the type when the tone blends into natural feedback, though when using mega high gain, you still got some feedback like that, just not the squeaky, uncontrollable feedback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Afraid I live closer to hatton, what bearing model is it? I'll look it up. Is it any good?

NR100 . Well it is Behringer.... it's cheap, in a plastic case and does a job as a noise gate. It's different to the ISP. The ISP at low levels purely removes hiss from pedals and at high levels reduces the noise from everything. I use it at the end of my pedals before amp and it totally kills all hum from the pedals. The NR seems to be more of a gate. It does reduce the volume of the hum but doesn't totally eliminate it if you don't mute the strings with your left hand. whereas the ISP does. The NR100 also reduces the volume when you are playing, it's not nearly as sophisticated and selective as the ISP. It does have a send/return like an NS2 so in theory you can use it at the end of your pedal board and also in the FX loop but I have never used it like that.

http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Behringer-NR100-Noise-Reducer-Pedal/6LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use alot of pedals in my chain and a few them aren't exactly top end. In fact the worst pedal for cause noise was my boutique custom fuzz pedal that I had to get rid of in the end. I echo Colb's suggestion about making sure you have your amp and whatever's powering your pedals in the same power strip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not even like your normal feedback you'd hear from a Mic, its a deep grumbling howl that it gives off almost like the speakers can't hack it.

do you have a spring reverb unit in you amp? I've had one fail and it would cause feedback that starts as a really low frequency rumble that gets louder and louder before turning into a more normal weeeeeeeeeee'ing feedback sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to troubleshoot the problem by going through each part of your setup individually until you can isolate the cause of the problem.

You mention the word 'feedback'? Is it possible that your EP booster has been damaged and is now shorting internally, creating a feedback loop? Have you tried with the EP Booster by itself without other pedals? Also, have you tried it running off a battery rather than an external power supply?

So, you have established this feedback only occurs when the EP booster is plugged in? Does everything sound fine when the EP booster is plugged in but bypassed? What about other pedals, do you get feedback when you switch them on?

I'd suggest looking into how it is set up and powered before buying more pedals, not that a noise gate isn't worth considering as an option at your disposal, but you should try and get everything as fault-free as possible before adding anything else. I have a number of high gain pedals (distortions, fuzz and overdrives) and don't have issues with uncontrollable feedback, noise, humming or hissing - even with single coil pickups or high gain humbuckers. I've not been tempted to get a noise gate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...