General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: CapnCrunch on July 09, 2010, 11:03:45 PM

Title: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: CapnCrunch on July 09, 2010, 11:03:45 PM
Who here uses loopers on their board?  What do you think of them as a tool for preserving your base amp tone? 

I have been toying with the idea of buying or building one to see if I like them.  Right now, I run fairly minimal effects.  True bypass tuner into a ts9 into a Muff style distortion, into an analog chorus into an analog delay, then to the amp.  Soon, I will be adding a digital delay, a reverb, and probably a volume pedal.  Additionally I'm going to be adding 3 or 4 Madbean projects to my board to replace my current OD and distortion (but they probably won't all live there at the same time).

So, what do you think?  Is a looper worth a build?  Does anyone have a link or info they'd be willing to share on a looper build?  Many thanks in advance
Title: Re: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: madbean on July 10, 2010, 06:41:56 AM
I think a looper is a worthwhile tool in some cases, but not all. I really just depends on what kind of signal chain you have, ie what's in the chain, how many pedals, the types of pedals and the overall length of patch cord you have to use to route all of that.

A good buffer at the end of your chain will go a long way towards preserving your tone. It will negate signal loss due to lengthy cable runs. A lot of people just put a Boss pedal at the end of their chain. Even when off, the signal is buffered. I actually use the tuner one, and leave it on.

However, this won't make a difference if you have a non-true bypass effect in your chain that is noisy. I recently picked up an RE-20 from dcountry13 over at BYOC. It's a terrific sounding delay, but it is noisy as hell when off. I mean, super noisy. So, for that one I would probably build a single looper to switch it in and out of the chain.

Or, you could break your chain down into a couple of groups and do a smaller looper to turn on multiple effects at the same time. Like, an OD path, and modulation path, a delay path and so on.

If you want to get REALLY fancy, you could experiment with using a looper with some blending circuitry to put effects in PARALLEL with your signal chain. So, maybe putting your chorus in parallel with a blended dirt and clean signal. Once you open that door, the possibilities are endless!
Title: Re: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: jkokura on July 12, 2010, 04:48:09 PM
Like Madbean essentially said, Loopers make sense if you're dealing with long cable runs and 'tone' sucking pedals. The whammy 4 is a good example of this, the Boss TU-2 is not really a tone sucker. 12 boss pedals might be a bit, but if you have a mixture of true bypass and non true bypass, maybe 6-8 pedals, you could get away without one. I think once you hit about 8 pedals a looper can be good just to keep yourself from having to dance all over the pedal board. One of the best features of a good looper is that it brings all the switches for your pedals to one easy to access location (front of your pedal board) making it simple to operate. If you have even 4 or 5 pedals this can be helpful.

I just built and will use a dual looper for my Whammy pedal and an EHX Micro Synth to keep them out of my chain due to their 'tone sucking' properties (some of which I don't fully buy into...)

Title: Re: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: CapnCrunch on July 12, 2010, 08:16:19 PM
Thanks for the replies.  This kind of confirms my suspicions.  I don't use a lot of effects, and the ones I use, are on much of the time.  It sounds like a good buffer would be a better investment than the looper.  Any one familiar with this one:
Title: Re: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: Haberdasher on July 12, 2010, 09:57:43 PM
I have no experience with it (yet), but I've read on some other forums that the slambox makes a good buffer at the end of the chain. 
Title: Re: True Bypass Loopers?
Post by: Mr. G. on July 29, 2010, 07:21:49 AM
I use a looper, but not for combating tone suckage.  I mainly use it so I can easily turn on multiple pedals with one or two clicks.  I made a 3-loop pedal with a tuner out that also acts as a signal mute.  I have mine set up so that loop one is for pre-dirt effects, loop-2 is for dirt pedals, and loop-3 is for post-dirt effects.