Does I need a buffer?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Steve1216, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Steve1216

    Steve1216 Supporting Member

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    So I have a mini-pedal board consisting of a lot of pedals (11). They are running through a one-spot daisy chain type power supply (mostly for weight/size concerns as the whole purpose of the board is as a fly rig, so want to keep as small and light as possible). I do notice a lot of high end depletion from plugging in the board. We are not talking a huge amount of cable. In fact for the test, I used very short cables. Some of the pedals are true bypass, and some are buffered. So I didn't think I'd need a buffer. But perhaps the order of the pedals, even though some are buffered, requires that I put a buffer at the beginning or end of the chain?
     
  2. Pick'n'strum

    Pick'n'strum Member

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    My thoughts are it doesn't hurt to have one at the beginning and you may need one at the end. You could try different line-ups with your pedals off. Try one at the beginning without one at the end and vice-versa. Try one at each end and try without any...may be the only way to figure out what buffers you need where.

    Also, I have had pedals that seemed to suck some top end, even if they were on their own - so be aware of that as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  3. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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  4. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    Is this a "sensitive" subject around here? :confused
     
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  5. Pick'n'strum

    Pick'n'strum Member

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    Apparently - I was unawares or I wouldn't have posted ;)
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    No.. just a few different opinions... I’m at a loss to draw a conclusion... will be interesting to hear others opinions ..it’s all good:)
     
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  7. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    In my experience at least around 10 pedals, especially if they are all true bypass... yes a buffer is needed. If you ever have any long cable runs from your pedal board to your amp a buffer is a must. Was playing a gig with a really experienced guitarist (my former teacher...) and long cable runs (I think 50'sh ft) on a large stage. He had practically no signal. I gave him a Boss TU2 - problem 100% fixed.

    In my opinion a mix of buffered pedals and true bypass is a good approach. All I do is grab a Boss pedal I like and place it as high in the chain as possible. In my case I have a Zvex Wah probe and a Trombetta fuzz and then my Boss CH-1. Buffer in chain - good to go.
     
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  8. Steve1216

    Steve1216 Supporting Member

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    ^ This is my quandary. I am not using a long cable run, *and* I have buffered pedals in the chain. Hence, I'm wondering what the problem might be? Is 11 pedals just too much without expecting some alteration to the signal?
     
  9. Rusty Dutch

    Rusty Dutch Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you need a buffer. Spend $40 or so on one; plug it into your board, play around with placement and see if it’s an improvement. Let us know how it goes.
     
  10. Quantum Cat

    Quantum Cat Member

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    The place where you need a buffer the most is on board the guitar. If the first pedal in line is buffered, you probably don't need one.
     
  11. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Like Mr. Cat above, if you have a buffered pedal high in the chain(as I described in my first post) its not a buffer issue. You do not need a stand alone buffer IMO.

    Do you have solderless cables? I think I've had some GL's cause me some issues like this. Also... do you have an old Dunlop Crybaby. Those had the worst bypass I've ever heard - total drop in high end. Could be another pedal that's the problem. You could take pedals in and out and see if one makes a difference.

    Lastly, have you Deoxed your plugs and pedal inputs/outputs? This can at least cause noise, maybe it could clean up some connections too.
     
  12. Monkeyboy23

    Monkeyboy23 Member

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  13. Gracehoper

    Gracehoper Member

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    Try taking your pedals off the board one by one and see if you find something. A lot of the time "to buffer or not to buffer" is really about a bad buffer. Like, I love my old Memory Man but man! that thing sucks tone when it's off and not in a loop.
     
  14. Mungi64

    Mungi64 Member

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    He do not.
     
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  15. HeavyCream

    HeavyCream Member

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    No. Unless you think you do. Then yes. :cool:
     
  16. theroan

    theroan Member

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    Everyone should use a buffer.
     
  17. desire machine

    desire machine Member

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    If your power supply isn’t isolated that prob is more significant and add more noise than any buffer issues.

    I have a huge board with ~ 20 pedals, at least 4 of them are buffered(3 boss + wah) which are in middle of chain. I don’t notice any signal loss.
     
  18. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    This. You said “some” of the pedals are buffered? Multiple buffers can have a negative effect on tone too.
     
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  19. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Hey, not trying to make you buy extra stuff; however, I personally used the Mesa Boogie Stowaway and Clearlink Send combo and the pair do make a substantial difference even through a band mix. I originally had the Stowaway right after my fuzz (so second item on my board), it restored a lot of top end lost through cabling and a bunch of true bypass pedals. It also cleaned up a lot of noise in my signal chain. When my board got bigger I added the Clearlink Send at the very end of my board. This cleaned up thing a lot. It seems like I may have had an impedance issue amongst pedals as things got so natural when I added the second buffer. I also now find that I could use dollar store cable from guitar to pedalboard and pedalboard to amp as every cable I throw at it gives the same result. It could be my rig, but I had a very positive experience with adding buffers.
     
  20. manasquanto

    manasquanto Member

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    If you choose one I hope you are not disappoint.
     
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