What's your bypass ratio?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by RCCollins, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. I'm looking at my just-completed pedalboard (pic coming in the appropriate thread) which uses no bypass loops whatsoever. There's really no discernible tone-suck either, and i credit this to judicious use of buffered bypass. With eleven pedals on the board including the tuner, 6 are buffered and 5 tbp.

    What's your ratio, and how do you get it to work for you?
  2. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    this is a very interesting thread. i'm gonna count up soon and see!
  3. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Inactive

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    All "AFAIK":
    VBjr - TB, but its always on = Buffer
    Torns Peaker - TB
    Super Chili Picoso - TB, but always on = Buffer
    TU-2 - Buffer
    Prunes and Custard - Buffer? There is a PCB under the switch, and in my thread with clips/pics of it someone mentioned it might be a buffer.
    Attack Goat - TB
    XXL Bass - Buffer
    Swollen Pickle - TB? I tried voltage sagging it and it audibly clicks off if you do, same if I turn off power to my whole board. Prolly some kind of magnetic relay that resets to off with lack of power.

    TB = 5 (3 if you count "always on" as buffer)
    Buffer = 3 (5 if you count "always on" as buffer)

    When I get my 6 loop switcher from loop master the P&C, XXL, and Pickle will be TB, basically.
  4. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Well, only 1 of my pedals (on my primary board) is not true bypass. So, I guess the ratio is 1 to 8. But, I use a tb looper and use a purpose-built buffer. The buffer really is necessary given the extensive use of tb pedals and complex looping employed.

    As a session player, I have to maintain a solid signal & I've found that my current setup keeps everyone happy! My goal is to employ the least number of buffers possible, but still ensure proper impedance to drive downstream equipment properly and preserve high frequency content.

    The Barge Concepts GLZ is the first pedal in the signal chain & acts as the dedicated buffer. (Ironically it is a tb pedal, but it's always 'on' & therefore buffering my signal!) Every other pedal is either in the Loop Master looper or a tb pedal. The tuner is side chained & disconnected from the signal chain when not in use.

  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    11 TB, 2 buffered, 1 switchable.

    I wish more pedals had the nice buffer that the Angler has, but then again my tone suck is negligible at best. Incorporate that sentence into your next cocktail party.
  6. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    And this coming from the guy who busted my chops for not having enough loopers:rollno::D

    13 or 14 TB
    2 or 3 buffers (BOSS)
    One TB blender

    About half of my board is in the blend loop and LS-2 loops.
    I don't hear much tone suck.
  7. Swift713

    Swift713 Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    5 TB and 1 whatever the old Q-tron is. I don't notice any tone suck.
  8. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    As my board curently stands

    11 TBP/relay (Tuner, both Eventides set to relayed bypass, Barge Grinder, Micro POG, B:Assmaster, VB Jr w/ PL in the loop so it doesn't count, Wilson Wah, Hyper Pak, RV-7 set to relayed bypass, and Echo 600B)

    2 buffered (VT Bass & Octavius Squeezer)

    1 non-bypass (EBVP. It doesn't really have a bypass, nor does it have a buffer. ;))

    I don't notice any tone suck through all of these things. :D
  9. The OS, despite its magically leaky bypass, is true-bypass; or at least it is advertised as such.

    My board is apart at the moment so can't come up with a ratio-- but the other day I activated LS-2 LoopA at the beginning of my chain, with 3 boss pedals and a Freqbox in the loop and they all happened to be bypassed-- holy tone suck! Bypassing the LS-2 was night&day.
  10. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I think if you've got a good ear and a clean full range rig (or headphones) then you can definitely hear a negative effect on the sound with typical Boss and Digitech buffers. Trick is to use a bypass loop so you can A/B it effectively.

    My chain is:

    BB > Barge VB-Jr with Tech21 XXL > VT Bass > Option 5 Destination Rotation > Carbon Copy > Pitchblack

    All are TBP except the XXL (which is bypassed with the Barge blender when not in use anyway) and the VT Bass (which is nearly always on).
  11. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    9 pedals in my gigging setup, 3 are buffered, the rest TBP.

    Chain is:

    TB Cream Pie (TBP)
    OC-2 (Buffered)
    XBlender (Huge Fuzz and P+C in its loop - both TBP) (TBP)
    Analogman Chorus (Buffered)
    Demeter Compulator (TBP)
    Atomic Echo Clone (Way Huge Aqua Puss circuit in a different box - TBP)
    Korg DT10 (Buffered)

    The Cream Pie spends alot of it's time on so acts as a buffer, but when it's off the OC-2 is next anyway so that buffers the signal for the rest of the chain.

