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Guitar Input vs Effects Return


JeremiahEdward
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Is there a different between plugging a guitar in these two places? I bought a second hand Helix and the input jack is all messed up. Crazy static noise/crackle noise when plugging into the "Guitar In" input. I'm going to return it or have him issue a partial refund to cover the cost of repairs, but It got me thinking about if that ever happened at a gig. 

 

When I plug a guitar into return one and add a block at the beginning of the chain, it's completely silent. Can the unit actually be run that way or are the return jacks and guitar in jacks different in some way?

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My first instinct would be for you to use the Aux in instead of one of the effects returns, although those can be routed the same way, but would require an input block. Keep in mind the Aux input is a bit quieter than the Guitar input jack, so you might need to adjust your initial level or your first gain stage (easily fixed with an EQ block first in your signal chain that you leave always on).

I think the Effects Loop inputs are also padded in the same way as the Aux jack. Should still work though.

 

But yeah get that input jack fixed up. Probably just some dirty connectors.

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I was using the Aux input for my bass guitar that has a built-in preamp and it worked fine. Then I tried some of my passive pickup guitars and the tone was terrible. Then I read the manual: "AUX IN (10kΩ) Connect a secondary, active-pickup equipped guitar or bass here". The low input impedance sucks the tone from the passive pickups which typically have an output impedance of 5-10K ohms. I assume the effects return may be similar but I never tried those. I use the front panel input (high impedance) with much better results.

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12 hours ago, zolko60 said:

Inputs called "Returns" have 1Mohm impedance and level when set to "instrument". Acoording to my measurements they have the same S/N ratio as "Guitar Input".
Unfortuatelly you can't use tuner with that input.

 

Actually, you can use the tuner from the returns.... 

Go into tuner mode... in the menu you will have the option to change the inputs. Change this to use the return you need (or all of them) and that becomes the source for the tuner. 

 

I don't know if this was always an option, or if it was recently added in a firmware update. All I know is that 2.7 has it :) 

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:50 PM, JeremiahEdward said:

When I plug a guitar into return one and add a block at the beginning of the chain, it's completely silent. Can the unit actually be run that way or are the return jacks and guitar in jacks different in some way?

 

FYI: I use my returns as additional instrument inputs regularly... depending on what I bring to the gigs. 

What do you mean by "completely silent"? Do you mean it isn't working for you, or do you mean it's noiseless...which I assume is a good thing?

 

Is the Helix up to date? If not have you tried updating the firmware and/or doing a complete factory reset to see if the problem goes away? Why? Many years ago I got a BOSS GT-8 for next to nothing because it was just a horrendous noise on all presets. Nothing looked out of line in the global/master settings so I reinitialized the unit. It actually fixed the problem and the problem never returned for as long as I owned the unit. 

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13 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

FYI: I use my returns as additional instrument inputs regularly... depending on what I bring to the gigs. 

What do you mean by "completely silent"? Do you mean it isn't working for you, or do you mean it's noiseless...which I assume is a good thing?

 

Is the Helix up to date? If not have you tried updating the firmware and/or doing a complete factory reset to see if the problem goes away? Why? Many years ago I got a BOSS GT-8 for next to nothing because it was just a horrendous noise on all presets. Nothing looked out of line in the global/master settings so I reinitialized the unit. It actually fixed the problem and the problem never returned for as long as I owned the unit. 

 

Yeah, completely silent as in a good thing. I updated to 2.71 when I first received it. I also did a factory reset after the update to see if there were global settings causing the issue. Nope. Still looooouuud and crackling. It's like a loud record player static/crackle. Input gate helps, but when you hit a note, the noise is below the signal. Not great for quiet ambient music.

 

Plugging into the return input works and is nice and quiet, but then I lose a loop, and I need all of them for my other pedals. 

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3 hours ago, JeremiahEdward said:

Plugging into the return input works and is nice and quiet, but then I lose a loop, and I need all of them for my other pedals. 

 

I thought you were asking if this would work? Now you need them for other things?

 

If that's the case, try the AUX in.... you will need to set the HELIX input to AUX for this. I would then put a GAIN BLOCK in the first position and bring that up about 6db... you may even need a little more. This should bring the AUX to a similar input level as the Guitar Input would be.

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

I thought you were asking if this would work? Now you need them for other things?

 

If that's the case, try the AUX in.... you will need to set the HELIX input to AUX for this. I would then put a GAIN BLOCK in the first position and bring that up about 6db... you may even need a little more. This should bring the AUX to a similar input level as the Guitar Input would be.

 

Sorry for the confusion. Asked if an input ever went bad at a show, could I plug in to the return jack. 

 

 

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