#1
Okay, how do I tell whether a pedal is true bypass or not, before I buy it, and is there a way to change it if it is not true bypass. Most specifiacally I want to know if these pedals are true bypass, as I'm going to get some of them most likely in the future - Boss DS-1, Big Muff Pi, Dunlop Rotovibe and the MXR Phase 90. If any of you know of a site that could help me out if they are not trube bypass, then it would be appreciated
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#2
musiciansfriend.com tells you if they are true bypass when you compare them with other pedals...
just go for it and compare the pedals you want and there is a row that says bypass or something

EDIT:
rotovibe is buffered
phase 90 is no idea i think buffered though
boss pedals generally are buffered
and the big muff is true bypass

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Last edited by hendriko at Mar 8, 2007,
#4
What does buffered mean? (I know I sound like a total noob...)
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#5
i dont think the big muff is true bypass but the lil' big muff is.
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#6
Quote by TehJermie
Manufacturer's information should tell you whether or not it is true bypass.

Heh, manufacturers keep coming up with creative ways to market their pedals as true bypass while they actually aren't. Like someone (Andreas Möller of stinkfoot.se, I believe) said:
If the pedal says anything but "True Bypass" (in exactly that form), assume that it isn't really true bypass. If it says exactly "True Bypass", assume the manufacturer is lying, and investigate.

Anywho, the only 100% certain way to make sure whether a pedal is tr00 bypass or not is to trace the signal's path from the input jack to the output jack. A lot of methods can tell you that a pedal isn't true bypass (like trying to get bypassed sound without powering the pedal), but only that way can you make sure that it is.

As for the pedals you mentioned:
Boss DS-1 is buffered (like most any Boss pedal)
Big Muff Pi has mechanical output switching (meaning, no true bypass), though as Buzz said the Little Big Muff has true bypass
Phase 90 and Rotovibe are buffered

For each of those pedals save the DS-1, true bypass mods exist.

Buffering means that there's a buffer right after the pedal input which presents a constant high load to the guitar, thus preventing tone sucking. In some cases (like with Boss pedals) there's also another buffer at the output, and the FET switches they use are essentially another buffer. What this means, among other things, is that for a signal chain of five Boss pedals in a row, your signal goes through fifteen buffers, each one of which makes a copy of it to pass on, and discards the original. Just some food for thought.
#7
Quote by indrek13
What this means, among other things, is that for a signal chain of five Boss pedals in a row, your signal goes through fifteen buffers, each one of which makes a copy of it to pass on, and discards the original. Just some food for thought.



wait...is this bad or good??
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#8
Have you ever made a copy of a cassette? And then a copy of that copy? And then a copy of that copy? And so on, ad nauseum. If you have, you might remember that each copy sounded a bit less like the original. That's essentially what the buffers are like. Depending on the quality of the components it might not be noticable, but it's certainly something to keep in mind when buying pedals.

Also, another drawback to buffered pedals is no power = no signal. With mechanical bypass (true or otherwise) you can at least switch the pedal off and the signal will go through.
#9
oh right.its just when you said it made a copy i assumed a high quality digital copy (as several boss pedals are digital).so the way i read it made it sound good i.e.it copies your tone perfectly from each buffer to the next.

yeah copied tapes on the other hand suck balls.

thanks for clearin that up!
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#11
Quote by buzz
oh right.its just when you said it made a copy i assumed a high quality digital copy (as several boss pedals are digital).so the way i read it made it sound good i.e.it copies your tone perfectly from each buffer to the next.

The effect circuit might be digital, but the buffers consist mainly of a transistor, and those are analog components.
Sorry if I was too ambiguous there.
Last edited by indrek13 at Mar 8, 2007,
#12
Unless your running an insane amount of pedals, I find true bypass to be overrated. Its nice but not totally nec. I woudln't not buy a pedal you like just because its not true bypass.

My V847 wah isn't true bypass...but it adds absolutely no noise when turned off to the signal chain.
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#13
^but it drains quite some treble out of your tone when its not on and in your chain
at least mine does that

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#14
yeah but you can compensate for the minimal treble loss with a slight EQ adjustment. also in some cases buffered bypass is just as good as true bypass (ie a good deal of electro-harmonix effects, the Ibanez TS-808 and a few others) and in some cases they are really shitty (Boss pedals, clones of Boss pedals low end danelectro pedals) the only time you really need to worry about having true bypass is if you have more than 5 or so effects, in that case at least half of them should be either true bypass or have good buffers.
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#15
So, I'm actually building a Big Muff Pi by myself, how can I tell if the diagram I am using is true bypass or not? If it isn't, how can i make it one?

http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=52

Theres a link to the project page.
Theadstarter, sorry to hijack your thread, but I figured why not ask since bypass is the subject anyway.

Edit: Now that i think about it, I'm not even sure whether that diagram is for the Russian Big Muff Pi, or the USA one... Help out?
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/compare?g=guitar&base_pid=153314&base_pid=153300

Last edited by MeAndMyRG at Mar 8, 2007,
#16
With a good amp, you'll be able to hear a lot of little things happening in your signal chain. True bypass is not overrated, but a good buffer is underrated. The thing is, the optimal setup as far as I can tell is:
first pedal in the chain should have a *good* buffer. Good buffers include the TS808 buffer, the boss dual-pedals, and pedals like the boost'n'buff. Tuners are almost never good buffers, sadly.

