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Buffer pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Schimmy, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Schimmy


    Jul 5, 2012
    Tried to find some threads about this, but couldn't find one in particular with this subject.

    How many of you use a buffer? Not one always-on pedal, a dedicated buffer.

    I've been looking around and I've been feeling a small tone loss when plugging directly and when going through my board (which has around 17 pedals and some blenders/loopers).

    Do i need a buffer? Are there any other options? If i really need one, what alternatives are there?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I used to run one - Barber Launch Pad.

    At this point I'm only playing basses with active preamps, so a buffer is mostly redundant.
  3. eveilleu


    Oct 30, 2013
    Montreal, Qc
    I loved my micro thumpinator. But I felt I didn't need it.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I use a tube buffer the VHT Valvulator love it.
  6. Schimmy


    Jul 5, 2012
    Well, i have a Micro Thumpinator... but does it work as a buffer also? I mean, if it does, i need to get it in the beginning of my chain, correct?
  7. eveilleu


    Oct 30, 2013
    Montreal, Qc
    It's a great buffer!
  8. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Since I put a Boss Oc-2 at the front of my chain and it is buffered bypass, it does the job for me. Rather than taking up a pedal board spot with a dedicated buffer, do something like having an OC-2 at the front. If you have a particular pedal you always love near the front, people like Analogman can add a buffer to it.
  9. Dude, if you've got 17 pedals + other signal routing in the chain between your bass and your amp, a buffer is probably the least of your concerns. As the cliche goes, your chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If any of the boxes in your signal path are badly designed buffered bypass or true bypass, your tone's going to change even with everything off. The DPDT switches used in true bypass designs (less so with a single-pole switch) can attenuate the highs, making your bass sound mushy or lacking in clarity. Buffered bypass (like in Boss pedals) lets the signal drive a low impedance input, which reduces "tone suckage". Buffered bypass can still suck (literally and figuratively) if the parts are cheap or the impedance isn't correct.

    When you say "tone loss", are you referring to a loss of presence in certain frequencies of the spectrum or just a drop in volume?
  10. Schimmy


    Jul 5, 2012
    Yeah, i will try doing that with Micro Thumpinator. Let's see how that works.

    Just an overall shrinking of the sound, frequency wise and volume wise. I am going through most of the things before considering getting rid of pedals or anything like that - pedal order, strings, cable length,etc. I want to think the problem is inside my head, because i recently recorded like this and i don't want to have this idea that my sound could've better.

    Anyways, I got myself a bypass strap these last days on a trade. That should - in combination with the Thumpinator in the right place in the chain - make some difference, right?
  11. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    The MicroThumpinator is the best buffer I have ever tried. It worked wonder at the beginning of my chain. It now resides at the end because of some effects pedals I use (like the POG2) but, really, if I had the extra cash, I would put a second one at the beginning. All my other buffers, aside from the buffering in the Cali76tx, pale in comparison.
  12. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    No buffer, since I play active basses. But I do have all of my pedals in a true bypass loop, so they're all out of the chain with the loop is off.
    nshuman likes this.
  13. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I use a buffer towards the end, the B7K. I also have a couple other ones in there too but I cant remember which ones in particular. This is also the reason why I like having a bypass strip a part of my setup besides the fact that it makes life a little easier, is that it can bypass some of my noisier or troublesome pedals when not in use. For the amount of pedals I have on my board and the way its powered, I cant say its the most ideal way to do it but in regard to ground noise it works for me well enough and I didnt have to spend 4 to $500 on a power supply ;)
  14. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Oh yeah, its not a Thumpinator, but I have an Fdeck 1 at the VERY end of my chain as well.
    nshuman likes this.

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