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Thread: Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

  1. #1
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

    A lot of you gave me suggestions on what to do about a pedal tuner that wasn't tuning. I asked the same question at another forum, too.

    Four ideas kept coming up:

    - Get a better power source.
    - Put the tuner at the front of the chain.
    - Give it its own power source.
    - Get a new tuner.

    The first two weren't practical, so I did the second two. I had a spare 1 Spot wall wart, so that part was easy.

    The tuners that you all gave high scores to were the Peterson Strobostomp and the TC Polytone.

    The Peterson's look hard to use and do too many things. Found a used Polytone. Bought it and hooked it up (with the 1 Spot), and last night I used it at a pub.

    Report: Amazing tuner! Its sustain is so long that you can usually tune a string with a single pluck. And it's bright. Haven't tried it in daylight yet, but it looks like it should be fine.

    So, problem solved. You got me there. Thanks, gang!
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; Jul-24-2022 at 9:21am.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Good to hear!

    Just curious why you couldn’t put your tuner at the beginning of your signal chain?

    Also, by the way, I’ve personally found the Petersons easy to use (I have about four of their hardware models currently and also have the Peterson software tuner on my phone and two IPads.). I especially enjoy their sweetened profiles (my mandolin sounds especially good) as well as the Just tunings for my violins, violas, and cello.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

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  5. #3
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    Good to hear!

    Just curious why you couldn’t put your tuner at the beginning of your signal chain?

    Also, by the way, I’ve personally found the Petersons easy to use (I have about four of their hardware models currently and also have the Peterson software tuner on my phone and two IPads.). I especially enjoy their sweetened profiles (my mandolin sounds especially good) as well as the Just tunings for my violins, violas, and cello.
    Four instruments = four inputs = four tuners. In theory it would work, but it would have been expensive and would have made my board too big. (As it is, my acoustic board has more pedals than my electric guitar board!)

    So I just wanted one, at the end of the chain. If that didn't work, I was going to just use a headstock tuner.

    Yup, the Peterson is the most comprehensive and accurate tuner I know of. It does a lot more than I need, though, costs more, and looks a little more complicated that what I like. The used Polytune does everything I want, at a nicer price. So I went that way.

    Life is compromise!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Four instruments = four inputs = four tuners. In theory it would work, but it would have been expensive and would have made my board too big. (As it is, my acoustic board has more pedals than my electric guitar board!)

    So I just wanted one, at the end of the chain. If that didn't work, I was going to just use a headstock tuner.
    Hmmm. I guess Id need to see a connection diagram, lol. You have one signal chain for the tuner to be at the end of? How do you connect your four instruments? What is at the beginning of your signal chain now?
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

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    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    I have a Fire Eye Red Eye Twin preamp that I use - one input for a mandolin and one input for a guitar. I have been using the effects in and out for a Polytone 3 tuner...works fine. From the Fire Eye through an xlr to the mixing board...(my thanks to our Cafe colleagues on the Polytone3 suggestion!) Lets me have the tuner connected to both instruments. A quick touch by foot to switch the input and a can tune the desired instrument. Slick.
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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  10. #6
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    I have a Fire Eye Red Eye Twin preamp that I use - one input for a mandolin and one input for a guitar. I have been using the effects in and out for a Polytone 3 tuner...works fine. From the Fire Eye through an xlr to the mixing board...(my thanks to our Cafe colleagues on the Polytone3 suggestion!) Lets me have the tuner connected to both instruments. A quick touch by foot to switch the input and a can tune the desired instrument. Slick.
    Yep! I do the clicking via a Loop Master ABCD switch box. The instruments (dread, mando, squareneck reso, roundneck reso) go into four dedicated EQ pedals, the pedals go into the ABCD box, the ABCD box goes into the tuner, and the tuner goes into the Red-Eye.

    me > four instruments > four EQs > ABCD switcher > Polytune > Red-Eye > PA

    Set it and forget it!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  11. #7
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    Hmmm. I guess Id need to see a connection diagram, lol. You have one signal chain for the tuner to be at the end of? How do you connect your four instruments? What is at the beginning of your signal chain now?
    At the beginning of the signal chain is, of course me. (And talk about mixed signals!)

    Then come four instruments: a Guild D-35 dread, a Gibson snakehead A Junior mando, a Gann and Smally squareneck reso, an OMI-era Dobro roundneck reso.

    Each goes into its own dedicated Danelectro Fish & Chips EQ pedal.

    All four EQ pedals go into a Loop Master ABCD switch box: four inputs, one output.

    The switch box goes into the Polytune tuner.

    The tuner goes into a Fire-Eye Red-Eye preamp.

    The Red-Eye goes to the PA.