All the other pedals in the chain should be true bypass or be in a looper. Non-TBP pedals do suck tone, and a lot of it. If you have a crazy long chain, you may need another buffered pedal farther down the line to drive the signal, but for the most part one good buffer and then all TBP pedals has yielded the best results for me. With a very small pedalboard (1-3 pedals), all TBP is fine too.

Just my two cents based on observation. People on this board tend not to listen to their gear, and that's not a good thing. You really can't ignore the effects that your pedals have when they're off, which is why I'm not a fan of most boss pedals.
#17
^what about a wah as a first pedal?
as i said...mine drains a lot of treble and im probably gonna mod it to true bypass...

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#18
Quote by Roc8995
With a good amp, you'll be able to hear a lot of little things happening in your signal chain. True bypass is not overrated, but a good buffer is underrated. The thing is, the optimal setup as far as I can tell is:
first pedal in the chain should have a *good* buffer. Good buffers include the TS808 buffer, the boss dual-pedals, and pedals like the boost'n'buff. Tuners are almost never good buffers, sadly.

All the other pedals in the chain should be true bypass or be in a looper. Non-TBP pedals do suck tone, and a lot of it. If you have a crazy long chain, you may need another buffered pedal farther down the line to drive the signal, but for the most part one good buffer and then all TBP pedals has yielded the best results for me. With a very small pedalboard (1-3 pedals), all TBP is fine too.

Just my two cents based on observation. People on this board tend not to listen to their gear, and that's not a good thing. You really can't ignore the effects that your pedals have when they're off, which is why I'm not a fan of most boss pedals.


about half of my pedals are true bypass, one of them is an exact boss clone, and im using a very good amp, theres a very slight treble drop when i AB between the pedal chain and going directly into my amp, I agree that having true bypass is important if you have a larger chain, but gennerally the tone issues created by not so great buffering in a few pedals can be remedied by some good EQing. Gennerally true bypass should not IMO be a major deciding factor in what pedal you buy.

Quote by hendriko
^what about a wah as a first pedal?
as i said...mine drains a lot of treble and im probably gonna mod it to true bypass...


wahs are a special case and should pretty much always be true bypass.
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#19
Question: is hardwire bypass the same as true bypass??
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#21
Quote by matt bickerton
anyone know of any true-bypass wah pedals? that are good of course..


Most high end wahs are. The Vox V848 is true bypass.
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#22
Quote by matt bickerton
anyone know of any true-bypass wah pedals? that are good of course..


some of the high end dunlops are true bypass, the ones that arent are very very easy to do true bypass mods on, same with vox.
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#23
Quote by zackprs
Question: is hardwire bypass the same as true bypass??

No. If it's anything but "True bypass" (in exactly those words), it's not true bypass. This term is hyped enough that manufacturers will want to use it as a sales gimmick. Far more often that not you'll see pedals being marketed as true bypass while they really aren't, than pedals really being true bypass and that fact being emitted from the sales literature.

Hardwire bypass (and all imaginable variations thereof) refers to output switching, where the pedal input is split into two paths (one to effect input, one to output jack) and only switched at the output. This system is also known as half-assed bypass.

I agree with Roc8995 that the optimal setup for larger rigs would be a buffered pedal (or even a dedicated buffer) at the front, followed by true bypass pedals. Without the buffer, the rest of the pedals form essentially a long cable when bypassed, which can cause tone suck. And too many buffered pedals can cause the same thing, as I explained above. Having a buffer bring the signal's impedance down helps the signal survive the length of cables, switches and jacks that follows.
Last edited by indrek13 at Mar 8, 2007,
#24
You said that boss pedals are buffered. Since I'm getting the DS-1 to replace my MT-2, and you are supposed to have a wah in front, could I just move my old MT-2 in fron of my wah and not ever use it to use it as a buffer? If not, is the Weapon by Digitech buffered?
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#25
In theory it should work. Try it out and see what it does to your tone. Also it depends on which wah you have. The Ibanez Weeping Demon and the Boss V-Wah should also have buffers, and I've read that so do the newer Crybabys.

I'm not 100% sure about Digitech pedals, but I'd wager they're buffered as well.
#26
I use a Dunlop crybaby that is getting several modifications done to it including the true bypass mod. The effects by themselves don't suck tone too much, but what I'm afraid of is getting a buch of effects and having all of them turned off muddy my tone up a buch. I recently saw the Robert Keely true bypass switcher, and might buy a couple of those to help if there ends up being tone suck.
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#27
What pedals do you have in your chain?

Both true bypass and output switching can cause some tone suck when switched off, the latter moreso. Since in both cases it's caused by impedance issues, a good buffer in the front will help against it.

Alternatively, if you have a lot of pedals, you might want to try a true bypass strip and hook all your pedals up to it.
#28
Right now not a lot, but this is what my eventual effect chain will be:

Guitar > Buffer pedal (MT-2) > Crybaby > DS-1 > TS808 > Big Muff Pi > Phase 90 > E.H Small Clone > Dunlop Rotovibe > Boss DD-20.

The ones in bold are what I own.
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