Boss Pedals Affecting Tone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Oggy, Jun 29, 2006.


  1. Oggy

    Oggy Member

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    I have a little ongoing offline dispute with a friend who says that Boss pedals do not affect the tone of the guitar signal when they are not on (bypassed). I disagree, on the premise that Boss pedals (specifically the DD-20 Gigadelay) are not true-bypass. It is my understanding that the tone is affected no matter what with a pedal that is not true bypass.

    All you tone experts out there, what is the truth of the matter?

    I'm willing to concede this friend is correct, if it does turn out to be the case, but this is my current understanding.

    Anyone?
     
  2. el34power

    el34power Member

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    Yes You are correct. But i must say that they are pretty good though. If you or your friend have an SD-1. Crank the level and Gain all the way..with the pedal off, and a fairly good clean amp level You should hear a bleed.
     
  3. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    Boss pedals have buffers to compesate so they won't completely load down the signal but how good those buffers work is up to your ears. I used a boss Turbo OD for years and had no problem when in bypass mode. My zoom choir is also not true bypas and it's buffer is not very good at all. It has a very noticable effect on the tone even in bypass.

    In short, boss pedals are designed not to effect your tone but they probably still do to some extent.

    Scott
     
  4. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    No active bypass (buffer) is perfectly transparent. Some people like the sound of Boss pedals, and some don't. I think Boss pedals share a characteristic "thinning" of the tone compared to a true bypass. I've heard someone describe it as a slight boost to the upper midrange frequency. A lot of them in a row is where things get really easy to perceive; just one is probably okay for just about anybody. Of course there's the whole other topic of how the buffer changes the tone of a vintage-style fuzz if placed in front of it.
    :horse
     
  5. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    "...that poor horse."
     
  6. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Close :). Actually the tone is affected no matter what, period. There is no such thing as true bypass.

    It's just affected in different ways and to varying extents with different types of pedals.
     
  7. JohnLutz

    JohnLutz Supporting Member

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    I usually test new pedals with a true bypass box just to see if they suck tone when off.

    I couldn't really tell any difference with my DD-20. I did notice the thinning with other Boss pedals though for example the OC-3 and BF-3.

    John
     
  8. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    Interesting question Oggy...

    Now, what would happen if, per se, the delay was run through the effects loop on your amp? If that were the case, there shouldn't be any issue unless the pedal was in fact engaged. However, you are correct, when run pre-amp, the pedal does affect the tone whether on or off.
     
  9. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Though this fact is true, it's irrelevant to the topic. That is particular to the SD-1, and says nothing about the dozens of other Boss pedals out there which do not suffer from this.

    I'm perplexed as to why Boss hasn't fixed it in 20+ years, though.
     
  10. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    Read how it was achived once again;)
    Plus sticking another buffered pedal before it usually eleminates the bleeding.
     
  11. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Everything that comes between your fingers and sound waves coming off the speaker potentially affect 'tone', even if it means an extra inch of cable. The question is, can you tell? And if so, is it agreeable to you?

    MHO, FWIW, I think some Boss pedals still rule and they get a bum rap here.
     
  12. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    True, but you actually don't need to crank the knobs. I use my (modded) SD-1 with the level at 12:00, the gain at about 10:30, and the tone at about 1:00, and still get bleed.

    I should have gotten the bleed-fix mod as well! And I'll try the buffer beforehand thing
     
  13. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    Hmm sounds like a few wires are too close to each other, then the signal can bleed over...most of the time it simply goes away with another high to low impedant pedal in front of it.
     
  14. enickma

    enickma Member

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    Very much in agreement. A row of Boss and your tone is going to suffer ... and suffer quite measureably. My old rig was exactly that, and I almost quit playing ... having one in line with "true bypass" ones will more than likely help your tone though with the buffering. Another huge component is the cables connecting them .... crap cables = tone suckage
     
  15. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    Agreed. I have switched stuff around alot on my board with/ and WO bypass boxes on the boss stuff and TRUE bypass stuff. The Good TRUE bypass stuff is just hard to detect the tone loss depending on how many pedals in the chain.

    Even a good high quality buffer doesn't get you back to the same exact tone as guitar straight to amp BUT it is usually a good compromise in my opinion for the ability to use pedals with minimal tone change when all pedals are off.
     
  16. RUSHFANnLV

    RUSHFANnLV Member

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    True Bypass = Boutique sellers tool.
     
  17. longgonedaddy

    longgonedaddy Member

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    I have seven pedals on my board. Fender tuner>Voodoo Lab Superfuzz>Boss OD-2r>Boss PQ-4 tonejam modded>Boss DM-3>Boss CE-2>Voodoo lab trem.

    I don't notice any loss.
     
  18. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    Interesting that the most expensive "boutique seller" of them all recommends against true bypass. (Pete Cornish)

    [​IMG]=[​IMG]

    :mad::horse:rolleyes:
     
  19. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Listen for yourself. Everyone has different opionions but trust your own ears. Everything even True Bypass peds will affect your tone.
     
  20. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    One of the reasons non-true-bypass sounds different is that the pedal has a low-impedance output (typically). That means that the impedance of the cable, which is primarily capacitive, has far less effect on the tone than it normally does. Same as using active pickups. A typical guitar may have ten's of kilohms of output impedance, an active pedal maybe only a few hundred ohms. Quite a difference. This is not necessarily a bad or good thing, but will effect the tone vs. true-bypass. Personally I'd rather have an active output to reduce cable-loading effects. However, I haven't used pedals in years so YMMV.

    CC
     

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