Buffer experts - Help!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by fast ricky love, May 4, 2008.

  1. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, I've finally ponied up for a good pedalboard (Puma - awesome!) now that I'm using quite a few pedals. After hooking everything up I played thru my pedals, then for kicks plugged straight into my amp.

    I was shocked!! The tone with the guitar plugged straight in was significantly CLEARER and LOUDER!! It was like going from 7 to 9 on the guitar volume.

    So! I guess I need a buffer? I don't have any BOSS pedals in my signal chain but I do have a SD-1 coming to me that I'm going to mod via Montes kit.

    So! If I put the BOSS first in my chain will it restore both the clarity and volume? Or do I still need a buffer? Or what? Help, I don't know squat about this subject... :rolleyes:
     
  2. evanjackson

    evanjackson Supporting Member

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    I've found that when you have several true bypass pedals, it can help to put buffered pedals first and last in the chain. This helps buffering the signal through the pedals and then to the amp. If you only have the SD-1, experiment a little with it's placement...I would start with it as early in the chain as is practical. That should make a significant difference. Too many buffered pedals gives rise to their own set of issues, but to me, having 1 or 2 is quite useful.
     
  3. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Here's my signal path if it helps:

    Strobostomp > Eternity > Zendrive 2 > Sweetsound MojoVibe > Pedalworx WAh (w/Foxfox) > Maxon FL-9 flanger > Analogman Mini Chorus > Line 6 Verbzilla > Maxon AD900 delay > Barber Tone Press

    So when I get my Boss SuperOverdrive I'll replace the Eternity with it to see what that does. I did expect some loss of highs/clarity with all these pedals, but the volume drop was the shocker. So that's normal?

    I might just go thru my pedals one by one and just isolate the one (or more) that are causing this problem and replace them with a TB pedal... but I really like the tone I've got going now with all of these, and like I mentioned, I just configured my pedalboard perfectly, so I'd hate to have to do that configuring all over again.
     
  4. evanjackson

    evanjackson Supporting Member

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    Awesome board! I would try it with the SD-1 in place of the Eternity...the AD900 should help buffer you at the other end. If it still doesn't work, going through pedal by pedal might help.
    It would be a shame to have to replace the Eternity, though...that's a great pedal.
    You could try moving your buffered flanger before your drive pedals (not the traditional placement but the result has it's own charm...it seemed to work for Van Halen).
     
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

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    Doesn't the Strobostomp have a buffered mode?
     
  6. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    It does, but I can tell you it doesn't help with this specific problem.
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the peterson site is annoyingly murky on the subject, but i think that when "DI" mode is engaged, the 1/4" output also becomes an active buffered out,which could be the solution to the OP's problem.

    (edit: just read bluntage's response, which suggests maybe not.)
     
  8. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    When I add a second buffer it sounds bad. I love the Eventide buffer at the end. And I love the Radial PB-1 near the beginning. They're both great IMO. Try one!
     
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

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    Why on earth not? Regardless of whether the Strobostomp has a great sounding buffer, any functional buffer will let him figure out if he just needs a buffer or whether he has a defective cable/pedal.
     
  10. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, man, I'd really prefer to keep the pedal placement where it is, so I'm hoping adding the Boss at the beginning instead of the Eternity (yes, great pedal, but I rarely use it. I generally use the Z2 and keep the E on my board for a different flavor occasionally).

    Here's another thought: would help to replace the Eternity with say a Barber Launch Pad??

    AND, yes, I could go thru each pedal to determine which the culprit is, but would I really find out the problem that way? Or is it the cumulative effect of all the pedals together that is causing the volume/tone drop?

    AND AND, is volume drop like this common with this many pedals?
     
  11. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    I'll check this out too... why not? :BEER
     
  12. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    I have a Strobostomp and I had a similar problem as the OP. Putting the Strobostomp in DI mode didn't help at all with treble/volume loss... neither did moving it around in the chain. It is possible that my unit is defective in DI mode, but I highly doubt it. Just my experience...
     
  13. amz-fx

    amz-fx Supporting Member

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    Take the Strobostomp and Verbzilla out of the pedal chain and test the sound.

    If that is okay, then put the Verbzilla back in and test again. If still okay, put in the Strobo and test again.

    regards, Jack
     
  14. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    What AMZ said.

    Also how much cable do you have in the chain? With TB pedals you want to keep it under 50' IMHO.
     
  15. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    Also, what cable are you using, if George L, maybe try each cable. I find that if you tweak one wrong, sometimes you get a bit of tone loss if the connection isn't quite there. If you changed the placement of your compressor that may help too, I usually use mine at the beginning of my chain and use it more as a signal enhancer or buffer, if that makes sense. But, as you said, changing the order is a drag. I'd say it is pretty common to lose tone with a lot of pedals though, something that drives me nuts, the constant trade-off of using all I want, or making do with less to preserve some fidelity.
     
  16. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    my experience as well...not a very good sounding buffer at all...I used to use it further down the chain somewhere in the middle in TB mode...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  17. analogmike

    analogmike Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a cable problem to me too. DO what you said about removing pedals and cables one by one and let us know where you find the problem.
    Your signal chain should be fine the way you have it.

    Good luck!
     
  18. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    OK, thanks for all the input guys, it's a big help!!

    I'll check each connection/pedal. I did JUST rewire everything with Lava's Monorail kit... not sure that made a difference or created the volume/tone drop - I think that situation might have already existed unbeknownst to me...
     
  19. cochese

    cochese Supporting Member

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    That's a lot of pedals. The Maxon's are probably buffered so I would have to agree with the cable problem. Also you didn't mention the type of guitar and pickups. If you are using single coil pickups they are easily loaded down. I don't normally use that many pedals but when I did I would use a true bypass loop box that has two loops in it. It's much easier to find the offending pedal with this type of box although I'm a big believer in using a buffer.
     
  20. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Using P-90 and humbucker Les Pauls... I'm going to go thru everything tonight hopefully and pinpoint the problem.

    Re: a loop box. Wouldn't the problem just return when I used the offending pedals that are going thru a loop?
     

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