Buffer – Discrete

You can build this with either a JFET (recommended) or a standard NPN transistor. This project uses the CB1 circuit board layout for either JFET or NPN transistor buffer.  This project is taken directly from the Basic Buffers article on the AMZ site.

Would you like a Ready to Solder Circuit Board for this project?

What does a Buffer do?

Our definition of signal chain here is: everything between your guitar and amplifier input, including cables. As your signal chain gets more complex (adding more stompboxes and patch cables) you may start to notice a loss of treble in your guitar sound. Your sound may sound duller than it does when you’re  plugged straight into the amp with a short cable. Check out this page about Impedance and Buffers to find out why this happens.

This Pete Cornish “Case against True Bypass” Article explains why a little buffer stompbox may be useful to you. I believe there is  “a case for true bypass” as well, but the article might give you a good idea of what a buffer can do in your signal chain.

Please note that most Boss, Ibanez (and some other commercial pedals) use non-bypassed buffers. This means that if you have a Boss pedal in your signal chain, you probably already have buffers in signal path even when the pedal is in bypass mode.