It’s fashionable today to have all the stompboxes true-bypass. But having, let’s say 5 or more true-bypass pedals in the signal path, it _may_ cause problems together with long guitar cables, and you may notice loss of highs. In a nutshell: The longer the signal path, the more resistance there is in it. The more the resistance, the more it affects the high-impedance signal from the guitar.
To fix this you need to put a good-quality buffer in some stage(s) of the line. It’s a good idea to put one in very first in the signal path. Maybe another in very end, but it depends the amount and type of your stompboxes. Note that some germanium-fuzzes don’t want to see a buffer in front of them, so they need to be placed before buffer. Also notice that some pedals already have built-in buffers, even if it’s not stated anywhere. Usually they have a buffered bypass, which means that the buffer is always on, even when the pedal itself is switched off. Due to this, if you are running out of DC-power, the line will be cut because the buffer needs power or it will mute the signal. Pedals known having a built-in buffer:
- Most of the Boss pedals
- Several Ibanez pedals. I.e all the Tubescreamer TS9/TS-808’s
- Most of the Visual Sound pedals. Not sure about he Garage Tone series
- Most of the higher end T-Rex pedals. Not sure about the Tonebug series
- Mad Professor Ruby Red Booster
I needed a buffer box according to my own special needs. My bass rig has several true-bypass pedals, so I wanted to make sure the signal remains unaffected when running thru the signal path. I also wanted to get the tuner pedal off the line, and furthermore, have a line shutting killswitch in the same box. The buffer itself is like this:
With this beast in your signal path you should be able to use tens of a pedals and miles of a guitar cable without any problem, I’ve been told. The line-out for the tuner pedal needs a signal splitter:
This one divides the input signal for both the always-on tuner out, and for the signal going to the buffer part. At first I builded up the splitter part. I decided to draw the DC-power and grounding wires independently for both boards in case of something goes wrong. It easier to unsolder if the boards are not connected together. This was a wise decision, as the buffer part didn’t work at first try due to one missing link. Let me mention that I didn’t find the reason at 3AM, but I needed to sleep a little first. Got also some bad feedback from my wife about the hullabaloo I caused in the middle of the night.
Splitter part completed:
The killswitch is also connected. It does nothing but mutes the signal. Line out for tuner is still working, as it bypasses the switch. The buffer itself is always on disregarding the switch position. After careful fitting the hole thing fits to 1590B -enclosure:
After attaching some stickers it looks like this:
So what about the name? Recently I ordered some custom stickers for the Dyna Comp clone I bought, and therefore had some spare stickers. I spent some time pondering what could be a suitable anagram using the letters of the word “Dyna Comp”. So, Blackout Damp Cony it is.