Pete Cornish in latest Guitar Player

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Catoogie, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Anyone read the article on pedalboards in the new issue of Guitar Player magazine? Pete Cornish makes a damn fine case about the negative aspects of true bypass pedals.
     
  2. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    Yes and yes. I think finding a good mix of true bypass units and buffer(s) is the best solution. Now if more pedal makers would put a really great buffer in their units like Pete, it'd be great.
     
  3. screamingduck

    screamingduck Member

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    I also liked his suggestion of putting higher gain pedals in front of lower gain ones.
     
  4. Ed G.

    Ed G. Senior Member

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    Nothing wrong with true bypass pedals if you want to use a good buffer ahead of them. I agree, the capacitance does add up if your pedals are all tbp. But I'd rather have a good standalone buffer than a mediocre one in a pedal. Plus, if you have a good buffer in front with a good high input impedance and low output impedance, and the third pedal down is buffered, then your output impedance is whatever that third pedal is. So you kind of lose the benefit of having a good buffer.
    So yes, I believe in true bypass pedals. And a buffer.
     
  5. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    That's why I like the Bradshaw switching system. Everything is out of the mix, unless you turn it on. No buffers and no true bypass.
     
  6. silverface

    silverface Member

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  7. Wesman61

    Wesman61 Supporting Member

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    Pete gives His argument in that article about TB as if Everyone is using 60' of cable. This ain't the 60's. I agree that one buffer would be enough.
     
  8. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    How much cable are you using? Guitar to amp, pedal to pedal and then to amp?
     
  9. dc_jcm800

    dc_jcm800 Member

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    If you figure, using a board, 2 20' cables plus 4'+/- of patch cable depending on the amount of pedals used your at almost 50' of cable.
    So atleast one good buffered pedal, such as a Boss pedal or a stand alone buffer, is going to help.
     
  10. racktifier

    racktifier Member

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    elaborate please!
     
  11. wahwah

    wahwah Member

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    There is no way that the buffer in a Boss pedal can be described as "good." The primary role of a buffer on a mass produced pedal is not to 'rescue' your guitar tone from degradation, but rather to drive the low quality transistor based switching system. The tone suck created by most Boss pedals and the like were the reason for the proliferation of true bypass switching in the first place! So the thought of using a Boss pedal to restore the signal is completely mistaken, all it will do is suck tone like Boss pedals always have. To perform the signal rescuing task, a buffer would need to be a high input impedance/low noise buffer, which is not what you will find in a mass produced Boss pedal.



    Cheers.................................wahwah
     
  12. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I agree! Who uses 2 feet of cable between each pedal, with 10 in a row, and a 30 foot cable to amp?
    That's just unrealistic unless you are playing stadium rock, and even then you wouldn't put 2 feet between every pedal.
    I think true bypass is just more natural sounding if you are using good cable, small links from pedal to pedal, and not a huge run.
    My cables average about 2 inches between pedals, and my board is 5 or 6 pedals.
    The other thing about buffers, is they always screw up the way the amps overdrive responds to the guitar volume control. If the overdrives are in front of the buffer I suppose it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but I just haven't heard a buffer yet that sounds natural to me.
     
  13. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I should add- i only use 10 feet from board to amp, 10 feet from guitar to board. That still puts me nearly 20 feet away from my amp if needed. 90 percent of the time I am much closer than that to my amp on all kinds of gigs. I just don't see the need for so much cable.
     
  14. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    That is why I rack all my pedals and use a switcher to turn them on or off with the exception of wah and fuzzface.
     
  15. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Do yourself a favor and read the article, he makes total sense. Not only about "tone suck" and cable length with "true bypass" pedals but how the pedals interact with one another and the amplifier when combined.

    The cat has built pedals and pedalboards for some of the biggest guitar players EVER, ya think he might know what he's talking about? Just maybe?
     
  16. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Considering I made a specific reference to the cable lengths he mentioned in the article, perhaps you should ascertain that I did in fact read it. The scenario he describes (in terms of cable length) is not applicable to my rig or many others I would assume, thus my point.
    Just because he is successful with a certain design philosophy doesn't mean his is the only valid approach. I think Bjorn Juhl and many other gifted builders "know what they are talking about", and build true-bypass pedals.
     
  17. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    :agree

    The highlighted part is something MANY players don't seem to get. Your signal us only as good as your LAST buffer. Buffers work downhill and stop at the next buffer. Also I've seen posts where guys put the buffer last in the chain and thought that the entire signal chain behind it was buffered. Guess again. in that situation the only thing thats buffered is the cable to the amp.

    So a good compromise might be gtr --> dedicated input buffer --> TB pedals -->dedicated output Buffer --> amp
     
  18. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Yeah its not as big a deal for us little guys. And of course you can cut down on the suckage even more by using the low capacitance cable du jour.

    IMO With 50' or less of low capacitance cable you can use a whole string of TB pedals with no buffers and suffer no appreciable tone loss.
     
  19. wahwah

    wahwah Member

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    Further to this, there is a substantial chasm between the sort of quality that Pete Cornish is talking about when he uses the term "buffer" and the low grade buffers found in most cheap pedals. The fact is that all buffers will bring with them an inherent tone, and putting them before an overdrive or distortion pedal will affect the tone and feel of said pedals, and not always in a positive way. In particular, many buffers, even those dedicated to the task, contribute a glassy presence to the top end which is hardly an organic quality. This is where ears become the best tools for verifying what is happening to our tone. If the cost of using a buffer to diminish an often miniscule degree of "tone loss" is to introduce an artificial glassiness, then it is a price I personally wouldn't pay, especially when I consider how many times during a gig that I will be running the direct amp sound, since I am one of those who runs the amp clean and derives all other gain structures from pedals.

    My own solution has been to incorporate true bypass loopers for all modulation and delay effects, thus reducing several pedals and their connecting cable to the equivalent of about 1" of extra cable when those pedals are not in use. The end result is that my direct to amp signal runs through a couple of 18' cables and three good quality true bypassed gain based effects, and when running through mod or delays, only the pedal(s) in question. The job most definitely gets done, I feel that the sound I'm getting from the OD pedals reflects their true tonal nature, and there are no volume drops from the engagement of any pedal in the chain. The 'direct' signal still kicks like a mule for the 5% of the gig where I have no pedals engaged, and at no time do my hands or ears detect the type of signal degradation that would have me seeking any further solutions.




    Cheers....................................wahwah
     
  20. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I don't mind the idea of a good buffer, I just don't like the idea of every pedal having one. Some pedals (like a fuzz face, or the blackstone, Sky blue OD) just work better seeing a straight guitar signal. Additionally, if you just want to plug in one or 2 pedals with some nice short cables, the buffer seems pointless.

    One example would be the Klon. I wanted a good booster for my aiken invader, something to push the amp from crunch to lead. With just 2 low-cap. cables totaling 18 feet, any signal loss is negligible. So I tried a Klon, and liked what it did for boosting. However, the way the amp cleaned up to guitar volume changes was totally compromised. I could no longer get a quick clean up of the amps overdrive from the guitar with the klon's buffer in line.

    I like the idea of a good buffer option for larger rigs. seems like only one would be needed.
     

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