Why use a buffer?
With the rise of true bypass pedals, buffers sometimes get a bad name. Some players have come to associate buffers with tone loss. However, without at least one buffer in your signal path, you may be actually loosing tone, particuarly your high-end.
Standard guitar signals are relatively weak (high impedance). As as weak guitar signal signal travels through yards of wire, switches, jacks, pots, and other components, it starts to degrade. This signal degradation is most often experienced by a loss of high-end signal. As your pedalboard gets larger, and/or you are far away from your amp, your guitar can sound duller.
A buffer makes your signal ‘stronger’ (lower impedance) but not louder (unity gain). Due to the buffer’s low impedance output, your signal is less subject to degradation.
Our standard buffer circuit has an input impedance of 1M and an output impedance of <100 ohms.
Click here for an informative video on how a buffer can preserve your tone.
Click here for an article on how buffers work.
Tone Report’s buffer shootout compares the Saturnworks buffer to other popular buffers.
Buffers & Bass Buffers
Saturnworks buffers keep your high-end crystal clear over long cable runs. Some players prefer the tone of transistor buffers versus their IC cousins. We have both flavors.
The bass versions tweak the design to allow the bass’ lower frequencies to enter the circuitry. Check out our FAQ page for more information on how bass specific pedals work.
New for 2017: All Saturnworks buffers now feature power filtering, for quieter operation.
Saturnworks buffers output a very low impedance signal (in the tens of ohms rather than hundreds of ohms). Due to this very low output impedance, lower than most buffers on the market, your signal stays sparkly and clean. Saturnworks buffers uses the same circuitry and boutique components used in pedals that cost several times more. Why pay more?
Buffer with Phase Inversion Switch
This buffer features a phase inversion switch. This handy phase inverter can be useful if you’re experiencing out-of-phase issues while splitting or summing multiple signals. It can also just be used by itself as regular buffer.
Buffers with Switches
The switchable buffer is the same high quality circuitry as the standard buffer pedal, but features a true bypass footswitch to turn the buffering on/off, if needed.
Dual Buffers & Triple Buffers + Dual Buffers with FX Loop Setup
The dual and triple buffers feature two or three separate buffers in one enclosure. You can use these multi-buffers to buffer your signal both at the beginning of your pedalboard, and again at the end. You can also use them to buffer parallel signals, or any other application you can think up for multiple buffers.
Please note: the default configuration of the is pedal is two inputs on the right and two outputs on the left. However, this can be customized so that the inputs and outputs can be set up on whichever jacks you’d prefer – if you want to set it up on the edge of a pedalboard and want the two inputs to be on the same side, for example. Please contact us for customization options.
The FX loop setup works the same as the standard dual buffer, except the jacks are configured to make it easier to set up a dual buffered effects loop. The ‘input’ jack is located on the lower right, the ‘send’ jack is on the upper right, the ‘receive’ jack is on the upper left, and the out’ jack is on the lower left. This version sends the signal through one buffer, through your effects pedal chain, through a second buffer, and finally on to your amp.
The Saturnworks buffered splitter is the best way to split your signal. The Saturnworks splitter features two buffers, one on each side of the split. This keeps one side from affecting the other—a phenomenon known as crosstalk. Because of our zero crosstalk design, you can turn one side up and down without the levels changing the other side. The dual buffers also keep your high-end crystal clear over long cable runs.
Active Volume Pedals
The Saturnworks active volume pedal is a volume control plus a buffer in one compact package.
The Saturnworks active volume pedal has a built-in buffer combined with a 25k audio taper pot to prevent high-end roll-off as you turn down the level and preserve your guitar’s high-end over long cable runs. This pedal is perfect for use at the end of your signal chain to both control the overall level and to buffer the signal between the pedalboard and the amp.
The Saturnworks active A/B/Y takes a single output and switches it A/B style to one of two outputs (A or B), or, with a second switch, to both at the same time (Y). The active version features a built-in buffer to prevent signal loss in split (Y) mode. The active buffering circuitry also prevents high-end signal loss over long cable runs.
The bass version tweaks the design to allow the bass’ lower frequencies to enter the circuitry.
Everyone knows how an A/B pedal works…camera one/camera two. How about a pedal that seamlessly pans your guitar back and forth between two amps? Say hello to the Saturnworks pan pedal.
You can set the knob fully counterclockwise for one output, fully clockwise for the other, or anywhere in between to blend the two. An included Dunlop rubber knob cover makes turning the knob with your foot a breeze. The Saturnworks pan pedal uses dual active buffers for smooth panning across two outputs without tone loss or cross talk. If you only have one amp plugged in, you can use the pan pedal as a buffered volume control.
The buffer looper preserves your signal while saving space and money by combining a true bypass looper with a buffer. The buffering circuit is always active whether the switch is in bypass or loop mode.
The compact black blender buffer buffers your signal using a transistor-based buffer, and allows you to dial in a wet/dry mix of whatever is in its FX loop. The blender buffer does not have an on/off switch for the loop. However, if you just want to use it as a buffer, simply turn the knob fully counter-clockwise.
Upgrades and Customizations
Because we know you want your pedal to reflect you, Saturnworks offers a variety of premium upgrades. Customizations and upgrades include powder-coated enclosures, upgraded jacks, and custom graphics. Check out our graphics and customizations page for more information.