    By the way, the circuit attached to the P+C's footswitch is for the LED - As it's not a 3PDT switch, the circuit is configured to make the pedal True Bypass anyway without the need for one.
  12. jufros


    Nov 24, 2008
    "Clean" Signal Path
    MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe - TBP
    Electronix Gemini Drive - TBP
    Boss LS-2 - Buffered Bypass
    Boss CE-5 - Buffered Bypass
    Source Audio Tri-Mod Phaser - TBP
    Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter - TBP

    All in the loop of LS-2
    MXR Bass Octave Deluxe - TBP
    MI Audio GI Fuzz - TBP
    MXR BlowTorch - TBP
    DOD FX25 - Buffered Bypass
    Maxon AF-9 - TBP
    EHX Bass MicroSynth XO - TBP

    So technically my ratio is 9:3 TBP:Buffered Bypass. However, if I'm playing clean, my ratio is 4:2. I've tested pretty extensively and I don't get any signal degradation of my clean sound.
  13. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I can't hear much tonesuck so I'm not bothered.
  14. This really depends upon other factors. I'll take a board with a boss buffer at the start and end over a multi-loop tbp setup any day of the week. Buffers PRESERVE tone. not that you don't have to be careful.
  15. moose23


    Dec 27, 2007
    Builder Moose23 Electronics
    1:1 when I use four pedals, which is the most I ever use right now. In order:

    Boss BF3
    GGG Tuned Muff

    A lot of the time I just use the Pitchblack and VTBass which still leaves me at 1:1.
  16. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    They do indeed preserve highs and signal strength because of their low output impedance compared to passive pickups. Yet I can definitely hear some lack of detail and vibrancy in the sound when going through a bypassed Boss pedal. It's nothing major though, and if you're running all kinds of other effects as well it won't make much difference to the end result.

    I did the following test recently, with my Barge blender. With the blend all the way to the left (full dry signal), I couldn't detect any change in the signal with the Barge on and off. Sign of a good buffer at work! Then I put a Boss pedal (tried an OC-2 and a HM-2 separately) in the loop with good quality short George L cables. Turning the blend all the way to the right, I could then definitely hear the degradation in sound quality.

    Of course I'm only talking minor differences in tone here, and most people wouldn't even notice the difference. But for me, those minor differences are noticeable enough for me to try and get rid of as many buffers as possible from my board, leaving only one there so that I still get the benefit of being able to drive long cable lengths with good signal transmission.
  17. Oh, I know what you're talking about, and it can be a cumulative effect. But I notice that you've wisely kept a buffered pedal in your chain to compensate for the tone degredation of a pedal chain (which is just as bad as long cables) ;)
  18. No True Bypass on my board, most of pedals are buffered. I know and hear that I have tone suck but I consider it a part of my tone, I deal with it. I wouldn't accept hiss and hum, but I don't have any.

    Korg Tuner: Buffered (I think)
    Ibanez CP9 comp: maybe a buffer, and massive bottom freq suck.
    Boss OC2: buffered
    Behringer Tube Screamer : dunno (probably no buffer, and certainly no TB)
    Boss LS: buffered
    Russian Big Muff: in the LS2 loop, so buffered :)
    Boss CE2b chorus: buffered
    Ibanez PT9 phaser: maybe a buffer ??
    Morley Bass Wha: buffered
    Morley wha/volume: probably buffered but not sure.

    So my ration is probably 0:5 (TB:Buffer) and maybe up to 0:8.

    The result is a medium freq centered bass sound without low bass freq, which I find easyer to work with on the amp: no boomy low that I can't deal with. Then I plug everything in an amp set-up with heavy bass and low-mid enhancement (ashdown head, ampeg 15' cabs) to reinject low freq in my sound, but I can choose how much bass I wan't in order not to sound muddy.
  19. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    2:4 TBP:BBP

    Also have the EBVPjr on there.
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Shiva (TB) ---> POG (TB) ---> BassDrive (TB) --->XBlender(TB) [BMS(modded to TB)--->AF-9(TB)]--->Psilocybe(TB)--->Reptile(Buffered)

    So, 8 pedals, 2 of which are in a loop, and one at the end is buffered. I'm not sure if the Reptile is staying still, but I also have a Barber Launch Pad I throw at the end as a buffer.

    I do agree with DannyBuoy though, I can definitely sense dynamics degradation and a change in the eq with a BOSS pedal in the signal chain. Not the worst bypsss on the market, but I do notice it.