#1
I know this might turn into one of the Mac vs PC arguments of old...but it kinda irks me that Boss have decided to "demystify" true bypass by lauding their buffered bypass as a better approach.

Their wiki states:
All Boss compact pedals use a "buffered bypass" type of silent foot switching utilizing Field Effect Transistors (FETs) to avoid clicks and pops. While not "true" bypass, the buffered bypass has the advantage of preventing signal loss due to long runs of cable, while keeping original guitar tone intact.


Apparently they also funded this guru opinion:
http://www.roland.co.uk/blog/buffered-vs-true-bypass-pedals-with-pete-thorn-and-thomas-nordegg

Granted, this wasn't as conclusive but the results could be quoted as a way to debunk true bypass as myth.

At the same time they had the "Enhancer" pedal to combat their own tone suck...what gives?
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/guitar_effects/boss/eh-2_enhancer/index.html#1260036
#2
The type of bypass a pedal uses doesn't really matter, as long as it's well designed and uses good components.

You get a little loss of highs with true bypass pedals and long signal runs. So what? Add it back in somewhere, it's not an issue.

It's all marketing hype. As I always say: Just buy quality pedals in the first place and you don't have to worry about any of this crap.
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#4
The EHX Soul Food has an internal switch to go from buffer to true bypass, which I think is very cool (not that I can even tell the difference yet, but its good to have). It's never a total deal maker/breaker to me, I have no hesitation buying a pedal I like, buffer or not. I really don't see how they can say one is better than the other, its too subjective.

Boss is falling behind other pedal makers cause of their stagnation, its really a shame. I've grown fond of ehx pedals recently, they know whats up.
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#5
Quote by diabolical
Buffered bypass is cheaper to produce, no?


Not really. If you use electronic switching, maybe. But not by much, and certainly not in quantities below the thousands. Boss's switching system is 100x more reliable than mechanical switches though. And electronically, buffered bypass is far superior. I the context of guitar, it's down to preference.
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#6
Quote by Offworld92
The type of bypass a pedal uses doesn't really matter, as long as it's well designed and uses good components.

You get a little loss of highs with true bypass pedals and long signal runs. So what? Add it back in somewhere, it's not an issue.

It's all marketing hype. As I always say: Just buy quality pedals in the first place and you don't have to worry about any of this crap.


This says it all. The quality of the pedal depends on the quality of the pedal haha. When I've noticed signal loss, it came from things like mediocre patch cables and passive pedals and never from any of my assortment of true/buffered bypass pedals.
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#7
though a bad/cheap buffer does sound bad, true bypass has become pretty much a gimmick.

which on is better?

better? as in which gimmick will sell more pedals?

better? as in which is more reliable?

better? as in which one requires less components?

trying to paint one as 'better' than the other means you are skewing the context. what is better, rear wheel drive or front wheel drive? it's kinda like that.
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#8
Well, for one I know that you have to put higher quality jacks in true bypass, usually the big robust metal type and a big metal switch, like for example this:





On the other hand the buffered switch in most cases is a tiny plastic electronic gizmo like this:
(Invalid img)

On some other pedals, like AMT for example I've seen the electronic switch faked with a big metal lug switch on top, to most like give perception of "quality".


Inside:
Attachments:
amt dt-2.jpg
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 24, 2014,
#9
Quote by diabolical
Well, for one I know that you have to put higher quality jacks in true bypass, usually the big robust metal type and a big metal switch, like for example this:


what?

i have made a few pedals and i have not heard of this at all. whether you use true bypass or a buffer the pedals i have seen and built still use one TRS jack and one TS jack (the TRS just allowing the power to be killed when disengaging the input jack). i have not seen any parts i could buy differentiated by 'true bypass jack'.

i might be completely wrong on this, but i have not encountered this at all.

i think generally a true by pass is a 3pdt (triple pull dual throw), and i wanna saw a buffered switch is usually a dpdt (dual pull dual throw). i know they typically use a different type of switch, but the switch is based on functionality rather than quality from my experience. they sell nice versions and cheap versions of both types of switches.

