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

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    Gainstage
    Tone Member

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

    Originally posted by TeleJr24 View Post
    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?
    Yep, now your're getting it. It is not always just about the high end loss and muddled headroom a buffer fixes, it is sometimes the interaction of various pedals and an overall sonic treatment that just about any rig can benefit. Ideal has always been a buffer up front, bypass in the middle and a end buffer if you drive cables back to the amp line.
    Of course if you have just one buffer in there maybe mid chain that does the deal as well or you might find putting a buffer between two pedals that do not like each other fixes the sonic issue.
    Quality is a personal issue and if you're more of a top shelf gear strive'r, a use what you have, or a bargain hunter of cheaper stuff. There is always a solution, just depends on what you want and how far you want to take it. For ages I never knew what a buffer or bypass even was or anything technical about it. Never hurts to learn. BTW, a simple test of true bypass is if the pedal passes a signal with no battery or power to it. If it does not you are dealing with a buffered circuit.


    I think it's time to discuss the way Hendrix ran his rig and how he used cap loading to pull off his tinny high end from those old Strats with not so amazing pickups.
    He used a 20ft curly cable which in those days were not the high quality copper and better shielding we can get today. It rolled off his high end and the mids and lows got buried in his amp volume. He used to do this trick using the Fuzz Face as there was not such thing as overdrives back then or relatively any significant pedals to speak of, Roger Mayer and Hendrix are due credit for starting the real pedal craze age of the guitar.
    Anyway, Jimi would get his Fuzz set to where it sounded good to him and roll off his guitar volume till the fuzz stopped clipping, this was his clean sound that was always so good. He was creating a quasi clean boost/overdrive with what was available. Back in that era quality control was a joke, especially on things like pedals, no two of them ever really sounded exactly alike. Things with buffered circuits like the old Univibe were horrible tone suckers and no two of them sounded the same. So when you see an old vintage wonder for mega bucks you might consider some of them did not sound that great when they were new much less many decades down the pike.
    Hendrix would often go through a box of Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face's trying to find any that had the perfect by chance magic diodes that worked the best.
    So he rolled off the brittle high end of his Strat and used the Fuzz Face as a clean boost and made the best of any present buffers the best he could.
    He also used the Vox wah as he said the Crybaby did not do well in front of the Fuzz Face, which was a buffer issue.
    Old style fuzz circuits are made to react to the guitars high impedance signal, they do not do well with most buffers. More modern fuzz circuits can handle low impedance.
    All I can recommend is you just try the buffer thing and maybe in several applications you might be surprised how it helps or that you do not need it. Never hurts to experiment a little.
    Gainstage
    Tone Member
    Last edited by Gainstage; 06-11-2016, 06:01 PM.

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  • some_dude
    Raging BB Gunologist

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

    Boss TU-3

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  • Mincer
    Administrator

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

    I use a Pickup Booster, but only with single coils. I am not anti or pro buffer, though. I don't care- whatever sounds good. I don't use a ton of cable, though.

    Leave a comment:

  • Darg1911
    Mojo's Minions

  • Darg1911
    replied
    Re: Are you using a buffer on your pedal board? Is so, which one?

    Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
    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.
    I'd have to dig up the video but probably the 5. I'm guessing it was late 2000's.

    Leave a comment:

  • PFDarkside
    of the Forum

  • PFDarkside
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Darg1911
    Mojo's Minions

  • Darg1911
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • TeleJr24
    Tone Member

  • TeleJr24
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

  • TwilightOdyssey
    Darkness on the edge of Tone

  • TwilightOdyssey
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gainstage
    Tone Member

  • Gainstage
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gainstage
    Tone Member

  • Gainstage
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • crusty philtrum
    Vintageologist

  • crusty philtrum
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • LLL
    Mojo's Minions

  • LLL
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • TwilightOdyssey
    Darkness on the edge of Tone

  • TwilightOdyssey
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:

  • Diego
    Mojo's Minions

  • Diego
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • TwilightOdyssey
    Darkness on the edge of Tone

  • TwilightOdyssey
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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