I’m not an engineer. But I have ears and in my day to day duties running a guitar and effect pedal shop, I listen to a lot of effects and pedalboards. I also talk to and listen to a lot of customers. Want to know the #1 question posed by a customer when contemplating a new guitar effect?
Is this pedal true-bypass?
It’s a great question but only a small portion of the people asking this question really understand what it is that they are asking. To properly rephrase the question, they should ask:
Will this pedal, when added to my pedalboard, degrade my tone? And if so, what can I do about it?
The good news is if you really like the sound of a pedal, but it seems to be sucking some tone, you most likely can fix the problem. True-bypass pedals are usually great at not sucking tone, but too many of them (usually after 3 or so) in your signal chain can start draining your highs. It’s a simple matter of physics as to why this happens. In this instance, a buffer will help. Without being techy, a buffer added to the beginning of your chain can enhance the lost highs brought on by numerous true-bypass pedals.
This buffer from SolidGold FX is quite small and can work its wonders either at the beginning or end of your signal chain. Play around with it to see what sounds best.