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 #158159  by gratefulfork
 Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:22 am
Hey folks,
After seeing so many great reactions to the SMS black box on here I've been thinking about getting one. I was wondering if anyone could explain what exactly a tube buffer is and how it works? I've been thinking about getting it to sweeten the tone of my solid state Roland jazz chorus, is that the kind of application that it would be suitable for?
Thanks,
Matt
 #158160  by aiq
 Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:16 am
I had one that I was using to push my pedals as I was trying to replicate the Jerry loop on the pedal board. Worked very well actually but that was a heavy board with the SGBB, a Lele looper, and volume pedal plus the other pedals in the chain.

All that became redundant when I got the Olson Jerryfied Firebird.

Not really a tone shaper but a very nice signal boost for use with pedals.

Good for recording particularly when single tracking.

I passed it on to a pal who is actually a pedal steel player. He uses it for push through pedals mostly.
 #158162  by Pete B.
 Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:46 pm
Great thing to have if you are using a solid-state amp, even if just as peace of mind that there is a tube in your line.
It's bascally like running your instrument signal thru a preamp tube of a Twin (V2).
I use mine mainly for Pedal Steel, but also run acoustic pickups for Dobro and Banjo directly into the BB and on to an acoustic amp or PA.
 #158170  by nopunin10dead
 Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:44 pm
I've been using one first in line on my pedalboard for 3-4 years now. It does two things: Gives you tube amp responsiveness in the signal from your pickups, it then makes the signal low impedance (buffers it) so it passes through the rest of your pedal chain with all its sweetness and luscious tone intact. Works great into solid state or tube amps. I knew the guys from Umphrey's McGee were using it, but when Weir started using it, that pushed me over the edge. Couldn't be happier with it.

I love this thread from TGP, in which Steve Kimock does a great job explaining it (and Brad Sarno contributes too!). This is where I got the explanation above; it's as good as any.
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... ox.574545/
 #158205  by flyingheelhook
 Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:10 am
I hope this isn't a stupid question, but, hey, its me! :lol:

Does anyone see any issues using this with one of Mike Wald's buffers? Is having two buffers defeating the purpose? I am contemplating the SSBB for the tube preamp qualities, not so much the buffer qualities and wondering what it might do to enhance my Kemper Profiling Amp. Thoughts?
 #158206  by TeeJay
 Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:12 am
There wouldn't be any issues using the onboard and blackbox together but it would be redundant. The SBB is a phenomenal piece of gear in the right scenario but in my experience a guitar with the onboard jerry preamp it is not needed. No experience here with the profiling amps but my thought is that the SBB would not have much of a tone benefit in front of the kemper with your buffered guitar signal.
 #158234  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:46 am
flyingheelhook wrote:...wondering what it might do to enhance my Kemper Profiling Amp. Thoughts?
It's a game changer. As killer as the Kemper is, the input stage on the Kemper is not a tube and will never fully capture that kind of tonal and dynamic response from the instrument. A SGBB in front of a Kemper really does complete the setup and makes the Kemper's modeling and profiling sound a LOT more convincing. The SGBB really is arguably essential with most any modeling device. Guitar signals just MUST see a tube in there somewhere. Some things can't be faked, like a couple hundred volts swinging a guitar signal inside a 12AX7.

B
 #158235  by flyingheelhook
 Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:50 am
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:
flyingheelhook wrote:...wondering what it might do to enhance my Kemper Profiling Amp. Thoughts?
It's a game changer. As killer as the Kemper is, the input stage on the Kemper is not a tube and will never fully capture that kind of tonal and dynamic response from the instrument. A SGBB in front of a Kemper really does complete the setup and makes the Kemper's modeling and profiling sound a LOT more convincing. The SGBB really is arguably essential with most any modeling device. Guitar signals just MUST see a tube in there somewhere. Some things can't be faked, like a couple hundred volts swinging a guitar signal inside a 12AX7.

B
See, that is exactly what I was thinking. The Kemper IS KILLER, but putting a tube in the chain... now that gets me excited. Time to start planning finances!
 #158286  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:54 pm
In fact, I first met Weir back when he was touring with Further using the Digi Eleven Rack - modeling preamp. He had apparently bugged Digidesign/Avid about incorporating a real tube in there, but they made it clear they weren't interested in messing with tubes. Then I forget how, but he found me thru some players and decided the next best option would be to put a good tube buffer in front of the Eleven rack. He's got a few and has been using them since, one on his various electric rigs and one with his acoustic rig. In fact he just took delivery of yet another one last week.

He really felt like it was a game changer with the Digi modeler, but he's continued to use it in the front end of this chain, right after the wireless receivers that feed his Lehle switcher. So everything hits the Black Box and then on to his pedalboard.


B
 #160026  by flyingheelhook
 Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:28 am
yeah, I saw that. I've been trying to get a status update on my SGBB. Other than the paypal receipt, I have had no communication from him going on four weeks now. Was hoping to at least get an ETA, let alone acknowledgement of the order. I guess he is busy.