Should I put buffers in all my guitars?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tibbon, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. tibbon

    tibbon Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Columbus, OH
    I get the sense that you should put a buffer as early as practical before a long cable run. It would seem that the longest cable run I have before a buffer is my main cable from the guitar to the board. It seems to make sense in my head then that I should just throw a tiny buffer in each of my guitars to help my signal the most.

    What's the best small buffer design that I can put in each of my guitars? I don't mind building it myself if someone just points me in the right direction.

    Is there any reason to not do this? I don't mind throwing 9V batteries in the guitars, or wiring to use a stereo cable to run 9V through one of the pins on the cable.
  2. chervokas

    chervokas Member

    Feb 16, 2008
    I wouldn't do it. Unless you wire a cap in parallel w/ the output ahead of the buffer to replicate a common length of cable you'll wind up with very bright sound. You'll also never be able to plug direct into an amp and get the great responsiveness that comes in part from the variable output impedance of a guitar interacting with the amp's load. You'll have trouble with fuzz face type circuits or other sorts of pedals that develop their tone by loading down the guitar.

    A guitar with passive pickups followed by a reasonable length of average capacitance cable will deliver the typical tone we associate with an electric guitar. If you need to run even more cable and that cable is loading down the guitar in a way you don't like, a buffer in the signal chain is a less invasive and more versatile solution.
  3. jkokura

    jkokura Member

    Sep 2, 2009
  4. AXXA

    AXXA Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I would only do that if you love treble and don't use pedals, and of course, if you always use tons of cable.
  5. Steve73

    Steve73 Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    I have a buffer in my Warren Haynes sig Les Paul (comes with one from the factory), but I hardly ever use it. The buffer works fine, but I prefer the tone of the guitar passive and having a buffer on my board. It is a CAE buffer/preamp. Here is a link to their stuff, looks like Jerry Garcia used it as well:
  6. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Under the Bucket Bridge

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