Having searched hi and low for information on how to use my newly acquired gear I found this great guy â€œAndreasâ€ who spent the time to explain how it all goes together and after sending him some images of my gear he went even deeper and I would like to pass this on to any other person in my positionâ€¦it really helped me apart from all the others who chipped in also ...even if some were 20 word responses. Thank you
Andreas reply to my plea!
I'm crap at drawing diagrams, so it'd take me forever and a bit more to do it. I'll try to explain as best I can, though, and hopefully it will be enough to get you going (so you can pick up the finer points yourself).
You might even be able to draw a rough diagram yourself, by following the signal from its source (the guitar) all the way to the speaker. Each "stop" on the way will be drawn as a module, where the signal is altered in some way. Here goes:
From the guitar, the signal hits any pedals you use. Each pedal/module does various things, so you need to think about what it does and what you want to affect what. For example, add a distortion pedal to the chain, and then a chorus. If you place the chorus first, the distortion pedal will distort a guitar signal with chorus on it. If you place the chorus after the distortion pedal, the chorus will be added to a distorted guitar signal. The two sound quite different from each other, so trying various combinations out is well worth the effort.
Another prime example is boost or equalizer in relation to distortion. If the chain is guitar -> boost/eq -> distortion, you can use the eq to alter the tone of the guitar before it is being distorted. If you raise the output level of the eq (or use a booster pedal instead), the distortion pedal will "think" the guitar has gotten louder, and you will get more distortion. But if you reverse the order (going guitar -> distortion -> boost/eq), the eq pedal will let you alter the tone of the distortion (rather than that of the clean guitar signal). If you raise the level (or use a booster), you will get more volume instead of more distortion.
Once the signal has passed through your pedals, it will reach the amplifier. The amp can also be broken down into modules:
â€¢ The first module in the amp is the preamp stage - this is where the tone controls live, as well as the amp's distortion channel. This stage also amplifies the relatively weak guitar-level signal to line level.
â€¢ The next module will be the effects loop (send and return), which will let you insert effects after the preamp stage (very useful if you want to have certain effects after the amp's distortion, as per the earlier examples). Some amps don't have fx loops, so this module may not apply to all amps.
â€¢ After that we get to the power amp stage - this is where the signal level gets amplified up to speaker level (powerful enough to drive the speaker). This is also where the "standby" switch operates, shutting parts of the power amp down so no sound will pass through to...
â€¢ ...the last module, which of course is the speaker(s). Keep in mind that you at all times need to have speaker(s) connected to the amp, when it is running. Never turn the amp's power on without having a speaker load there.
Effects loops come in two types - serial or parallel. The serial loop is a simple send/return, sometimes with level controls, to let you adapt the signal level to stompboxes. This type simply breaks the signal out from the preamp stage, runs it through any effects you connect (send to input, output to return) and then returns it to the amp to pass it on to the power amp stage. The parallel loop taps off a little signal to the "send" jack, and whatever comes back through the "return" jack is then added to the original signal (sometimes using a "mix" control). Serial/series loops are useful for effects that you want to apply to the whole signal (equalizer, boost, tremolo etc), whereas parallel loops work great for effects you want to add to the signal (delay, reverb, chorus etc).
The GSP1101 will work roughly the same way as described earlier (in blocks/modules), but as they are all in the same box, you can't stick things in between the effects. Some boxes do have an effects loop or send/return jacks that will let you insert stuff between the distortion/eq stuff and the delay/reverb stuff. These jacks - along with the main input and output - can be used to divide the unit into a section that is connected before the amp, and a section that is connected to the amp's effects loop. But that is posibly a bit on the advanced side for now. If you want to read up on that, google "4-cable method" and you'll find lots of info.
An attenuator is a speciality device that is connected between the power amp (speaker out) and the speaker, and the idea is to turn some of the energy into heat, so the amp will be quieter. This will let you run the amp at gig level (or beyond) while keeping the sound level a bit more sane. The Mass III is a little special, as it has separate volume/attenuation controls for the bass, middle and treble ranges. Instructions for use can be found here: https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/massiii.htm
Make sure you use a speaker cable (not a guitar/instrument cable) for the connection to the Mass. This is very important, as a guitar cable isn't designed for that amount of power, and you can blow the amp if you're unlucky.
