True bypass OD options

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by Sg-ocaster, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Ok guys what is out there for good OD pedals that are true bypass.
    I like to run my amps overdriven allready crunchy for rhythm and some bluesy lead nd use a pedal for hi gain.
    Right now I have the typical
    DS1( too hairy and mushy through. Marshall)
    SD1 nice but it changes the bypassed tone and does chop off the low-end.
    MXR micro amp.....meh....ok but just kinda dry sounding.
    So what's out there that is good for taking an Overdriven Marshall over the top without too much furr and without lobing off the low-end and true bypass......i don't mind a mid hump....but the sd1 takes out too much low-end.
     
  2. HOT TUBES 70

    HOT TUBES 70 Well-Known Member

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    Have your SD1 modified .
    Can be made to sound killer with the right work done .
     
  3. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    True.....i could mod it.....heard about the stacked chip mod for it.
     
  4. RCM 800

    RCM 800 Well-Known Member

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    not true bypass but I keep trying different OD's and keep going back to my TS9.
     
  5. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    My two favourites, that don't trim all the bass are a Boss OD3 and a Hardwire CM2.

    OD3, has a buffer, but its a generation later than the early Boss pedals and its a very good clear buffer, and the tone in overdrive is very amp-like and natural.

    The CM2 is true bypass and is a very versatile drive with two modes, a wide range of gain and bass and treble tone controls. Exceptionally strong build quality. Its more versatile than the OD3, but for what it does I like the OD3 a bit better.
     
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  6. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    Rockett Archer. Adds gain and magic.
     
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  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    The TC Electronic 'Big' Spark is True Bypass.
    Unlike the one-knob 'Mini' Spark, it has added Gain, Treble & Bass controls, plus 3 modes (Fat, Clean & Mid).
    That means it can be used as a clean boost or 2 different flavours of mild OD.
    https://www.tcelectronic.com/product.html?modelCode=P0DDN
     
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  8. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    Electro-Harmonix English Muff'n. Get one while you still can as it is no longer in production:

    True bypass using mechanical relay.
    Dual tube design.
    Made in USA.
     
  9. don550

    don550 Member

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    Try a Paul C Timmy Pedal...great pedal with three clipping options and eq
     
  10. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Use a switching system and get 'Actual' Bypass, and then it doesn't matter if your favorite pedal/pedals is/are true bypass or not
     
  11. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Man, i just got a Danelectro Texas Trouble used for like 30 bux and it is outstanding. Its based on a TS but it don't do that honky/nasaly tone i can't stand. Well worth checking out. Its got one of those relay switches. 1600524607479610137669.jpg
     
  12. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    It does matter because the circuitry is not bypassed in a buffered pedal. A switching system is a workaround until the number of pedals is greater than the number of loops, unless you intend to leave them all on all of the time. Having 25 pedals, including 3 chorus pedals, 2 flangers, 2 tremoloes, 2 compressors, 2 phasers, an EQ, and a linear power booster among them, things quickly outgrow that solution especially in a stereo setup.

    The best thing to do is to completely avoid digital and/or buffered pedals all together, and if a buffer is warranted stick to one that preserves the timbre of the signal and is dedicated to that task.
     
  13. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    A couple of things...

    In a switching system-- when the loops are off, the pedals AND cables connecting them are removed from the signal path, 'actually' truly physically bypassing them. :idea:
    Also, in general (There are exceptions-- Ex. You may choose to groups pedals in series-- sharing a single loop, and depending which pedal is on/off will determine which is activated when the loop is engaged. You could have Both on as well)-- the pedals in a switching system DO stay on ALL the time. It's the loops which are turned ON/OFF

    I understand about having a giant setup-- Trust me on that. My Big setup is custom designed and built multi-amp switching, w/d/w architecture using 22 loop and logic switching functions.

    Could you invent a scenario where your rig would be too big for you in size or cost? Only you know, but I can tell you it IS possible to be so far over the top that it is no longer practical.



     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  14. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    I think buffered pedals are useful.
     
  15. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    That they are. That said, not all buffers are designed equally, and there is such a thing as too much buffering.

