Buffer question:

iama

Member
Messages
260
Hi, here's a question. I'm thinking of getting a stand alone buffer for my pedal board. I don't even know if I need one but the arguments are pretty compelling.

If I have a buffered pedal, ala Boss, would that cover the buffer issue? Would I need more than that? Am I just looking to spend $? Is this even important?

Looking for a better way....
 

Jim Marciano

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,725
I'm not an expert or anything but I think it depends on how big your board is and if your happy with your sound or not, some people with big boards will run a buffer or buffered pedal at the beginning and end, but if it's small I would think a boss probably covers it
 

nnnnnn

Member
Messages
1,141
I'm thinking of getting a stand alone buffer for my pedal board. I don't even know if I need one but the arguments are pretty compelling.
What problem(s) do you have with your existing setup?

What is your existing setup?
 

Blue-moon

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,510
I love playing through a buffer, even when I am not playing through a board. Just adds some sparkle and immediacy to my pick attack. I've tried a few buffers. They all work great, but they are different.
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,904
Try running direct to your amp, then through your board with everything off. If you notice a significant loss of clarity, punch, sparkle etc you may want to add a buffer. With buffers, the earlier in the chain the more signal you preserve. Having one anywhere in the chain will help though, and at the end is useful for driving the signal to your amp.

All that said, I dont have a standalone buffer and don't really feel the need for one
 

mabinogeon

A really hoopy frood.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,660
Personally, I have a buffered pedal at the front of my board (a Boss TU-2 tuner), and one at the end of my board (TrueTone H20 V3). The six pedals in between are true bypass. 30' of coil cable from guitar to board and 20' of standard cable from the board to the amp.

If I didn't have buffered pedals, I may look into a standalone due to the cable length.
 

Flouncingfleasbag

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,505
I could be wrong about this, but the reason people often use independent buffers, instead of a boss pedal for example, is that once you activate the Boss pedal, you no longer have a buffer at work until you switch it off again. Many people use Boss TU-2's for this reason, because it's a tuner and not something you have on while playing. I also gather some buffers are prefered over the buffering offered in a Boss pedal, but I can't expound on that.

Some fuzz pedals don't like being after buffers, something to keep in mind.
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,064
I could be wrong about this, but the reason people often use independent buffers, instead of a boss pedal for example, is that once you activate the Boss pedal, you no longer have a buffer at work until you switch it off again. Many people use Boss TU-2's for this reason, because it's a tuner and not something you have on while playing. I also gather some buffers are prefered over the buffering offered in a Boss pedal, but I can't expound on that.

Some fuzz pedals don't like being after buffers, something to keep in mind.
What?

Once you engage any pedal after a buffer, that pedal takes over the signal and, in turn, becomes a “buffer.”

Many people use TU-2s because they need to tune their guitars and BECAUSE it has a buffer when it’s not turned on.
 

Riffa

Member
Messages
4,724
I don't usually run more than 5 pedals. I like buffered pedals (like a Boss tuner) at the end of the chain to drive the signal into the amp.
 

Frosted Glass

Member
Messages
2,272
Hi, here's a question. I'm thinking of getting a stand alone buffer for my pedal board. I don't even know if I need one but the arguments are pretty compelling.

If I have a buffered pedal, ala Boss, would that cover the buffer issue? Would I need more than that? Am I just looking to spend $? Is this even important?.
Signal degrades the longer the cable run. The tone of your guitar > amp will likely be different using a 1m cable as opposed to a 10m cable (usually in the treble content) however short cables are often not practical. A buffer converts the electric guitar signal into a form that is less likely to degrade through a long cable run. Like anything, there are various buffer designs and the are not all equal. The buffer included in a typical boss pedal is serviceable but not outstanding. A stand-alone buffer is likely to be better quality than the one included for free in a Boss pedal and can be moved around to where you think it sounds best in the chain. Whether you need one is a matter for you.
 

meowmers

Member
Messages
1,062
Been testing it out as well and i'll like to say that sticking a buffer in the middle of 6 true-bypass pedals is still not as delightful as going straight in.
 

Flouncingfleasbag

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,505
What?

Once you engage any pedal after a buffer, that pedal takes over the signal and, in turn, becomes a “buffer.”

Many people use TU-2s because they need to tune their guitars and BECAUSE it has a buffer when it’s not turned on.
Isn't that what I said?
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,048
Isn't that what I said?
No, you said “once you activate the Boss pedal, you no longer have a buffer at work until you switch it off again.”

That is not the case. When the pedal is turned on, it’s an active signal, and therefore, buffered.

That’s the other problem buffers can solve. When a TB pedal is engaged, it drives the signal. When it’s off, it doesn’t.

Especially with pedals like modulation, delay, etc., the base tone can change (it will generally get brighter), due to the sudden shift in impedance, when the pedal is switched on.

Sometimes, when people complain about their delay or mod pedals “changing the base tone too much,” it’s actually that, rather than the pedal.

A buffer early in the chain makes it consistent.
 

Flouncingfleasbag

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,505
No, you said “once you activate the Boss pedal, you no longer have a buffer at work until you switch it off again.”

That is not the case. When the pedal is turned on, it’s an active signal, and therefore, buffered.

That’s the other problem buffers can solve. When a TB pedal is engaged, it drives the signal. When it’s off, it doesn’t.

Especially with pedals like modulation, delay, etc., the base tone can change (it will generally get brighter), due to the sudden shift in impedance, when the pedal is switched on.

Sometimes, when people complain about their delay or mod pedals “changing the base tone too much,” it’s actually that, rather than the pedal.

A buffer early in the chain makes it consistent.
Ah...thanks for the clarification, I had been misinformed about that. I was told the buffer was bypassed in Boss type pedals when they are turned on.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,223
Hi, here's a question. I'm thinking of getting a stand alone buffer for my pedal board. I don't even know if I need one but the arguments are pretty compelling.
nobody will have a clue until you tell us what you have now and in what order
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
39,485
Ah...thanks for the clarification, I had been misinformed about that. I was told the buffer was bypassed in Boss type pedals when they are turned on.
There are some TB pedals though that don't have buffered outputs (therefore aren't buffered when on).

A Lovepedal Eternity is an example of this.
 

CarlGuitarist

Member
Messages
3,485
The thing is that not every pedal is buffered, even when engaged. There are plenty of overdrives that take the output straight from the volume pot, thus the output impedance can be all over the place (classic example was earlier versions of the OCD). I actually like having a buffer in the middle of the chain, after overdrives and before time based effects.
 




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