(IMAGE SUPPLIED OF GEAR)
Ok, we'll set the GSP1001 aside for now - baby steps =)
You mentioned having a wah, and it should go between the guitar and amp. In a chain of pedals, 90% put theirs first, so start there. Guitar -> wah -> amp input.
The TSL has three main channels - one clean (left side, right by the input jack), one called "crunch" (top), which is a low-to-medium distortion channel, and "lead" (bottom) which provides lots of distortion.
The tone controls are pretty self-explanatory, and the little extra switch (mid boost and tone shift, respectively) alters the way they work - simply try them out and see what you like. The gain knob controls the input level to the channel, and therefore sets the amount of distortion. The volume knob sets the output level from the channel (how loud you want it to be). So you have three volume controls to juggle with, once you've set everything else to taste. This will let you balance the clean and distorted sounds against each other, but it will also mean that if you want everything to be louder, you'll have to adjust all three volume controls. There doesn't seem to be a global master volume, sadly (although the Mass III will do that for you - but we'll get to that later).
The output section (the bit to the right) has controls for the clean channel (top) and common controls for the two distortion channels (bottom). The reverb knob controls the amp's internal spring reverb, the fx mix knob handles the effects loops (more on that later) and the presence control is a special tone control for the power amp, adjusting the low treble range. The "deep" switch adds low end for a fuller sound (which can be cozy for bedroom playing, but overbearing in a live setting).
Beetween the clean and distortion channels, there are two mode switches to select which channel to use. If you want to use the footswitch, plug it in at the back of the amp and push both switches in. Without the footswitch connected, the first switch selects clean or distortion, while the other selects which distortion channel is active. So for clean, keep both switches out. For crunch, press the first switch, and for lead, press the second as well.
The VPR switch reduces the wattage of the amp, making it less loud for the same volume setting. Very useful (you very rarely get to use a 100 watt amp at its optimum). If you press that switch, you can also access the mute switch, which cuts the signal in the power amplifier out altogether, which will let you use the DI output on the back to record silently.
The power and standby switches are what they are - switch the power on and wait 30 seconds or so (to let the tubes warm up) before you flip the standby. When powering down, do the opposite (standby off first, then the power).
Now, the loops... Loop A is the master loop, so if you only use this one, the fx will turn up on both the clean and distorted sounds. The FX Mix knob lets you blend in the amount you want, and if you set it to full it becomes a series loop. Loop B is dedicated to the two distortion channels, and if you use it, Loop A will now be for the clean channel only. This means you can use different sets of effects in the loop for clean and distortion, should you want to. If not, simply use loop A. The level switch sets the signal level - switch out is high (line level, or +4dB) and switch in is low (instrument level, or -10dB). For stompboxes, the switch needs to be pushed in. If you have equipment that can handle line level signals (sometimes there are similar switches on the back of the units, like on the Digitech you have), it's best to use the higher setting.
The GSP1101 is designed to let you split it into two sections, so you can place its distortion etc effects in front of the amp and the delay/reverb in the amp's effects loop. But we'll deal with that later. For now, play around with the amp to see what kinds of sounds it will give you. Adding more stuff (like the GSP1101 and the Mass) will be much easier if you're comfortable with how the amp works, and when you're ready to add the GSP1101, you'll know more what you want to get out of it (you might find that you don't want its distortion etc effects, for instance).
I know it sounds a little "sensei" (yes, I grew up with "Karate Kid"), but... go forth and play around with the amp, and get back to me when you feel comfy with it. Then we'll get to the other stuff.
That is what I expected from forums when I joined, members who have the experience and want to pass it on. Well I hope it helped even one muso on the road to wisdom and toneâ€¦it helped me for sure! Weather you agree with all he says is not the point, he went out of his way to really help..and this was on another forum