Buffered Pedals vs. True Bypass Pedals - Which is better?
Guitar pickups naturally output a high impedance signal, which is easily effected by your guitar cable, typically by cables 15’ and longer. With longer cables, you may notice a loss of high frequencies. A buffer converts the high impedance signal to low impedance, ensuring the cleanest possible signal.⠀⠀
The more pedals you have between your guitar and amplifier, the less natural your signal will become. The more buffered pedals you have in your signal chain, the less natural your signal will become. Once a pedal is engaged, it immediately buffers the signal, meaning any ‘always on’ pedal acts as a buffer.⠀
Ideally, you want to place a buffer at the very start of the signal chain and at the very end, with true bypass pedals in between. This will ensure that your signal remains as pure and as natural as it can possibly be when it reaches your amplifier. If you use a buffered pedal, like a Boss TU-3W, it’s best to put it first in the chain.
Be sure to use high quality instrument cables! Instrument cables matter, and using a cheap one can effect your tone. ⠀
A pedalboard made up entirely of true bypass pedals may seem like the way to go, but it will result in signal degradation. ⠀