Quote by diabolical
On the other hand the buffered switch in most cases is a tiny plastic electronic gizmo like this:


that boss uses a momentary switch, and it's actually a damn good switch and you can do some pretty creative stuff with it. besides, there are plenty of buffered pedals that use metal switches, just off hand i just was playing with my crybaby wah and it use a pretty standard metal switch and it's buffered.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 25, 2014,
#10
Quote by diabolical
Well, for one I know that you have to put higher quality jacks in true bypass, usually the big robust metal type and a big metal switch, like for example this:




Dude, just stop. You have no idea what you're talking about. Those little tactile switches are ridiculously durable and rated for millions of cycles, whereas those shitty metal 3PDTs are rated for under 100,000. Realize that the extra force required to actuate the 3PDT is a result of increased friction which means increased wear. Besides, you can use that shitty 3PDT in a buffered pedal if you want. And buffered bypass doesn't require any special jacks.
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#11
"pole" not "pull". I like having a buffer in my circuit. Never even really consider true bypass as a selling point. Buy pedals solely on how well I like the effect. There are fuzz pedals that depend on an unbuffered circuit between the guitar and the fuzz. That type of Fuzz must be true bypass because they tone suck (load the pups) to get their sound.
#12
Quote by mmolteratx
Dude, just stop. You have no idea what you're talking about. Those little tactile switches are ridiculously durable and rated for millions of cycles, whereas those shitty metal 3PDTs are rated for under 100,000.


Well, you should look at the several broken multifx processors using these same kinds of switches that I have sitting around...and no, I didn't abuse them.

3PDTs are industry standard and you can switch them with a quick soldering job. The others...well, it depends if you can find the part and if the circuit board grooves will hold after the repair. The AMT board didn't - some of the grooves unsoldered and fell off and it wasn't that much heat to begin with.

@gumbilicious - so you're pretty much saying that it is really a matter of whether you choose quality or not in your el. parts, regardless of design. It makes sense.
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 25, 2014,
#13
And I can regale numerous tales of 3PDTs that have failed or developed popping within weeks, and the dozens of them that I've replaced in repairs. All tactile switches are replaceable, and in fact, the repairs are usually quicker than replacing a 3PDT. A basic familiarity with Mouser or DigiKey and part numbers will allow you to find a replacement in minutes at most. I can't help it if your soldering technique or equipment isn't up to snuff and you lift pads when desoldering. Statistically, the tactile switches are far superior as a whole, though some manufacturers (Line 6 and Behringer) tend to use cheapies that do fail quicker, but usually last quite a long while regardless.

The whole thing is irrelevant anyways because you can implement true bypass or buffered bypass using tactile switches or big mechanical ones.
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Jul 25, 2014,
#14
Quote by mmolteratx
I can't help it if your soldering technique or equipment isn't up to snuff and you lift pads when desoldering.


That might be so but I've yet to see such cheapie grooves as in some of these newer pedals. That AMT, for example was the size of a piece of human hair, with no depth whatsoever, came off at the whiff of heat. Gotta give Boss credit - worked on the DS-2 recently doing a mod and that one had a lot better designed circuit board.
#15
Quote by mmolteratx
Not really. If you use electronic switching, maybe. But not by much, and certainly not in quantities below the thousands. Boss's switching system is 100x more reliable than mechanical switches though. And electronically, buffered bypass is far superior. I the context of guitar, it's down to preference.


+1

some buffers are better than others, though- boss's (in most of its pedals) aren't the best.

if they actually put good buffers in their pedals boss would clean up. oh and rerelease (with no "waza" garbage and 300% markup) their old classics.
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#16
Pretty easy to overthink this. Try out their pedals.

Do they sound good going in and out of the effect? Buy it.

Do they sound suckish? Don't buy it.

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#17
Quote by Offworld92

You get a little loss of highs with true bypass pedals and long signal runs. So what? Add it back in somewhere, it's not an issue.


There's only 1 problem.

You cannot add back highs (or any frequency for that matter) , you can only raise the existing ones that are quieter.

Example:
If you do a low pass, you cut off a bunch of highs. All the highs that are absolutely cut off cannot be brought back.

Once you take something out of the equation completely, you can't add it back through EQ. An EQ is simply grabbing the frequencies and changing how loud they are. It can't do that if there's nothing to grab.

This is why, let's say, acoustic pedals are shit compared to an electric-acoustic. Why? Because the magnetic pickups on your guitar deletes a lot of frequencies that an acoustic guitar has, and no EQ or impulse response pedal can make an electric sound convincingly like an acoustic. The only thing it can possibly do is make the existing mid frequencies match the frequencies of an acoustic, but there's so much missing that it doesn't really help.


