BUILT USING TOP-QUALITY COMPONENTS, and point-to-point wired by boutique amp guru Paul Sanchez, the Buffer2 ($399 direct) adds genuine tube goodness to signals from amp modelers, effects pedals, or any other source that could benefit from being routed through a 12AU7 tube circuit on its way to a mixer or recorder (there are two discrete channels for stereo or dual mono operation). And with its candy apple red finish, retro-futuristic chrome tube guards and roll bars, white chicken head knobs, and a cool blue LED it adds a touch of class to any studio.
First, I tested the Buffer2 with a Line 6 POD. With the Volume controls at 12 o’ clock, it fattened up the modeled amp sounds and endowed them with greater dimensionality, harmonic complexity, and sustain. I got equally impressive results when I substituted a buffered delay pedal for the POD, using the Buffer2 as a preamplifier— and even plugging a guitar directly into it yielded a full-bodied clean tone. I also inserted the Buffer2 into mixer channels in Digital Performer and routed various signals through it—including those from plug-in amp simulators—with wonderful results in all cases. My only quibble is that the inputs and outputs are neither labeled nor logically located (the outputs are next to the Volume knobs).
This is one of those “secret sauce”-type devices that you don’t know you need until you get a taste—and then you find everything comparatively less satisfying without it. The Buffer2 isn’t cheap, but the results are priceless, and it receives an Editors’ Pick Award.
KUDOS Stylish looks. Superb construction. Gorgeous sound.
CONCERNS Controls and inputs not labeled.
CONTACT (512) 376-2939; redironamps.com.