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

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  • #16
    Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

    The only buffers I have on my board now are what Boss has in their pedals. They make everything play nice. No issues for me.

    When I did use an outboard buffer some years back, I used a discrete IC buffer that I built and I have a transistor based version as well. I was able to make the layout smaller than a 9V battery and cram it in to a 1590A enclosure. Both worked great but I liked the IC version a bit better. It seems more effective. Still have them somewhere.

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    • #17
      Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

      "Experts" have stated that when assessing cable lengths, every set of jacks in a pedal accounts for an additional ft of cable capacitance loading. Plus connect patch cables, lesser quality having even more cap loading than higher end cables, plus the feeds from the guitar, to the amp(s) and effects loop if used. We have to speak in generalities regarding such issues as everyone's guitar rig is different. Sometimes problems are not immediately apparent and can be covered up while some pedals are on. Some pedals actually produce a low impedance output and serve as quasi buffer effect when on. Buffer issues are best as assessed o a clean signal with nothing on as buffer circuit pedals like Boss always have the signal going through the buffer circuit even when off. If you have a huge difference between the guitar straight into the amp and through your chain with nothing on, there could be a need for a good buffer or perhaps an issue of having too many. Everyone has to assess their own rig and issues as to what they hear or feel when playing, like it has been said, if you do not hear a problem then it virtually does not exist for you.
      If you want to best tones and want your rig to sound it its best potential then you follow the basic premise of buffer circuits and true bypass. All buffers are certainly not created equal some are vastly better designed than others.
      About 20mins into this discussion Brian Wampler and his "resident engineer" speak about having a chain of Boss pedals and how each pedal can take away 1% of your tone. If you like certain pedals there are ways to use them and compensate for tone loss to some extent. The notion that inexpensive and low cost pedals are just as good as "snobby boutique" level pedals is just not really true.
      If you find a buffer circuit pedal that uses higher voltage or perhaps internal power rail voltage pump to run higher internal voltage it is generally thought to be a higher quality buffer. You cannot always "hear" a dramatic difference as "ears" are not measurement tools needless to say they are infinitely variant as to each persons hearing range and perhaps loss.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iN4FFUrUgw
      "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.

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      • #18
        Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

        I have 15 feet of cable to my tuner (which, I want a buffered tuner but there are only a handful on the market. Why the hell aren't there more buffered tuners? Do we really need 'true bypass' tuners?) then 6 inches into a Compressor, and then 6 inches into a Boss BD-2w, the first buffered pedal in my chain. Boss have definitely upped their buffer circuits, I have an older OS-2 hanging around and I tested it against the BD-2w on an ABY box I borrowed. When the pedals were turned off, the OS-2 made my sound kind of bright and tinny whereas my tone still felt pure and clean through the BD-2w's buffer.

        I think my board might be over buffered, but most of the buffers are very high quality ones: The Strymon Mobius, the Source Audio Nemesis and a boss RV-6 (again using the 'newer' Boss buffers. I don't know when they changed or how they changed but to my ears my tone still feels pure and clear).

        I've played around with the buffered bypass on the Mobius, before I bought the BD-2w the buffer made a big difference, now it makes no difference whether it's on or off. The Nemesis has a cool True Bypass/Trails function where you turn the pedal off and a buffer activates briefly until the trails run out, then it moves to true bypass. Again, no major difference between buffered and true bypass in my signal chain. Most importantly perhaps is the RV-6's buffer, at the end of my chain which helps drive the signal into the amp. I think the fact that I can't tell the difference between the buffered bypass and true bypass on both the Nemesis and the Mobius shows that my chain is buffered enough on both ends.
        Originally posted by BigAlTheBird
        I just got oiixed in the mung by a Canadian.

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        • #19
          Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

          I typically use two 12' cables and one to three true bypass pedals. in that setup I prefer the tone without a buffer to lose a little high end and warm things up. with my big board there are plenty of fx with good buffers. I use a radial dual loop pedal to keep a few pedals out of the main signal chain since I feel they suck tone such as my boss oc2

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          • #20
            Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

            I need to split my guitar signal and the Radial ABY has a Class A buffer circuit and variable impedance loading. I will try it at the front of my board and see how it changes things.
            Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
            My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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            • #21
              Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

              Not sure if it counts as a buffer, but I do use a Zvex 2-in-1 (two SHOs in one) with one of the sides constantly on, with no gain set.
              It adds a bit of treble and clarity.
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              Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!

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              • #22
                Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                Originally posted by Diego View Post
                Not sure if it counts as a buffer, but I do use a Zvex 2-in-1 (two SHOs in one) with one of the sides constantly on, with no gain set.
                It adds a bit of treble and clarity.
                Ya know, I was thinking the same thing about my SHO, because it's first in my chain and always on as well; it has a massive input impedance as well...
                Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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                • #23
                  Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                  Of course it all depends on what you're using and what kind of tone you're going for...

                  but, if you want to retain clarity, a high input impedance with a low output impedance (in the same stomp) keeps things clear.
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                  • #24
                    Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                    I don't have a pedalboard because I only use two pedals, and one lives on top of my amp.

