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Thread: A pedal tuner question

  1. #1
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default A pedal tuner question

    At an acoustic pub gig last night, my tuner worked well at first but slowly ran more and more poorly until it wasn't tuning at all. The display remained bright, but notes didn't register at all when I plucked a string.

    So I switched to a headstock tuner and just used the pedal for muting for the rest of the night.

    Today I took the tuner off the pedal board and tried it solo — just guitar > cable > pedal . It worked pefectly.

    It's a fairly new Tomsline AT-07 tuner. The power was via a Truetone 1 Spot and daisy chain.

    The pedal chain: four acoustic instruments > four 1/4" cables > four EQ pedals > one ABCD box > tuner > preamp > XLR cable > PA

    So I'm wondering: Does the placement of a pedal tuner in the chain make a difference?

    Or do I need a new pedal?

    Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: A pedal tuner question

    run a separate cord out for tuner power?

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Do you run a separate power brick for your pedalboard or are you trying to get through a whole gig on an old 9v battery?

    Since the tuner has no function in the sound, I like having a separate line into it, rather than inline, and since it is powered by the brick, I usually leave it on the whole time.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    run a separate cord out for tuner power?

    It's a thought. Do you have any reason to think it's needed, or is it something you think is worth trying?
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    Do you run a separate power brick for your pedalboard or are you trying to get through a whole gig on an old 9v battery?

    Since the tuner has no function in the sound, I like having a separate line into it, rather than inline, and since it is powered by the brick, I usually leave it on the whole time.
    I wouldn't call the 1 Spot a brick. It's just a compact wall wart. I turn the pedal off to bypass it when I'm playing and turn it on when I'm tuning so that it doubles as a mute switch.

    Would a separate line help?

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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    If my count is correct you run six or seven pedals on your 1 Spot. With so many pedals I would rather use a separate pedal power supply, such as a Voodoo Lab or the T-Rex Fuel Tank. You can then run separate cables into the pedals or - if necessary - use a double input cable on one of the pedals, which is still better than 6 pedals on one power output.
    When you want to keep things as they are you might want to check whether the total number of Ma's of your pedals fits in the available power of your 1 Spot.

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  10. #7
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by amsmichael View Post
    If my count is correct you run six or seven pedals on your 1 Spot. With so many pedals I would rather use a separate pedal power supply, such as a Voodoo Lab or the T-Rex Fuel Tank. You can then run separate cables into the pedals or - if necessary - use a double input cable on one of the pedals, which is still better than 6 pedals on one power output.
    When you want to keep things as they are you might want to check whether the total number of Ma's of your pedals fits in the available power of your 1 Spot.
    Six.

    Interesting. If I'm reading you right, the 1 Spot isn't delivering enough power to the tuner because it's too busy powering everything else. Classic supply-chain issue!

    That makes sense. The tuner is the last pedal on the chain. I do have another 1 One spot kicking around somewhere. I'll try using it.

    Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Not all pedals draw the same power and there needs to be a certain amount to run them. Daisy-chaining pedals may work but the one needing the most power is likely to fail first an that may well be your tuner pedal. Youíre always safer if each pedal has its own supply. There could also be a fault in the daisy-chain lead.

    Some people (in the electric guitar world) think that some pedals work better on nearly flat batteries - (donít ask me why) - and the Voodo lab power brick I use even has the facility to accommodate this.

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    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    The preamp is on the same 1 Spot (6 = 4xEQ+tuner+preamp)? The EQ pedals probably don't draw much current, but the preamp probably does. I'd run it spearately and the 4xEQ plus tuner can run safely on one 1 Spot.

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Not all pedals draw the same power and there needs to be a certain amount to run them. Daisy-chaining pedals may work but the one needing the most power is likely to fail first an that may well be your tuner pedal. You’re always safer if each pedal has its own supply. There could also be a fault in the daisy-chain lead.

    Some people (in the electric guitar world) think that some pedals work better on nearly flat batteries - (don’t ask me why) - and the Voodo lab power brick I use even has the facility to accommodate this.
    Interesting. Never needed a brick. I've powered my electric guitar pedal board with a single 1 Spot for years with never a hitch or glitch. Surprised that the 1 Spot is the problem on an overdrive-free acoustic board.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    The preamp is on the same 1 Spot (6 = 4xEQ+tuner+preamp)? The EQ pedals probably don't draw much current, but the preamp probably does. I'd run it spearately and the 4xEQ plus tuner can run safely on one 1 Spot.
    The preamp is a Red Eye. It's not hooked up to the 1 Spot. It's powered by the XLR cable and has an internal backup battery.

