Oct 24 2014 0 Comments
Guitar pedals are more popular than ever, and with good reason. Never before have so many outstanding manufacturers put out the number of great sounding pedals as are available today. If you play through a lot of pedals, your guitar signal may need some assistance getting through all that cable and electronics to the amp.The first thing to do is plug straight into your rig, guitar straight to the amp, and give a good listen, preferably on a clean tone. Now plug in through your pedals, with no pedals turned on, and compare. If you notice a significant loss of volume and/or tone, your pedal setup needs some help. Shorter cables can help. Better cables can help. Sometimes rearranging the pedal order can help. Sometimes, you just need a little signal boost supplied by a device called a buffer.
Guitar pickups don't put out a ton of signal. It's why every guitar amp has a preamp section. Asking your pickups to push the signal through all this "stuff" before it hits the preamp is a tall order. If a pedal is not True Bypass, it has some sort of buffer built in. That's part of the definition of True Bypass. There's nothing in the way of the signal, but there's nothing helping it either. Boss pedal tuners have a particularly nice buffer built in to them. They figure the tuner is going to be first in the signal chain, so they build that in. If you play through a number of True Bypass pedals, you're probably a good candidate for a buffer.
The JHS Little Black Buffer is one that we have been selling for a while. It's compact, easy to find room for on the pedal board, and most importantly sounds good and works well. Give it a try if you're in this situation. What's the worst that can happen? You don't hear a difference and you return it. We get that.