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Buffer question

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by TelePrankster, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. TelePrankster

    TelePrankster Tele-Meister

    236
    Jan 21, 2016
    Rome
    I have a small pedalboard (Pedaltrain Metro 16) with 6 effect pedals + 2 controllers. Signal chain is:
    Sonic Research Turbo Tuner>Wampler Mini Ego compressor>Hudson Broadcast>Rockett Rockaway>Chase Bliss Tonal Recall>Neunaber WET reverb.
    A Chase Bliss Faves midi controller is connected to the Tonal Recall and a Neunaber EXP controller is connected to the WET reverb. Only the Faves needs 9v power and it's daisy chained with the Tonal Recall.
    All these pedals are true bypass except for the Tonal Recall which can be set for trials and the WET reverb which is buffered bypass only and it's the last pedal in the signal chain.
    I have a little empty space in my pedalboard (the size of a Polytune mini) and I was thinking about putting a buffer first in the chain so I can have a buffer at the beginning and a buffer at the end of the chain (WET).
    Is it necessary? If so, do you have some mini buffers to suggest?
     

  2. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

    613
    Jan 16, 2015
    Tacoma
    I don't think that is necessary, in fact it may cause issues with your comp and/or dirt.....
    maybe try running your WET into the compressor, rockaway, and broadcast while the WET is in bypassed buffer and listen to if you like the sound of the buffer before them other pedals!
     

  3. TelePrankster

    TelePrankster Tele-Meister

    236
    Jan 21, 2016
    Rome
    I'll try that, good idea. I also have an Hot Cake which is buffered, I guess I can use it for some tests.
    Since I always used boosts after drive, I was thinking about getting something like a Wampler DB+ boost/buffer and put it first in the chain. It has a side button that engage/disengage the buffer, so boost and buffer are independent.
    Used as a buffer is just a buffer, used as a boost before drive would allow me to boost some gain instead of volume. Better to have two choices I guess. Getting just a buffer may be not so useful for my rig.
     

  4. Redvers

    Redvers Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    349
    Oct 4, 2016
    Wales
    You could build a Klon type buffer for peanuts. If you a/b with and without you'll soon know if you need one.
     
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  5. luckett

    luckett Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    A buffer won't cause any issues with your compressor or dirt.
     

  6. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Colorado
    I think your pedal line is short enough that a single buffer at the end should be enough. But it's worth a try putting a buffer at the beginning to see if it makes a difference. I put a Boss noise gate pedal at the beginning of my pedalboard and was surprised at what a difference a buffer early in the chain made. I felt like I had more and sharper attack.
     
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  7. TelePrankster

    TelePrankster Tele-Meister

    236
    Jan 21, 2016
    Rome
    Did some tests yesterday straight into amp and then guitar>pedalboard (everything off)>amp and didn't notice a big difference.
     

  8. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Now do the same thing without your buffered bypass pedal in the chain, so you can hear what your rig sounds like entirely unbuffered.

    I like to keep the buffer as close to the guitar as possible, which for me means between the 12 foot guitar cable and the pedalboard. Moving it to the end of a board like yours is what, another 3 feet of cable, tops? As long as the buffer is on all the time, and not just when you engage the pedal, you'll be fine no matter where it is.

    FYI, it's fine to use a buffer first, with a couple of exceptions. Fuzz Face style fuzzes need to be ahead of the buffer, if you want to be able to roll back guitar volume to clean up the fuzz. Also, wahs and volume pedals can be tricky when used in conjunction with a buffer. I don't use either, so don't have the details.
     
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  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    If your compressor is on at ALL times it is already a buffer (any pedal when on is a buffer).
     
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  10. Redvers

    Redvers Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    349
    Oct 4, 2016
    Wales
    Nope. Earlier ocd's weren't buffered. Fuzz isn't buffered. Etc.
     

  11. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

    524
    Mar 31, 2011
    Jersey City
    I find it's really a matter as to whether or not you feel like your tone is lacking some sparkle. On my board I have a few always on pedals so a buffer wouldn't really add anything. I also find other changes to the rig can make a more significant improvement I.e change in cables. I switched I evidence audio cables for my patch and guitar and it felt like I added a buffer, just brought tons of clarity. So experiment a bit but it can be a deep hole trying to find that "pure" tone
     

  12. TelePrankster

    TelePrankster Tele-Meister

    236
    Jan 21, 2016
    Rome
    I'm using EBS patch cables (gold) and Quiklok cables for guitar>pedalboard and pedalboard>amp.
    I don't understand. Those pedals you named aren't buffering the signal even when left always on? I don't think so.
     

  13. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Why not the buffer at the end??
     

  14. luckett

    luckett Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Any active amplifier acts as a buffer. Some have relatively poor impedance characteristics, but they are all buffers.
     

  15. bluesky1963

    bluesky1963 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    247
    Apr 1, 2011
    Glendale, AZ
    How long are your cable runs into and out of the board? You really don't get much signal loss unless you're running 20 or 30 foot cables.
     

  16. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    like I said all pedals when ON are buffers and their output impedance is lower than their input .

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
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  17. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Minimization of cable length, nothing more. Longer cables, more capacitance, robs your tone of highs. Cable after the buffer is non-existent as far as tone loss.

    OP has a small board, so it doesn't matter. Most people can hear a difference between a 3 foot cable and a 18 footer. Some can hear the difference in an extra 6-8 feet. In a large board configuration, cable adds up. My board for example, doesn't travel, and consists of a large board on the side, and two "outriders" at my feet. Simple in theory, but there are a few extra back-and-forths of cable to accomplish this. Without a buffer, or with a buffer at the end, I'd notice it.
     
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  18. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    True - but some also WANT that cable length, as to smoothen the highs & "sterility" of a given amp/signal

    Two way street
     

  19. TelePrankster

    TelePrankster Tele-Meister

    236
    Jan 21, 2016
    Rome
    I already have a buffer at the end, my Neunaber WET reverb.
    From guitar to pedalboard 4/5 meters tops, from pedalboard to amp 3 meters.
     

  20. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2010
    Fullerton CA
    ... And... How much cable between pedals? That counts, too, although it's probably less than meter.
    If there's any consensus, it's that one buffer at the beginning is enough. More buffers at the end are superfluous. But the ear is the final judge. Where the buffer goes can easily be tested.

    I'll admit separate buffers I've tried just make the sound too bright, even brittle. So one's mileage will vary.

    Fingers, strings, picks, cables, pedals, more cables, tubes, speakers. All these ingredients in the tone recipe can be tweaked. It's a journey.
     

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