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Thread: Cutlass buffer bypass

  1. #1

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    Cutlass buffer bypass

    Anybody here tried to bypass the buffer on a cutlass? Im having troubles with some fuzz pedals I really enjoy - hoping for some suggestions
    All the Best
    Niels

  2. #2

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    I haven’t tried that, but I’ve sent my Cutlass through all sorts of fuzz with no issues. What fuzz are you using and what is happening?
    Last edited by radrock; 02-08-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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  3. #3

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    I use a fuzzfactory, a Rufus and a fuzzface - the Sound is All wrong with the cutlass - exactly the same way as if the pedals were after a buffered pedal - the Pick attack, the High end etc All Sounds very wrong

  4. #4

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    Yup, buffers and some fuzz pedals don't get along. The buffer is on a circuit board with the pots and silent circuit so there is no way to bypass only the buffer.

    You could in principle add a switch to bypass the pots/circuit board and go straight from the output of the selector switch to the jack, but you'd have no volume and tone pot and you may have difficulty finding a good position for the additional switch.

    You could try removing the stock pots/circuit board assembly and replacing it with standard pots for volume and tone (250kΩ for SSS model, 500kΩ for the HSS model). You'd lose the silent circuit but you'd have no buffer. At least one forum member has already done that and they happily reported that pickups sound just as good!
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    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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  5. #5

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    Cool - thanks for the answer����

  6. #6

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    I think with the Fuzz Face based pedals, the guitar volume control pretty much becomes part of the fuzz circuit. With a buffered pedal in front of it, doesn't really work well. However, honestly it's a flaw in the design of the fuzz pedal. Other fuzz pedals like the Big Muff have an internal buffer to avoid problems like this.

    I don't want to think what kind of issues you'd have trying to plug a guitar like the Steve Morse into a Fuzz Face, given how it interacts with the onboard guitar circuitry. Guitars with multiple volume controls also have issues.
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  7. #7

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    I have mad professor royal overdrive and the fire red fuzz, and Mad professor suggests to use both pedals without buffer.
    Music Man Cutlass RS HSS

  8. #8

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    Yes. That's important because our guitar tone is shaped by a combination of the pickups, pots, cable capacitance and the input impedance of the first device the guitar sees. Those two pedals (like many vintage pedals) have a low input impedance, which effectively is a high frequency tone suck, removing the pickups resonant peak and high frequencies, just like rolling down a tone control part way. That's an important part of how the circuit does it's thing. That's also why low input impedence pedals don't work well after buffered pedals with a high input impedence.

    Of course most amplifiers have a high input impedance. The difference in tone when plugging into non-true bypass vintage pedals and plugging straight into an amplifier is very noticeable. This is part of the reason why pedal manufactureres gradually moved towards designs with a similar high input impedance (and true bypass if the low input impedence buffer was required). The Cutlass buffer circuit is designed to act as if you had a cable and plugged into a high impedence buffer, retaining the required tone of the guitar no matter what cable length of input impedence you plug into. Very useful. Except with vintage-style fuzz pedals that don't anticipate full frequency spectrum of the guitar.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

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