please help! do i need a buffer pedal on my board?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by sexyseth30, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. sexyseth30

    sexyseth30 Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    i am brand new to the gear page and i have a general question.

    do i need a dedicated buffer on my pedalboard?

    my pedalboard chain consists of guitar>korg pitchblack tuner(truebypass)>crybaby classic wah(truebypass)> mxr phase 90> ibanez ts9 tubescreamer> mi audio crunchbox(truebypass)> maxon cs-550 analog chorus>blackcat mini tremelo(truebypass)>boss dd-20 giga delay>marshall reflector reverb

    i'm thinking of adding a t1m mini buffer in the front of the chain and maybe an xotic ep booster at the end of the chain before the amp? how much will this help with tone-loss issues to get me back to sounding as much as being plugged straight into my amp as possible?

    by the way this board is powered through a furman sp-8 pedalboard and i'm playing through a fender hot rod deluxe 3 tube amp. i use various fenders and gibsons all with passive pickups.

    fyi i first was using the patch bay provided on the furman board but felt it really gave me tone loss problems so it is way better than it used to be and i'm pretty close to being satisfied with my sound so i guess i'm asking do i even need a buffer since i have an equal amount of truebypass and buffered pedals on my board already?
     
  2. Delayed Delay

    Delayed Delay Member

    Messages:
    2,620
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    I don't know, do you? ;)

    The best and only way to tell whether you need a buffer is to plug straight into your amp (guitar > amp), play something, then plug into your pedalboard (guitar > pedalboard/everything in between > amp) and discern the difference. If you can't hear a difference, you don't need a buffer. If you notice treble or signal loss, then you could probably use a buffer. It also may be something as simple as a faulty or poorly soldered cable or a crappy buffer in a pedal (Boss pedals are notorious for this; I personally have never noticed that discernable of a difference with them) that might be causing signal loss.

    With that said, the t1m mini buffer is such a great investment for any guitar player. It's extremely cheap and also extremely easy to re-sell. Can't really go wrong.

    Also... keep in mind that buffered pedals are not at ALL the same thing as adding a dedicated buffer to your board. :)
     
  3. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I just bought a T1M buffer from Dan this morning (and it shipped). I run a 15' George L cable into 10 pedals (including a volume pedal), into another 15' George L cable into my amp. I'm probably overdue.
     
  4. chrisross

    chrisross Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,677
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    AR
    I'm pretty sure the answer is always "yes" when asked on here.

    I asked it a few months ago, got a bunch of yes's, but never got one.
    I like my sound, but I agree with Delay's post.
     
  5. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,673
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Absolutely not. You already have 5 on your board. You shouldn't have any loss of highs (the only sort of tonal issue a buffer can help you with) other than that due to the cable between your guitar and board. And if that cable is less than 20 feet then it's unlikely you'll have any problem.

    In any event if you put a buffer anywhere downstream of your first buffered pedal it will have zero effect, and if you put it upstream I doubt you'll hear any difference given that the buffered pedals you have don't, to my knowledge have any particularly weird characteristics when in bypass.

    An EP boost is a different issue as it imparts some coloration and even a little clipping at higher settings.

    n
     
  6. john l

    john l Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    OC Socal
    Malarky.
    Buffers effects are accumulative. The more buffers there are the more they impact your tone. This is the whole reason TB is such a big deal to some. For example I use a radial JX2 that has a "drag" control that lets you dial in how the buffer sounds, if its the only thing in the chain the effect of this control is quite dramatic but if you stick another buffer in front of it it might as well not even be there.

    OP he is right however in that you have plenty of buffering going on with those pedals however I dont think you have so much that you need to address anything.
     
  7. twofootskunk

    twofootskunk Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Your dd20 has a buffer so you don't need to worry about from your board to your amp. And you have a buffer up front after your wah so you're pretty much set.

    If you had all true bypass or every buffered effect in a TB loop then I'd say yes. Or if you just wanted a buffer that imparted it's own "flavor" then go for it.
     
  8. stratguy23

    stratguy23 Member

    Messages:
    3,386
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    You have a lot of buffered pedals, so I'm not sure it would do much. A buffer mostly helps when you have a bunch of true bypass pedals in a row with long, cheap patch cables connecting them. They are less necessary when you are using good cables and have pedals that already contain a buffer.

    The EP Booster is a great pedal and may be worth picking up just because it is so good (and not necessarily for use as just an always on buffer).

    It's funny the shift in TGP culture from "True bypass is the only way" to now buffers seem to be very popular (and necessary in some people's opinions). On a side note, I have a Cornish pedal on my board, so I don't feel the need for another buffer.
     
  9. john l

    john l Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    OC Socal
    I know right. The perfect world scenerio would seem to be a TB loop with a GOOD buffer in front or behind depending on what pedals your running
     
  10. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,673
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    This reflects a common misunderstanding. Assuming we are talking about typical buffers, most impart little or no audible EQ changes, and are unity gain or very close to it. Yes there are minor and sometimes audible difference between buffers, but most are not audibly different.

    The main effect of a buffer in relation to "tone" is that it decouples the high impedance pickups in your guitar from the loads downstream of the buffer. That's all.

    The reason you'd want to do that is that the additional cabling in a big board and/or between board and amp, acts in conjunction with your pickups to roll off some high end. Once you've decoupled your guitar's electronics from the loads AFTER the first buffer, this loading effect is negated adding additional buffers will not achieve anything and shouldn't cause a problem. This is easy to demonstrate with a blind test. 2,3,4 buffered pedals sound the same as 1.

    If I understand your comment about the Radial's drag control you are confirming exactly this point. The drag control varies the input impedance of the unit so that you can load your pickups to whatever degree sounds and feels best to you. However if you put a buffered pedal between your guitar and the Radial unit the control will have no audible effect because your pickups are effectively decoupled from everything after that first buffer.
     
  11. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,673
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Right: there was marketing driven confusion then about TB and now there's additional confusion about buffers. Before the sales pitch was "keep your tone PURE," as if SOME circuits taint your tone and others don't.

    Now it's all about DRIVING THE SIGNAL as if it gets "weak" running through lots of cabling.
     
  12. chervokas

    chervokas Member

    Messages:
    6,864
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Yeah, well, there's a lot of confusion and ignorance about some pretty basic electronics among guitarists. I get that. Personally I like knowing how the stuff works and I like being able to make choices based on understanding how stuff relates, but I get that talk of impedance loading and the resonanting frequencies of RLC circuits and the low pass filter effects of a guitar and cable makes some people's eyes glaze over.

    At best, marketers oversimplify to sell stuff in ways that unfortunately create more confusion (and I have nothing against marketing and advertising, my old man was an ad exec for decades), at worst they oversell by misrepresenting technological reality (like all the hype a few years ago about class A amps).

    There's been enough, hardnosed, reality-based talk about this stuff among TGPers over the last couple of years that anyone doing a judicious search should be able to come to a basic understanding of what's going on. And certainly there should be some stickys so we don't have to go through this over and over.

    Nick's right, of course, the OP already has a number of buffers in his signal chain and adding an additional buffer isn't going do too much (although he might want to move one of his buffered pedals ahead of the hardwire bypass Phase 90, which could be a problem).
     
  13. Whalestone

    Whalestone Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    The input impedance of input 1 on the amplifier is 1MΩ while I believe the guitar sees an impedance of about 0.25MΩ when connected to the board.
    Presenting the guitar with a lighter load by means of a buffer may counteract perceived tone loss issues.
     

Share This Page