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. jdaunt

    jdaunt Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Grand Blanc, MI
    If you split your signal at any point, definitely use a buffer there, otherwise you could do somewhere in the middle to give it a boost to keep the signal consistent throughout since some pedals can react differently to different signal levels, or you can put it at the end to boost the signal strength as is when it leaves the chain. If you like the way your tone sounds as is, just need a little extra from it then the latter is the way to go. If you feel like the pedals at the end of the chain are lacking, somewhere in the middle might be best.
  3. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    Serious question: isn't a buffer redundant if you have at least one non-true bypass pedal in the chain?
  4. jdaunt

    jdaunt Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Yes and no. If you’re splitting a signal, a buffered splitter is best to prevent cross-talk, so no matter how many other buffered pedals you have in your chain, you definitely still want buffer for splitting and combining signals. And it depends on how many other pedals you have and where the buffered pedal(s) are in the chain-if you have one and it’s at the beginning of a long chain, it can still lose signal by the end of it. If it’s only at the end of the chain, the signal can be weak by the time it gets there and the pedals toward the end aren’t getting enough signal to perform at their best. Granted unless it’s a really really long pedal chain, the effect of a buffer is minimal and probably not noticeable to most people, but from a technical standpoint signal loss does happen.
  5. I found out many years ago that having a buffer as close as possible to the front of the chain delivered the best result. I used a MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver since the late 70's at the beginning of my pedal board until it was replaced with an [sfx]microThumpinator. Using a buffer helped to balance the effect of poor bypass circuits, cut down on noise and signal loss. I also placed effects in a loop so they could be easily bypassed.
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Southampton All Things Equal is a great buffer/clean boost that is totally transparent but has the option of making it a dirty boost.
    cnltb, villegastx and DirtyDuke like this.
  7. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Totally transparent as in 'it does not colour the signal'?
    At all volumes and over the complete fingerboard?
    villegastx, DirtyDuke and JimmyM like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The only thing it does to color the sound is add back the treble lost through cabling, and it's dead transparent at all volumes and all over the fingerboard.
    cnltb likes this.
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Sounds like a candidate.
    Thanks for the info!!
    I stumbled across this one: dB+ – Boost/Independent Buffer - Wampler Pedals
    and find this one interesting too - I like the features, which the wampler seems to basically have as well, in a smaller package :Boring Boost & Buff « joegore.com.
    I've just not had the chance to try either one yet. ( I too am looking for a 'CLEAN' buffer/boost)
    JimmyM likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I don't know about the Wampler, but the Gore says it adds a treble and low mid boost. Fine if you want a mid scoop with your boost, and some do. The Wampler looks interesting. A separate buffer switch is very cool so it buffers even when the boost is off. Souhtampton takes a nifty approach as well...it's always on, and there are separate volumes for each switch position.
  11. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    Thanks Jimmy.....The ATE is completely transparent over the entire spectrum, unless you flip the dirty switch which is a V1 Fifth gear....

    I personally use the ATE at the start of my chain to balance out different basses as well as a buffer. I also use an SFX micro thumpinator at the end...
    JimmyM likes this.
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Well spotted!
    I had not seen that...
    So for me the joe gore boring is out :( ( I like the looks of it).
    I wrote to wampler about frequency range and impedance ( there is no technical data on their page ...).
    I totally want a pedal that allows me to buffer ,or not and to boost or not, so the wampler is attractive to me. It is also small.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    villegastx likes this.
  13. kamyon


    Feb 17, 2012
    Awesome thread, just exactly what I've been looking for.

    I've been considering getting a buffer pedal as well but wasn't sure if I truly need it. I use a FEALabs OptiFet, which is ON all the time. It has 1MOhm input, so I'm guessing it's acting like a buffer but I'm also splitting the signal to delay pedals with an active SEND\RETURN pedal (which should also buffer since it's active, right?!?).

    So I'm wondering if I would benefit from a buffer pedal in my setup.


    Edit: Didn't mean to hijack the thread from the OP, but thought could add to discussion by adding questions aswell.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  14. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    What tuner are you using?? The Boss TU3 has a great built in buffer. Otherwise there are some great ones out that. The ATE from Southampton is always a good idea as Duke and Jimmy already stated. Great company that builds great gear. There are a number of buffer boxes on the market now as many builders have seemed to realize how important one can be for guys who use larger boards.

    Saturnworks makes them: Buffer Pedal | Saturnworks Pedals | USA
    TC makes one: TC Electronic BonaFide Buffer
    Dare I say JHS ;) JHS Little Black Buffer Micro Buffer Pedal
  15. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    What’s your current chain? You may unwittingly already have a buffer in your chain. Also, it’s very possible that your signal degradation could be caused by a faulty patch cable.