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Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

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  • Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

    Title says it all: are you using a buffer on your pedal board? If so, which one?
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

  • #2
    Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

    tried a few... none have stayed on the board for more than a week.
    I've used:
    MXR/CAE - added noise and maybe a little harshness
    Suhr - so transparent you'll wonder why you spent that much money
    Doobtone - pretty good, feels organic, adds noise in some situations

    Solution - I'm using a few buffered bypass (Boss) pedals with 7 true bypass pedals and the Boss buffers seem to be all the signal restoration my board needs.

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    • #3
      Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

      I don't, but I do use an Xotic EP Booster as an 'always-on' tone effect at the start of my chain, so technically it's buffer is always there.


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

        When I actually get around to setting up my board, *if* I need a buffer, I'll likely be trying one of these:



        Yes, I'm a TC Electronic fanboy/ho...
        "Screw regulations. Bring the noise."

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        • #5
          Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

          On my big board I use a Katana as a buffer. On my small board I now use an Archer after my fuzz as a buffer.
          Oh no.....


          Oh Yeah!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

            I don't, but the max number of stomps I would ever have in front of my amp would be 3.

            - compressor
            - preamp
            - eq

            ...most of the time I just use one.

            Strongly recommended reading for anyone curious about buffers and stompbox in/out impedances (and why you need to know them):

            Why and When to Use a Guitar Buffer Pedal Improve Your Tone Bigtime!
            My SoundCloud
            Rig Talk FoS Forum
            My YouTube

            "More contributors, less hacks"

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            • #7
              Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

              Great comments this far.
              Keep em comin!
              Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
              My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                I am adding a quality JHS splitter buffer on the front to get away from the EH buffer in the Mel9 which is not that great. I run dual rigs and right now splitting out of the Mel9 with its buffered outs is not ideal for me. I use a Radial PB1 buffer right before my Radial ABY which is after the Mel9 so I can mute it out completely. The PB also provides a slight class A clean boost on the Mel9 if needed, it is also close to an end of chain send buffer that also makes the ABY work properly. The rest are bypass until you get to my rack gear. Having gone through tons of pedals and various size boards through the years I am not a fan of not so great buffered circuit pedals like Boss and so on.

                It's a matter of taste and what you like much less what you hear, or do not hear for that matter. A series of cascading buffers does a number on the guitars natural dynamics and pure tone, it just does.
                About 20mins into this between Brian Wampler and another builder they discuss the issues of buffers and how not so good quality buffers can cause you to lose 1% of your tone quality per pedal. Too many buffers are a problem not easily solved without using bypass loopers to get them out of the chain. They agree having 5 cascading lesser grade buffer pedals which amounts to 2 per pedal can take 10% of your tone.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iN4FFUrUgw
                A chain of cascading buffers is sort of like picturing if you ran your signal through a chain of light compressors one after the other, the guitar will lose all sense of of its natural dynamics and sound.
                As always if you cannot hear a problem then there isn't one.
                It's all rather objective really, if you have a very bright sounding guitar that is pretty tinny then you might actually like some of the high end loss but along with that comes a muddier low end and that sort of percussive compressor like thing from too many buffers or a really bad one.
                Just one good quality buffer renders any number of true bypass following it virtually invisible to any loading effect or cap loss. When you start having a bunch it can become a problem. Witness the spawn of the true bypass pedal age, it came about from pedals having crappy buffer bypass which was called "tone sucking", when high end quality buffers came along that issue went away. The thing about good buffers is also the increased headroom and bandwidth, I like Radial's PB1 and Elevator buffer/boosts as they have an adjustment to bring down the wide open 1M ohm sensitivity to where you like it but still providing you a class A driver buffer.

                Ideal config is a good quality buffer upfront followed by bypass pedals and if you have fairly long cable runs back to your amp, a final stage buffer to drive the cables.
                Someone once said a good test is plug your guitar straight into the amp, then into your pedal chain, note the differences in the sound clarity and headroom. A well config pedal chain will sound very much the same as if you were plugged right into the amp. If you do not hear any issues of high end loss or odd sounding low end including that compressive attack thing then you are probably OK. In all cases at various stages of our ever growing and changing gear development, you use what you have and you use what you like. Almost invariably at some point one gets tired of their same old pedal and gear chain and want some new or possibly better quality ones.

                Speaking of the cat using an Archer as a buffer, I think those are reasonably pretty good and do the deal. One of the best sounding chains I had going last year had a Klon buffer front and end w bypass in the middle, was pretty cool. A Klon circuit does well before and after various drives and whatnot. We cannot always have the perfect config or choice of pedals and whether they are buffered or bypass especially if we like and want that particular pedal. So having maybe a buffer in the middle of the chain works fine. One should try not to get an entire chain of buffer circuit pedals going if you can help it or maybe loop them out with some bypass switchers.
                Gainstage
                Tone Member
                Last edited by Gainstage; 06-07-2016, 06:15 PM.
                "A great player can make just about anything sound decent, a poor one can make great gear sound bad.
                You know what they say, 'if you cannot hear the problem, it does not exist, ...for you."

