Lets discuss the additive effect of multiple buffers in a chain

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by john l, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. john l

    john l Member

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    So heres what Im wondering. We can all agree that there are good and bad buffers on certain pedals. I have a radial JX2 with a superb buffer and a few older pedals with less then perfect ones. Would there be any gain what so ever with the radial at the begining vrs at the end? I know that the effect of buffering is additive IE buffering a buffer again and again but if one was better than the others would its placement even matter? I realize that a TB looper in conjunction with a nice buffer would be ideal but I cant spring for one quite yet so I thought Id ask this in the mean time.
     
  2. Philippe_CGC

    Philippe_CGC Member

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    I agree with what Jack Orman wrote about this here. Not all buffers are equal or the same, and performance can get nickel'd and dimed away. I think if the Radial is the first thing your guitar sees, it may work best.

    "A problem that can be encountered is that many of these pedals have two or even three buffers that are in the signal chain even when bypassed. The simple transistor buffers have a gain less than 1 and once you begin to cascade pedals, the noise can start to add up. If each pedal adds 3 dB of noise and you have 10 of them in series, it could be increasing the noise level by over 13 dB! It is never quite this bad in actual practice but the degradation of sound and the extra noise can indeed be audible."
     
  3. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    I think it would depend entirely on WHY one particular buffer sounds better or responds better in your experience. If the buffer is imparting some tonal signature related to its non-linear freq. response that might be borne out differently at a different point in the chain than if the issue has to do with input or output impedance.

    I'm EXTREMELY skeptical of the idea that there are audible differences between most buffers. I strongly recommend that you do some blind testing for yourself to figure out if there is a difference between what you think you hear and what you actually hear. Otherwise you may be chasing your tail.

    I did some testing on this and the results were pretty striking confirmation that we "hear" what we see, which is to say we "hear" all sorts of things that aren't actually audible.

    n
     
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  4. john l

    john l Member

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    Good responses guys thanks. The reason I think the radial is great is because for the life of me I cant tell its there once I play with the drag pot (by it self of course). However once I add my beloved old boss pedals....
    Heres what Im working with
    [​IMG]
     

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