Boss pedals - buffers and how they affect the tone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mouthmw, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I just recently added 2 boss pedals on my board - a 1990 MIT Boss Bass Flanger BF-2B and a 1994 MIT Boss OC-2. I use a VT Bass pedal as my tone shaper and I always had to turn off the speaker sim because of the clanky highs and high mids. Ever since I put boss pedals in my chain, I noticed a lot less clank with speaker sim on. In fact, I might use the speaker sim from now on because I like how dirt sounds with it. Do Boss buffers reduce highs?
  2. Someone around here did a spectrum analysis with a bunch of buffered pedals a few years back and what he found was that most of the bypasses were pretty good but not perfect, and a handful were really excellent, but when you start combining a bunch of buffered effects together in bypass the results start to get unpredictable. IIRC.
  3. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder:
    By any chance is your bass passive, you cable run relatively long and did you place the Boss pedals before the VT?
  4. I've been researching this recently as well. I have a TU-2 and OC-2. Haven't tried my OC-2 yet, but testing my TU-2 today, which I've had for almost 10 years now, I noticed some high end disappearing.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Depends on the pedal in my experience.

    The boss bass overdrive, bass chorus, and flanger weren't so bad but put nothing but a Boss NS-2 (Noise suppresor) in your line and watch the tone get sucked right out. Seriously. Great pedal but sucks tone.
  6. Basically what a buffer does is take a high impedence signal and lowers it so that it will pass through a circuit, cable, switch etc with out the effects of resistance (tone suck). A DI does the same thing, but you wouldn't compair a $20 passive DI to a $1000 Avalon.

    Just like DIs, not all buffers are created equal.

    Boss buffers do mess with the tone of the signal coming through, which is why buffers have a bad name.

    Pedals like Visual Sound, MXR's Custom Audio pedals, Pete Cornish etc use a higher quality buffer, sometimes called a line driver, that do not effect the EQ curve at all. They are transparent tonaly and only effect the imp. You will notice some extra high freq. clarity when useing them but this is what you were loosing due to cable runs etc.

    FYI: If you are running more than 18 feet of cable with a passive bass you are hearing the effects of the cable.

    Active basses already have a low output imp. so you won't notice much, if any, of a difference.
  7. About the NS2. If you want a noise supressor that doesn't suck your tone check out the ISP Decimator. Other than the absence of noise, you can't tell it's on.

    Check out the sound files on thier site. It really does work that well.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Boss pedals I use, an SYB-3 and an OC-2, definitely cut the highs down a notch or two. Doesn't bother me, though...never cared for that much high end anyway.
  9. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Perhaps, but nowhere near as much as people think. Check out the thread that is linked to above. The Boss buffers roll off less than 0.25 dB, starting around 3kHz. Now it's possible that some Boss pedals have better or worse buffers than others. But I've never had a problem with the bypass signal in a Boss pedal. If you chain 4 or 5 Boss pedals in a row, you might get some noticeable effect.

    The only pedals that I've ever had where the tone suck in bypass bothered me were the Dunlop 105q (awful), the old EHX BMS (atrocious, but easily modded to true-bypass), and multiple whammy models (but I can't live without it, so I keep it in one of the loops of my Boss LS-2)
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Yeah, I know. The DSP is amazing but the one knob isn't enough. The rackmount version supposedly has much more controls. I'd love to get one but I barely use dirt, I haven't ran the NS-2 in a long time.
  11. Bur


    Nov 16, 2012
    Moscow, Russia
    Oh, what a dissapointment about LS-2, why they made it buffering - this is just a switching\blending system?
  12. icecycle66


    Feb 4, 2009
    Why hasn't this been posted yet?

  14. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    They made it buffered because that's the "quiet" way, the "Pro" way & the" smart" way of doing a bypass.

    The LS-2 doesn't tone suck ... Gezz