Buffer question, slightly off topic

Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby Rojack01 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:39 pm

Hey guys, I am going to be using a Mark V mesa combo , I am going to lay out the effects loop like this, #1 volume pedal, #2 some type of overdrive pedal, maybe a tube screamer, #3 Pog, #4 analog delay #5 Loop station. I will be using a clean signal maybe a little less then half the time. the question is this, Do I need to use a preamp buffer to drive the signal through the effects loop? question 2A does the tube screamer serve that purpose when not on?
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby JonnyBoy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:21 pm

You can use the pedal as a buffer of sorts and I think the Loop station has one too, if its a boss. But you still have a cable and some effects that are holding it up tonally, So the idea is to mount it in the guitar like Jerry to get the signal right from the pickups.

When I first did my OBEL I could tell the difference between the effects loop open (it had a buffered tone) and when it was straight to the amp. The signal was not low z and very muddy in relation to the buffered OBEL. You could A/B the tone pretty easy. Different buffers can have different tones too I have read, Waldos buffer is Jerrys clone, and sounds like it too.
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby Rojack01 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:57 pm

Hey thanks Johnny Boy. Dude on the strat forum is saying that an effects loop is meant to drive the signal through the chain and you don't need anything else to do so, he is also telling me that the ts9 doesn't buffer anything. I know you are right, but I was looking for some positive reinforcement. So what if I used an outboard buffer? If I did, where should I put it?
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby playingdead » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:10 pm

You will likely run into problems if you don't either use an onboard buffer or a buffered pedal ... a previous owner removed the buffer from the effects loop on a Scott Walker guitar I have and it had a tendency to shriek uncontrollably when the effects loop was on (Mike and Brad think it was crosstalk). Putting a unity gain buffer into the guitar solved the problem. I would put the buffer first in the chain if it's in a pedal.
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby waldo041 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:01 am

Rojack01 wrote:Hey guys, I am going to be using a Mark V mesa combo , I am going to lay out the effects loop like this, #1 volume pedal, #2 some type of overdrive pedal, maybe a tube screamer, #3 Pog, #4 analog delay #5 Loop station. I will be using a clean signal maybe a little less then half the time. the question is this, Do I need to use a preamp buffer to drive the signal through the effects loop? question 2A does the tube screamer serve that purpose when not on?


are you talking about the the amps effects loop? if so, you should not need any further line driving.

question 2a, utilizes a transistor based input buffer, and will work well in a traditional inline effects chain, but if used as a buffer in a JG OBEL with an extended run of cable it may not fair as well as it's opamp amp counterpart. especially since it does not have variable gain.

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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:46 am

For me the buffer was an awesome upgrade. It is small, a little bigger than a pack of matches. Most people can fit one in their control cavity easily. Some have put them in a pedal. The closer you put it to the source of signal the better they say. Even if you don't have an OBEL a buffer is useful.

The OBEL is used to drive the FULL or strongest signal through the chain (from the guitar), actually the guitars signal is dimed, as if the guitar's volume knob was on 10 ALWAYS. that way you have the same strength signal going to your effects at all times. The buffer just keeps the tone from degrading during the long run, and you do need one in a jerry setup, IMO. Good luck.
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby Rojack01 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:37 am

Waldo, You are the man, so I am going to assume that you are right. :-)
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby Cmnaround » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:25 am

A very timely discussion. I am in similar situation using a mesa rack pre amp. Wanted to know what the difference would be running my pedals in my effects loop of the pre amp vs using an OBEL - which I do not have - but always considered based on all the positive feedback on this board. Would there be a big difference?

Also, any advice on running specific pedals all in the effects loop, or some in the chain from guitar to my amp while others may work best only in the effects loop assuming there is some signal boosting in my effects loop of my pre amp. Other consideration is the wet dry mix I can do relative to the pre amp effects loop - I usually keep at 50% - any advice on how this actually works to impact my overall tone?

Thanks!!
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby eric » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:32 am

2.5 ; only Delay/ Verb/ Modulation type stuff will benefit/ are meant to be run in amp efx loop
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Re: Buffer question, slightly off topic

Postby claytushaywood » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:39 pm

Cmnaround wrote:A very timely discussion. I am in similar situation using a mesa rack pre amp. Wanted to know what the difference would be running my pedals in my effects loop of the pre amp vs using an OBEL - which I do not have - but always considered based on all the positive feedback on this board. Would there be a big difference?

Also, any advice on running specific pedals all in the effects loop, or some in the chain from guitar to my amp while others may work best only in the effects loop assuming there is some signal boosting in my effects loop of my pre amp. Other consideration is the wet dry mix I can do relative to the pre amp effects loop - I usually keep at 50% - any advice on how this actually works to impact my overall tone?

Thanks!!



There is information about this all over the web. Google can work wonders sometimes. Now if you're talking in relation to jerry garcia's guitar tone. He did not run any effects between his preamp and power amp. Yes there is a difference between running effects before your volume control on the guitar then into the preamp, versus after the preamp into the power amp. You have a parallel effects loop if you have an fx loop mix knob. This is cool because you can blend pedals with your pure dry signal. like a boss digital delay- instead of having your whole signal converted to digital and reconverted to analog you could put this pedal in your effects loop with the mix knob on the pedal all the way up. then you could use your effects loop to mix in delay- thus preserving your pure analog dry signal.

as to the difference in tone- most people that use fx loops put time based modulation effects after the preamp because they benefit from not being subjected to all that preamp gain that can muddy them up- if you distort the preamp on your amp this matters. if you run a clean preamp i dont feel it matters nearly as much, but you can hear a slight difference.

I'm sure you can refer to your owners manual or your amps forum topic or anywhere else on the web to find out what an amp effects loop does and why. Information on the JG buffer is all over this forum if you use the search function. using effects in the onboard fx loop of a guitar allows you to constantly send the same signal level to the effects regardless of guitar or amp volume- pedals behave differently based on how much volume they receive, especially volume based effects like envelope filters. I am repeating this from what i've read on this forum. now how they sound different between an amp and this jgb fx loop is not really easy to describe- more predictable definitely... better? maybe... it's not like describing the sound of an overdrive pedal, it's a feel and practical thing. an envelope filter wont behave the same if you lower your guitars volume. you cant parallel mix with the typical JG fx loop. Parallel mixing is a whole nother topic, but i described the gist of it above. mixing your dry signal with an effects wet signal. pretty much mostly used for delays and other modulations- but they usually have mix knobs on them. your amps fx loop allows you to preserve the integrity of your signal
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