Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby brian.tele » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:34 pm

I understand the basic premise of the signal flow: pickups -> tone controls -> buffer -> pedals -> guitar master volume -> output to amp

My questions is, does the buffer impact the signal when the OBEL is bypassed and the signal goes straight from the guitar to the amp?

If the buffer does impact the direct signal (with the OBEL bypassed), is there any way to achieve that without having a buffer mounted in the guitar?

Apologies if these questions are answered elsewhere but I did a good amount of searching and couldn't find an answer.

Any insight is very much appreciated, thanks guys!
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby hippieguy1954 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:46 am

Yes, it's been talked about a lot. Here ya go: viewtopic.php?f=419&t=11750&hilit=external+buffer :smile:

My opinion is that the buffer is not as effective as when connected directly to the pickup selector, so it's always getting the signal directly from the pickups regardless of whether the OBEL is engaged or not. That is how Jerry had it. The buffer is always in the signal.

Of course there is this, thanks to Waldo! (if ya don't already have it) http://dozin.com/jers/guitars/tiger/tiger_schematic.htm
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:16 am

brian.tele wrote:... My questions is, does the buffer impact the signal when the OBEL is bypassed and the signal goes straight from the guitar to the amp?

If the buffer does impact the direct signal (with the OBEL bypassed), is there any way to achieve that without having a buffer mounted in the guitar?...




Yes, the buffer does change the sound even when not using the OBEL's loop and just going straight to the amp. One of the central aspects of using a buffer in the guitar is that it eliminates the effects of cable capacitance on a pickup's tone. By buffering (blocking, isolating) the pickup from the cable, the pickup then has a smoother, flatter response, more extended highs. And another aspect is that the buffering allows you to use a lower value volume pot. That lower value pot helps contribute to the ability for a buffered guitar to have the exact same tone at any setting of the guitar's volume knob. Tremendous benefits of on-board buffering.

If you don't buffer inside the guitar, you are then faced with that cable length and the high-value volume pot, and it indeed does alter the tone of the pickup. I find that the buffered guitar sound is very, very central to the Jerry sound, that detail and presence and clarity of even the slightest picking nuances and all that goodness at ANY setting of the guitar's volume knob.

And be sure it's a GOOD buffer. There are some less than great sounding buffers out there that, sadly, too many people put in their guitars.

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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby brian.tele » Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:18 am

Thanks for the great responses, much appreciated!
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby Diggey » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:05 pm

So, can someone explain how the guitar tone reacts to a buffer pedal? Same thing just not "onboard"? Where does it go in the chain? First in the chain I assume from guitar to buffer?
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby TeeJay » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:38 pm

On board is best as Brad said there is no high end no loss from cable capacitance. If on board is not an option put the buffer pedal as close to the guitar as possible and with quality cable. I have seen some buffer boxes attach to guitar strap so as to only have a foot of cable before the buffer. I have a Sarno Music Solutions Steel Guitar Black Box a tube powered buffer and it sounds incredible. It is on the floor before the pedal board with just a 6 foot good quality cable from the guitar.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby hippieguy1954 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:01 am

Diggey wrote:So, can someone explain how the guitar tone reacts to a buffer pedal? Same thing just not "onboard"? Where does it go in the chain? First in the chain I assume from guitar to buffer?


The buffer does not react the same as in the guitar. You will still lose some highs due to the guitar volume pot and your guitar cord unless you have it in the guitar. Has some effect, but nothing like having it in the guitar.

Re-read Brad's most excellent explanation, above.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby aiq » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:16 am

I used to try to replecate the loop/buffer on the pedalboard using a Steel Guitar Black Box, a Lehle looper, and a volume pedal.

It was interesting but now that I have the on board setup, the difference is dramatic. I assume due to the cable problem as Brad discusses.

The SGBB is now in the home studio for this and that.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby JustinJohn » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:22 pm

The buffer onboard the guitar makes a dramatic difference compared to both a normal (unbuffered) guitar and a guitar signal chain with buffer on the floor in the first pedal. Now that I've been using the onboard buffer, I prefer not to go without it. It's a whole different experience that's positive in all ways.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby kurt eye » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:35 am

I've been having a blast with my Post Wolf with OBEL with Wald buffer. Previously I was playing a strat with stratoblaster (no OBEL). The buffer has helped tremendously with the envelope filter and solved a nasty pedal pop issue I was having with my modded VOX wah. Around the time I received my Wolf I also ordered a Loop Master 10 port switcher to limit tone suck of my daisy chained pedals and to hopefully cure the wah pedal pop by being able to leave the pedal on at all times.

The folks at Loop Master like to take their own sweet time when it comes to building and shipping. It was a few days short of 3 months to receive it. Now that I have it, it's dawned on me that I need 20 patch cables now for the Loop Master pedal board and its a 26 inch long behemoth that will require me to build an new board. I'd like to keep my set up as compact and portable as possible.

My question is - with the OBEL is it worth it to install the loop master? All of my pedals sound fine to my ear in the daisy chain arrangement, but is there still some tone loss in a daisy chain arrangement with the OBEL?
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby Searing75 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:54 am

I wouldn't use it. With all of the additional cables and internal wiring of the unit, your gonna add capacitance, which will suck tone. Keep it as simple as possible, and if it's a Jerry rig you are after, as close as possible to his set up.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby MattMan » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:19 am

I'm not sure that's correct Searing75. I have done extensive tone tests with my Wald-buffered OBEL axes with and without my 8-channel programmable looper and there is no difference in tone when I engage the 8th pedal ain the chain with all prior 7 engaged vs. the same sequence without the looper. However, the looper allows for some very convenient programming for rapid pedal switches (e.g., Octave + Mutron change to OD1). Plus, the looper eliminates popping when you engage the effects and it allows the pedals to be rackmounted. I made a harness for my looper using a 20-channel cable and I keep it wound up and connected for rapid on stage set-up.



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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby hippieguy1954 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:03 am

+1 on the looper. Even a non programmable one on the pedal board works great. No tone loss with the Wald pre/buffer. Every pedal true bypassed. Quiet etc.
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby kurt eye » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Given that I don't have any discernible tone suckage and the buffer had cured my pedal pop, I think I'm going to forego the loop master for now for the sake of having as compact a board as possible. I'd like to keep the board to 8 powered pedals given the 8 outputs of my Voodoo labs power supply. The loop master requires power for the LEDs. I'm going to retire my stratoblaster pedal for now as well.

My pedal arrangement will be as follows

Vox Wah-->Boss Turbo OD-2--> Boss HM-2-->Boss Octave-->Proton Envelope Filter-->Behringer Digital Delay-->MXR Phase Script 90-->Boss RC 3 loop station
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Re: Questions on the OBEL w/ Buffer system

Postby shadowboxer » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:55 am

Does anyone have an opinion on using a buffer on top of a buffer? If your boss pedal has a buffer, does that change your initial buffered sound at all?
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