Non-buffered effects loops

Non-buffered effects loops

Postby playingdead » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:39 am

Just a note of caution for folks thinking about adding an onboard effects loop to a guitar without using the unity gain buffer ... I recently acquired a lefty preowned Scott Walker Santa Cruz. Scott originally built the guitar with the customized Jangletone buffer that included a separate volume boost. The original owner had Scott remove the buffer and just wire in a blaster, that's how the guitar came to me.

When I plugged in a Q-Tron to try out the effects loop before making the guitar available for sale, I was greeted with an ear-splitting feedback screech when the envelope was triggered with a hard attack on the note. It kept doing that, and exhibited the same behavior with a Boss OD-2r pedal, although, curiously, only when a single pickup was used, it wouldn't do it with both pickups on.

After a little back and forth with Scott, Brad and Waldo, it seemed there was some crosstalk involved that was causing the screeching. Both recommended trying a buffer in there to see.

I had my friend Ned come over last night with his soldering iron and we installed a buffer into the guitar, and, presto, the effects loop works perfectly. We also put in Scott's latest version of the blaster with a separate boost volume control that he's been working on with Steve Kimock, and it is awesome, you can dial in a small boost to a big boost to really get the overdrive happening with a flip of the toggle. Highly recommended.

Hope that might be helpful to some of you builders out there ...

And a big thanks to Ned, Scott, Brad and Waldo for their input and assistance.

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Re: Non-buffered effects loops

Postby search4sound » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:32 pm

That's one beautiful looking and sounding guitar. Sounds great having the buffer always on and the blaster on or off at the flip of a switch. Had to move the tone before the buffer, but that was easy. Glad there was room for both buffer and blaster. --Ned
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Re: Non-buffered effects loops

Postby playingdead » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:23 pm

Hey Ned ... Scott Walker says he owes you one!

I laughed when I read what I wrote just now, I said "we" installed the buffer ... YOU installed it.
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Re: Non-buffered effects loops

Postby Jon S. » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:41 am

John Mara gets to say "We won the Superbowl" and you get to say "We installed the buffer." ;)

Congrats on the sweet axe.
Disclaimers: I'm happy to share whatever relevant gear knowledge or experience I have. Genuflection/payment/proof of worthiness neither sought nor accepted. I don't design, build, market, sell or endorse for pay any new music product or service. I occasionally sell personal used gear. I am an unpaid endorser of SoundScaper Productions and Godfrey Daniels Guitarworks.
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Re: Non-buffered effects loops

Postby claytushaywood » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:25 pm

man i really want to own one of those scott walkers one day. I cant believe anyone would buy a fender or gibson custom shop with stuff like that availablle! Did you get that phoenix on ebay that went for like $3500? unbelievable. such cool designs
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