Specific question about Maintaining PURE TONE:Experts come on in!!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Sid, Jun 15, 2006.


  1. Sid

    Sid Member

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    Having read a few articles about maintaining your tone,I am convinced that havinf 4-5 TB pedals is going to cause the need for a buffer of some sort at the start of the chain.

    I am currently using Dimarzio Evos on my RG-the output impedance seems to be insanely high.

    The question is do I need somethign like an Axess buffer or a Radial Dragster:Spank

    The Axess buffer does not "control" the impedance of my pickups and the Radial does!Thats how I understand it..Is this correct??

    What would the advantage of the Axess be over the Radial and vice versa.

    Is getting the Radial destroying the point of high output humbuckers??

    A lot of talk goes around about the PROS and CONS of buffers...Can someone provide a definitive comparison??(Maintaining signal originality vs los of dynamics??):angel

    A 'sticky' guide would be really helpful to all noobs like me:D
     
  2. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    The Dragster, unless I am mistaken, is a passive device that loads your pickups to compensate for short cable runs. It is not a buffer.

    Any buffered pedal can be used at the head of your chain if you feel that you need a buffer. You don't have to get a dedicated unit.

    Before you jump into adding a buffer, make sure that you can hear the difference with your chain of 4 or 5 TB pedals. I just went through the same thing and found that I could barely detect a difference with 4 pedals and could definitely hear the impact of 5. A lot of that depends upon the pedals and the interconnects. Also, running a shorter cable from board to amp will give you a bit more leeway.
     
  3. Sid

    Sid Member

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    Thanks a lot David,
    :D
    I guess I gotta stack all my pedals and then see if I need a buffer.

    A friend of mine uses theBOSS TU-2 at the head of his chain as a buffer by itself...good option???:Devil
     
  4. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    The Axess BS2 buffer is a freakin miracle. Here's why: I have a board with 12 pedals on it, all true bypass except for one. They're all connected with Evidence Lyric HG cable (custom lengths). I've got a Keeley True Bypass Looper at the front of my chain, so that I can switch the whole pedalboard out when I want to. That makes it easy to compare the sound of guitar>amp v. guitar>all pedals in bypass mode>amp. When A/B'ing back and forth, I could definitely hear some tone suckage going on with all of those true bypass pedals -- loss of highs, loss of clarity, loss of volume, etc. Enter Axess BS2. I place this thing right after my Clyde Deluxe wah near the beginning of my chain. Tone suckage virtually GONE. Now I A/B the guitar>amp chain v. the guitar through bypassed pedals chain. You have to listen very carefully to hear ANY difference. In a way, going through all the pedals bypassed almost sounds BETTER than the direct guitar>amp sound. Almost. Like I said the Axess box is a freakin miracle. I simply cannot believe what this thing has done for my sound.
     
  5. Sid

    Sid Member

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    Thanks a lot taht was very helpful...

    You use the buffer after teh wah??any particular reason??

    Whats the Wah-buffer-Fuzz relationship??
     
  6. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes - wahs generally like to "see" a high impedance signal. Same with fuzzes. My wah comes first in my chain, so putting the buffer afterward still keeps it early in the chain.
     
  7. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    Some folks will give you a hard time because the quality of the buffer in the Boss pedals could be better. As far as I'm concerned... yes, it's a fine option. A lot of people do exactly what your friend does and it works well.

    Regarding your question about the wah: some wahs (and most fuzzboxes) like to see the guitar without an intervening buffer. It makes sense to put these pedals ahead of the buffer. Again, try it both ways and let your ears judge the difference.
     
  8. Sid

    Sid Member

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    That makes a lotta sense:RoCkIn
     
  9. vorvick

    vorvick Member

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    Hey Sid:

    I have an axess BUF - which is the model prior to the BS-2

    Used it for years and it's great.

    I run it first in line, but just tore my board apart so may try placing it after my wah.

    Like the BS-2, it has a tuner out, so you don't have to keep a tuner in line.

    V
     
  10. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'd agree with using the TU-2 as a first option - it's not expensive, and it does two useful things as well as being a buffer - it mutes the signal (useful when changing guitars, or tuning), and... it's a tuner :).

    But you don't necessarily want it first in line. As TieDyedDevil said, some pedals (germanium fuzzes especially, wahs often, and some overdrives and distortions) don't like a low-impedance input, so you want the buffer after these. You want it before any specifically tone-sucking pedals (eg MXRs), because you can't 'put back' the tone loss with the buffer, but you can prevent it. If you don't have any 'tone suckers' you may even want it last in the chain, driving the cable to the amp which may then be the single biggest cause of trouble.