                I insist you hate me because I am pretty.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                  I don't use a buffer but have been thinking I should. There are no long cable runs, but there are some tone issue that require something. Not meaning to butt in, but maybe someone could advise me. I run two ODs with a distortion in the middle. The Distortion into either OD is a hot, almost burn, tone. And I like either OD in front of the Dist because it is more of a grind .. almost to the fuzz zone, but ... it's too thin and compressed. Would a buffer help?
                  I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

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                  • #10
                    Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                    I have no personal experience, but I've heard many guys mention being pleased with their MI Audio Boost-N-Buffs.
                    I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?



                      Thoughts on their thoughts on signal loss with just 20 ft of cable?
                      Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                      My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                        Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post


                        Thoughts on their thoughts on signal loss with just 20 ft of cable?
                        Here's Anthony from Texas Blues Alley giving a demo of different cable lengths and how buffers can negate loss. In the next video he shows how he prefers to have a buffer installed in his guitar. Being a Strat player, this is simply too bright for me. I need some cable loss to move the resonant peak a little lower and smoother on my Strat pickups.





                        But as usual, there are a million ways to do things, all up to personal preference. The most important thing is to have the knowledge of your options so you can try everything and see what you prefer.
                        PFDarkside
                        of the Forum
                        Last edited by PFDarkside; 06-07-2016, 07:09 PM.
                        Oh no.....


                        Oh Yeah!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                          I try to keep a Visual Sound/Truetone pedal as the very first thing in the signal path. The buffer used on these is actually the same as the standalone unit they sell.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                            OD808 is usually my first in line if I'm playing a passive-loaded guitar, even if I'm running a different overdrive/boost after it with the 808 off.
                            If I'm playing actives (especially an 81) I go only through true-bypass pedal/s up front.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                              Originally posted by Lazarus1140 View Post
                              I don't use a buffer but have been thinking I should. There are no long cable runs, but there are some tone issue that require something. Not meaning to butt in, but maybe someone could advise me. I run two ODs with a distortion in the middle. The Distortion into either OD is a hot, almost burn, tone. And I like either OD in front of the Dist because it is more of a grind .. almost to the fuzz zone, but ... it's too thin and compressed. Would a buffer help?
                              At times there are pedals that do not like each other and sometimes you can put a buffer between them and it helps. I would give it shot and see. Pick a good one there are many out there. The beauty of buying something on-line is the easy try it and return it ability. Be sure to repackage as close to delivered condition as possible, do not shred and rip your way through any bags or materials as they will charge you a restocking fee if returned otherwise. But it is a great way to try something and see if it does the deal.
                              Many good ones have been mentioned in posts. You have to also understand that anything "in front" of something else is going to push its clipping and intensify the gain. Totally different "after" as that magnifies the output and filters it through the 2nd pedal. I have gotten great results using a Klon after something as well as clean boosts. Pedals work on a law of dominance type thing wherein what comes after is the more dominant effect voicing but in the case of dist, you can hit it too much in front and over gain the dist voicing, losing definition.
                              I tend to prefer ODs by themselves and Dist by itself using clean boosts in front or after to alter their intensity and voice but retains note definition.
                              Sometimes I might hit my high gains with an OD but I tend to use more moderate gain overdrive. As that tightens up and intensifies with a clean boost in front of it. The combination buffer/clean boosts are a great notion like the Fulltone 2B and others. It's all really what one likes and sounds pleasing to them.
                              I am very picky as hell about my drives or high gains as note definition and articulation is very important to me. It is easy to washout gain something where it is a wall of fuzz which in all honesty is better left up to a fuzz unit without killing your dist. I love the Palladium for high gain and its built in boost/OD is ideal and enhances it. If you want a shear wall of fuzz that is just monstrous, Black Arts Toneworks stuff are fuzz beasts and they need nothing. I'm not much of a fuzz user myself. I use a chain of Mesa Tone Burst (clean to light boost), Mesa Flux drive, Wampler Pinnacle Plus (set for vintage mid gain) and the Palladium for high gain. Covers all the bases for me. I need a new up front buffer myself and I am considering the JHS splitter buffer as I have two different lines running from adding in my new EH Mel9.
                              "A great player can make just about anything sound decent, a poor one can make great gear sound bad.
                              You know what they say, 'if you cannot hear the problem, it does not exist, ...for you."

                              I insist you hate me because I am pretty.

                              Comment

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