Learning to respect Boss...

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by stevo, Apr 6, 2021 at 9:51 AM.

  1. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I want that!!!!
    thunder58 likes this.
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    The active line buffer in the Boss pedals are boosting a higher presence frequency to reduce the effect of capacitance loading, but even with a line of Boss pedals the initial signal is being degraded but w that buffered range exponentially increasing. Too many true bypass pedals actually dont suck tone, too many cables connected do. The best bet is to have a buffered effect pedal at the front of your signal chain and one at the end, a great balance w all your other effects.

    Here's a bit on Stacked buffers (aka a line of boss pedals):
    Now, ever since the late '70s, the standard for Boss/Ibanez type pedals have been to have two buffer stages, plus a transistor-based switching system. If we only count buffers, and figure that the pedal is bypassed, what happens? Your original signal is lost at the input buffer, which sends its copy/version forward to the output buffer, which copies that signal, and sends it out via the output jack. Now imagine you combine five such pedals in line, all bypassed. Count 'em... You have the input buffer of the first pedal, where your guitar signal is being copied, and then nine additional stages, all making a copy of a copy of a copy of.... (ad infinitum). With each step, you move slowly but steadily further away from what was your original signal. You might like the changes, or not, but there's no denying that the difference is there.
    What I've noticed when stacking buffered pedals is not just an effect on the sound but also the way the instrument reacts, the feel, and especially the dynamics. It's similar to using some form of compression.

    And here's a bit on the myth of tone suck from true bypass pedals:
    This is a myth propagated by people who are trying to sell their own (buffered) pedals, or by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Like the guy I just saw on YouTube claiming that ”true bypass is s#&t” and if you buy true bypass pedals ”you’re a moron”. I beg to differ. A true bypass connection does not do anything to the signal – it simply leaves it alone. But since it doesn’t do anything to the signal, it means that when a pedal is off, the cable following it will be part of the chain. So if you have all true bypass pedals, when all pedals are off the guitar will ”see” the entire cable length to the amp. This will shave off some treble – which was clearly demonstrated in the video I mentioned at the top of the page, where they used a normal length guitar -> pedal cable and a hugely long pedal -> amp cable to make the true bypass connection appear to steal lots of treble, while accentuating their buffer system’s capacity to drive long cables. And you will lose treble if you run only true bypass pedals (turned off) with long cables. So far, YouTube guy was correct. But it is not the true bypass that is ”degrading” the signal – it’s the cables.

    But if having all true bypass pedals on your board will lose signal, the opposite (having all buffered pedals) must then be true, right? Well, no. The key to not being ”a moron” (as the YouTube guy, who will remain nameless, so eloquently put it), is to have one or two buffers/buffered pedals in the chain, while keeping the rest true bypass (to avoid having multiple buffer stages in the chain). That way, you get the best of both worlds. But that doesn’t mean that ”true bypass is s&#t”, nor that it degrades the signal – claims like that are stupid, and just show that the people making them doesn’t know what’s what.
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    After many years of experimentation, this is where I have landed as well. Altho if I only have a few pedals, one buffer/buffered pedal will suffice fine. I do the same when using effects loops- because the run from the amp to the board back to the amp is a long one. (in my cover band, where I use alot of gain sometimes, delays and then harmonizer MUST be in the loop).
    Waxhead likes this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Cost could be in the same ballpark as the old SD1, but it simply wouldn’t sell cause no one would think it improved over the old design if the price was similar. People want to be fooled.:)
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 7:29 AM
    Henry and ruger9 like this.
  5. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    Boss tu 2 is a must!
    The purple flanger was cool
    The od1 with a clipped out c9
    Roland RE20
    Thats all i used from them.
  6. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Was watching a JHS video and he compared Waza Boss to old Boss and said the buffers in the Waza are much better than the older buffers. I do know I wasn't impressed with the CS-3 I tried and returned it.

    I've never been in a situation like you describe - for me it's max 4 pedals, 15 foot leads, usually only one Boss at a time although sometimes two.

    So only one buffered pedal is all it takes? How many total?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 8:34 AM
    Waxhead likes this.
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah I did a lot of research on this tone suck issue 5 yrs ago after I discovered I did have tone suck on a 12 pedal board. Two buffered pedals and overly long cabling were the culprits.

    To fix mine I did following.........
    One good buffered pedal at start of chain keeps a good strong signal thru the rest.
    I mimimised lengths of inter pedal cables and use 10 ft cables for everything else. I limited my board to 10 pedals and got all true bypass after the 1st buffered wah pedal. I then sold off all my old buffered pedals except the wahs.

    But Tavo will be correct in recommending a good buffered pedal 1st and also last when you have more pedals than my 10. If you had 15, for example, I'd put a buffered pedal at end also. In my case I just decided to limit my pedals to 10.

    Then hard to say exactly how many pedals total will put your rig at risk of tone suck cos depends on total length of cabling and what pedals you have. Maybe anyone with 6 pedals or more should be testing their rig and considering preventative measures :)

    Easy to test it by simply doing an A/B sound test of going direct to amp v thru your pedal board. I've helped another 4 buddies diagnose and fix their own issues
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 5:24 PM
    stevo likes this.
  8. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    As far as compressors go, they seemed to have stepped up their game with this model:


    I couldn't set the comp level on my old BOSS CS-3 above 12:00 without it sounding artificial/processed.
  9. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I bought a CS3 with the goal of modding it. Didn't like it before or after - same about the artificial sound. But this new one might be a winner. At least it has the zoomy lights.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 7:49 PM
    ZackyDog likes this.
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