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In a recent question, I asked some questions about buffers in guitar effects loops.

One answer that I received which was interesting basically stated that I did not need a buffer for my effects send loop on my amplifier. It was also stated that Boss pedals all have an internal buffer.

My question is: in what circumstances would I want or need a buffer? There seems to be a market for them as major manufacturers build buffer pedals, but I'm looking for the actual use-case in which to use one.

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    Almost any powered pedal acts as a buffer (unless it's true bypass and switched off). – topo Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '19 at 18:40
  • Note that the "Waza Craft" range by Boss have a redesigned buffer, so their effect on your signal chain will be different from standard Boss pedals. – Your Uncle Bob Jul 25 '19 at 19:35
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If you have a long cable run from your guitar to your amp, and/or you have a lot of true bypass pedals chained together between your guitar and amp, and you feel like your guitar tone isn’t quite right, then a buffer may help your tone.

If you love the sound of your guitar plugged right into your amp with a short cable, and it doesn’t sound as good when you use a longer cable or put your pedalboard in the signal chain, then a buffer might help get you back to that plugged right in tone over long distance or with all your pedals.

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Todd has covered when you would want to use a buffer - just to mention that there are also times when you actively would not want to use a buffer, such as before some wah-wah or fuzz pedals - these often sound better first in your chain, when they "see" the pickups directly.

Standalone buffers are an item with a fairly specific use... I've never had a need for one.

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