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Amp Line Out to Pedal? confused about levels Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Amp Line Out to Pedal? confused about levels

Hello,
I want to use my looper pedal (TC Ditto X4), but I don't want the loops to come out of my guitar amp, but instead going into the mixer.
My Amp (DV Mark Little Jazz) has got an XLR Line Out, so I thought I could hook the looper up to that, however the signal coming from the looper to the mixer is rather quiet and noisy like that. I tried both XLR to balanced/stereo 1/4" cable and XLR to mono 1/4" cable, both gave the same result.
For troubleshooting, I also tried going from the XLR Line Out straight to the mixer without the Pedal in between: obviously no problem.
I also tried plugging straight into the looper and then going from the looper without the amp to a HI-Z input of my mixer: also no problem.

So the problem must be some kind of mismatch between levels or impedances of both devices, but I don't get it. The TC Ditto X4 takes Line level without problem. I have used it on my mixer's aux channel for example also without any problem.
Since the Amps Direct out says "Line Out" I assume it should be line level, which I thought was higher than instrument level. So why is it, that if I go from the Line Out to the Looper the signal coming out is weaker (and noisier) than straight from the instrument?

What could be possible solutions?
Here are a few things I came up with:
Using a reamping box between amp and pedal, using a DI box in reverse between amp and pedal or using a single channel microphone preamp between the two, though I would greatly favor a passive option, or even more one without any additional devices needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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enorbet2's Avatar
Hello chameleon1 - First of all please notice that the XLR Line Out on your amp is "Balanced". That means it is very likely transformer isolated, has 3 important terminals/lines and chassis ground is to the body of the connector and possibly also one pin but the full signal is on the two lines above ground. If you simply use an an old highZ mic cable or any 2 conductor cable you will get slightly less than half the signal and very likely considerable noise (minimal or non-existent shielding from defeating it's design). You will require a "Balanced In" to get noise-free, full signal. So you need a combining transformer to get back to 2 terminal or a balanced in mixer of some sort with a 2 terminal output... something, to match your looper.. So the least you will need is a combining transformer or use a different output from your amp. Then it should work quite well.

BTW I can't find a schematic and from photos I can see a push-on/push- off switch associated with the XLR Line and it may well be a Balanced-to-Unbalanced switch which should help you out a lot IF it is not faulty. It might be wise to have a tech verify it is working as designed and is a decent design.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Hello enorbet2,
thanks a lot for you answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
So the least you will need is a combining transformer or use a different output from your amp. Then it should work quite well.
I'm not sure if I understand this: What do you mean by a combining transformer? Would that be a reamping box? What about a DI in reverse?
I can't use a different output from the amp, because it has only one

Btw, the switches on the back are internal speaker on/off and ground lift on line out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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enorbet2's Avatar
Hello again chameleon1
I think it best if I give you first some background to explain the difference between Balanced and UnBalanced so you know what you're dealing with.

Try this Tech Tip: Unbalanced vs Balanced I/O and Signal Chains | The HUB

Then for an basic essentials of the options possible to interface Balanced to UnBalanced try this

How to Connect Balanced and Unbalanced Audio - Avid Community


FWIW a combining transformer is kind of cheap 'n dirty unless you spring for top notch gear. You'll get better results for less expense with an active device that does the same job. Basically it's an op amp with balanced input behaving something like a Summing Amp by accepting two out of phase signals in out of phase inputs (thus combining in phase) and directing to a an unbalanced, 2 conductor output necessary for your looper. An active device also commonly has the advantage of an option to pad the input and vary the output so everything matches up. FWIW Balqanced Lines are commonly +4dbm but it would be wise to check your owners manual or ask your dealer for brand/model specific data.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Hi, Little jazz user here as well. Amp's XLR out is balanced (+4) and must be connected let's say in your mixer or AInterface (balanced input). In this case volume and gain is supplied by your amps knobs. If you want to connect the pedal you need a transformer, reamp box which expects +4 signal and transforms it to unbalanced for your TS input on your pedal. Then to your mixer accordingly. I hope this helps
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Do you think the Palmer Daccapo would work in this application?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chameleon1 View Post
Do you think the Palmer Daccapo would work in this application?
Although I know absolutely nothing about it's quality, that is the sort of device that will do exactly what you want and have proper signal to noise ratio as was intended. Personally I'd prefer an op amp type combiner as opposed to a transformer, at least in lower price ranges, but this device will certainly work as you want. It'd be sweet if you could audition it before buying..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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To wrap things up and for future referral, I just want to say I got the re-amping box, and it's working perfectly for my application.
Case closed, thanks everybody
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