DESIGN Unbuffering and other questions

beachbum

Active member
Chuck and other smarter people:

This seems like the right place to post:

UNBUFFER:
I play a lot through DIs, big pedal rigs and even a buffered switching system. Fuzzes aren't playing nice with any of them, sometimes even when place before everything in the chain, but with buffered pedals down the line.

So, I know there are some unbuffer pedals out there and it seems fairly simple to build, but would it be possible to have a [unbuffer>Fuzz>something>buffered pedal] so that the pedals after the chain don't affect the impedance mismatch of the fuzz pedal.

Or is this an inductance issue? Not sure. If I understood correctly, the only way to match guitar inductance in a pedal is to stick a pickup directly in the enclosure? So is there a way to put it all together elegantly?

I had some other random questions to pose here, but after writing that out, they won't come to me. Maybe after dinner...
 

peccary

Well-known member
Do you run your delay/modulation effects on your FX loop? I believe I've read that keeping your fuzz and distortion/OD in-line and using the FX send/return for modulation and whatnot can help things play a little better with each other. I'm not sure how buffers factor in to that, though.
 

Feral Feline

Well-known member
I've got a half-dozen or so of those fried Apple PSUs, keep meaning to crack one open...

Thanks for the gutshot.
 

giovanni

Well-known member
Fuzzes are tricky. They need to see the pickups at the input and since their output impedance is typically high, they will sound brighter with a buffer afterwards. For the input, I recommend just plugging straight into the fuzz as much as possible. For the output, unless you are able to avoid all buffered pedals afterwards, which probably means any pedal when on, you need a different approach. You could embrace the buffer: have an always on buffer after the fuzz. But that may affect the tone. A solution could be to add a passive tone control between the fuzz and the buffer (or using a buffer/boost with tone control). Alternatively, you could put something like 20 ft of cable between the fuzz and the next pedal. That should have more or less the same effect as a passive tone control.
Also, for the record, That Pedal Show recently had a video covering some of this stuff. I know not everybody likes them. I really find them entertaining and helpful, so I recommend it.
 

giovanni

Well-known member
One more thing: for the input, you could also try a reamp box (look it up). There are also fancy fuzzes with something like a guitar coil in the input and a control for the input impedance (TPS covered that too in the same video) and some clever output circuit to handle the high output impedance.
 

beachbum

Active member
I have a
One more thing: for the input, you could also try a reamp box (look it up). There are also fancy fuzzes with something like a guitar coil in the input and a control for the input impedance (TPS covered that too in the same video) and some clever output circuit to handle the high output impedance.
I have a mastodon pcb from Aionfx and it has that unbuffer circuit on the input. It does seem to work to an extent


Do you run your delay/modulation effects on your FX loop? I believe I've read that keeping your fuzz and distortion/OD in-line and using the FX send/return for modulation and whatnot can help things play a little better with each other. I'm not sure how buffers factor in to that, though.
funnily enough I have 4 amps and none of them have an Fx loop
 

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
Fuzzes are tricky. They need to see the pickups at the input and since their output impedance is typically high, they will sound brighter with a buffer afterwards. For the input, I recommend just plugging straight into the fuzz as much as possible. For the output, unless you are able to avoid all buffered pedals afterwards, which probably means any pedal when on, you need a different approach. You could embrace the buffer: have an always on buffer after the fuzz. But that may affect the tone. A solution could be to add a passive tone control between the fuzz and the buffer (or using a buffer/boost with tone control). Alternatively, you could put something like 20 ft of cable between the fuzz and the next pedal. That should have more or less the same effect as a passive tone control.
Also, for the record, That Pedal Show recently had a video covering some of this stuff. I know not everybody likes them. I really find them entertaining and helpful, so I recommend it.
Sometimes true. Fuzz Face for sure is sensitive to what's on the input side. Big Muff is kinda sensitive and most of the opamp stuff is pretty insensitive to what's on the input side. Bjorn Juhl mostly designs pedals with high input impedance and low output impedance for flexibility in stacking, but not 100% of the time. Same goes for Roger Mayer. Some pedals have a ridiculously high output impedance and don't like driving long cables or certain pedals. Unfortunately, there is no standard or rule of thumb. Best bet is trial and error. Even with circuit analysis, the ear is the final deciding factor.
 
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