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Pedals buffered bypass

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by golfnut, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    For the past 20 years or so I've had mostly true bypass pedals on my board but I'm going to put a small board together that consists of 5 pedals, one true bypass and the other 4 buffered.
    Just wondering if this is going to mess a lot with the amps tone in a bad way.
    This is what I'm contemplating from first to last.

    1. Cali76CD - buffered
    2. Kingsley Page - true bypass
    3. Boss BD-2w - buffered
    4. Boss DM-2w buffered
    5. Boss CE-2w buffered
     
  2. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m not an expert, but from what I understand I think buffered pedals can color your tone, it’s just that a buffer at the end will ensure that the length of cable run at the end is not also a factor in degrading high end.

    I’d expect there to be some effect on your tone with that lineup. How drastic? Don’t know. Probably not terrible, those are all modern and not cheap pedals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It is relatively unconventional to put the chorus after delay. And somewhat unconventional (though less so) to put it after distortion. Those will "impact" the tone of each when on more than whether they are buffered or not. These placements are not "wrong" and might sound right and do the things you need, for you.

    The Waza buffers are excellent and transparent. Can't speak to the Cali but at that price I hope to heck it is as well.

    If you are used to an all TBP chain you are probably accustomed to lots of high end roll off and a slight loss of dynamics.

    So a buffered board will sound and feel different.

    But in fact it will sound and feel much more like plugging your guitar directly into your amp with a short (6' or less) high-quality cable.

    Whether you prefer that is another issue. But easy to test out. Unplug your pedalboard from your amp. Plug your guitar straight in with a short cable. If you like how that sounds and the dynamics, you'll like the buffered board above.
     
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  4. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    When I listed those pedals in the order I'd potentially placed them I never really thought much about the Chorus as I haven't owned one in probably 15 years. So I guess I just stuck it at the end of the chain without thought. The chorus is the one pedal I'm still not sure of. I already have the Cali and Kinglsey and am picking up the bd-2w and dm-2w tonight and will likely get the chorus by the end of the month. With Long and Mcquade I've got 30 days to try it out to see if I can bond with a chorus again after all these years.
    Although I'd likely place the chorus before delay I can't see me placing it before the overdrive.
     
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  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have less pedals than you but sort of a similar concept.

    Tuner -> CE2w -> TS808 -> DM2w

    I just set the amp crunchy and ride guitar volume for clean/dirty/volume, and the TS is there if I need more level.

    I tend to use the CE2w as a "faux leslie". For that purpose, the sound is a little more "organic" (whatever that means) before the TS on the rare times I have both on together. Chorus after overdrive to my ear is more of that "80s chorus" sound (kind of edgy and metallic?) which is not my favorite.

    No right or wrong of course. Just our own goals, ears and perspective. I'm just sharing mine because our boards are sort of conceptually similar and share some overlapping pedal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  6. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Every circuit is going to have a different input and output impedance. The real point of having buffers is to make sure that circuits present a consistently high input impedance and a low output impedance. This is why some true bypass pedals don't play well together.

    Let's say you've got an overdrive and a boost pedal. Now, you set the output of the overdrive to unity l, so that it's roughy the same volume as your clean tone when the overdrive is off. Then, with the overdrive off, you set the boost to give you just a little volume bump to your clean signal. Now, you kick on both pedals and you've got a much bigger volume boost than you were expecting. Those are the kind of problems that impedance mismatches can create.
     
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  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    It's very likely this will all be fine, you'll need to experiment but the whole fear of buffers is mostly disinformation at this point based on some buffers 20-30 years ago having an issue plus small time builders not wanting to have to build buffers. If you're Boss or Maxon or something the buffer saved money because you had manufacturing automation and the true bypass switches were expensive compared to the parts to make the buffer. If you were a mom and pop builder with no automation the cost of the 3PDT switch was nothing compared to your manufacturing cost to hand build the buffer. On a dirt pedal the buffer might be more of the circuit than the dirt pedal itself. There is a reason a Klon KTR has that thing on the side that says the buffer is almost always better.

    All the Boss pedals you're listing are waza craft ones.. which means they're pretty darn new. By most accounts Boss has long fixed any issues with the buffer coloring your sound. I've had a bunch of Boss pedals but seeing as I started playing 2015 I have never seen one with anything but a perfectly working buffer because Boss had this nailed down by the time I ever bought a pedal.

    The Cali76 is such a high quality device that it's also really unlikely it has any buffer issues, but you should check with people who own it.

    What you will most likely notice with this setup is the buffered pedals won't suck tone, won't make any popping noises, and won't hiss as much.

    I recently got rid of an MXR Phase 95 (buffered) and replaced it with a Walrus Lillian (true bypass). I like the sounds the Lillian makes better than the Phase 95, but the buffer in the Phase 95 made it a much better behaved pedal.
     
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  8. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    As I pretty much always play through amps at about 40 watts (blackface clean amps) I seldom have the ability to turn it up for amp saturation. hence I use the Kingsley page as an always on edge of breakup pedal and it actually sounds pretty good.
    I may experiment with the chorus before and after the OD pedal. But my mindset for the chorus is that 80's country sound where I used it primarily for clean rhythm and the odd clean solo. I never liked it for distortion\overdrive but then that could be because I placed it after OD. This is one reason I want to revisit a decent chorus, for some experimentation.
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Edit - I meant DM2w, not BD2w.

    Easy enough to experiment, right? Might even like it before your Kingsley if that's your "edge" pedal.
     
  10. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Hook the pedals up as you would like to try them. If it sounds good to you then it is perfect. Your opinion matters most.
     
  11. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    Had a few minutes to plug in the pedals after work. I decided to get all 3 tonight. I've had the dm-2w and bd-2w breifly before so knew what to expect. But I wasnt prepared for how great the CE-2w sounded. Cant wait ti have more time to sit with it. Vibrato sounds are excellent. Didnt have time to judge how the buffers colored sound if at all but didnt notice anything ugly
     
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  12. Telewielder

    Telewielder TDPRI Member

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    There should be no problem. It might feel different from what you're used to, but you won't be ruining your tone or anything. And chorus after delay rocks.
     
  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    These are "internet BS era problems".
    If buffered pedals don't bother this guy than they shouldn't bother you :)

     
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