Now, does that mean you can't add back the highs? No. It depends on how much it has suffered a dropout in the highs. If it's just a little, then yes, you could put an EQ pedal at the end of your chain to compensate the highs.
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#18
You (theoretically) can't cut off a frequency entirely in practice. There are a few ways around this, but a simple RLC circuit isn't one of them. The bigger problem is that attenuating highs and the boosting them will result in an increased noise floor.
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#19
Quote by lucky1978
The EHX Soul Food has an internal switch to go from buffer to true bypass, which I think is very cool (not that I can even tell the difference yet, but its good to have). It's never a total deal maker/breaker to me, I have no hesitation buying a pedal I like, buffer or not. I really don't see how they can say one is better than the other, its too subjective.

Boss is falling behind other pedal makers cause of their stagnation, its really a shame. I've grown fond of ehx pedals recently, they know whats up.

I have that pedal, and I love it. The 'pop' when first turning it on makes it nearly unusable for me in a reliable live setting, so I have it on buffered bypass. Can't tell the difference to save my life, because it's made with good stuff. The pop is gone, and it sounds just as good as it did before.

My board has two buffered and two true bypass pedals, and my clean signal is nearly identical to when I plug directly into my amp. *shrug*
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#21
Please.

Good buffers are good, bad buffers are bad.
Good true bypass is good, bad true bypass is bad.

If you have a big pedalboard and/or long cables, shove a good buffer in front of it. If not, who gives a shit?
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#22
Quote by Sid McCall
I have that pedal, and I love it. The 'pop' when first turning it on makes it nearly unusable for me in a reliable live setting, so I have it on buffered bypass. Can't tell the difference to save my life, because it's made with good stuff. The pop is gone, and it sounds just as good as it did before.

My board has two buffered and two true bypass pedals, and my clean signal is nearly identical to when I plug directly into my amp. *shrug*

Good to hear(read) that. I just bought one a couple days ago. I didn't notice a "pop" but I didn't notice a difference between buffer and bypass, so I just left it on buffer.
I bought it for the buffer, my amp sounded different between pedals vs bareback, and with all the hype at $65, why not? I can't tell if it works yet cause I like the SF so much I just took my other od pedals( both true bypass) out of my chain. Eventually I'll sit down and try to a-b with and without buffer, just haven't had the chance yet. I do like having the option jic there is something to it, but in the end, I don't give a damn.
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#23
Quote by mmolteratx
You (theoretically) can't cut off a frequency entirely in practice. There are a few ways around this, but a simple RLC circuit isn't one of them. The bigger problem is that attenuating highs and the boosting them will result in an increased noise floor.



Actually it is. If you throw the frequencies under the noise floor, you've virtually deleted them. Anything that is boosting frequencies isn't the original frequencies you cut out, and you're just adding resonance in the end.


Quote by Cathbard
Please.

Good buffers are good, bad buffers are bad.
Good true bypass is good, bad true bypass is bad.

If you have a big pedalboard and/or long cables, shove a good buffer in front of it. If not, who gives a shit?


How is there such thing as a shit true bypass? Isn't true bypass basically just like taking out the pedal completely?
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Last edited by Clay-man at Jul 26, 2014,
#24
Quote by Clay-man
Actually it is. If you throw the frequencies under the noise floor, you've virtually deleted them. Anything that is boosting frequencies isn't the original frequencies you cut out, and you're just adding resonance in the end.

I think thats why he said 'theoretically'...

Quote by Clay-man
How is there such thing as a shit true bypass? Isn't true bypass basically just like taking out the pedal completely

http://www.jimdunlop.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-true-bypassing/

TS:
Quote by mmolteratx
Dude, just stop.
#25
Quote by 7thString



So it is like taking out the pedal. The only thing it's going through is the input and output jacks and that's not sucking any tone other than what, the same effect of having a guitar cable be that much longer?
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#26
Quote by Cajundaddy
Pretty easy to overthink this. Try out their pedals.

Do they sound good going in and out of the effect? Buy it.

Do they sound suckish? Don't buy it.

Ears are marvelous tools for musicians.


You haven't spent much time on TGP, have you?
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