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RJM Tone Saver

Audio Buffer / Isolated Splitter
1995 :-
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Maximize your tone!

The Tone Saver is the same audio buffer circuit found in our high end audio switching products such as the Mini Effect Gizmo and the Rack Gizmo, but placed in a compact pedal sized enclosure. This is an ideal addition to any pedal board or rack system.

Any time you add effects or long cables to your guitar rig, you will lose some of your guitar's tone. The treble will start to roll off, resulting in a dull tone that is missing some of the life it had when you you were plugging straight into the amp. This can happen whether you're using true bypass effects or using effects that have low quality buffers in them. Adding the Tone Saver will properly buffer your guitar's signal, greatly diminishing any tone loss and bringing back the sparkle and detail you were missing. The vast majority of pro guitar rigs will include one or more buffers for this reason.

The Tone Saver runs on 9 volts like most effects pedals, but internally converts that 9 volts up to 18 volts, which results in increased audio performance and more headroom than you'll ever need. There is also a transformer isolated output that allows you to split your guitar's signal to a tuner or second amp without signal loss or hum due to ground loops.

Note: the first Tone Saver was sent to Dave Friedman of Rack Systems. Dave used it for Steve Lukather?s new pedalboard. You can see the pedalboard on rig-talk.com or hugerackinc.com

A few days ago we were having a conversation with a rig builder who uses a lot of RJM gear. The conversation turned to how confused most guitarists are about buffers and tone as well as how many myths are out there.

With the release of our newest product, the Tone Saver, we think it is time to do a bit of Buffer/Tone Myth-Busting.

First, take this quick quiz below and discover if you are a tone and buffer genius or myth-educated newbie!

(True or False)

1. Buffers ?step? on your tone.

2. Buffers are boosters

3. Buffers make your tone sound sterile

4. Buffers are digital

5. Buffers cause noise or make the tone unnatural

6. True bypass is better than a buffer

7. All buffers are like the buffers found in boss pedals

8. Buffers are only needed in systems with long cable runs.

9. Buffers can not be used in an fx loop

10. Rigs only ever need a maximum of one buffer.

Answers (scroll down)

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1. Buffers ?step? on your tone.
False. The truth is that it is completely the opposite. A well-designed buffer preserves tone. The whole purpose of a buffer is to prevent the loss of tone through all your cables and true bypass pedals.

2. Buffers are boosters
False. The intent of a buffer isn?t to make the signal louder but to make the signal stronger. Most buffers do come with a boost feature and that has likely lead to confusion.

3. Buffers make your tone sound sterile
False. A well-designed buffer doesn?t make tone sound sterile. If you have sterile tone, you have a bad buffer.

4. Buffers are digital and digital is bad
False. Buffers are actually 100% analog.

5. Buffers cause noise or make the tone unnatural
False. A well-designed buffer does not cause noise or make the tone unnatural. A well-designed buffer doesn?t sound like it is there. It is preventing tone loss. A buffer is not supposed to change the tone at all. Keeps tone as natural as possible. It counteracts the other bad things you have in rig.

6. ?True Bypass? is better
False. True bypass and buffers really work together. True bypass is good for pedals because you don?t want all your pedals altering tone all the time. Some pedals even when bypassed can still affect tone negatively. The buffer is a way to deal with that and keep the bypass pedals from affecting your tone.

True bypass pedals are better than not having true bypass pedals but the idea is to have your guitar sounding like it is plugged straight into your amp when all your pedals are off. A combo of true bypass and buffer is the closest you?re going to get to plugging into your amp.

7. All buffers are like the buffers found in those in the popular mass-market pedals
False. Buffers in most of the popular mass-market pedals not well-designed. They will definitely alter tone. Don?t let those popular products fool you into thinking all buffers are the same. They aren?t.

8. Buffers are only needed in systems with long cable runs.
False. Not necessarily. The longer the cable, the more dramatic the change. But as soon as you add anything to your rig, you start losing tone. If you add a pedal, you add a second cable, and every time you add another pedal, you add yet another cable. You start to lose tone right away so a buffer helps in small rigs too.

9. Buffers cannot be used in an fx loop
False. It depends on your effects loop design. You can always use a buffer in fx loops but how much effect it has depends on your fx loop, cables, effects and everything. There are some fx loops that are better than others.

Our buffer (the Tone Saver) is really good for an fx loop because it runs at 18v internally and can handle the hotter signal coming out of fx loop. It will likely improve tone depending on the quality of everything else you are using.

10. Rigs only ever need a maximum of one buffer.
False. Like everything else it depends on your rig and what you are running. You may even need more than a few.

Score Yourself!

If you scored 10 right: You are a TONE MASTER! Congratulations on not falling for all the myths out there.

If you scored a 5 to a 9: You are getting there with your tone but with just a bit more info you?ll be a tone master very soon.

If you scored 0-4: Sorry, you haven?t done well on the Tone/Buffer test but if you study the answers above, you can impress your friends by correcting their tone too and misconceptions!

If you are wondering if your tone would improve by adding a buffer, then why not try the Tone Saver in your own rig and see if it helps. RJM has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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