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4 Cable Line Volume

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I'm asking for a little advice.  I was on a mission to change my tubes, and maybe I still need to, because I wasn't getting the drive and crunch I'm after.  I have a Bugera Trirec, used, so the tubes could be 6 years old.  If I plug my guitar in the guitar in on the amp and crank it, it sounds great.  If I use the 4 cable method, without amp and cab, without stomps, it doesn't seem to have the punch.

I setup a test with a dB meter and played some chords with just the guitar in at 100dB, sounded great.  Did the same thing with the FH and I was only at 82dB, so I started tweaking.  I couldn't seem to get the same sound and volume without getting tons of noise and hiss, sometimes with feedback.  I didn't adjust the amp at all, just the FX Loop, guitar in, the "no Amp", and master out.  The FX Loop outputs are on stomp and the FH output is on AMP.  If I change to LINE on the output, of course it cranks.


There are levels on the FX Loop, I've adjusted them up, makes bad noises, not too good, +5dB seems OK.  I think I can lower the master output and use the LINE output setting, but that doesn't seem right.


Anyone else?



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