Guitar buffer/preamp?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Prititing, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Prititing

    Prititing Member

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    Hy guys. I am a guitar-into-amp guy, and i always hate how i lose the treble when i roll my volume on the guitar down. I experimented with treble caps for quite some time now, but i don't like them at all. Then i tested a EMG equipped guitar and i hate the pickups but LOVE how they react to volume changes. This led me into searching a unity-gain preamp that would give me that effect, but only found the CAE Sound CB1 and CB2. Are there any better solutions?
    Thanx.
    George
     
  2. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    You could build a (very) small buffer into your guitar - the signal chain would be: pickups > switch > volume pot > buffer > output jack - you'd get a consistent signal out of the buffer and could still plug directly into your amp. The Tone Freq would also fit the bill (although it's external to the gtr; strap mounted):

    [​IMG]

    http://www.tweakheadtechnology.com/USAStore.html

    No affiliation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  3. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer.html

    The sound quality coming out of the video demo seems a bit exageratted on the high end. Worth investigating nonetheless, I might try it in my next parts strat project.

    If you use fuzz or any effect with transistors in it, you might want to wire the buffer on a switch as fuzz or most transistors equipped effects don't like low impedence signal fed into them.
     
  4. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Get an RS Kit for your guitar from www.rsguitarworks.net and don't bother with a pedal. You'll keep all the treble you want with that kit in your guitar.
     
  5. Prititing

    Prititing Member

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    I had 1 vintage and 1 modern kit but i don't like the taper on the super pots. I like the stock CTS taper in my R9 because of the jump in volume between 8 and 10. The RS Super pot has the action spread on the entire action of the pot.
     
  6. Prititing

    Prititing Member

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    This is what I'm looking for :) But it indeed seems a bit exaggerated on the high-end. Even on the CAE Sound products i would choose the CB1 because the CB2 has extended frequency response.
     
  7. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Guitarfetish sells a miniature circuit called F39 that they say is comparable to the active buffer circuit inside an EMG pickup. It's small enough to glue onto the case of a volume pot or inside the control cavity. It just has solder pads on the PCB for in, ot and 9VDC, so it would be trickier than installing a drop-in unit but easier than building a buffer circuit from scratch.

    Here is another wild idea - you know that a Fishman Powerchip is essentially a combination buffer and volume control? Sure it splits the signal if you plug a TRS stereo cable into it but if you plug in standard mono cable in, it mixes the buffered (piezo input) signal to the tip. Why couldn't you use a Powerchip as a buffer for your magnetic pickups?
     
  8. Greentone

    Greentone Member

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    I believe the Warren Haynes sig Les Paul had a CAE buffer built into it. Might be worth investigating how that was done and what it does for ya.
     
  9. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    If you want to prevent the volume pot from interacting with the pickup, the buffer needs to be between the pickup and the volume pot. That's the order of the signal path with the active pickups.
    Having the buffer between the volume pot and the jack will keep the cable and your pedals from loading the pickup, but not the volume pot.
     
  10. Prititing

    Prititing Member

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    I see. Do you have any idea how much is the pot loading in the pot-cable combination? Because if it's only like 10% of the total loading on the pickup i think i can live with it.
    Thanx.
     
  11. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    To be honest I always have my volume wide open because I don't like the loss of treble either.

    Try using a real short cable like a pedal patch cable or even a crank to connect your guitar into a pedal that has a high input impedance. If that clears up the use of the volume control then an outboard buffer like the tonefreq should do ya.

    Or if you have a wireless and you know that it has a high input impedace, plug that in. If it works you are good to go.

    If neither of these keep the volume control from darkening the sound, the volume control needs to be isolated from the pickups.
     
  12. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Would you need the volume pot to be of lower value than the normal 250K/500K?
     
  13. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    I think they are usually 25K like the low Z versions of passive volume pedals. I do not know if there is a functional problem to use a standard 250K or 500K pot after an active circuit.
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the functional issue with sending a buffered signal into a 250k or 500k pot is the sweep, which disappears, leaving you with a pot that acts like a switch, i.e., full on or full off.

    a cheap but good quality solution is the EMG pa-2, a little buffer/booster that goes inside the guitar. wire it up with its boost switch set to "off", and you've got a nice quality unity gain buffer.

    if you have just one volume, you can put it after the switch and before the volume and tone pots (which should now be replaced with 25ks), and you'll have no loading at all, plus the volume will behave just like those EMGs did.
     
  15. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    And if I want to switch the buffer in and out? It wouldn'd sound to good with a 25K or 50K? volume pot without the buffer right?

    Maybe a 250K or 500K pot with a resistor to bring it down to 25 or 50K when the buffer is in, switch out both the reisistor and buffer and leaving the volume pot back to a normal 250K and 500K?

    However, both the Redeemer and the Alembic blaster are supposed to be installed after the normal volume pot and they still retain highend when turning down the volume pot??
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    right.
    you could certainly install the PA-2 the same way, i.e., after the (250k or 500k) pots, and it should do the same job.

    personally, i hate the idea of an active circuit on an electric guitar. the right pickups through the right pots into the right amp will clean up just fine.
     
  17. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    That is backwards. CB1 is fuller range than CB2. The newer one (jangle something?) is even more hyped in treble.

    CB2 sounds pretty good!

    DS
     

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