Best buffer?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Zillie, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Zillie

    Zillie Member

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    I know what are buffers good for and that there are good ones (Cornish etc.) and bad ones (Boss, DOD...) and how they can affect the sound... My question doesn't refer to buffered pedals but to stand-alone buffers without any other effect or even switch- I've seen a few of those units (I think one of them was from LA Sound Design) Does anyone have any experience with using stand-alone buffers or do you know companies that make them? I know what is considered the best drive/phaser etc. but who makes the best buffer? Or doesn't the quality differ enough to tell?
     
  2. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    bump for a good question....
     
  3. iggs

    iggs Member

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    Axess Electronics BS-2. I couldn't believe how much it changed my overall sound for the better. (mine is placed end of chain, replaced RC Booster)

    Info HERE.
     
  4. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Do you guys sell these on your web page ? Looks like a cool idea, but I didnt see them listed. Thanks !
     
  5. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Fuchs pure gain is pretty damn good. Boost and buffer in a single pedal...
     
  6. oil

    oil Supporting Member

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    +1 on the BS2. It is also a splitter with 2 buffered outs and an isolated tuner out. I use it at the beginning of my chain.
     
  7. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    The MI Audio Boost and Buff looks interesting. It can be powered using up to a 25 volt external power supply ( internaly regulated to 18 volts )

    Is anyone powering one of these out of an 18 volt jack of a dunlop DC Brick ??

    That could come in handy...
     
  8. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Does it alter your tone at all ??
     
  9. Galo

    Galo Supporting Member

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    +1........



     
  10. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    But as i read the description the buffer is only engaged when the pedal is on ??

    Or is the buffer always on and then you can kick in the boost ( which would be ideal and sort of what I'm looking for )
     
  11. iggs

    iggs Member

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    EVERYTHING "alters" the tone ... there is no such thing as 100% "transparent" piece of electronics ... :AOK

    However, the question is whether the change is audible and if it is for better or worse.

    IMHO, BS-2 imparts no audible coloration of the signal but definitely improves the overall "tone" due to input/output impedance of the circuit and "opens" up the sound making it sound more like when the guitar is plugged straight into the amp vs. running through a bunch of pedals. I tried the same setup with and without it in the chain and it made a definite and quite noticeable improvement to the overall tone.
     
  12. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Excellent buffer....and my experience mirrors yours!
     
  13. seiko

    seiko Member

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    In the traditional sense, buffers (or line drivers) are impedance matching devices that try and optimize the input and output impedance between your guitar pickups, signal chain and amp input. So, yes, if you're getting a lot of signal loss they'll restore treble and bass frequencies, which can lead to a much more zingy and hi-fi sound that some like and some hate. Conversely if you're *not* getting a lot of signal loss you might not notice much of a difference at all.

    I'd argue that you need to know what sound you want and the specs of each buffer to get an idea of which is best for you. The Zvex Super Duper and Catalinbread SCP both have super high input impedance and low outs so they'll buffer the signal quite strongly and reveal extra treble and bass on the amp output, this may not work so well with fuzz pedals etc downstream in the chain. The venerable old DOD BiFet is actually a pretty good buffer with its 1 Mohm input and 10K ohms out, I'd argue that if you don't know how buffers will affect your chain you should dip your toe into the water with something like the DOD. 1 Mohm in and 10 out is definitely a good starting point for a decent line driver however. There's really a lot of Boss and Ibanez pedals that can provide this buffer output as well and really they operate just as well, there can just be problems with impedance mismatches if you use a lot of them in your chain, so its best to futz around til you find a good order.
     
  14. Zillie

    Zillie Member

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    thx for all your replies... i've never been able to open axess electronics website, it says that it has some problems with the server- does anyone have the same problem?
     
  15. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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  16. joepopp

    joepopp Member

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    MI Audio Makes the Boost N' Buff. It looks pretty cool. The buffer is always on. I have not tried it yet. Does Barber sell that buffer board separately?

    http://www.mieffects.com/BnBinbrief.htm
     
  17. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Excellent - will they be installed in your pedals only, or would you folks install them in other brands as well ??

    These seem like a really great idea by the way...
     
  18. joepopp

    joepopp Member

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    David will you sell just the board?
     
  19. jstone

    jstone Member

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    A good buffer???
    Ask Jack Orman. He will probably hook you up with the best buffer for your needs. :)
     
  20. IvIark

    IvIark Member

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    The best buffers I've ever used have been relatively simple 5 component ones that you can make yourself quite easily and cheaply. A couple of resistors, couple of capacitors and either an opamp (lower output impedance - some people think more clean or "sterile") or transistor (not as low output impedance but some people think it sounds warmer). Both will do a very good job of restoring your top end and should have minimal affect on your "straight to amp tone".

    The reason some people don't like buffers is because they've got used to their sound with the highs rolled off. Add a buffer to that and the more trebley results may not be what everyone wants. Personally I prefer to use a buffer connected first in line (so it will always be protecting the pickups) and then alter EQ at the amp rather than using loaded pickups as a makeshift treble control.
     

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