#1
I recently did my whole pedal board over with all true bypass analog EHX pedals.What problems can I run into?I also keep hearing about buffering.Can anyone explain any of this to me?
#2
You're going to have a bit of treble run-off, particularly if it's a very populated board, and you're using long cables.

Basically a buffered bypass doesn't suck tone, in fact it does the opposite. A buffer boosts your signal a little bit in order to combat treble loss. That is not to say that buffers are necessarily good or bad for your tone, as it really ultimately depends on what pedal you're using.

A good idea might be to have one buffered bypass pedal at the end of your chain, to rectify any problems you may have with treble loss.
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#3
you'd want a buffer at the beginning so your pedal patch cables and true bypass pedal guts don't suck the tone there. if you have buffer at the end, you're only combating the treble loss from your last cable to your amp.
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#4
Quote by Raijouta
You're going to have a bit of treble run-off, particularly if it's a very populated board, and you're using long cables.

Basically a buffered bypass doesn't suck tone, in fact it does the opposite. A buffer boosts your signal a little bit in order to combat treble loss. That is not to say that buffers are necessarily good or bad for your tone, as it really ultimately depends on what pedal you're using.

A good idea might be to have one buffered bypass pedal at the end of your chain, to rectify any problems you may have with treble loss.


You want the buffer in front. A buffer does not add back the treble lost by the pedals before it. A buffer will allow a high impedance load on the pickups, and it send out a low impedance output. It doesn't actually boost the signal.

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#5
Quote by Reincaster
You want the buffer in front. A buffer does not add back the treble lost by the pedals before it. A buffer will allow a high impedance load on the pickups, and it send out a low impedance output. It doesn't actually boost the signal.

TS: Just play and see if you like the sound. If you like the sound and tone, then who cares if there's a buffer or not? If you go searching for problems, you'll find them.


words of wisedom right there for you.

the problem is i keep finding problems then you end up like me. 20 some odd guitars and a tone of amps.
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#6
How many pedals have you got?

If you only have a few (less than 5) you won't really require a buffer, if you have a huge board (in excess of 10 pedals or so) then you might want to consider it.

This also depends on cable quality, a good quality cable will allow more pedals to be added before you notice major suckage. Also if you use an EMG/active guitar you won't really need a buffer.

Remember though not all buffers are made equally, some buffers are badly designed and make matters worse (e.g. boss). One of the best buffers I've used came courtesy of the Durham Sex Drive boost pedal, it's almost completely transparent and has a great pedal attached! I think they also make it in a stand alone unit or maybe with some sort of A/B box..


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#7
If you have to ask what problems you have, you probably don't actually have any.

Try plugging straight into your amp (with the cable you usually use to plug from guitar to board) and then comparing that to the tone with the pedalboard in the signal path but all pedals off. If you can't hear a difference, you're done. No need to fix anything. If you notice some treble loss, a looper or a good buffer early in the chain will help.

Keep in mind, too, that any time any of those pedals are on, you're driving the rest of the chain with that pedal, so a buffer would be redundant. If you play with one or more pedals on all the time (or almost all the time) a buffer probably isn't needed.
#8
Quote by Roc8995
Keep in mind, too, that any time any of those pedals are on, you're driving the rest of the chain with that pedal, so a buffer would be redundant. If you play with one or more pedals on all the time (or almost all the time) a buffer probably isn't needed.


Exactly!

As others have said a buffer at the start of your chain, right after the guitar, is your best bet. You can get some really good dedicated buffers in small packages, I recommend the TL072 based op amp ones (a few builders are building buffers that take the buffer stage of the Klon which is generally regarded as a great buffer and put it in a small enclosure). You can make you own pretty simply if you have a bit of pedal building experience. Theres a great article on Beavis Audio about it that also has a schematic.

However unless you notice a real drop of the higher frequencies when all your pedals are bypassed you may not notice much by putting a buffer in your chain. In a lot of cases having a dedicated buffer is a bit for the tonaly anal, but it is justified in others. If you notice a difference with it it is justified. A buffer is the kind of thing you may notice, but I guarantee your audience never will!

Having said that I'm painting up the enclosure for a buffer I built this week (maybe I'm tonally anal?!)
Last edited by ragingben at Jan 30, 2012,
#9
+1 on what lewis/power freak and colin are saying

and yeah you probably want the buffer at the start of your chain unless you have any pedals which don't like being after a buffer (e.g. some fuzzes).
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#10
I'm wondering for my own rig, would boosting the Treble Frequencies with an EQ in the loop rectify this problem? I don't really know that I'm having any Treble loss, but in case I test for it and notice it, can I just use my EQ to fix the problem?
#11
i'm guessing the eq has a buffer in it?

if so just turning it on will probably help

granted you can use the sliders to tweak teh tone as necessary too
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#12
If it's in the loop, it's post-preamp. That's already being driven by the preamp so a buffer there is pointless.

You can't add treble back in after it's been lost, and EQing won't recreate the original signal so much as make the new one sound different. If the EQ makes it sound better, great, but that's just because you're shaping tone, not because you're recovering what you've lost.
#13
Some loops employ bad buffers. If u have one with bad design, u are better off having a good quality buffer there too. Either tube or solid state.

However putting a buffer in the loop and not before the amp will not help at all
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#14
Quote by Blktiger0
I'm wondering for my own rig, would boosting the Treble Frequencies with an EQ in the loop rectify this problem? I don't really know that I'm having any Treble loss, but in case I test for it and notice it, can I just use my EQ to fix the problem?
EQing in the loop to correct for tone suck is not a good idea. Once the highs are lost/attenuated they are in the noise floor. So boosting them back is also going to boost noise. The best solution for tone suck is to buffer right after the guitar or early in the chain, so you don't lose them in the first place.
#15
ah cack i missed that it was in the loop

yeah that's not going to do too much



sorry
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#16
Quote by ECistheBest
Some loops employ bad buffers. If u have one with bad design, u are better off having a good quality buffer there too. Either tube or solid state.

However putting a buffer in the loop and not before the amp will not help at all

Well, an unbuffered loop, perhaps that would be the case. Stacking a good buffer on top of a bad one though is not going to help. Even the worst buffered loop will drive as many pedals as you care to put in, and another buffer, even if it's good, is just adding filtering.
#17
I meant a "bad driver" as in just a triode gain stage with normal 48k output Z on the send.
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#18
That would be a bad buffer indeed. I should have read "buffer" as the more generic "driver" in that context.
#19
Nah I should've just put "driver" instead haha
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