Do I Need A Buffer & Where Do I Put It On My Pedalboard?

Published 15 Oct 2021

Standalone buffers are the source of great confusion. Let’s clear it up…

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show! It’s time to return to the subject of buffers. Every time we mention them on the show, we then take shelter under the subsequent deluge of questions and comments that boil to these:

- What Is A Buffer?
- Do I Need One?
- Where Do I Put It On My Pedalboard?

Unfortunately, the answer to all three questions is the same: it depends. So in this show we do our best to unpack that, explaining on what it depends! Your question should then morph into…

- Is There A Problem In My Signal Chain That Requires A Buffer To Fix It?
If you get to that point, you’re winning. Enjoy the video!

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Sonic Research ST-200 Turbo Tuner

• Kingsley Flying Butress Valve Buffer (Valve buffer)

• TheGigRig Humdinger (Op amp buffer)

• JFET Buffer (Orange)
Custom made for this show by Gordon Rankin - thanks Gordon!

• Bootstrapped NPN Buffer Buffer (Purple)
Custom made for this show by Gordon Rankin - thanks Gordon!

• Dual JFET Buffer (Wavelength, Red)
Custom made for this show by Gordon Rankin - thanks Gordon!

• BOSS TU-2 (no longer available, link for TU-3)
UK & Europe:

• Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
UK & Europe:
USA Sweetwater:

• ProCo RAT 2
UK & Europe:

• Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive
No longer available (easily)

• Dan Drive Secret Machine Fuzz
Find Dan on Instagram & Facebook

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Analogman ARDX20 Dual Analog Delay & Amazeo

• JAM Pedals Harmonious Monk
UK & Europe:

TheGigRig G3

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
0:00 Here's what a buffer does
2:30 A simple analogy to explain
4:05 What and where are buffers?
8:55 True bypass vs buffered explained, demoed
13:18 Capacitance explored
16:35 Seven different buffers compared
31:11 Seven buffers plus Tube Screamer
35:37 Summary so far
36:15 A quick aside on pickups
39:22 A normal human's pedalboard. Almost
46:55 The problem with fuzz and buffers
50:30 Hang on, this fuzz works?!
56:45 Overdrive and buffers and order
1:04:37 Buffer right at the end
1:09:10 Closing discussion and thoughts

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video here

Amps in this episode
• Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature & 212 cabinet with TR1265B speakers

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