1. A proposal is now up as a poll to change the guidelines of TGP to only allow member self-deleting of post/threads for up to thirty days of the original posting it. We are now watching the poll here. Click here to view the thread.

    Dismiss Notice

Do I Need A Buffer?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by osq_122, May 21, 2011.

  1. osq_122

    osq_122 Member

    Messages:
    213
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My current setup is a blues breaker clone>Timmy>BoR>Monsterpiece NPN> m9 with the m9 set to dsp bypass.
    I got bored and set the m9 to true bypass and heard a significant drop in volume.
    When I took the blues breaker out of the chain, I got a little volume back but it was still below the original volume.
    I also have a cheap cable connecting my npn to my m9 which I intend to replace soon, so that might also be playing a part.

    Do you think I need buffer at the beginning of my chain or maybe just new cables?
     
  2. 8len8

    8len8 Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Are you happy with the sound even though it's lower volume than the other setup? Volume doesn't equal better. If you think the cable and effect capacitances are loading down your signal and you are loosing clarity then, yes, get a buffer. If it's just a case of volume difference, then don't get one.
     
  3. d.rhoads

    d.rhoads Member

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Depends how long your cables are coming into the pedals and out to the amp. I just got the Valvualator, and that thing is terrific. Makes a significant difference. It's also very expensive and isn't just a buffer. So it's not for everyone.

    Everybody on TGP seems to like the T1M buffer.

    I'd say, if you are running at least 20 feet of cable total, you should have a buffer. I'd give it a shot. The T1M buffer is cheap. Why not? If it doesn't do anything for you, just sell it.
     
  4. lando014

    lando014 Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    T1M's buffer is great. Small, cheap, and totally does its job. Get it, you will notice a difference in your volume AND guitar's tone.
     
  5. eclipseall

    eclipseall Member

    Messages:
    1,495
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Cmatmods makes a great mini buffet
    Worked great for me at the beginning of the chain
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  6. cubistguitar

    cubistguitar Member

    Messages:
    5,406
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Augusta GA
    nothing wrong with mid chain or end of chain either

    at least one buffer is great
     
  7. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,701
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Greater boston
    I know this sounds real bad but what is a buffer? How do I achieve and why do I need it? Thanks!
     
  8. smallsnd/bigsnd

    smallsnd/bigsnd Member

    Messages:
    449
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    philadelphia, PA
    maybe just turn your amp up a tiny bit if there's less volume?
     
  9. 8len8

    8len8 Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Guitar pickups don't have a lot of "drive". When you use long cables they typically have a lot of capacitance. That capacitance "slows down" the signal and makes it sound dull (fewer highs). If this is a problem for you, you get a buffer to put between your guitar and some of the cables. The buffer just has an amp that "repeats" your pickup output signal yet the buffer can drive the capacitance without having the signal affected.
     
  10. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,701
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Greater boston
    Thanks 8len8...so are pedals a buffers or no? I have Suhr Koko Boost, Riot, Shiba, Crybaby wah and red witch phaser...will these help? Thanks!
     
  11. Whiskey N Beans

    Whiskey N Beans Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Sunset District
    Those all sound like true bypass pedals. Actaully not sure about the wah. If they are, you're only buffered if one is always on. It's not a lot of pedals in any case. I would get a boost to use for leads and as a buffer maybe. But it sounds like you're okay with what you have. Good pedals in a chain of five or less, to me, are fine without a buffer. Ty taking the wah in and out of your chain and see if you have a less favorable tone in both the on and off positions. Wahs can be tone suckers and may benefit from a buffer.
     
  12. Jules-RM

    Jules-RM Member

    Messages:
    3,357
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    This, love his lil Mini Buffer.
     
  13. SonicBlue61

    SonicBlue61 Member

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    A buffer could help if you're losing some high end. With so many pedals having buffers already I never felt compelled to buy a separate dedicated buffer pedal. Try a buffered tuner at the beginning of your chain. A tuners probably on your board anyway I assume.

    Otherwise, adding something like an MXR Micro Amp or MXR CAE Line Driver as an always on pedal, would also buffer the signal and allow you to make up for any volume loss in the chain.
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,441
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    OK, here's the info you need: Ideally, guitar pickups need to see a certain impedance, they have a low level signal, and they're running into unbalanced lines. Unbalanced lines tend to lose high frequencies even with hotter line level signals at about 20 feet. And guitar signals are, as stated, much lower.

