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Old 02-20-2019, 05:58 AM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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Default Effects order in chain with Zoom A3?

Hi guys,I play a Takamine TH-90 electro-nylon guitar and I use Zoom A3 for my gigs.I'm not quite satisfied with the sound I get so I'm planning to add a reverb,EQ and comp pedals in my board. I would like to ask in which order to put these effects in my chain with the A3?I don't like the modeling of A3 and I use it primarily for delay or other time based effects.I also use A3 as my DI output and to ask a noob question, it should be always at the end of the chain?
If I put A3 at the start or middle do I need another DI box at the end?
Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:11 PM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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Any opinions guys?
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:43 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
Hi guys,I play a Takamine TH-90 electro-nylon guitar and I use Zoom A3 for my gigs.I'm not quite satisfied with the sound I get so I'm planning to add a reverb,EQ and comp pedals in my board. I would like to ask in which order to put these effects in my chain with the A3?I don't like the modeling of A3 and I use it primarily for delay or other time based effects.I also use A3 as my DI output and to ask a noob question, it should be always at the end of the chain?
If I put A3 at the start or middle do I need another DI box at the end?
Thanks a lot!
If the only things you like about the A3 are the delay and the DI outputs, I'd suggest you sell it and get a DI/preamp unit that has an effects loop and good EQ. Then get a delay pedal and put it along with the other pedals in the loop.

Right, now you're hampered with a unit that does a bunch of things you don't like--and that does these things in a way that keeps you from doing things the way you want to do them. Ideally, you want the preamp to go first followed by EQ and effects (compression into delay into reverb--although you could play around with that order) then DI out to the board. With the A3, you have no way to get anything between the preamp and the delay unless you use the onboard EQ and effects, and you can't use the DI outs unless you put your compression and reverb before the preamp, which is not optimum. If you put the reverb and compression after the A3, you might not get what you want from the compression in that position, and you'd have to add a DI box to go to the board.

The A3 is a terrific little unit for those who like the things it does, but if you don't like most of what it does, using it just creates obstacles.

Louis
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:53 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is offline
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I use an A3, fx pedals and a looper. I have them connect to a PADI thru the PADI's loop function. The PADI acts as my DI out to the mixer and gives me additional eq'ing after the looper and before the mixer.

My chain is Guitar>volume pedal>PADI>mixer.

My effects chain within the PADI is A3>HOF Reverb>Looper. I've tried other pedals in the chain such as Xotic Compressor Pedal, Digitech Chorus, TC Electronic Delay, MXR 10 band eq, LR Baggs Align Series Eq and a few others but never could quite get that sound that was in my head, something was always falling a little short.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:48 AM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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Originally Posted by lschwart View Post
With the A3, you have no way to get anything between the preamp and the delay unless you use the onboard EQ and effects, and you can't use the DI outs unless you put your compression and reverb before the preamp, which is not optimum. If you put the reverb and compression after the A3, you might not get what you want from the compression in that position, and you'd have to add a DI box to go to the board.
Louis
So in a scenario like this:guitar>EQ>compressor>reverb>A3(modelling or not>Delay or chorus) and A3's DI output it won't be a valid chain?
These multi-effect units are meant to be used alone?
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:08 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
So in a scenario like this:guitar>EQ>compressor>reverb>A3(modelling or not>Delay or chorus) and A3's DI output it won't be a valid chain?
These multi-effect units are meant to be used alone?
Chorus and delay should really go before reverb, so it's not an optimal configuration.
If you were going to add separate pedals to your setup, you would benefit from having a preamp/DI with an effects loop.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:05 AM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
So in a scenario like this:guitar>EQ>compressor>reverb>A3(modelling or not>Delay or chorus) and A3's DI output it won't be a valid chain?
These multi-effect units are meant to be used alone?
Used on its own, the A3 puts things in the proper order: preamp, EQ, effects (in which ever order you like, including compression), DI out. So would a preamp/DI with an effects loop. The way you suggest locks you into a somewhat strange order. It might sound good to you, depending on how you want to sound, but if it doesn't, you can't do much about it without bypassing the DI outs of the A3. At that point you're using a complex unit for just one of it's functions, and you still have the problem of where the preamp ends up in your chain.

I should add that the placement of the preamp in your chain will matter more or less depending on what sort of pickup you're using. More important for a passive pickup. Depending on the EQ pedal you use, that can serve as a preamp and go first in your chain, but it renders the preamp on the A3 redundant, and it's another gain stage to worry about.

Again, my point is that unless the A3 is giving you something you really like, you'd be better off with a preamp/DI with a loop. If, you really like the delay and chorus in the A3, you can treat it like a combo chorus/delay pedal and use it like @Irish Pennant in the loop of another preamp. On the other hand, you can get those same effects in a little Zoom Multistomp for pretty cheap (I picked up a used MS-50g for $50, for example). Much smaller if all you want are Zoom delay and chorus.

Louis

Last edited by lschwart; 02-21-2019 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:29 PM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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Thanks for the replies!I guess I'll go for something like LR Baggs Para DI or BBE Acoustimax.What do u think?
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:28 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is offline
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Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
Thanks for the replies!I guess I'll go for something like LR Baggs Para DI or BBE Acoustimax.What do u think?
The PADI runs off of phantom power or a 9vt battery. What ever you're plugging it into needs to be able to supply the phantom power. If you use the loop function, a 1/4" splitter cable will be needed.

I'm not up to date with the latest flavors in DI boxes, probably because the PADI does what I need it to do. It's been reliable and built like a tank. I haven't had a need or desire to replace it.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:01 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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There are lots of good choices:

Baggs ParaAcoustic DI
Baggs Venue
Fishman Platinum Pro
Radial PZ-Pre
Fire Eye Red Eye
Grace Alix
Grace Felix
Grace Bix
Mesa/Boogie Rosette

Etc. Pick one that has the features you'd like--also in terms of the size you want, your budget, etc.

Louis
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:53 AM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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I was thinking since I have already a cooltube preamp in my guitar do I really need an external preamp/DI? Maybe I could replace Zoom A3 with a nice DI and connect my pedals in a row going to DI?
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:57 AM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
I was thinking since I have already a cooltube preamp in my guitar do I really need an external preamp/DI? Maybe I could replace Zoom A3 with a nice DI and connect my pedals in a row going to DI?
Sounds like a plan. You should certainly try that before you invest in something you don't need.

L.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:15 PM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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Maybe I haven't understand some basic things and let me ask something noob again: a guitar with an active preamp on board can be connected to a series of pedals with last pedal a preamp/DI send to PA or the preamp/DI must always be the first pedal and connect the other pedals in FX loop if it has one?
Also do I need something like e.x PARA DI for better sound quality or I can just use my pedals (EQ,Compressor,Reverb) and a passive DI to have a natural sound?If so what's all the fuzz with these expensive acoustic preamps everyone is talking about?

Last edited by michael76; 02-22-2019 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:13 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael76 View Post
Maybe I haven't understand some basic things and let me ask something noob again: a guitar with an active preamp on board can be connected to a series of pedals with last pedal a preamp/DI send to PA or the preamp/DI must always be the first pedal and connect the other pedals in FX loop if it has one?
Also do I need something like e.x PARA DI for better sound quality or I can just use my pedals (EQ,Compressor,Reverb) and a passive DI to have a natural sound?If so what's all the fuzz with these expensive acoustic preamps everyone is talking about?
What are you plugging into, PA? Amp? how far of a run from your guitar to your amp/PA?
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:30 PM
michael76 michael76 is offline
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PA mostly and gigs in churches. My gear is cool tube preamp on board, boss GE7, Mooer yellow compressor, Digitech Polara reverb

Last edited by michael76; 02-22-2019 at 07:02 PM.
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