• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


CAE Buffer/Preamp

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
Who knows about these?

Warren Haynes had one installed in his signature Les Paul and Scott Walker makes all of his astonishing guitars with them.

These are based on the buffer system from Jerry Garcia's Alligator guitar, which was then put into both Wolf and all the tiger-models (Tiger, Rosebud, and Lightning Bolt).

I am very interesting in installing these in all my guitars, but I am curious what experiences people have with them, specifically with regard to tonal results and ease of installation.

Thanks

ps- I did do a search but turned up little, especially since you can't search for CAE (not enough letters).
 

mj07

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,116
The Cutler Pre is way cool, not hard to install and is a real tone saver if you ride your volume a bunch. Pretty much retains the character of the p/u's the whole range of the knob. Keeps the prescence alive at low levels of volume.
 

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
Is the Cutler preamp the same as the CAE?

Do these have knobs or switches or anything that is going to require me to drill holes in my guitars or create holes in my pickguards?
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,874
Well, I don't have one, but I am somewhat familiar with these. I did have an effects loop installed on my strat, but I didn't get the pre/buffer put in. Why? Because I found something external that works just about as well, and even has some other features that worked better for me. I switch guitars here & there, going back & forth from Tele to Strat to dual bucker Ibanez. I definitely was NOT going to chop into my Tele, and have an extra knob installed, and a bypass switch put it. So, I opted to get the Tonebone Loopbone. Which, is a preamp/buffer and converts your signal to low impedence. It also has two different loops, so you can spread things out a bit, and not have all pedals in one chain. It also has...and this is key...a drag control. The drag control allows you to switch guitars that have different pup output strengths, without having to make lots of changes to amp settings. That said, I believe the ones that Scott & CAE use are based on the original JG-1 that John Cutler designed. Then Jerry didn't like some of the freq. responses, and he made the JG-2. Then, a buddy of mine started working at CAE, and he helped develop the Jangletone, which had a slightly different freq. response. Oh, and all of these are based on the EMG pre/buffer. Which, as I understand it, is the only one that's circuit board was line produced. Long story short, deciding which one will work best for you comes down to if you use different guitars quite a bit. If you are going to settle on one main guitar, are you ok with getting an extra toggle, jack, and knob installed on it. Oh, and I would definitely get the extra knob, which will sort of act as a master volume. Having the effects loop going straight to the pre-existing volume will get you the unity gain thing. Which is great...unless you like tones that are acheived when you back off the volume knob, when using dirt pedals. Which, I do. That's most of what I knows.
Good Hunting!
 

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
Thanks man, that's very helpful.

I do use my volume knob a good bit for changing the gain level going through my ODs, so the onboard effects loop, which sounded like a great idea to me when I first heard about it is not as great now that I understand that detail.

I am concerned that some guitars that I'm interested in have this system, and that it can't be bypassed (the effects loop). If it can be bypassed, then there is no issue.
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,170
Creation Audio Labs in Nashville makes something similar, but maybe simpler. It's only $49 and is a permanent install w/ no mods to your guitar as long as a 9v battery will fit in the control route. Here's a link:

http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer

There's a video demo. I've heard one live - pretty nice, and pretty cheap too.
 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,821
How does an onboard buffer like this affect pedals down the line? And, what about if you use a wireless? I use an X2 digital, BTW.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,874
Oh the loop can be bypassed, which is what the toggle is for. Which is a really cool feature of this kind of system. Say, the next song you are going to play you like having MuTron, fuzz, and delay on. You con do all of the tap dancing before the song starts. Then, and this is really handy if do a lot of lead vocal work, just as you deliver that last vocal line, instead of having to hit three pedals in a split second, BAM. You just hit one toggle for your solo. Then, hit it again to go back to the next verse. Also, if you have the master volume knob, you can still get the backed off V knob control without getting your overall volume out of control. Or use a volume pedal. Oh, and as treeofpain points out above, there does need to be room in the cavity for a 9V battery. UNLESS, you are using a mixer with a wet/dry rig set up. In that case, there is a guy who developed a cable that has the pre/buffer built right into the cable! However, it would need phantom power, hence the mixer necessity.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,874
How does an onboard buffer like this affect pedals down the line? And, what about if you use a wireless? I use an X2 digital, BTW.
Not sure about wireless. As far as how it effects the sound, depending on the pedals, it generally wakes'em up, and they sound a little better, overall. Especially input sensitive pedals like MuTrons. The downside is that pedals like Phase 90 or 100 tend to be a bit too wet, for my tastes anyway. I almost wish those came with a mix knob, so you can dial a bit of the effect out of the signal.
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,170
Seems like with a hotter signal into the wireless, you might have a lower noise floor to contend with.
 

