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Should I Use A Buffer With A Long True Bypass Box?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Mar 2, 2008.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I was thinking about getting a larger true bypass looper- something with 6-8 loops on it, and was curious if, with all the extra wiring it would be adding, I should use a buffer/clean boost like the WOBO one or similar.

    I mainly want to get one for the convenience of being able to turn everything on and off in one strip without having to dance my foot around (it may sound pathetic but with my poor eyesight, I often miss the pedal I'm attempting to step on). I've been using bypass loopers for at least five years now, but never more than a two-loop model, so I figured I'd ask if a buffer/booster was a good idea.
     
  2. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Bryan, yes you definitely should.
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I assume it would go at the end of the signal chain for best results, correct?
     
  4. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    so wait, now something is TOO true-bypass?:eek:
     
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's not now. It's always been this way.
    Most people are just too deep into the current true-bypass fashion to see it.
     
  6. I would put it right at the top of the chain. The main thing you want to "buffer" is your pickups.
     
  7. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Personally, I'd put it after my fuzz boxes, but before everything else.

    It would work fine at the end of a 100% true bypass chain, as another aspect of a good buffer is a very high input impedance. Think of that like a magnet attracting your pickup signal to the input of the buffer. Think of the very low output impedance of the buffer circuit as a pump - pumping your signal along the cable to the amp.
     
  8. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Surely though... If it's a true bypass looper, then when you bypass all six loops you won't need a buffer because none of those crazy loop lengths are in your signal path (and assuming not-overly-long cable runs from guitar -> looper -> amp), and if you've got any of the loops active then you'll probably have at least one buffered output from whatever pedals are in there, no?
     
  9. Haha

    When threads like this come up I get all these crazy ideas, like now; a switchable buffer on every loop.
     
  10. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Agree.

    I always think of getting a blender on every one.
     
  11. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    All cables have capacitance which results in loss of information at the extremes of the frequency spectrum. This is especially apparent on passive instruments.

    Using the loop box definitely makes the problem less apparent but it's still there. I'd urge everyone using a passive bass to invest in a good buffer - it will definitely improve your tone.
     
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    But that's as simple as having a buffered-bypass pedal in your chain.

    Aside from fuzzes and octaves (or other things that go directly at the front of your chain), the general consensus in this forum is that a good, quality buffer is much preferred to true bypass.
     
  13. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    One good quality buffer, and the rest true bypass. It needs to be a mix!

    Of course, those of us with active basses don't need to worry about these things... :)
     
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I run my basses active most of the time, so I guess I shouldn't worry about it. I doubt the two buffered pedals in my chain have good buffers though, so I was considering it anyways.
     
  15. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Bryan - your active bass has a buffered output anyway, so no worries - there's already one in your chain.

    Joe.
     
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Ah, good then :)
     
  17. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    My buffered looper sounds better with all my effects and all my basses than true bypass does. I have two loops both blendable with buffers.
     
  18. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    That's because the buffers counteract the capacitance of the cables - so you retain high and low end.
     
  19. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Just to clarify...

    I'm playing a passive bass 90% of the time and I definitely feel "tone suck" despite using all true bypass and a loop (Xotic) and decent (Mogami and Monster) instrument cables. This is probably due to the length of cable... I know I can hear loss through just one true bypass box in the chain, especially when running 30' of combined cable between my instrument and amp.

    What is the ideal way of addressing this? A booster type pedal like the Barge Concepts suggested above? If so where in the chain should I place it? The only buffered bypass pedal I own is my ol' Metal Zone. Will adding that into my signal chain actually decrease the overall signal loss?

    Not trying to hijack but the OP is asking a question that's very similar to my situation...
     

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