                    But I can say that I do indeed use a buffoon ... I have one right at the origin of the signal. I've used (been) the same buffoon at the start of my signal-chain for 45 years. It is kinda organic, and has improved as time has passed.
                    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

                    STALKER NO STALKING !

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                    • #25
                      Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                      Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
                      Ya know, I was thinking the same thing about my SHO, because it's first in my chain and always on as well; it has a massive input impedance as well...
                      Some pedals produce a low impedance output level (have to check the specs) with that sort of boost it helps negate signal degrade and functions as a quasi buffer. Not the same as a quality high end level but certainly does the deal enough. Sometimes a buffer is not needed, it is an objective thing. Like I said the test of amp-in and then the chain will tell you if you have signal loss or muddled headroom.
                      Lately I see players with too many buffers in the chain which is just too much of a good thing. Even a single Boss buffer does the deal but is certainly not top shelf which some are not into. Having a whole chain of Boss or similar pedals is just too many buffers and not so great ones adds to the problem. Should say nothing wrong with the Waza upgrade if you like Boss, I think they might be true bypass or at least vastly improved over the basic line.
                      "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.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                        Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
                        I need to split my guitar signal and the Radial ABY has a Class A buffer circuit and variable impedance loading. I will try it at the front of my board and see how it changes things.
                        The Radial is rated at similar quality to a Lehle quality. Best buffers you are going to find and Class A clean noncoloring.
                        Buffers in Strymon and things of that level are high end and should not present any problem as one is not going to have a half dozen of them. They serve to really improve the headroom and quality of the overall sound. Strymon is just good stuff. The too many buffer thing more applies to lower grade class B buffers which are more readily chained in larger numbers. I've only seen a couple boards on the board thread I would say have too many but like I said if you cannot hear it, there is no problem. The pursuit of making ones rig more quality and better is not the cup of tea for everyone. Nothing is. I am just offering Info FYI, not suggesting dumping anyone's gear they have but if one is interested in knowing the issues it can only help your development as a player.
                        Gainstage
                        Tone Member
                        Last edited by Gainstage; 06-11-2016, 06:15 AM.
                        "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


                        • #27
                          Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                          Originally posted by Gainstage View Post
                          Some pedals produce a low impedance output level (have to check the specs) with that sort of boost it helps negate signal degrade and functions as a quasi buffer. Not the same as a quality high end level but certainly does the deal enough. Sometimes a buffer is not needed, it is an objective thing. Like I said the test of amp-in and then the chain will tell you if you have signal loss or muddled headroom.
                          Lately I see players with too many buffers in the chain which is just too much of a good thing. Even a single Boss buffer does the deal but is certainly not top shelf which some are not into. Having a whole chain of Boss or similar pedals is just too many buffers and not so great ones adds to the problem. Should say nothing wrong with the Waza upgrade if you like Boss, I think they might be true bypass or at least vastly improved over the basic line.
                          I am not bothered enough to look, I will have to use the Radial regardless and the buffer in that unit is great.
                          Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                          My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                            I found that when I play at bedroom levels I don't have any issue with using all true bypass pedals. Everything comes through and sounds great. But when I crank it up I get this high end that I can't get rid of. I thought it was an issue with my distortion pedals (wampler sovereign and MI Audio Blues Pro) so I was going to go buy some other pedals with an active eq (treble, mid and bass) to try to tame the high end. My amp is a Fender Pro Jr which I put into a different cabinet with a Eminence Texas heat 12" speaker. I also figured with such a simple amp I needed more tonal control. So anyway, I decided to get out my old Boss OD-3 to see if I had the same problem. Well I did not - of course it wasn't as dynamic as my other pedals though. but with the Boss in front of my Blues Pro, it made the high end problem go away. I think it is the buffer that helped out. What do you all think? It's almost the opposite of what has been said. Instead of adding back high end, I get rid of it. Or am I just crazy?
                            1996 Fender Custom Shop Tele Jr #24 out of 25
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                            • #29
                              Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                              I don't use a dedicated buffer pedal/box. All my pedals are true bypass, except for one. I have a klon type pedal with buffered bypass (second in chain, right after tuner). I really like the buffer in that pedal. It appears to just be the klon buffer (which is strange because I didn't like the buffer in the J Rockett Archer Ikon, which I thought was also the klon buffer). No fuzz or wah on board. Only other pedal I have that is buffered bypass is a Fulltone ABY. It's at the end of the chain and the buffers are switchable. I usually leave them switched off.

                              On the Boss pedals ... always was curious about their Fuzz pedal. They must have designed it to work fine with buffer in front, or at least with their buffers. Saw a video when it was released and it was somewhere in the middle of an all boss effects chain.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

                                Originally posted by Darg1911 View Post
                                On the Boss pedals ... always was curious about their Fuzz pedal. They must have designed it to work fine with buffer in front, or at least with their buffers. Saw a video when it was released and it was somewhere in the middle of an all boss effects chain.
                                Which one? The FZ-5 is a digital COSM modeling box. The older FZ-2 and FZ-3 are flat out fuzz machines, they seem to take a buffered signal, buzz saw it, then output it. They don't interact with the guitar quite like vintage fuzz might, and the circuits were definitely designed with their buffers in mind.
                                Oh no.....


                                Oh Yeah!

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