Buffer In Pedal Chain

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by IOA_Bassist, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. IOA_Bassist


    Jan 28, 2014
    im noticing that I’m losing a lot of tonal defination after my bass has come out of the pedal board, so I was looking to get a buffer, looking mainly and the Provience BF, but I have no idea where I’m meant to put it on my chain!?

    Also and recommendations for other buffer pedals would be awesome, cheers
  2. Well, it depends on WHAT you've got on your board to start with. Some pedals have buffers already built in. Some are true bypass. You could have wiring issues. You

    Without knowing what you've got, it's very hard to make any suggestions IF a buffer would help.

    But to answer your initial question- MOST of the time, the buffer goes at the beginning of the board.

    HOWEVER, if you have pedals (certain fuzzes like Big Muffs and some Wahs) that rely on "seeing" (electrically) the basses impedance, they probably won't sound the same the same, and you'll want the buffer AFTER the effects, in order to drive to the amp.

    As with all things, YMMV...
  3. robbroncs


    Jul 12, 2012
    i'm gonna hijack this thread....

    I'm noticing some loss and muddiness of my signal through my chain, even with everything disengaged. I am aware of Boss pedals offering some buffer to the chain. but they are awfully far down the line. and i'm pretty sure the rest are all true bypass. but please correct me if i am wrong. my current line is as follows:

    TC Polytune2 Noir > Barefoot fx BlueBerry (OD) > Mooer Tender Octaver > Mr. Black Fwonkbeta> Markbass Compressore > Fairfield Barbershop (light OD) > Fuzzrocious Grey Stache > MXR Phase 90 > Electo-Harmonix Bass Clone > Boss Bass Flanger BF-2B > Boss Tremolo TR-2 > Line 6 DL4 > TC Hall of Fame > TC Ditto x2 > Markbass Micro Boost

    i use about an extra 20'-30' of cable on both ends.

    i've read that a buffer before fuzz usually isn't preferred. and i like where it is on my line, because it does not drastically change the effects i have prior to it. unless i'm wrong.

    if i was to purchase a buffer....where would it go?

    i'm considering JHS little black, Truetone pure tone, or TC bonafide but i am widely open to suggestions and mind changers

    and please let me know if i'm barking up the wrong tree here.
  4. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I'm leary of Boss buffers as it is - they can sometimes be the culprit of tonal change. Yes in your rig, cable loss is a big one too.

    Do you have an active bass?
    If yes, a buffer isn't likely to solve your problem, it's likely being caused by one of the pedals, even in bypass.

    Do you ever play with everything off?
    If yes, consider the Empress Buffer+. You can bypass the whole board and keep your signal.

    Actually the Empress Buffer (not + version) would be the minimum buffer I would recommend. It has two buffers - one as input and one as output. This garuntees the maximum signal saving possible. If you can shorten your bass to board cable you will improve it a bit more too...
  5. robbroncs


    Jul 12, 2012
    yup. i meant with everything off, i notice loss. where in the chain would i put the empress?
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If your bass is passive, I would recommend putting the buffer at the beginning of the chain, and making sure that the particular buffer you choose has a high input impedance (at least 1 Meg). Like A8 said, shorten that first cable from the bass to the board if possible.

    Remember that not only does every patch cord between pedals add to the capacitance dragging down your tone, but each one of the plug and jack connections adds capacitance, as does every mechanical bypass switch. You could have the capacitance equivalent of like 50 feet of cable just on the pedalboard. All of the cords, plugs, and switches also can get dirty or poorly-conductive, causing further problems.

    Sometimes the problem is a "bad buffer" like people commonly blame on Boss or other mainstream inexpensive brands, but sometimes it's a cluster of a large number of small interferences that add up.
    Robertron, robbroncs and speedball3 like this.
  7. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    Wampler db+ Booster/Buffer

    I've been happy with mine.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    do any of those pedals stay on all the time? also, are you using a wireless? is your bass active? all this matters because in each case your buffer would be right there.