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Pedalboard buffer questions.
#3056748 08/01/20 03:31 PM
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RABid Offline OP
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Been watching a bunch of YouTube videos on pedal boards. From those videos I have learned...

1. If you have more than 5 pedals you probably need a buffer.
2. Most Boss pedals have a buffer built in.
3. Don't put a buffer before the fuzz. It really messes with the sound.

I've also seen where you should have a buffer both in the front and back of the pedal board. For my main pedal board (I'm also making a budget pedal board just for fun) I thought about putting an eq on each end. The eq on the guitar side would be used for tone shaping and boost. The eq on the back end is traditionally used for adjusting to the location you are playing. For me it would be for changing amp/speaker. Now for my questions. Does number 3 mean that I should put the fuzz first in my pedal setup, or right after the wah? So Wah, fuzz, eq, compressor, etc... Also, do Behringer clones of pedals also contain a buffer like the Boss does?

I really thought about getting a JHS buffer, but for a bit more you can get a Boss EQ that supposedly has the buffer built in.


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Re: Pedalboard buffer questions.
RABid #3056758 08/01/20 03:53 PM
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CEB Offline
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All Boss pedals have buffers.

You can drive yourself crazy thinking about this stuff. First thing to do is plug direct to your amp with a 20’ cable and see how it sounds. Now run through you pedalboard clean and see how the amp sounds now and see how bad your capacitance loss is. Is it worth worrying about? Then I would go from there.

An old trick is to run through a ton of cable to induce capacitance loss to tame the high end. Some guys like Gary Richrath in the old days used the old Long Vox coily cables to do the same thing. It was key to the original sound. The high end was too much when he dimed the Super Lead. Some of the greatest classic tones was learning to play the hands you’re dealt. 😀


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Re: Pedalboard buffer questions.
RABid #3056763 08/01/20 04:05 PM
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Wah before fuzz, always. That's just me, I hate the sound of a wah after the fuzz or distortion or overdrive.
Others like it, do what you like.

When I've used a wah, it was always the first pedal. So, #3 is not a rule I would personally follow.

I don't have much else to say, it's been a long time since I've used anything but EMG active pickups. They ARE buffers.
I've mentioned that my effects are all built into my amps now. I am thinkng of getting an expression pedal for my Katana, then I would have wah for it.
The Peavey Vypyrs use Sanpera pedals which have wah built in. Sounds good too.


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Re: Pedalboard buffer questions.
RABid #3056783 08/01/20 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
Been watching a bunch of YouTube videos on pedal boards. From those videos I have learned...

1. If you have more than 5 pedals you probably need a buffer.
2. Most Boss pedals have a buffer built in.
3. Don't put a buffer before the fuzz. It really messes with the sound.

I've also seen where you should have a buffer both in the front and back of the pedal board. For my main pedal board (I'm also making a budget pedal board just for fun) I thought about putting an eq on each end. The eq on the guitar side would be used for tone shaping and boost. The eq on the back end is traditionally used for adjusting to the location you are playing. For me it would be for changing amp/speaker. Now for my questions. Does number 3 mean that I should put the fuzz first in my pedal setup, or right after the wah? So Wah, fuzz, eq, compressor, etc... Also, do Behringer clones of pedals also contain a buffer like the Boss does?

I really thought about getting a JHS buffer, but for a bit more you can get a Boss EQ that supposedly has the buffer built in.

Trying to address these issues one by one, so . . .

1) You don't absolutely need a buffer if you're only running 4 or 5 pedals, and you're not running a long cable, or cables. Long effects chains and long cables add to signal load. If you're playing at home, with a handful of pedals, don't sweat it.

2) AFAIK, all Boss pedals, including the Tuner pedal, act as buffers. Bob Bradshaw used to mount a Boss tuner into the front end of all his custom pedalboard rigs, until he designed one of his own. Another excellent choice for a Buffer/Boost is the MXR Micro Amp. IDK if the Behringer pedals would double as buffers, but it's unlikely that their circuitry is identical to the Boss pedals they're imitating.

3) Depends on the Fuzz. As I said in response to your "OCD" thread, Germanium diodes (thus Germanium Fuzzes) want to be as close to your Guitar as possible. Octavers & Envelope Filters generally want to be right at or near the front end of your signal chain as well, so it's worth experimenting to see what order gives you the sound you want.

4) This is my own insertion here: I find that with EQ and Compression, Less Is More. You have one or more Tone controls on your Guitar, then another one, or more, Tone controls on any given OD, Distortion or Fuzz pedal you're likely to plug in. Your Amp probably has Low, Mid and High, and maybe even a Presence control. Most of them give little or no indication which Frequency bands they're cutting or boosting, nor by how much. You may be cutting back with one knob, and trying to boost the same Frequency with another knob. All this before you've plugged in any form of dedicated Equalizer.

My advice, at least as a starting point, would be to pick the effects you want, set up your effects chain, plug everybody in to play, then listen for any issues. On my Amps, I start out with all my Tone knobs at Noon, until I know that I need to adjust something; on my HB-equipped Guitars, I tend to dime out both Volume & Tone, then maybe roll back the Volume knob from 10 to 9, just to roll off a little high end.

For the price, and the footprint, of 2 EQ's and a Compressor, you could have something much more interesting, and very likely more useful to your sound. Also, bear in mind that Compressors boost low-level signals, including noise. Fuzz into Compressor can give you waterfalls of noise . . .

Final word on EQ, something I learned from reading Craig Anderton, a long time back; in general, if you have to Boost or Cut an EQ band by more than 7 dB, EQ isn't the problem.

Last edited by Winston Psmith; 08/01/20 06:20 PM.

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Re: Pedalboard buffer questions.
RABid #3056784 08/01/20 06:18 PM
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Not sure why but a prevailing opinion is recently 2:00 is becoming the new noon with current pedals. Used to be you often would start with pedal controls at noon.

Last edited by CEB; 08/01/20 06:20 PM.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

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