Buffer advice

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PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 1209
in FX
At the moment I have a buffer on my board at the front of the chain because I've got a few true bypass pedals on there. So I've got this:

TC Polytune 2
Compressor
Soul Food (set to buffered mode)
Amp 11 clone
KOT clone
Tube screamer
RAT clone
Zen clone
TC Flashback
Strymon Flint (set to buffered mode but it's always on anyway)

So, the Soul Food works well as a buffer near the start of the chain but takes up space because I don't use it that much, and besides I might want to move it in a different position.

As the Poytune is always on the board, I was thinking of selling the TC Polytune 2 and buying a version 3 as it has a built-in buffer.

Anyone use the buffer on this? Any good? Any better ideas? I don't really want to take up more pedal space.

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Comments

  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1607
    I recently upgraded my polytune 2 to a 3 for similar reasons. I also used a soul food for a buffer, but that was 3rd in the chain and I wanted to move the buffer to the very start.

    The TC Bonafide buffer built into the Polytune 3 is excellent. Very transparent, which I prefer over the SF buffer.

    If you can free up an extra space by doing this too I'd say go for it.
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  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 1209
    @Maynehead I read a review online that said the 3 is dimmer than the 2. How do they compare?
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1607
    Philtre said:
    @Maynehead I read a review online that said the 3 is dimmer than the 2. How do they compare?
    I had the polytune 2 blacklight which was super bright, so much so that I had trouble seeing the reading in a dark environment because it was so dazzling, so the 3 was actually an improvement!
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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5776
    I'd question whether or not you need a buffer at both the beginning and end of the chain. 

    I'd be tempted to take the soul food off the board (or switch its buffer off, if that's possible) and see whether or not having a buffer at the start of the chain makes any difference. 

    With the Flint always on you have a buffer at the end of chain so personally I'd be a bit surprised if an additional one made much difference. 
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  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 1209
    @UnclePsychosis Makes a huge difference, but only with a buffer at the start of the chain. Placing one at the end (Strymon Flint for example) makes little or no difference.
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1607
    It has been mentioned when this question has come up before that patch cables, specifically the plugs on them add a significant amount of capacitance to the signal chain, so technically the buffer should be at the start.
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  • theflyisbacktheflyisback Frets: 28
    edited April 3
    Not just saying this as I'm selling one on the classifieds but a good bypass looper/switcher is great for keeping great tone particularly if you only use a few pedals at once.

    The difference between one of them - with a buffer first (like a Boss TU3 or the Polytune 3) - against running a chain of pedals into each other is staggering and definitely worth looking into. 
     

    Until recently i always thought a buffer was most ideal at the beginning of a chain but I've since found it interesting experimenting with buffers AFTER drives (and before modulations, verbs, delays etc).  I think they react a little differently and for me, are a bit more stable volume wise (especially if there is a RAT involved!).  

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  • bwetsbwets Frets: 98
    Don’t worry about it unless it bothers you. If it does, is there any space underneath you could fit one?
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  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 1209
    @Maynehead Just before I order a PolyTune 3, will there be much difference between its buffer and the Soul Food's buffer? To my ears, the SF buffer really brings out a lot of top end.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 37435
    There's a good case for having a buffer both at the start (assuming there aren't any buffer-sensitive fuzzes etc) and at the end, because the loading of the long cable to the amp is important as well - especially for some type of pedals with high output impedance when on, eg the Fulltone OCD. With a buffer at each end you shouldn't get any significant change of loading when turning any pedal on or off.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1607
    Philtre said:
    @Maynehead Just before I order a PolyTune 3, will there be much difference between its buffer and the Soul Food's buffer? To my ears, the SF buffer really brings out a lot of top end.
    My definition of a good buffer is one that preserves the top end chime that you lose with long cables, but doesn’t otherwise colour the original tone. In other words it makes your guitar sound as much like it’s plugged straight into the amp as possible.

    In that respect I thought the Bonafide buffer was even better than the SF, with plenty of chime but without the slight colouration that I thought the SF added.
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  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 1209
    Got the PT 3 today, the buffer does a great job. Bit surprised, though, that the DIP switches are under the plastic cover plate on the inside and need one of those star screwdrivers to get the four screw off.
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