A Question concerning electric guitars, church soundsystems and multi-effects

Hey all. I was hoping to find some recommendations from more experienced electric guitarists on this one.

 I'm a long-time acoustic player who has been playing more electric (an Epiphone Sheraton) of late when leading on Sundays (with the guitar plugged directly into our church sound system). While the guitar sounds great, I have to crank the channel on the soundboard and my guitar to 11 just so it's moderately loud. Rather than my buying a pre-amp, or a good amp that can act as one, I was wondering if most multi-effects processors act as pre-amps, thus giving me the desired signal boost along with adding a little dirt to my guitar's sound? I'm unfamiliar with effects pedals/processors, and have seen many that boast "pre-amp modellers"...but I'm not sure what that means. Can anybody help?


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It is obvious that you need some kind of preamp and some kind of effects processor with amp modelling would definitely give you that. It would also give you the ability to experiment with various different sounds from your guitar, to add some flavour to your playing.
Yes, most multi-effect units nowadays have amp model preamps. If you're running direct to the board, that's the ticket for you. Now, which one should you get? Hmmm...

Does anyone have one you can borrow?

Thanks for the replies!

You both answered my question. Rather than buying a pre-amp/amp, it looks like an effects processor would kill two birds with one stone, boosting my signal and giving me a ton of effects to play with.

As far as what to get, I would probably be looking at something like the Boss ME-70 or the Line 6 POD XT Live...I don't want to pay much more than $300 or so though. If you have any personal recommendations, I'd love to hear them.
Both good choices. The Boss may be a bit more user friendly. Hopefully you can "try before you buy".
Agreeing, most FX units will boost your signal.

Question: are you plugging your guitar into the line input (1/4") on the soundboard, or are you going through some sort of DI box or adapter into one of the mic inputs (XLR)? If you're going into a line input, see if going through a DI into an XLR gives you more volume.

If you get an FX box to play through, that would go into a line input, FX boxes put out a line level signal. An electric guitar by itself puts out a mic level signal and should go into an XLR.
I'm currently plugged into the line input on the soundboard with 1/4" cables. Are there any cons to playing through an XLR input as far as sound quality/feedback/buzzing?
Shouldn't be... and I''m guessing this is something you can try quick and cheap.

If your 1/4" cables are more than about 20' long, you may actually hear an improvement in the sound, assuming you put the DI near the guitar and do most of the run to the soundboard on an XLR. 1/4" cables are capable of picking up interference and also, as they get longer, of sucking the highs out of a signal. So you may find that using a DI and XLR run to the board will give you more highs and a cleaner sound. So you may need to adjust the board a bit, if you start getting feedback, just because you may currently have the highs cranked on that guitar channel. And, yeah, if you're having buzzing problems now, using a DI and XLR cables and a shorter 1/4" cable may well fix them.

Of course, there are other benefits that you'd get from an FX unit (though I would still take the output of the FX unit into a DI and then XLR to the soundboard just because of noise issues.

I have a Line6 Pod XT and really like it, although I use it mainly for recording.
If your guitar is any sort of distance away from the sound board, then you should definitely be using XLR cables and a direct box. Buy a good one (DI box), as you'll regret the cheaper ones as time goes by.

You just lose too much signal when you run 1/4" for any great length.

And what about a not too big modelling amp? 'couse if You have one, you have Your private controll unit close to You, and you get a great quality sound through the mixer/PA aswell. There are lot of modeling amps/combo that have inbuilt Di box for longer distance. Behringer has some good featured units!
The problem you are have having is caused by a mis match between the guitar and the mixing board. It is kind of like connecting a 4 inch fire hose into a garden hose. If you are trying to get enough sound out of you PA system, you have to really push the volume to get what you need. This causes alot of annoying noise and shifts your eq on your guitar to get the sound out. There are some very expensive multi effects processors that have an impeadance matching transformer and an xlr (mic cable) output. A di box designed for guitar such as a sans amp para driver di would give the impeadance matched output and some tone shaping combined to allow you the control you need in a live playing situation. If you want a multi effect pedal...just make sure it has and xlr output (most do not).
Or you can just run a short 1/4" cable to a DI and XLR from there on, if the FX pedal you get doesn't have XLR out and it costs a lot more for one that does...
I was going to mention this. This way, it's more likely that what you practice with at home will translate well then you plug into the PA.


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