What does the Empress buffer+ do, and do I really need a buffer? … I mean there are several interesting pedals out there that can do some really exiting stuff, so why spend money on a pedal that doesn’t add a wild distortion or other ‘stuff’ to your sound? Well let me try to tell you about my experiences with buffers and why I just got the Empress buffer+.
When I made my pedalboard a couple of years ago I spent hours reading about true bypass, browsing the internet to find the right pedals, cables and jacks. I was very happy and excited about most of the stuff I ended up buying. But I must admit I was confused and disappointed when I finally put everything together and plugged my guitar into the board and amp … what happened to that nice warm and present tone I just had a minute ago, going directly into the amp?
After talking to some of my more nerdy friends who have had boards for years, I was recommended a buffer. Actually a guy in a music store already mentioned a buffer to me, when I was complaining about how all the volume pedals choked the tone while I was trying out all the different brands – and back then I replied that I was looking for one good volume pedal … not a volume pedal AND something to fix it. But now I was a bit more ready to hear about buffers. Again I’m not into all the technical stuff … I just want it to sound good.
Let med try to explain very briefly what a buffer does.
Some years ago, when I decided to go for a pedalboard solution instead of the rack setup that I’ve used for years, I searched the market for quite a while to find the right pedals for my new board. I ended up buying some really good, and unfortunately not cheap, pedals. The upside is that they are reliable and sound awesome, so now I don’t have to worry about purchasing ‘upgrades’ … or? 🙂
Why should I get a new pedalboard?
Well, last year I was invited to play in Canada this summer. When I got a little closer to my trip and started thinking about what to bring, I realized I had to cut down my current pedalboard, if I wanted to avoid spending a fortune on surcharges at the airports. What could I remove?? Actually, I loved my board as it was and didn’t want to lose anything, but I had to let something go. Some tough decisions had to be made, so I started browsing the internet again… and I inevitably ended up checking out what the brands I already used (on my main board) had to offer.
Yesterday I did a workshop/clinic on guitar effects in general and I talked about my pedalboard. I often get many questions about my setup, therefore I’ll post a couple of pictures of my current board below, and give a couple of tips concerning how to set up your pedalboard.
Since I don’t have any sponsor deals with any company/brand mentioned here – neither manufacturers or stores are allowed to use my name to promote any product, without prior written consent from me. But you are very welcome to link to this blog or to my site www.sorenreiff.com if you want other people to read about my setup.