All buffers are not created equal

jaycoyoyo

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I was doing the exercise to check my tone when going thru the pedalboard vs. plugging straight in.

Found the pedalboard clean was quite dull in comparison. I have/had a Soul Food in the middle of my chain, because I thought it served as a decent Klone-type buffer. I noticed some hum/buzz coming thru on my cleans, and after some troubleshooting I found that the Soul Food was the culprit.

I had a JHS Prestige in my pedal bin, so I swapped that in, and voila no hum and the cleans have great sparkle.

Anybody else have a similar experience when comparing buffers?

I don't really want this thread to turn into a true bypass vs buffer debate.

-Jay
 

BanditPanda

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Regardless of brand a buffer is supposed to be closest to your guitar signal.
If you require buffer because of cable lengths then get a dedicated buffer and place it first on your board.
No debate.
BP
 

ErictheRed

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Regardless of brand a buffer is supposed to be closest to your guitar signal.
If you require buffer because of cable lengths then get a dedicated buffer and place it first on your board.
No debate.
BP
As the resident electrical engineer, this really isn't correct. It depends on what pedals you have, how many, whether they are buffered or not, what output impedance your pickups are, whether your pickups are active or not...

If you have a bunch of true bypass pedals, then you almost definitely want a buffer as the last pedal going out to your amp, for instance. If you have a pedal with low input impedance (like a vintage fuzz), then you need the buffer to come after that.

It really just depends, and most people should experiment with where they put them. There's nothing wrong with having multiple buffers, either.
 

BanditPanda

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No need to OCD. Place buffer closest to the guitar and be done with it.
No debate.
And please respect the OP'S wish .." I don't really want this thread to turn into a true bypass vs buffer debate. "
BP
p.s. Most custom pro boards have buffers at the beginning AND the end
 
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northernguitarguy

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No need to OCD. Place buffer closest to the guitar and be done with it.
No debate.
And please respect the OP'S wish .." I don't really want this thread to turn into a true bypass vs buffer debate. "
BP
p.s. Most custom pro boards have buffers at the beginning AND the end
No, if I place a buffer in front of my Superfuzz clone, it sounds like shit.

Also, there's no debate here re. 'true-bypass vs. buffer'. Eric was only talking placement.
 

ErictheRed

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I'm not going to get into a pissing contest, but I am an electrical engineer and understand signal processing very well. I'm also a decently competent amateur gigging guitarist.

If you're putting all of your pedals straight into the front end of an amp (no effects loop), then in probably 95% of the case you want your buffer absolutely last, closest to the amp. If you're using an effects loop, it's more case by case.

Anyway use your ears and play around with it, to each their own I guess.
 

northernguitarguy

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Unfortunately yes. I'm planning to pick up a fully isolated power supply this winter.
That might have been your problem. I don't understand the tech, but the SF has something called a 'charge-pump' in it (or so I was told). Anyway, I know the SF doesn't play well with others when using a daisy-chain power supply. It really hated being chained to a BOSS TU-2 tuner.
 

jaycoyoyo

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I'm not going to get into a pissing contest, but I am an electrical engineer and understand signal processing very well. I'm also a decently competent amateur gigging guitarist.

If you're putting all of your pedals straight into the front end of an amp (no effects loop), then in probably 95% of the case you want your buffer absolutely last, closest to the amp. If you're using an effects loop, it's more case by case.

Anyway use your ears and play around with it, to each their own I guess.
I have a JHS Colour Box at the end of my chain which at home goes into my Focusrite interface via XLR and then also 1/4 to my amp. Even when it's on (i.e. buffered), when I was experimenting, I still heard a duller sound compared to having the Prestige on earlier in the chain.
 

ErictheRed

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It depends on a lot of factors these days. If you already have a good buffered pedal at the end of your chain (like the MXR Reverb that I've been using), adding another buffer there won't help. If you already have a good buffered pedal at the start of your pedalboard, like some tuners, then a buffer there won't help. Many buffered pedals are active when the pedal itself is turned off, but not all. So yes, it depends on a lot of factors and I'll just leave it at that.
 

Rich

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No, if I place a buffer in front of my Superfuzz clone, it sounds like shit
That is the deal with all fuzzes as well as treble boosters; a buffer or OD or compressor or just about any gain pedal in front of a fuzz or treble booster is going to alter the sound (for better or worse depending on what you're going for).
 

northernguitarguy

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I think the need for a buffer might be overthought? I run my 'up front of amp' pedals through a loop strip, thereby going true bypass to my amp. I use two 15' chords to patch in. Last night, I was engaging my Bad Monkey in bypass, thereby adding a buffer to my signal. No change whatsoever.
 




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