True Bypass - I think its not necessary

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by JubileeMan 2555, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    So, like most, I fell into the trap of assuming all true bypass pedals is the way to go. I think the original concept came from a reaction to 1000s of pedals with horribly designed buffers, but I think its gotten to a point where most will refuse to even try a pedal without true-bypass.

    I now have a non-bypassed TS9 from 1983 at the end of my signal chain that I feel really helps me out from a sonic standpoint. It seems to keep my signal strong and actually gives me a bit of a top end chirp/cut that is missing without the buffer.

    Then, just this weekend, after modding my EP3 echoplex, I found that I really enjoyed the tone with the ep3 inline. In fact, there are pedals now that are JUST a preamp buffer from an ep3 that people leave on all the time (ironic huh?)

    I think players have gotten too comfortable with the idea that true-bypass is the must-have no matter what and blindly trust it when I think its not necessary.

    the ONE location, I believe, that is the best arguement FOR a True-bypass pedal is when you've got an extremely stripped down rig. SOmething like Tele - pedal - tweed fender. Something like that is a scenario where you have to have the pedal for whatever reason, but your main sound is how your guitar reacts directly with the amp. This scenario is rather rare IMO. There are lots of bedroom players with this rig, but most cover bands, and most national acts have much more complex setups. This might be a case where folks that take that simple setup mentality, and apply it to the larger rig and I think thats a disconnect.
     
  2. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    Hence; the buffer pedal. Lol. I have a couple buffered pedals (delay) but I think if every pedal had a buffer then it would be problematic. I think that all pedals should be true bypass except the ones that go in the beginning or end of chain (like compressors and delays). A buffer at the beginning and end of chain should be more then enough IMO, I usually just like one at the end, but I really don't care either way as IMO tone comes from the player more then anything (though a really good player without at least one buffer ina huge chain will probably suffer recognizable tone loss).
     
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Ahh all my research about TB & buffered pedals from respected sources is that

    a) you don't need TB at all if you got only a few pedals in line all with high quality buffers

    b) the more buffered pedals you have the more chance you'll get tone suck.

    c) a line of all TB pedals won't effect base amp tone if you only got max 8 pedals.

    d) If you got more than 8 pedals it's best to have a good quality buffered pedal 1st, then TB pedals and one good buffered pedal at end or.... just one buffered pedal at No 1 position.

    e) Poor quality buffered pedals should be avoided at all times to avoid any impact on base tone. It's the one's with poor quality buffers that create all the probs

    I've also proved the above to myself by implementing this and ..... it works :)
     
  4. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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  5. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    +1 exactly what I was thinking. I would rather have all my pedals true bypass and add a buffer at the beginning and one near the end of the chain (if needed).

    I don't discount a pedal with a buffer, I find that its difficult to build a pedalboard without having a buffered pedal somewhere (not a bad thing). I would just rather add the buffers where I need them. I think the last time I checked 30-40% of my pedals were not true bypass.
     
  6. hollowearth

    hollowearth Member

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    I dunno... I've got a buffered Boss tuner first in line, and I have to ditch the thing for a (tb) Turbo Tuner because it's been messing with the great old fuzzes that are in-line immediately after the tuner.
     
  7. halcyon85

    halcyon85 Member

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    I like to have a buffered pedal at the beginning of the chain and one somewhere near the end, and usually have TB in between.

    Not too into the idea of having a board 100% one or the other. Take a sort of Taoist approach, y'know. :munch
     
  8. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    I do like things before the first fuzz to be TB.
     
  9. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    true bypass, totally works for me.

    i can hear the difference, and that's all that matters for me.
     
