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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Brian Wampler put this test up using a bunch of Boss pedals in a vid he did today. Some of you might find it interesting/informative. He also happens to mention our own @mhammer as part of a shout out to Jack Orman and the original DIY pedal guys starting at about 4:55 into it when he went to www.muzique.com.

 

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Thanks! Brian is a sweetie, as are RG and Jack. Jack was publishing articles in Polyphony magazine and similar places in the late 70's. RG has been at it about as long, but below the radar until the early 90's. We started corresponding on alt.guitar and rec.music.makers in 1991 or so.
 

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Nothing wrong with a good buffer. Essential if you have a long cabble run and/or fx chain.
 

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Nothing wrong with a good buffer. Essential if you have a long cabble run and/or fx chain.
Absolutely. Brian's and Jack's point is that if you have a LOT of them, it can cause problems. Not always, if they are exceptionally well-designed. But most buffered pedals that employ e-switching, don't use anything that is predicated on preserving bandwidth in the face of 10 successive buffers. They do a very decent job in small quantities, mind you. And if that was all we used, that would be enough.

I think that both true-bypass and buffered e-switching have clear virtues. But, like a lot of things, one does not simply use them blindly as a panacea for everything. There are hurdles that TB nicely gets over, and hurdles that buffered bypass clears nicely too. Just gotta think about one's rig/chain as a whole, and use what suits each specific challenge.

An input buffer immediately after one's guitar is a good idea. I always recommend the following test. Take the longest gutar cable you have and plug your guitar directly into the amp with it. Now take the shortest cable you have (e.g., a pedal patch cord) and, without changing anything on the guitar or amp, plug your guitar directly into the amp using that one. The difference you'll hear in treble response is a product of cable capacitance and loading, curable by a suitable input buffer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Anyone know the limits of a single buffer as far as pushing the sound to X number of feet before it degrades again? I've seen a number of comments all over the place that suggest 1 at the front of board and one after, but I'm no sure how many pedals are being involved or how much cable is run by these types of comments. This is purely curiosity because my setup at this point has a max of about 60' (FX Loop cables included) and seems to have no degradation. I also have 2 buffers in the VSXO dual drive on right after the Boss, so I'm unsure how that impacts the overall buffer situation either, other than it seems to work just fine.
 

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Absolutely. Brian's and Jack's point is that if you have a LOT of them, it can cause problems. Not always, if they are exceptionally well-designed. But most buffered pedals that employ e-switching, don't use anything that is predicated on preserving bandwidth in the face of 10 successive buffers. They do a very decent job in small quantities, mind you. And if that was all we used, that would be enough.

I think that both true-bypass and buffered e-switching have clear virtues. But, like a lot of things, one does not simply use them blindly as a panacea for everything. There are hurdles that TB nicely gets over, and hurdles that buffered bypass clears nicely too. Just gotta think about one's rig/chain as a whole, and use what suits each specific challenge.

An input buffer immediately after one's guitar is a good idea. I always recommend the following test. Take the longest gutar cable you have and plug your guitar directly into the amp with it. Now take the shortest cable you have (e.g., a pedal patch cord) and, without changing anything on the guitar or amp, plug your guitar directly into the amp using that one. The difference you'll hear in treble response is a product of cable capacitance and loading, curable by a suitable input buffer.
Understood re a lot of them. Also that's what I meant by a good buffer (as opposed to an OK one).

The exception to buffer first would be a fuzz, (short cable) then buffer.

Anyone know the limits of a single buffer as far as pushing the sound to X number of feet before it degrades again? I've seen a number of comments all over the place that suggest 1 at the front of board and one after, but I'm no sure how many pedals are being involved or how much cable is run by these types of comments. This is purely curiosity because my setup at this point has a max of about 60' (FX Loop cables included) and seems to have no degradation. I also have 2 buffers in the VSXO dual drive on right after the Boss, so I'm unsure how that impacts the overall buffer situation either, other than it seems to work just fine.
I don't recall if that is even constant or depends on the buffer and the cable involved. With a long fx chain yes, 1 at front and end is a good idea.

Another option to avoid losses over long cable runs is to drop the signal from unbalanced HiZ to balanced LoZ (and then back again just before the amp ). If you use a short cable to your board, then this can make sense for a long run to the amp (like a stadium show with old school backline), but generally not as practicable outside the studio vs buffers. You can use 2 passive DIs for this; the one at the amp end just needs to be run backwards (often requiring an adapter for the XLR gender (Radial sells products specifically for this purpose; no real advantage other than not needing the adapter). That was also part of the reasoning behind the development of LoZ pickups.
 
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