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
Oh the loop can be bypassed, which is what the toggle is for. Which is a really cool feature of this kind of system. Say, the next song you are going to play you like having MuTron, fuzz, and delay on. You con do all of the tap dancing before the song starts. Then, and this is really handy if do a lot of lead vocal work, just as you deliver that last vocal line, instead of having to hit three pedals in a split second, BAM. You just hit one toggle for your solo. Then, hit it again to go back to the next verse. Also, if you have the master volume knob, you can still get the backed off V knob control without getting your overall volume out of control. Or use a volume pedal. Oh, and as treeofpain points out above, there does need to be room in the cavity for a 9V battery. UNLESS, you are using a mixer with a wet/dry rig set up. In that case, there is a guy who developed a cable that has the pre/buffer built right into the cable! However, it would need phantom power, hence the mixer necessity.
Awesome.
Extremely helpful, thank you.
 

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
One issue I have is that, down here in New Orleans, I don't believe we have even ONE deeply competent guitar tech.

So I pretty much have to do this myself, rather than get involved with someone who THINKS they know what they're doing, but has never actually seen or heard of any of this kind of equipment. I'm not a guitar tech at all, but I really hesitate to hand my axes over for any serious work to someone who doesn't know what I'm talking about. I'd rather take my chances myself.

Hopefully I can pull it off without butchering my instruments. If it looks like it's truly beyond me, I'll send it off to someone.
 

Wooley

Member
Messages
2,600
Just wanted to say that the guys at CAE have been great.

They have personally emailed me twice and answered all of my questions. They could not have been more helpful, and I wanted people to know.
 
Messages
486
Creation Audio Labs in Nashville makes something similar, but maybe simpler. It's only $49 and is a permanent install w/ no mods to your guitar as long as a 9v battery will fit in the control route. Here's a link:

http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer

There's a video demo. I've heard one live - pretty nice, and pretty cheap too.
I was also interested in the CAE because warren and jerry use/d it. Also, I had read so much about using a buffer at the begining of the signal chain with pedals.

I liked my CAL MK 4.23 so much I got the redeemer instead.

I put the redeemer in my PRS custom and it sounds AWESOME. I think it gives the strings more snap. Also, the volume roll-off is exactly as they claim in the video. Additionally, it lowers the impedance of the guitars output which works very well with effects. Its a buffer.

I highly recommend the redeemer. The guys at CAL are SUPER helpful and friendly. I had questions about how to wire my PRS. I sent them a photo and they acatually photoshoped it with installation instructions. Needless to say, the installation went smoothly.
 

navvid

Member
Messages
1
Pardon the reply to an old thread, but I have recently started working for CAE, and some research I was doing lead me to this discussion. Since there seems to be some confusion, I would like to put in my two cents, which I have acquired from the horses mouth, as it were.

The Cutler preamp is an impedance lowering buffer preamp. A guitar pickup is a relatively high impedance device, which means it outputs a high impedance signal. In a perfect world, with perfect cables that are very short, it is an unnecessary device, as the full signal from the guitar would get to the amp. In the real world, cables are far from perfect, and so they have both a capacitance and impedance value which increases with the length of the cable. Effectively, the resistance and capacitance of the pickup/cable system creates a low-pass filter on the guitar's output (which cuts out high frequencies, hence the name low-pass). So especially if you are a stage performer who uses a long run of cable, your guitar will end up sounding dark. Now add effects to the chain, and by the time your amp gets the signal it has had it's already narrow bandwidth choked to death (or death metal).

By lowering the impedance of the output signal from the guitar, it enables it to make the long runs through effects while retaining the full bandwidth signal that came out of the pickups, i.e. you get to hear all the frequencies that the guitar produces.

The CB1 is basically the original cutler preamp designed for Jerry. Peter, our founder and master tech made one of the actual ones that went into Wolf or Thunderboldt or One of them...

The Jangletone has the addition of the ability to add up to 6db of gain to the signal, making it hotter and louder, like what EMG active pickups do, but done much, much better. Unity gain just means that it can be adjusted so that when the additional gain pot is rolled all the way back, your guitar signal is the same level as it would be without the buffer. In this case it is buffering only, without making the signal hotter. This is what you want if you wish to simply preserve the tone of your guitar through long cables and effects.

The Jangletone is great for heavy metal by the way. With a hot humbucker and the full 6db boost pushing through my Super Lead dimed out, it will tear your face off, and be pretty while doing it.
 




Trending Topics

Top