June 17th, 2011, 09:56 AM
I have a Boss TU-2 as the first pedal in my chain, and a Boss RV-5 as the last pedal. Most of the pedals in-between are true-bypass pedals. So I would think that I'm fine in terms of having strong buffers at the beginning and the end.
But...would that all change if I routed all of my pedals through a true-bypass looper? If so, I would want to, say, keep the TU-2 as the first pedal in my chain and NOT run it through the true-bypass looper?
I ask because when I look at some pro pedalboards, they have everything running through a looper, but then have a buffer-only pedal at the beginning of their chain, and sometimes a clean boost pedal at the end of their chain. I'm guessing the reasoning for this is because the buffered pedals they do have (Visual Sound, Boss), are being run through the looper, thus removing their functionality as a buffer.
Thanks for the help!
June 17th, 2011, 07:32 PM
If the buffer is in the chain it will help. Whenever a buffered pedal is in the chain on or not it will swithc the impedence from high to low, pushing down the capacitence. Even if it has a true bypass pedal behind it will still pass the low capacitence on making up for what you loose with jumpers. Now if you take it completely out of the chain with a looper it will not help. You are still trying to do the same thing which is cut down the capacitence from all the jumpers. Try a looper and try buffers and see what tone you like the best at the end. IMO unless you use a HUGE pedalboard getting a bunch of true bypass loopers will not sound any better then with a few buffers....
June 18th, 2011, 01:25 AM
Most people use loopers to help with tone but also to make switching easier & faster. I've talked to Timon Klein (who makes really nice loopers & makes the loopers for all the Hillsong guys) & he always recommends putting a buffered tuner BEFORE the looper so that you get the advantage of the buffer.
As far as if you should get one for tonal improvement or not is kind of a personal choice. You'll notice less tone lose (ie high end roll off & dynamic response) when you cut out all the cables between each pedal with a looper but you'll still have the pedal running to & from the board so buffered tuners & reverb/delays are a good bet.
Hope this helps.
June 18th, 2011, 10:00 AM
I think I've seen loopers with buffers built in at the beginning and end of them to push the signal through the looper and out to the amp.
I think the buffer in buffer out concept works best if you are using high-quality buffers. And not cheap ones that color your tone when they are bypassed (those go in the looper).
I once heard this illustration about buffers and true bypass that helped me understand what was going on in my pedalboard a little better:
Think about your signal as water coming from a hose. True bypass pedals pass the water through with no affect on its current; buffers are like putting your thumb over the tip of the hose. The water is pushed out stronger than before, allowing it to travel farther (just like buffers help fight signal capacitance when they are at the beginning and end of boards). But when you have too many buffers on the signal chain, its like kinking the hose or pushing down on the tip too hard and your signal gets weakened. But with all true bypass pedals, the signal will sound weak too (although not as weak as all buffer) because nothing is pushing the signal through all of that cable length.
I hope that helped!