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decatone77
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question Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Thread started on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:03am »

I've been using my G-System with my Decatone for a few weeks and a few things have come to light. I've been using the four cable method using the preamp insert loop to cable in the preamp.
I can hear a distinct different when I turn the dial in the effects loop from wet to dry and the tone on full wet looses a lot of punch. If I use the G-System in front of the Deca and skip the loop, it sounds great. Sounds to me an issue with levels.

I did make a change to the cables used in the insert loot (from unbalanced to balanced like the manual states) and I also tried using very short cables to see if that is where I'm losing the dynamics. I'm not sure where the fault lies. I wish TC Electronics had included a parameter for the levels for the preamp insert loop.

For now - I'm going back to the G-System in front of the preamp and not dealing with the effects loop.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #1 on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 11:47am »

hey decatone77,

I use the two cable method... using the gsystem in the fx-loop of the deca (guitar straight into the amp, and not using the guitar input of the gsystem at all). I didn't like having four a/d stages.

But, I think what might be making the difference for you is in the settings. If you go to the "Levels" settings menu, you will see settings to change the "loop" level and stuff like that. Try making it hotter (go from 10db to 6db). Also, realize that if you have "Max Boost" set to anything other than "0", you are effectively going to be that many decibels quieter except for when boost is on.

That's how boost mode works; it doesn't actually add to the base level, it just takes it all down 6db (or whatever you have set), and then returns it to full volume when you push boost. Thus, these two level settings would make the output of the gsystem considerably lower than the internal signal when you turn the wet/dry knob back and forth.

You might have already tried this stuff but I thought I'd mention it. If not, give it a try and let me know how it goes.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #2 on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 12:16pm »

Thanx - I'll give it a try tonight. You might have hit the nail on the head with the boost function (it "feels" like a level thing). I can live without the boost function or throw my Black Cat OD-1 in the loop). Of course TC doesn't tell you the boost is not really a boost.

Quick question - in your setup you've bypassed the "pre" effects entirely? Does than mean you don't use the compressor and/or wah ? It also seems that the tuner is tied into the post processing section, possibly something in common with the pitch shift/time domain. It essentionally isn't a tuner on the front end, correct? I noticed this because my tuner doesn't mute in four cable mode when I turn the Deca's FX mix even 1/4 toward dry.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #3 on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 12:37pm »

yeap that means i don't get the pre effects. im just obsessed with plugging straight into the amp i guess.

also, if you look in the manual, i think there is actually a section describing how the boost mode works. I saw it somewhere, anyway. Anyway good luck with it, I hope you get everything working.

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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #4 on: Sep 23rd, 2005, 2:22pm »

That was the issue - freaking max boost level. Pulling 6bd out of signal at the point in the chain doesn't work too well for the four cable method. If the G-Sytem is used entirely in front of the amp you can easily compensate with the channel gains and use the boost at 6 db. For now I can get away without the boost and max boost will stay at 0. I tweaked the parameter in real time and could hear the sound coming back to life! I'll see if there's a way to re-assign that switch, I know the upper buttons are assignable. It's too bad the boost function wasn't a "real" boost.

In the course of troubleshooting I replaced the insert loop cables with quality balanced cables (it says to use these in the manual if the cables are longer than a meter, even though the amp inserts are unbalanced).

Thanks much ARCY ! ! !


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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #5 on: Sep 23rd, 2005, 3:10pm »

decatone77,

no prob bud! glad it worked for ya wink
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #6 on: Sep 24th, 2005, 08:49am »

All is good with the G-System/Deca after the boost/level debacle. It will be used in four cable mode on a gig tonight.

A couple added notes:

I'm using an Axess CFX4 for MIDI controlled channel switching. There was a post in the TC forum about delays from the channel swtching relays that are built into teh G-System. I was considering switching to that, but the CFX4 is mounted on the back of my deca and pulls power internally (no wall wart!). I'll keep things the same since it now works very well. I'll post a pic of the setup down the line.

I also setup a guitar snake with my MIDI cable, G-System output send, and balanced preamp insert loop in a spiral wrap that makes my setup easier. I purchased this from :
http://www.stompin-ground.com/products/sgcablemanage.htm
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #7 on: Sep 24th, 2005, 12:53pm »

Hey I heard somethin about that too, but...

I use the built-in relay switching to change my preamp channels, and it's instantaneous to me... So I dunno. Haven't seen any delay yet.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #8 on: Sep 26th, 2005, 08:52am »

My plans to use the G-System was sidetracked Saturday evening. For some reason I couldn't get any signal at the output of the G-System. The input was fine for tuning and signal levels. I rechecked all levels/routing/input-select/ and settings for the insert loop. NOTHING. I have four banks set to just run in front of the amp if something ever happened to the loop, nothing there either. Bypass effects loop? no. Cables? no. Decatone issue, no. I did notice I had signal when I ran the output from my insert send, so my pre-effects were working, but I need the post-preamp effects too.

With no time left I just decided to put my Zoom GFX-4 in front of the Deca, and use the Decatrol footswitch as well. It was smarter to just get on with the gig, work on the G-System back at home and try to do some root cause analysis. At least I made it through the gig and now I know that I can get away with the GFX-4 if needed. Some things it does fairly well. Great for a backup!

On Sunday I rechecked the G-System and recorded some of the values. Even the preset banks had no output. Something really weird here. While reading the manual I saw that the "clear system" function in the utilities doesn't clear the user banks, There is a seperate "clear bank" function for that. RTFM ! Never thought I would use it, but given that my patches were not going to be deleted, it was worth a try. FIXED ! - the sound is back and my patches are all there. I did have to reset the Max Boost parameter mentioned early in this thread back to zero. I recorded the default levels on my book as well for comparison.

One thing I thought of. I should probably hook up all the cables prior to power up, just to be safe. The good news is that everything is back and a big club gig is on the schedule for Friday.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #9 on: Oct 1st, 2005, 4:50pm »

I think I'm on to something interesting in the G-System. Once I have it set for the "max Boost"=0 it works, but on the next power up I get no output until I do a system clear. Then I reset the max boost to 0 again. Luckily the system clear affects everything except my presets and I'm back in business. I will look into it further and report it to TC. In any case I got through a big gig with it last night and it sounded the best it ever has.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #10 on: Oct 23rd, 2005, 10:17am »

I haven't responded much on this lately because the Deca/G-System has been working fine. I've set it as ARCY pointed out way back in this topic, with one compromise. I set the Max-Boost parameter to 1 db. I'm not sure if it having it set to 0 db caused the "no output" issues, but I've fired it up for gigs about eight times in the past month and there have been no issues at all.

FWIW - I use the G-System and Deca on all gigs and for personal practice when I'm making adjustments on the patches. For band rehearsal I head completely in the other direction. I use a ZOOM GFX-4 multieffects and a REXX RG45 combo. Total investment on these two pieces used from Ebay: $175. Geez that's about 1/20 the cost of the Deca/G-system/Earcandy cab. I figure it's not worth carting the main rig around all the time and you should have a backup plan... The GFX-4 got me through a gig running into the green channel of the Deca when I had my "no output" issue on the G-System a few weeks back.
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xx Re: Decatone FX loop / G-System
« Reply #11 on: Feb 7th, 2006, 2:51pm »

Just thought I'd mention this... TC Electronic has released the long-awaited 1.05 firmware update to the G-System. It's available on their website. I've installed it, and so far it's beautiful.
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