    DIAGRAM: me > four instruments > four EQs > ABCD switcher > Polytune > Red-Eye > PA

    By the time everything made it through the Loop Master, I think the signal just wasn't hefty enough anymore for my cheap tuner to handle. Either that or the tuner is just dying. The Polytune picks up the signals loud and clear.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Your signal should go the the RedEye first or your are not really getting the impedance match you are looking for. You most likely could eliminate all the EQ pedals if you went to the preamp first. If the ABCD switch box doesn't change impedance, and is simply a switch, you could go from there to the RedEye, aux out to the tuner and then the PA. I am guessing you need the EQ's because you are impedance is mismatched. Simpler is always better. I am not familiar with all your pedals, but am familiar with the electronics involved. I am also guessing the ABCD switch is not simply a switch, but is buffered, so not sure how that would work. The first thing in your signal chain needs to be the impedance match (RedEye), unless something is simply a switch, but that would make noise which is why I figure it is a buffered switch.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  14. #9
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pecal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Your signal should go the the RedEye first or your are not really getting the impedance match you are looking for.
    It could be a kindness to the tuner, but the ABCD switch, with its four inputs, would be useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Your signal should go the the RedEye first or your are not really getting the impedance match you are looking for.
    Yes, that would be nice. But the Red-Eye's OUT is XLR, and my pedal INs are quarter-inch. So anything after the Red-Eye would need an XLR and a transformer. Not impossible, but since the rig sounds good now, I'm happy standing pat.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I am guessing you need the EQ's because you are impedance is mismatched.
    Yup. I put in the pedals so we don't have to adjust the PA's levels every time I change instruments. Without some EQing, their signal strengths and frequencies are too different.

    The four used Fish & Chips didn't cost too much, and they're smaller than fancier brands, so the board is still portable.

    Now I can just put one down and pick one up, and they all have the same sonic impact. Before I had them, for instance, the dread would boom and spew sludge and the mando delivered anemic tinsel.

    Now everything sounds good.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I am also guessing the ABCD switch is not simply a switch, but is buffered
    The switch is true bypass. Here's the Loop Master website: Loop Master

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    The first thing in your signal chain needs to be the impedance match (RedEye), unless something is simply a switch, but that would make noise which is why I figure it is a buffered switch.
    There's no noise. Like a lot of booteek pedal makers, Loop Master inflicts interminable wait times. But he builds his pedals for battlefield conditions. Maybe that's why they're quiet.

    All interesting to read, though. Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

    The pedals would come out of the 1/4" send on the red eye, they would then return there too. The XLR would go to the PA. If you don't use your boost switch it can be converted to a mute. Your tuner can also be used as a mute and you could use the same cord and plug into each instrument as you need it, simplifying all the stuff you have on stage. Just a thought. I play banjo and guitar when I play solo and simply change the cord to the instrument. With mandolin I have to roll the treble on the RedEye to flat, but otherwise no adjustment is needed. I don't know how much EQ-ing you would need to do if you were simply, pre to PA. I am guessing there may be volume differences.

    The Loop master is electronic therefore it has a different impedance, in and out. Your piezo needs to match to your preamp after that most things work well, but plugging into something first changes the match and I am guessing that is why you need the EQ pedals.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  17. #11
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

    Charlie - XLR to 1/4" adapter plugs are pretty inexpensive and easy to come by. That would solve your XLR to pedal in issue...
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

    2013 Collings MF, 2017 Northfield NF2S, 2018 Pomeroy Oval V style, 2019 Northfield Big Mon F
    1968 Martin D12-20, 2008 Martin HD28, 2016 Waterloo WLS Deluxe
    1978 Ibanez Artist "Flying Eagle" Masterclone Banjo

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  19. #12
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    Charlie - XLR to 1/4" adapter plugs are pretty inexpensive and easy to come by. That would solve your XLR to pedal in issue...
    Yes, I know. I have some. I just don't have an XLR-to-pedal issue. The pedal board is great as-is. I love it.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; Aug-02-2022 at 10:34am.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  20. #13
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solved! Follow-up to "A pedal tuner question"

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    The pedals would come out of the 1/4" send on the red eye, they would then return there too.
    Yes, I've used the quarter-inch send for other things. I know how it works. But since the setup I have works fine, I don't need (or want) to add yet another step to the already elaborate chain.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    If you don't use your boost switch it can be converted to a mute. Your tuner can also be used as a mutet
    Yes, I know they can both mute. I like having a boost, so I mute with the tuner pedal.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    you could use the same cord and plug into each instrument as you need it, simplifying all the stuff you have on stage.
    The board would be smaller, but it wouldn't be any simpler than what I used to do: plug an unplug cables and adjust the EQ all evening. The EQ and switch pedals let me change instruments without any unplugging, plugging, or EQing.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I play banjo and guitar when I play solo and simply change the cord to the instrument. With mandolin I have to roll the treble on the RedEye to flat, but otherwise no adjustment is needed.
    I'm lazy. I don't want to unplug and replug and EQ. I just want to play. That's why I built this pedal board.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I am guessing there may be volume differences.
    No need for guesswork. I've already said there are volume and frequency differences going in. Thanks to the EQ pedals, it's an even playing field coming out.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    The Loop master is electronic therefore it has a different impedance, in and out. Your piezo needs to match to your preamp after that most things work well, but plugging into something first changes the match and I am guessing that is why you need the EQ pedals.
    Could be. The important point is, I like it just the way it is. It ain't broken, so I ain't fixin' it!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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