    More on that topic from Custom Audio Electronics' website:


    "What are buffers and how are they used?
    Buffers are extremely important in a multi-component system. They are often misunderstood and often get a bad rap by those who are uninformed. In a CAE system, a buffer is a unity gain (input level equals output level) impedance converting circuit. It essentially protects your high impedance guitar output (or any other high impedance source, such as an amps' effects loop send) from being loaded down by the input it is connected to. In effect, it converts high impedance to low, which means subsequent stages are then driven by a low impedance source (the buffer's output). High impedance sources such as your guitar's output (assuming you have passive pickups) has very little current drive capability and it's signal is subject to a harsh environment once it leaves the guitar. You already know the adverse affect a long cable has on your tone. Same thing happens if you pass your signal through a bunch of effects pedals. Even if they have "true bypass" (an ugly, over-used term), each one will suck a little more of your signal along with the cables and connectors, mainly due to capacitive loading of your high impedance guitar signal. The end result is a muffled weak signal that lacks clarity. But once your high impedance guitar signal hits a properly designed buffer with a high input impedance, the buffer takes over, and uses its higher current capability (remember, its an active circuit that requires a power supply) to drive all subsequent stages, thus preserving your instrument's tone. This brings us to buffer quality. Buffers come in all types of designs, from discrete transistor, op-amp, to esoteric tube designs. All have their own unique sonic stamp. At CAE we use the op-amp approach. It has served us well for years, is low noise, and is extremely transparent to our ears. Buffers often get blamed for causing an overly bright sound, but we feel if its designed properly, any perceived "brightness" is because now the guitar is not being loaded down by subsequent stages!

    Buffers can cause problems, too. There are some effects devices that don't like to see the low output impedance of a buffer. These are typically discrete transistor designed fuzz circuits (such as the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face). They react better to the high impedance output of the guitar. In fact, the guitar output, cable and input stage of the Fuzz Face complete a circuit that is highly dependent of those 3 components to work correctly. Fuzz Faces clean up nicely when you roll back the guitar volume control... not so if a buffer is between the guitar and Fuzz Face input. So if you have a pedal board with a Fuzz Face on it , put it first! Other pedals may react the same way. Experiment to see what works best for you. Keep in mind all active pedals (such as Boss, Ibanez, etc...) act as buffers and will impart their own sonic stamp even when bypassed. This is what started the whole "true bypass" (ugh! that term again) craze. See? Too much of a good thing can be "bad". Which brings us to how we utilize buffers in CAE custom switchers. We only use buffers where absolutely necessary. Typically, in a pedal based system we will not buffer until after the first 4-5 loops, which is usually just prior to sending the signal down to the pedal board (via a long cable run, hence the need to buffer) to hit the wah/volume pedals. Any more than 4 or 5 loops, and the guitar signal may be affected by capacitive loading. So the first few loops is where you would put any impedance sensitive effects. This also means your guitar will go through fuzz, overdrive or distortion pedals BEFORE the wah. We prefer this order because the wah then has a more harmonically rich signal to filter. Try it yourself. Of course, if a specific order is required, we will do everything we can to make it happen. Buffers are also necessary to drive isolation transformers, since the relatively low primary impedance of the transformers may be detrimental to whatever circuit is feeding it. This is also why amp splitter circuits must be buffered. You can't drive multiple amps with a relatively high impedance source. So there usually is a buffer somewhere in the output stage of your custom switcher. That's usually it. 2 places minimum. There may be more active stages depending on your system requirements."
     
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  16. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. This article was one I read before building my mini board. I added a suhr buffer and it made a noticeable improvement.

    I used to think true bypass was the be all and end all. I also used to be an "analogue purist". I now go with my ears.
     
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  17. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Ahh....ya know a freibd of mine had one and it did sound nice through his little micro terror.....i may have to try one again through a tube amp.
    I also like the suggestion of Boss OD3.....may have to try that too.
    A switcher would be good if I used more pedals. But pretty much my " board" is Wah- OD- tuner ......all on 9v Duracells......occasionally I break out the delay unit
     
  18. Marshall Boogie

    Marshall Boogie Active Member

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    I second the recommendation of the spark booster. Best pedal for goosing the front of my amp period (I play a Mark V which takes terribly to pedals, or rather, takes only low gain boost pedals well).
     

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