True Bypass Pedals Overrated?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Let's say I have a pedal which sounds fantastic, but does not have true bypass. The next model up, which is just as good but has true bypass, is about a hundred dollars more.

    Wouldn't it just make more sense to get an A/B pedal and a Y-cable and just bypass the pedal completely rather than spending more money on true bypass?
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Depends. Do you notice a difference in your sound with the pedal in and out of the chain? If you don't hear a difference, save even more money and don't worry about true bypass. If you do hear a difference, and really like the sound of the pedal, you can either put it in a loop or mod it to true bypass (not every pedal can be modded like this, but many can).
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    As to them being overrated, again, it depends on your whole system. If you're running passive single coils in a passive bass, then true bypass can be very important. If you use humbuckers or an active bass, then it may not be important at all. Some pedals have good buffers, in which case you might not need true bypass even with the passive single coils. But some pedals have buffers that make the next pedal in the chain sound bad.
  4. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I'm not talking about my chain specifically (I'm active. I rarely play clean.)

    But I do have a situation which could be like this with my cheap DOD Overdrive 250. But usually, I either use the thing the entire song, or not at all. When I use an effect that is in on some parts and not others, it is usually either my EHX Mini Q-Tron (which I believe is true bypass) or my DigiTech BP-200. With both of these I never notice a difference in the sound if it is bypassed.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I use active basses, and any non-true bypass pedals I use are kept in the loop of a true-bypass footswitch. Nothing takes the balls out of my tone more than a non true-bypass pedal.

    I care about my tone enough to use a $50 looper to preserve my tone.
  6. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Worth it to have true-bypass? Yes. Worth an extra $100? Not by a long shot. I agree with Lyle here, 100%.

    Let me ad with respect to the thread title "True Bypass Pedals Overrated?" the answer would be no, regarding the benefit. Unfortunately, marketing hype allows resultant prices to get a little disproportionate as per that functional benefit.

    In other words, they overcharge for something like true bypass which should already be there in the first place.

    man, that makes me want to rant in the worst way..............
  7. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I plan on getting a Loooper for my 250. That thing sucks when bypassed. My guitar player is going to get one for his old Big Muff too. I thinks it worth it too.
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I say it depends on the ciruit and how many pedals you have. Most Boss pedals have a pretty good buffer, and work well with lots of other pedals, so true bypass isn't necessary with some of them. If you have a passive bass, and use alot of true bypass pedals, your tone could still suck, since you've got tons more cabling between the bass and your amp. One good non true bypass pedal in front of that mess could actually help your tone, rather than hinder it.

    Most of my pedals are true bypass or have a good buffer (I've got to be careful with where I place those, or it will destroy my fuzz pedal tone), but I've got an Alesis digital distortion that absolutly sucks tone in bypass. I've never heard a worse coloration of tone when something is off EVER. But it's so nasty, I've got to keep it. One little Loooper will do the trick.