    Only the EQs (Danelectro Fish & Chips), the ABCD box's little lights, and the Tomsline tuner are on the 1 Spot.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    You may also get better/cleaner sound if each link in your pedalboard sound has an individual, clean power supply. You may have got away with it so far but lashing everything together is asking for trouble - which is why they make, and people use, the likes of Voodoo Lab power supplies (other makes are available).

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  18. #13
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    You may also get better/cleaner sound if each link in your pedalboard sound has an individual, clean power supply.
    The 1 Spot is a clean power supply.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    You may have got away with it so far but lashing everything together is asking for trouble. . . .
    Not sure how to quantify "so far." I've been using 1 Spots for twenty years. They're popular because they work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    You may have got away with it so far but lashing everything together is asking for trouble - which is why they make, and people use, the likes of Voodoo Lab power supplies (other makes are available).
    Yes, a full-blown shoegaze rig needs a heftier jolt, but for five or ten nine-volt pedals, 1 Spots work great ó economical in money, space, and time.

    It might make sense to add another one just for the tuner. But six 1 Spots into six outlets? It'd look like an explosion at the black-spaghetti factory!
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    I’m not saying that it isn’t a clean power supply but you can get interractions between different components sharing the same power supply which de-grades your sound. I’m mindful of a friend some years ago who was a musician, with his own studio, and also a highly qualified electronics engineer (he built his own desk from scratch). He had a hum problem and discovered that it depended upon which order the equipment was plugged into the mains plug board so solutions aren’t always simple.

    I’m not suggesting that you buy six of the things just that you might be better off with a brick and six leads. Fair enough if you either cant afford it or don’t want to try it. It’s simply the way most people have been going in recent years because it works.

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I’m not saying that it isn’t a clean power supply but you can get interractions between different components sharing the same power supply which de-grades your sound. I’m mindful of a friend some years ago who was a musician, with his own studio, and also a highly qualified electronics engineer (he built his own desk from scratch). He had a hum problem and discovered that it depended upon which order the equipment was plugged into the mains plug board so solutions aren’t always simple.

    I’m not suggesting that you buy six of the things just that you might be better off with a brick and six leads. Fair enough if you either cant afford it or don’t want to try it. It’s simply the way most people have been going in recent years because it works.
    My instruments were sounding great. It was the tuner that was misbehaving, not the other gear.

    The board has been sounding and working fine. This is a new problem, and the problem is not the sound.

    I don't want to fix what's not broken. I want to get to the bottom of the tuner problem.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Try plugging and unplugging into your tuner a half dozen times before your gig. Oxidation can and does cause these kind of problems. You may want to also clean the ground on the input of the tuner jack with a q-tip and alcohol, it doesn't take much oxidation to cause signal loss at that low of a signal.
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  24. #17

    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    If you invest in another tuner, I would recommend a TC polytune, especially for tuning mandolins. It nails the pitch instantly and is very accurate- helpful for getting both strings in a pair in tune with each other. I use their pedal on my electric board and their clip-ons for acoustics.

    If you go with a brick, One Spot Pro is a good one with true isolation, regulation, and filtering for each channel. I was surprised what a big improvement it was over the daisy chain on my electric board.

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  26. #18
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    If you invest in another tuner, I would recommend a TC polytune, especially for tuning mandolins. It nails the pitch instantly and is very accurate- helpful for getting both strings in a pair in tune with each other. I use their pedal on my electric board and their clip-ons for acoustics.

    If you go with a brick, One Spot Pro is a good one with true isolation, regulation, and filtering for each channel. I was surprised what a big improvement it was over the daisy chain on my electric board.
    Thanks! Yes, if I get a tuner, it'll be a Polytune. Good thought on the 1 Spot Pro. Never heard of it. Don't really want a brick, but it's possible.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  27. #19
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pedal tuner question

    The Polytune Noir has been a solid performer for me. It is first in the chain. Can't recommend it enough.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: A pedal tuner question

    Piezo signal . stick on pickup, just for the tuner, then play into a Mic for the house?

    I have a piezo chip in an alligator clip tuner signal source... that is the common scheme for Banjo Players ,
    clipped directly to the bridge so not getting your tensioned calfskin head overtones ...

    I use one with my banjo mandolin...
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