    Although my pedalboard is a mix of 'true' bypass pedals and old-model buffers (Japanese Boss mostly) so my 'tone suck' problems are somewhat different, I noticed a significant improvement in tone when I moved my TU-2 to the end of the chain.
     
  11. enickma

    enickma Member

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    Hmmmm .... this has me thinking about my rig which is a mix of true bypass, non true bypass loop, then true bypass. Mine goes Keeley modded true bypass wah, Barber Tone Press, G2D Cream Tone, Eternity, then I have 5 non true bypass pedals which are each in their own loop in a 4 loop looper with tuner out ( TU-2, RAT, MT-2, GE-7, CE-2 ), Fulltone Fat Boost, EB Jr Volume pedal, Keeley modded DL4, Barber Launch Pad, amp. The Launch Pad has many uses, but I use it as a buffer at the end of my signal. I'm not a scientist by any means, but it never occured to me to put a buffer at the start. The Launch Pad has a sensitivity knob where you can dial in lost dynamics, so I put it at the end of the chain. Would it make sense to put it at the beginning, and why ?
     
  12. Sid

    Sid Member

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    Man this is all so confusing:D
     
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    With all that stuff - ten 'true' bypass switches, cabling, plus the EB volume pedal - you are very definitely getting signal loss before you get to the buffer. The buffer can't put back lost signal content even if it has a sensitivity control - it can change the EQ and volume, but that isn't the same thing, it can only work with what reaches it.

    I would move the buffer much earlier in the chain, at a guess to before the looper. The pedals before that may not like being driven from a buffer, but most of the ones in the loop don't care - although the RAT is 'true' bypass (at least, mine is) and IMO does sound slightly different driven from a buffer. That is, if keeping your signal as close as possible to the straight-in tone is what you're after.

    Don't assume that it always must be best that way (despite it being assumed to be a 'given' by most people). If you like the tone with the buffer later in the chain that's fine too. I prefer the sound I get with my pedals hooked up to the straight-in tone, seriously.

    In fact, strictly speaking it's impossible to retain the 'pure' tone, no matter what you do. The best you can do is something that either affects it so little you can't easily tell (which depends to a large extent on how many, and what, things you're trying to hook up) - or does it in a way that sounds pleasing.
     
  14. enickma

    enickma Member

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    Thanks for you input John. I'm going to do some pedal switching around today and listen for variances. I kinda went through this before in trying to decide where to place my compression pedal in the line. I wound up putting it early, as it sounds better to my ears there ... actually if it's off, I don't like my tone of the other pedals as much. It was the exact opposite when it was after my OD's and chorus.
     
  15. Sid

    Sid Member

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    So the general consensus is that the buffer should be earlier in the chain??

    So a signal chain like

    BOSS TU-2 -> Wah ->DIST?FUZZ ->Chorus->Delay

    is preffered to

    Wah ->Dist/Fuzz -> H2O liquid Chorus(non TB)
     
  16. Andy J.

    Andy J. Member

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    Sorry for hijacking the thread, but what does this mean? I've got a small-box 80's RAT, you're saying it is TB?
     
  17. anti-flag193

    anti-flag193 Member

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    My setup is
    Guitar-Planet Waves Tuner(TB I think)- Barge Concepts BB-JR fuzz (TB)- Fulltone OCD (TB) -ISP Decimator(TB)-Jcm 800. I don't have a looper to take the pedals out to see if I have any tone loss or not, but I figure with all the TB pedals, I probably do. Now I have a 6' cable to my board and from the board, a 20' to my guitar. However, I have a Laney halfstack coming in next week which I plan to run on the other side of that stage which means I'd have to run a 15-20' cable into an ABY, a small cable into my board, and the 20' cable from the board to my guitar which is like 43' of cable which may kill my tone. I have a few pedals I don't use much, but I don't know how good the buffers are: Digitech Bad Monkey, USA Big Muff, Boss DD-5, DD-5, Mxr 10 band EQ and Dano Cool Cat Chorus. Which pedal has the best buffer? Where should I put it? Thanks.
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Member

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    I use a Radial Dragster and put it first in my chain as a buffer. It works wonders and was a steal at 50 dollars! Notes seem more defined and the highs are vibrant and clear. I have been using it first before my wah and i think if you use it on your pedal board it is supposed to be first, but maybe I could give it a try after the wah and see what happens. Great little effect!! Highly recommended if you can find one.
     
  19. shikawkee

    shikawkee Mad King Edmund Gold Supporting Member

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    Ditto!
     
  20. anti-flag193

    anti-flag193 Member

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