  10. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    A buffer is a tool for managing the effects of impedance and capacitance loading in a guitar signal chain. There's no perfect solution that works for all people in all circumstances. Personally I like low cap cable, as few pedals as necessary, and true bypass if possible. I won't avoid a buffered bypass pedal if it delivers the effect I need, but I do try to keep the number of buffers on a pedalboard to a minimum and I am careful about where they're placed relative to those effects that I want to make sure load the guitar -- wah, fuzz, univibe, rangemaster. With those effects I absolutely want them to be true bypass because I don't want them loading the guitar when switched off and I don't want them behind buffers so that they will load the guitar when switched on. So, when it comes to using buffers, how, where and what type really is entirely dependent on a guitarists individual circumstances. I know it's appealing to have a one-size-fits all approach -- buffers are the best, true bypass is the best, a single buffer is the best, etc -- but really it all depends.
     
  11. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    I leave that xotic EP on at the front of the chain, and I'm good... but I have two other true bypass pedals and a POD HD 500... nothing else...
     
  12. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    You can't have a buffered pedal before a fuzz. Try putting your tuner after the fuzz.
     
  13. dave_mc

    dave_mc Member

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    anyone with any sense has always said you want mainly true bypass pedals with as few buffers as necessary to restore teh lost treble

    was anyone ever saying anything else? or at least, anyone with any wit? :D
     
  14. BoiceBox

    BoiceBox Member

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    This a very sensible approach. :agree
     
  15. dave_mc

    dave_mc Member

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    i agree with that too. i must have missed that when i posted. :eek:
     
  16. cookieshoes

    cookieshoes Member

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    Cornish put his "Case Against True Bypass" on his site. But, his "case" against true bypass is actually not addressing true bypass whatsoever, since Cornish's solution is to use a custom buffer system to feed all the pedals in the rigs he makes with the same signal level. With his system, it doesn't matter whether the pedal is TB or non-TB, since his buffer takes care of both. So, his "case" is worthless. Cornish uses the same solution to address the problem with non-TB pedals that players today use when they have too many TB pedals in the same chain: he uses a buffer. If anything, his "case" is actually a case for using a buffer, and has nothing to do with the pros/cons of true bypass.

    The point is that not having true bypass can result in a flaw, in the form of a loss of tone or volume drop. That players have come to like this flaw in certain pedals that they own is a matter of preference in a scenario where they had no choice. That they like the sound now is no different than having a delay pedal which features a simulation of tape warble. Some flaws can actually result in a unique sound. However, that doesn't mean that the flaw should be the standard. For players who only use a few TB pedals, there is no issue. For players with a dozen TB pedals, buy a buffer if you feel you need it. It should be looked at as being no different than buying a power supply, or all of the necessary patch cables to wire up your pedalboard. If you don't have a lot of pedals, then you don't need a buffer. If you do, and you can hear a difference, then buy one. But there's a big difference when you have a handful of TB pedals, and a few non-TB mixed in. In that setup, the flexibility is ruined, and you will always be trying to work around the limitations of the non-TB pedals. You have to worry about pedal ordering, making sure that one pedal doesn't react poorly with another, and of course the tone suck and volume drops in some pedals. Next stop, you're buying loops, loop switches, extra cables, etc. All to accommodate an outdated way of making pedals.
     
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    hehehehe that's exactly the issue.
    Pedals with POOR quality buffers will stuff you every time.
    Doesn't matter what you have after them.
    Boss pedals are infamous for it - have been for decades.

    The only solution is - ditch em... and replace them with good quality buffered or TB :)
     
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    +1
    I agree - the other big hole in Cornish's logic is he's based it on total cable length and he uses examples of 20m guitar cables and 2 ft long patch cables between 20 or 30 pedals.
    Just ridiculously long cables that no sane person would use.
    I agree with him that if you were stupid enuf to use such long cables into 30 pedals you'd get a ton of tone suck.
    Luckily I'm not that dumb though and most people wouldn't be either so his argument lacks logic imo :huh
     
  19. Class5

    Class5 Member

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    I liked the way a Dunlop Wah sucked treble in a rig I used a few years ago. When it finally died after 20 something years, the rig sounded quite harsh. Recently, I've been employing T/B pedals (not intentionally) and I've had some impedance problems, so it's really whatever works for you, and that is simply 'it'.
     
  20. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Just move the tuner after the fuzzes.
     

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