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bskinner23

Flextone 3 Effects Loop - L & R Send Not Stereo?

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I have a Flextone 3, and when I use the effects loop both the L & R "send" to my external stereo effects pedal, the flextone is sending a mono signal. I want to run the stereo effects (ping pong delay & reverb) in the amp head to my external stereo effects pedals. If anyone has any knowledge about this, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts!

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Make sure you are using a "TRS" cable.  That is a 1/4 plug with "tip, ring, sleeve" which will get the stereo signal from the Flextone's single 1/4 FX Send.  If you use a standard instrument or patch cord, it will only pull one side of the signal, generally the left side. Depending on the input to your external pedals, you will have to make sure you have the right plug, splitter, adapter to be able to apply the left and right signal separately for processing.  On the return you will again need to use a TRS plug to put the stereo signal back into the Flextone's single FX Return.  Hope that helps!

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My flextone 3 has 2 LR 1/4" outputs for fx send, and likewise 2 LR 1/4" inputs for the return. I'm using two 1/4" out of L & R "send", to a Y that brings it to a 1/4" TRS male into the external stereo pedal input, which I made sure accepts a TRS stereo input. What I have found is that when I run the amp head only, the stereo effects are in stereo, and when I engage the FX loop on my FBV shortboard, it turns the amp signal and its effects to mono, even though I am running two 1/4" from L & R send. I'm assuming the amp is programmed to switch to mono when the FX loop is engaged, I'm just wondering if anyone else has been frustrated by this. Thanks for the thought.

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sorry for the wrong assumption! I have a Flextone II and it uses the TRS.  It definitely should stay stereo.  According to my manual, it should ONLY go mono if you are only using one speaker out.

 

"MONO/STEREO DETAIL
When using only the Left/Mono speaker output, the effects will be switched to mono. This also effects the Direct Outputs – they switch to mono, too (meaning the exact same thing comes out both jacks). If both left and right speaker outputs are in use, or neither are connected, the effects and direct outputs will be in stereo."

 

If I understand you, you have the FX send going straight to return with patch cords, no effects, and it still switches to mono?  If you haven't tried that yet, give it a shot.  Also, see if there is a difference in series vs parallel on the loop.

 

What happens if you are not using the floorboard?

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Okay, I think there's 1 of 2 things going on. I tested my FX loop with one stereo effects pedal that has LR input and LR output. When I used this pedal, it preserved the stereo effects in the amp head, and did not turn it into mono, which is great, exactly what I want.  

 

Then, I tested my other stereo effects pedal that has a TRS input, and LR output, and this is where I'm getting the amp head signal turning mono. From my FX loop send, I'm using a Y adapter to turn the two 1/4" LR to a 1/4" TRS.  So I'm guessing that the flextone must have both the 2 individual LR signals intact throughout the entire loop, or I have a faulty TRS Y adapter. Does that make sense?

 

I really appreciate your thoughts radatats for helping me troubleshoot!

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Makes sense but now that we know the amp is fine, we can concentrate on just that specific pedal.  Just because it is a stereo pedal does not mean it accepts and processes a stereo signal.  It may generate a stereo signal from a mono input just like your amp does with your mono guitar input.  Read the manual for the pedal and verify that the input is actually TRS otherwise it is just reading one side of your stereo feed and outputting a stereo signal from that, but you are still missing half the signal being put into it.  Make sense?

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Yeah, makes sense. This is what baffles me, so the pedal I'm working with is a Strymon El Capistan tape delay pedal, and it has the capability to accepting a mono or TRS input by switching an internal jumper (their website gives instructions how to switch it). I switched it to the TRS setting, and still have the issue, so that's where I'm thinking the effects loop needs 2 continuous LR signals all the way through, or my TRS Y is crap?

Strymon actually recommends a TRS Y cable adapter on their website, seen here http://store.strymon.net/1-4-trs-male-to-dual-1-4-ts-female-cable/. But what I'm using is not a cable, instead a smaller solid piece with 2 female jacks to 1 TRS male, all fused in small plastic housing, seen here on this ebay auction http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-each-NEW-1-4-STEREO-MALE-to-2-1-4-STEREO-FEMALE-Y-ADAPTERS-/310674512435?_trksid=p2054897.l4275. Would these perform differently? I'm not an audiophile expert by any means obviously, but trying to learn nevertheless.

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Here is your answer:

With the new TRS stereo input on El Capistan, Brigadier, and Lex, the L and R channels are summed together and fed into the effect, where it undergoes identical processing as would a mono input. On El Capistan and Brigadier, the dry portion of the output signal retains its stereo image at the output through the stereo mix control. With Lex, the stereo image is created through the rotating speaker process.

The big advantage of stereo input lies in the ability to place the pedal anywhere within a stereo rig and retain the stereo I/O throughout. All of our pedals continue to make use of the entire processing power of the SHARC DSP chip as they always have.

 

At least you can stop troubleshooting...  sounds like you may need to play with the mix but I am not sure since the signal gets summed and processed as mono...

 

http://www.strymon.net/support/faqs/how-does-the-trs-stereo-input-get-processed/

 

http://www.strymon.net/support/elcapistan/

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Thanks for the help on this. I think my TRS Y hardware is the issue. I purchased the recommended TRS Y cable from Strymon, and I think this will take care of it.

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Update: I resolved the issue by ordering the stereo breakout Y cable. The hardware I was using was not designed to take 2 mono outputs and create a stereo signal. Thanks for help radatats!

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