    With a guitar, at about 10 feet of cabling, you're going to start to hear some loss of high end with an electric guitar, even going straight into an amp. Test it for yourself; use two identical high quality cables, one 20 feet, and one 10 feet, you should hear a difference when you swap them.

    If you add up the lengths of the cable from the guitar to the pedalboard, then the cabling on the pedalboard, and then the cable from the pedalboard to the amp, you're probably going to be over that 10-20 foot range, where you start to lose some of your sound.

    A buffer provides an impedance designed for a guitar signal, and then basically preserves that signal level through the rest of the chain.

    Some pedals, such as Boss and others, have built-in buffers that run whether or not the pedal is on. If you're using buffered pedals, you don't need a buffer.

    True-bypass pedals do not have buffers. Boss buffers have their own sound, in my opinion. There are buffers on the market that are more neutral, and that do nothing but buffer the signal. You will be surprised - maybe even shocked - by the increase in high frequency definition if you use a good buffer and have a long chain. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your own personal taste. I like a buffer, but for some things, a buffer is too much for me, so when I use one, I have it in a true bypass loop so I can switch it in or out of the signal chain.
     
  15. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

    Messages:
    6,144
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Just to add to the above - there is a third group of pedals, besides buffered and true bypass. The stock Crybaby - along with most of the MXR pedals, all the Marshalls etc - is "hardwire" bypass. If a pedal with that type of bypass sits where the guitar can "see" it directly, it can shave off quite a bit of top end and punch all on its own.

    So with the chain mentioned above (Crybaby, Koko Boost, Riot, Shiba and Red Witch Phaser), all of them are TB except the Crybaby, which is "hardwire". I'd suggest getting the wah modified for true bypass, which will clear up its impedance loading, and for the next pedal you buy, consider one that's fully buffered.

    To the OP - with the M9 in DSP bypass, it is indeed buffered. If you want to run it in TB mode, you'd benefit from having a separate buffer there to drive the cable to the amp. Placing it immediately before the M9 would give you the closest setup to what you have now (minus the M9 converters running when the M9 isn't being used, of course). You could also run the buffer earlier in the chain, depending on how the other pedals react to it.
     
  16. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,701
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Greater boston
    wow guys..when I signed up to play guitar...I didn't know all this stuff...I thought you plug in and play...and an OD pedal created the dirt...I actually thought these guys used pedals for their overdrive!! But noooo....OD pedals drive the amp not create the OD...then there are buffers..then loopers...then use this amp for your pedals and this one for this....then there is a million different pedals/amps etc.....HOLY CRAP.....how do you wrap your head around all of this? Why isn't there some kind of guide on all of this? I don't guitar lessons....I need gear lessons!!! haha!
     
  17. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,701
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Greater boston
    Well when I can afford it I wanted to trade the crybaby for a Teece Real McCoy 8 wah....just can't yet...I noticed when I plugged straight into the amp vs plugged in only the shiba drive...there was something lost already...I'm talking when it is off...which led me to believe there is no such thing as "TRUE true bypass"....something is always lost....I use a Suhr Badger 30 btw....yes endorse all SUHR products...except I pay for them! haha...but if I could I would use the overdrive on that amp cause it is so killer....but then I wouldn't be able to have a clean channel (the roll of on the vol knob is never truely clean)....maybe I can get a great clean amp one day and use them both....who knows...the gear gods have no mercy...
     
  18. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

    Messages:
    6,144
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    That's cable length for you... When going straight to amp, you have x length of cable. When you add a pedal on the floor, you also add a second cable. When that pedal is off, if it is true bypass it will not add anything to the chain. This is a good thing, but it does let the guitar "see" both cables (effectively doubling the cable length). That will cost you treble - it's just how passive guitar pickups work.

    Having a buffer (separate buffer, buffered pedal or a regular pedal left on) on the pedalboard negates the effects of the second cable. Assuming the buffer/buffered pedal is transparent enough, you should end up with roughly the "straight to amp" sound, but with the option to kick in pedals if you like.
     
  19. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,701
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Greater boston
    you know the suhr koko boost has an option where you can turn on the true bypass and not....maybe I should turn the true bypass off and it will be a buffer? The pedal is essentially a clean boost...what do you guys think?
     
  20. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

    Messages:
    6,144
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Doh! That would definitely do the trick, yes. :) Set it to buffered mode ("BUF") and you should be good to go.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice