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BOSS pedals and tone loss

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MicG, May 1, 2010.

  1. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    Boss pedals are not true-bypass, this is a well known fact, but do they really have THAT much of an impact on tone? In particular i'm wondering about the BOSS GEB-7. Seems to me that in a live environment only using a couple of these pedals wouldn't make much of a difference.
    My buddy (guitarist) insists on using nothing but true-bypass pedals and (of course) strongly recommends me to do the same. The thought rationale is: "Why spend $$$ on a nice head, cab, and bass only to have the tone degraded by inferior pedals"
    Not my actual thinking but a referenced statement so please don't flame me!:bag:

  2. Use your ears.

    I can't hear a tone loss with the boss pedals.
  3. I have a TU-2 tuner and I've played it through a dozen different amps - never heard a bit of difference.

    I guaran-damn-tee you that the audience can't hear a difference.
  4. The Boss pedals have a good buffered bypass.

    Buffered bypass isn't always a bad thing. In some cases, it might even be a good thing. The idea of the buffer is to give your signal some extra oomph to get through the circuit and cable run. If you have heaps of effects, all true bypass, then your signal has to go through a lot of extra cable with no helping hand. You have the cable from your bass, wires within the effects, patch leads and then another long cable to the amp. Maybe a good buffered pedal, like a Boss pedal, is actually helping your signal along the line in a situation like that? I don't know for sure...

    Anyway, if you don't hear any tone loss, don't worry about it :cool:
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 to post #4. AND, +1 to post #'s 2 & 3.
  6. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I can hear that it. It's not horrible, but I notice it, and considering there are alternatives that can offer similar products without tripping off my tone OCD, I prefer to purchase those.

    Audience won't know, bandmembers won't notice, but I notice.
  7. Bulldog


    Feb 20, 2010
  8. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    Hey guys thanks for the input so far. I figured that wouldn't make much of a difference to the overall sound of the band or the audience. I went ahead and picked up a BOSS GEB-7 today after returning one months ago due to the whole "tone purity" discussion. That pedal really did help me define MY sound and I suppose thats what most important.
  9. This hits on a major point about perceived tone loss and tonal differences with even the most subjective of things. Why do you play with specific strings or a pick when any set of specific strings or picks would do the job? Because a certain set/pick feels or sounds better to you, which, in turn, makes you play with more energy. So much of your playing is about feeding off of what you can hear and feel as the player, IMO.

    No comment on the OP specifically, just thought I would jump on that line. :smug:
  10. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    @ FreaqyFrequency: +1 Its all about personal choice, and sacrifice. Example: My Guitarist seems to have a real affinity for humbucking pickups and "pure" tone (i.e. true bypass and $$$ cable) and keeps reminding me how great they sound. While I agree, I prefer my Fender style basses and perhaps don't mind using BOSS pedals because they just feel/sound "right" to me. Plus I play better with a fender style bass in my hands.

    I guess as of late I've had an epiphany about who I am as a player and what kind of musical influence I've been under from others, particularly when it comes to MY tone. Effects can play a big part in crafting one's tone, hence the creation of this thread.
  11. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Exactly! I think the whole TB thing is a bit overblown.
  12. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    LS-2, SD-1, CE-5: no bypass issues.
  13. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    You've just made the entire roster of posters in the "strings" forum cry.:meh:
    I disagree, but I will concede that the difference between a good buffered bypass and true bypass is overblown.

    I take more offense to Boss' bypass quality than others, most people are fine with it. I echo the opinion that ultimately the OP should listen and decide with their own ears whether it's an issue or not.
  14. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    To test this out for myself, I plugged my bass into a Barge VB-Jr -> Radial JDI -> mixer. The Barge puts the signal through a buffer when engaged, and by itself didn't degrade my tone at all. Then I put various pedals in the loop and set it to 100% wet so I could switch various pedals in and out if the signal chain to test them. I could definitely hear some signal degradation from a Digitech Bad Monkey and Boss OC-2/HM-2/CE-2B, yet the buffer in the Tech 21 XXL & VT Bass sounded just fine.
  15. So many punchlines, so little time
  16. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Damn iPhone predictive text!
  17. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I've never felt that I've had any issue getting a BOSS pedal or a chain of BOSS pedals to sound good. Is there a little tone suck? I guess it depends on what you call tone suck. Maybe a little high end roll off, but it's nothing that I couldn't work with using the eq section of my amp.
  18. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Depends on how particular you are, and also the application. For gigging, the difference probably wouldn't be very noticeable. However, with my DD-20 anyway, there is a slight loss of fidelity going through the bypassed effect. I hear a little loss of treble detail and a slight increase in noise. A while ago I changed the op amps and added some polypropylene bypass capacitors; this seems to have opened it up somewhat.
  19. Whaaaapsh


    Apr 23, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I'm with you 12bass -- I've got my signal path going through 3 true bypass pedals, 2 buffered pedals and george L's, and I like the slight treble cut. Straight bass to amp sounds a little raw to me, not bad, just raw.
  20. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    This is what I meant.

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