help! last attempt with the boss ps-3! (tonesuck mitigation content)



i do love the boss ps-3 for its quirkyness and the wicked mode 7. and i try to put it on my pedalboard on many occassions. the latest, it stayed on my board for around 2 weeks. but then i found i lost volume, i lost tone considerably, and when i engage other (tbp) pedals (with the ps-3 on bypass) my signal was very thing and i got significant volume loss. for example, when i engaged my delay (digilog) or chorus / reverb (dr scientist), i get a SIGNIFICANT volume loss on top of the volume loss of dry tone.

how do i know this for certain? well, i felt that something was very wrong for the choruses / delays / reverbs to have volume loss when engaged, as they are true by pass and is of a very good standard, so i took the ps-3 out of my loop. and lo and behold, the volume drop was GONE. in fact, i had to turn the master of my amp down just cus the signal was too loud without the ps-3 in the loop. the volume drop is significant, not to mention the change in tone.

this is extremely pissing me off. as much as i'd like the ps-3 in the loop, the tonesuck is tooooooooo much for me. also, i cannot be bothered--actually i do not have enough realestate--to put it in a looper.

however, i have heard other users say boss's buffer is VERY GOOD. maybe it's me who's doing something wrong? i know ZERO about buffers and impedance. maybe i'm just putting it in the wrong spot in the chain? maybe it doesn't match the impedance of the pedals around it?

here's my signal chain for reference:
boss ps-3 <<<<<<<<<<<
fix'd fuzz
pitch pirate
empress trem
moog lpf (i'd have to put THIS in a looper too)

PLS HELP! i'd really like to keep it on my board. it'd be a shame if i can't use it


Silver Supporting Member
Mine was great when it was new in the mid 90's but that happened to me as well. I just moved on. It sucks but I just gave up on it. Try blasting the inside with some compressed air and electronic cleaner. Check and reinforce all you solder joints as well. I do miss that unit. I could get thunder sounds from mode 7 if I tweeked it right. Kinda of like the Pantera song Floods. It was neat to do that live I would use the level knob to bring it in louder or softer.

Angle Loss

If you are having volume drop from having a standard Boss pedal in your setup, either a cable you are using is bad or your pedal has a problem. A normal Boss pedal would not cause a sever volume drop. If anything, you should a slight bit more volume in an otherwise TB signal chain, for the Boss will buffer the signal and prevent treble loss after the pedal.

I would suggest cleaning the jacks, trying different cables, check the inside of the pedal for loose connects, and if you can--resolder the contacts for the jacks. It may also be a bad transistor in the buffer.

The bypassed pedal should not be bringing your signal down at all. I haven't played that particular pedal in many years, but it isn't normal for the other Boss pitch shifters to drop your volume (I had the Harmonist and PS-5). Your Moog pedal and long chain of TB pedals *should* be causing way more tonesuck without the Boss in the chain. Best of luck to you.


Indeed. Have you tried the PS-3 on its own?

Also, the fuzz may be hating the PS-3 before it


Silver Supporting Member
In my experience, buffering in Boss pedals is hit or miss. I have had problems in off mode with volume loss from the Metal Zone 2, GE-7 and CH-1 chorus. This must be one of the reasons there is a market for boutique pedals, otherwise we would all just use Boss.


In my experience, buffering in Boss pedals is hit or miss. I have had problems in off mode with volume loss from the Metal Zone 2, GE-7 and CH-1 chorus. This must be one of the reasons there is a market for boutique pedals, otherwise we would all just use Boss.

I agree with this because I just tried it two nights ago. I wasn't using the MT-2 or the GE-7 for a long time, then I decided to try them out again and put them on my board. The tone suck was obvious (with the pedals off). I almost couldn't believe it. Then I pulled out my TB strip and placed them in a loop and the tone suck was gone...just like magic. I'm not talking about a little bit of tone suck either. I've grown quite used to "normal" tone suck. Believe me I'm no cork sniffer, I only have one semi-boutique pedal, and I'm generally happy with a Whammy 4 and a TU-2 in my signal chain. But there was something funky about the MT-2 and the GE-7. They zapped the life right out of my tone.

Anyway, to bring this rambling post full circle - I owned a PS-3 a few years ago and wanted to love it so bad, but I just could not get excited about any of the tones I was getting. It was a real bummer, and I ended up giving the pedal away for free. I kinda wish I didn't do that, but oh well. That was my impression at the time - this thing sucks so bad you can have it for free....LOL


It's getting to be kind of an old pedal.

Maybe there is a component in the buffer section that is failing? Dry solder joint, leaky cap etc?

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