Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CMAT Mods Buffer Test

I just got a hold of a CMAT Mods Buffer, a tiny little green pedal that I've mounted to the underside of my pedalboard using velcro (it seems to hold well with the patch cable tension).

I conducted a test to check the effect of a buffer. I only changed the placement of the buffer, and the test was as follows:
  1. The pedalboard without the buffer
  2. The buffer placed at the front of the pedalboard
  3. The buffer placed at the end of the pedalboard

I couldn't tell that there was as significant improvement with my tone, possibly because I have Visual Sound and Boss pedals on my board. These pedals are buffered-bypass, which means that when the pedal is disengaged, there is a buffer that will be engaged to lower the impedance of the guitar signal. That being said, there is a difference in tone:

  1. Without the buffer, my tone seems darker and warmer--certainly the kind of tone I'm very used to.
  2. With the buffer in front, my clean tone has a brighter sparkle to it. The overdriven tones have a tad more brightness to it, which is usable.
  3. With the buffer at the back, the clean tone is slightly more bright, but still has some measure of warmth. The overdriven tones also have a bit more sustain (something which the previous owner told me would happen if I placed the buffer at the end of the chain).
So, with the three possible configurations, I decided on putting the buffer at the back. I like warm, clean tones that aren't too overly bright, and I like the effect of the buffer increasing the sustain of the overdriven tones.

For further reading:
CMAT Mods Buffer Product Page
Boss article on buffered-bypass


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