Too many buffers?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Albino RyNo, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Albino RyNo

    Albino RyNo

    Jan 20, 2016
    Here is an idea I have for my pedal board setup.

    Pedal Board.jpg

    Some of these pedals I own, others are on my GAS list to get this year. I'm trying to preserve my clean tone as much as possible while using effects but I'm concerned I'm going to have too many buffers in my "clean" chain. The main culprits would be the MXR M81 Bass Preamp, the Micro-Thumpinator and the MXR Bass Compressor running in an "always on" type fashion on top of the already buffered signal coming out of my active basses.

    Too many buffers.jpg

    I would keep the MXR preamp always on even when using my active basses so that I can tame their output to roughly the same volume as my passive basses both so that they work better with my effects (which sometimes don't like hot active signals) and so that I don't have to twirl as many knobs on the effects when switching basses.

    Does anybody have a similar setup or have any experience with having this many buffers in their "clean" always-on chain?

    Am I going to introduce a ton of noise to my signal by going this route?

    *Disclaimer* I grabbed all of these pedal photos from the internet and they do not represent the settings I would actually use.
  2. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    I usually have at least 3 buffers in my chain and sometimes many more. If they are reasonable quality - you should be just fine. I think a good way to tell is to plug a headphone-amp into the end of the chain, use a good headphone, set everything flat (or at least as flat as possible) and then a-b the whole thing using a true-bypass looper bypassing the whole thing. I sometimes do this, and yes some buffers will add a tiny bit of noise - but it's negligible for all practical purposes.

    Whether you particular pedals have good-quality buffers - I don't really know, but for reference:
    • Behringer BSY600 - horrible buffer.
    • SA prog-EQ - a tiny bit of noise added.
    • ISP Decimator - no noticeable noise (well - it actually takes noise away when engaged, at least with some basses, but I'm talking not-engaged)
    • Broughton L/HPF - no noise (or very tiny bit) even when gain cranked full (!)
    • Sound-Scullpture Switchblade - Very tiny bit of noise only when running a long chain
    anyway - I think you get the picture