Lastnight’s band practice we had our general gear tear-down, which always leads to gear talk. The interesting topic lastnight was about true bypass vs. buffered bypass. Many of the pedals promote they offer true bypass, and there are various loopers/switches that indicate buffered.Â I wanted to learn more about this, and specifically about cable impedance and how it can dull your tone with true bypass pedals in your line.
So this morning, I started searching for some sound clips or videos related to the subject, and I came across this great video by Visual Sound that clearly describes the differences.
As you can see and hear that the buffered bypass provided a brighter tone vs. the true bypass pedal. It totally makes sense that the amount of cables (guitar to pedal and pedal to amp) can add large amount of capacitance to the signal.
I wasn’t too familiar with the Visual Sound stuff, and noticed that it was a Route 808 pedal in that demo. Since I just recently wrote a post about the TS9 which included a TS808 in there, I wanted to learn more, and found another video by Visual Sound (same demo) but a shoot out between the following pedals (TS808 TS original, Klon Centaur, Keeley Mod’d TS9, Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MosFet, Visual Sound Route 808). I thought how they did the shoot out was great, played the same piece, each pedal configured to be generally the same tone settings and drive.
I was quite impressed with the video. You can pick up a Visual Sound Route 808 on Musician’s Friend for $99.95 (list price is $148.00.. so that’s a 32% savings over list).