Review: Morley Buffer Boost

While true-bypass pedals are designed to preserve the integrity of your guitar’s signal, using several true-bypass pedals chained together can still result in wimpy tone.

That’s because the excess lengths of cable needed to connect everything together can suck a lot of frequencies from a signal by the time it reaches the end of the chain. The Morley Buffer Boost features a buffer circuit that gives your guitar’s signal an extra push at the front or back of the signal chain to maintain level and tone, and it also provides up to 20dB of clean boost that you can engage for solos.


The Morley Buffer Boost is not an effect but rather an essential tool that remains in constant use when it’s patched into your signal chain. The boost function features a footswitch for engaging it as needed, and the boost level control lets you dial in the amount of clean boost you need, from the slight nudge of 1dB to the full-on assault of 20dB. Other features include 1/4-inch mono input and output jacks and a jack for a nine-volt adapter (it can also operate with a nine-volt battery).


To preserve the integrity of a guitar’s natural tone, it’s best to place the Morley Buffer Boost in front of a pedal board, but some effects may get overloaded when you engage the boost function. Placing the Buffer Boost behind the pedal board effects avoids this problem, although the boost function can also boost noise that results from a less-powerful signal going through the effects first. I preferred how the Buffer Boost sounded up front, as the strong signal decreased the signal-to-noise ratio in the effects and eliminated the cumulative white noise sizzle from using several unbuffered effects at once.


Morley’s Buffer Boost is an essential tool for anyone who uses several true-bypass pedals and wants to preserve their guitar’s natural tone whether using effects or boosting the signal for solos.


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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.