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Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:58 am
by neuk01642
Hey all
Just signed up and just switched from a dirty great big pedal board to a lovely tidy rack system (my back and my wife love me again).

So, on the whole love the GCX/Ground control combo. Couldn't be simpler to use and feels robust enough to do some milage.
I have 6 pedals (at the moment) mounted on a telescopic draw (5 in the front and 1 currently in the loop) all powered by the GigRig generator (so plenty of voltage/amps available for all the pedals).

I'm running everything into my Kemper powered rack.

Now ALL of the cables being used I used before on my board and it was completely silent (with the exception of some expected high gain crackle), but I got everything plumbed in last night and the rack set up is VERY noise. Electrical hum big style, to the point where my fuzz pedals are bordering on unusable.

I've had to dial up the noise gate on all my profiles to about 75% where as before it would be on around 25% for most and the 40% for high gain lead tones.

So looking for help/advice/direction as to what to check and what to change to improve this situation.
The cables I'm using are crap (I spent all my money on pedals and a rack switching system... :D ) but they were crap on the board and had no noticeable impact in terms of audible noise floor.

Help me Obi Wan, you're my only hope...

Thanks ya'll



Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:14 am
by bettsaj
Hi and welcome to the forum, I feel your pain... However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

First of all, make sure all the power cables are routed away from your audio cables. In my rack I have all the power routed to the left, and the audio and midi to the right as you look into the rack from the back.

Secondly, by your own admission your cables are crap........ Sorry, but I think you likely will need to make or buy some new cables. I learned the hard way that dodgy cables are the one issue that can cause issues with a rack. Also the quality of the cables is so important....... Don't scrimp on cables, you've invested a hell of a lot of money on the rack, pedals, switching system and then use sh*t cables...... That's asking for trouble.

My recommendation is tailor make the cables for your rack. Buy a long length of good quality cable (I can highly recommend Van Damme pro series or tour grade audio cable), and some Neutrik or switchcraft jacks and solder your own cables custom length for your rack. Make sure the cables are routed correctly, and that none of the cables are putting undue stress on the jack plugs or sockets.

Thirdly, with the Gig Rig Generator are you using the Distributor or the Isolator? I suspect with the amount of pedals you've got you're using the Distributor, that might not be helping.... Check this video.

I'm not affiliated to Voodoo Lab at all, but as regards power supply I can highly recommend the ISO 5 as they are truly isolated. I suspect if you're using the Gig Rig Distributor you're not supplying an isolated power source to the pedals.

Are you only using stomp boxes in the rack, or have you got anything else in it other than the draw and the GCX?

You can read about my rack build here


My rack was built, and was whisper quiet from the moment I switched it on, with no noise gate. I suspect I have a lot more going on in my rack than you do so it should be easy to deal with your noise issues as your rig appears on the face of it to be quite simple..

Can you explain the whole routing, from the guitar to the amp? detail what is in the rack, and what isn't..


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:57 am
by neuk01642

Thanks for the response.
I was afraid you'd say that about the cables. I've almost been skirting around the inevitable.

The rack are mostly modern pedals to be honest. I think the most likely to be a bit tetchy is my germanium fuzz, but even that was built last year.

The signal path is as follows:

Guitar (1 of 3 2 8 strings and a 2014 V)

Into front of GCX (guitar in)
Out of guitar out into in of loop 1
loop 1 germanium fuzz (Dubrek Audio Harmonik)
Loop 2 Silicon fuzz (Thorpy Muffroom Cloud)
Loop 3 Thorpy Peacekeeper
Loop 4 Xotic Scott Henderson RC Boost
Loop 5 Biyang 7 band EQ
Out of loop 5 into front of the Kemper
Out of the Kemper send to loop 6 in
Loop 6 Eventide H9
Out of return of loop 6 into return of Kemper

In the rack
Shelf with pedals
6 way surge protector plug unit with plugs for Kemper, GCX and the Gigrig Generator pedal power supply.
GCX power block

And that's pretty much it.

Like I said, before I put it in the rack it was super quite. Guess I have to be a little more careful.
Will look at where the power/audio cables are sitting again and try to keep them separate


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:27 am
by bettsaj
It all looks ok, I have a couple of questions though....

Your germanium fuzz, Nice bit of kit........ Looking at it, it looks like it's centre negative, positive ground like the old germanium fuzz faces.... If that's the case and you're using the Gig Rig Generator with just a distributor that won't work properly as the Distributor isn't isolating the power for negative and positive ground pedals. I could be wrong (and probably am)... But maybe someone else can chime in here about this. Are you using a Gig Rig Generator??

Secondly, Is there any reason why you're using a standard domestic multi-plug, and not a proper rack power distributer...... Other than cost. It's not the end of the world... I used to use one myself, but I'v always felt that they don't give the level of protection you need.

I would start at cabling..... And work back from there.


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:32 am
by neuk01642
Ahhh sorry.
I have generator/distributor and isolators. The germanium fuzz is running off the isolated 9v output from the Isolator. The only things running directly from the distributor are the H9 and EQ because of the amp requirements and they're both individually on high current isolators


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:34 am
by bettsaj
Great... i thought so... just checking ;)

start with cabling..... Including power. Don't fall into the trap of naturally assuming that just because they were OK on your pedal board, they're OK now...... It only needs 1 cable to throw a spanner in the works due to dodgy shielding or a broken wire and you have all manner of grief.


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:47 am
by neuk01642
Yep, I think you might be right.
I'll look into the routing of what I have to start with and then start contemplating the inevitable rinsing for a couple of hundred quids worth of cables and connectors...

Thanks for you help man. Appreciated


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:50 am
by bettsaj
You probably won't need to spend that amount of money... Make them yourself, it's a lot cheaper.

I wired my whole rack for about £75 (plus the jack plugs), the thing that bumps the cost up is the jack plugs. Please please don't buy cheapo plugs off EBay, they really are crap. I've been there and got a few T-Shirts, honestly it's not worth the pain and expense.

I get mine from I had so much off them they sell to me at trade prices now. It's really worth the investment.


Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:52 am
by neuk01642
Thanks for the advice. Will check them out.

I was basing that price on Lava or Evidence Audio.

One other quick question.
I'm thinking of putting the GCX at the bottom, under my pedals which will alleviate a ton of loose cable flapping all over the top of my pedals.
Only thing is it's going to take it close to it's power supply and the Generator and the multi socket I have everything plugged into.

Is this a stooping idea?

It's currently in the top under the kemper.

Advantage are it will save a lot of space and like i said all the cable from the pedals will then route down the back rather than up over the top.

Problem is I have a telescopic draw my pedals are on so the cable needs enough length to accommodate that extension, hence flappy cables.



Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:05 am
by bettsaj
If you can afford Evidence go for it.....

Regarding the rack pedal draw... cable tie the audio cables from the pedals and secure with these


don't let the cables flap about, if you secure them to the draw, then secure them to the wall of the rack case with those cable tie mounts you won't have a problem. Just leave enough slack to enable you to pull the draw out. It's not ideal to have the audio cables anywhere near the power supplies, however you may be ok with the little 9v cables from the generator.... Just keep it minimal.