Explanations of buffer pedal circuits are, more often times than not, over complicated. In reality, buffer pedals are simple in concept and can help your tone more than you thought possible. Today, I want to take some time and explain what a buffer pedal is, how it can help you, and where to put a buffer pedal in your signal chain.
Most guitar players use several feet of guitar cable. More often time than not, you have an 10+ foot lead going to your pedal board, 1-3+ feet of cable on your pedal board (Depending on the size of it) and an 10+ foot lead going from your pedal board to your amp. Depending on the size of the stage and your own personal setup, you could have even more total cable length than that. What many guitar players don’t realize is, all these long cables are causing your higher end frequencies to be lost in your guitar rig setup.
So how are these higher end frequencies lost through a long cable? At the risk of oversimplifying it, your guitar and cable basically creates a high impedance signal. The longer your guitar cable is, the more capacitance is created which creates a filter that changes the sound. A good buffer circuit will take your high impedance guitar signal and change it to a low-impedance one; allowing your guitar signal to flow easier over a longer distance. The “new” tone that you hear after playing through your buffer pedal is actually your guitar’s original tone.
So where in your chain should you place your buffer pedal? There are several places you can put a buffer pedal at in your signal chain. However, here are a couple good rules of thumb on where to place your buffer. – Between a Wah and a traditional fuzz (Traditional meaning silicon or germanium based Fuzz Pedals – our Velvet Fuzz is neither of these circuits). – Between guitar pedals that may not work well side by side together. If you have to pedals that are next together, but are noisy – place a buffer between them and hear the difference. – Before a long run of your guitar cables. (Usually the beginning of your pedal chain.)
So do you need a buffer? Only you can answer that. So try one out and hear the difference for yourself.
If you would like to hear what difference the Wampler Decibel + Buffer Pedal can make in your signal chain, check out the video below: