Today, we’re going to talk about BUFFERS - what they do, why you need them and where do they go in your signal chain.
A buffer pedal serves as a tiny amplifier that isolates the incoming high impedance signal sent from the guitar into a unity level. It preserves the strength of the signal running through your setup, preventing signal degradation through a long signal chain.
Your guitar signal is at full strength following a buffer. You should have both an input and output buffer - meaning, one buffer immediately after your guitar and before your pedals, and one immediately after your pedals and before your amp.
Ideally, you want to have an input buffer, followed by true bypass pedals, followed by an output buffer. With a buffer in place, the signal is buffered through the next buffer in the chain - meaning, if you have all true bypass pedals, the signal is buffered through the chain to the output buffer, maintaining the integrity of your signal.
However, once you turn on any one of your pedals - true bypass or not - the signal is only buffered up until that pedal in the chain, thus the pedal you turned on now acts a
s a buffer. On the other hand, if you have any non-true bypass pedals in your chain, the signal is only buffered from the input buffer through the non-true bypass pedal. Pedals with built-in buffers add their own color to your tone.
Even if you don’t use guitar pedals, a buffer can still be of huge help. Really long cables do just as much damage as a massive pedalboard.
Buffers we recommend:
TC Electronic Bonafide Buffer
Mesa Boogie High-Wire Dual Buffer
Empress Buffer // Buffer+ // Stereo Buffer+
Truetone Pure Tone Buffer