Effectrode Glass-A Buffer

Triode Buffer reviewsThe closing track on Pink Floyd’s, A Momentary Lapse of Reason is a moaning driver of a song called ‘Sorrow.’ It’s a song that by many accounts was written almost exclusively by David Gilmour. Various interviews and reports tell us a number of things about the tones on that specific track. For instance, Gilmour ditched the use of his Fender Stratocaster in favor of a Steinberger GL ‘headless’ guitar. For amps he used a small Gallien-Krueger and a Fender Super Champ. He turned on the TransTrem and ran the whole thing into a ‘Boss Heavy Metal distortion pedal and a Boss digital delay pedal, which then goes into the Fender Super Champ. That in combination with the internal distortion on the Gallien-Krueger was how [he] got that particular sound.’ And, it’s quite the sound for sure.

Gilmore’s signature tones (it’s in the fingers, right?) are one of the many reasons that Effectrode just announced that it’s releasing a limited number of their newly minted Glass-A Buffers to the world. The Glass-A is a pedal with a very singular job, ‘buffer the output signal from a musical instrument fitted with a high impedance pickups or transducer. The Glass-A buffers the pickup from cables and effect pedals input stages to prevent ‘loading’ which dulls and degrades the instrument’s tone.’ This particular buffer uses Philips N.O.S. (new old stock) 6111 subminiature tubes. One of the reason the pedal is coming out in limited edition, is because when they run out of these particular components, they can’t make anymore like them. And, according to Effectrode, “subminiture tubes represent the absolute pinnacle of tube technology and offer exceptional musical performance and reliability making this the perfect buffer pedal for studio and touring in even the harshest conditions.

If it’s good enough for Mr. Gilmour…

Here are the features in bullet point:

  • All Tube: 100% pure analogue vacuum tube audio path operating at amp plate voltages ensures the GL-1A buffer has phenomenal headroom and very quiet, natural sound reproduction. Each tube is burned in for 24 hours and every GL-1A pedal tested and hand assembled by the designer to make sure it is perfect.
  • Frequency Response: Essentially flat between 5Hz-100KHz ±0.1dB. Lower -3dB break frequency is below 2Hz. Upper -3dB break frequency is above 200KHz.
  • Class-A operation: Pure class-A operation ensures outstanding detail and resolution. Caution! This little pedal runs hot!
  • Input impedance: Greater than 1MΩ.
  • Output impedance: Less than 500Ω.
  • Fitted with N.O.S Philips tube: Each GL-1A buffer is fitted with a hand-selected 6111 subminiature tube. This is one of the finest tubes ever built by any manufacturer at any time in history.
  • True Bypass Switching: Automatically defaults to bypass when power is removed.
  • Includes 12V Wall-wart Power Supply: High quality low-noise switched mode 12VDC at 1.5A wall-wart compatible with all our pedals. Accepts 100V to 240VAC mains input and comes with different mains outlet adaptor plugs, so there is always a plug that fits the country that you are playing in.

For those of you who would like to learn a little bit more about tube buffer technology and how it all works. Here is a great article (not for the faint of heart) on how it all works and why it all matters from the folks at Effectrode. As always, come on over to Pedal Finder and leave a review about this box if you get close enough to play it. And here’s David Gilmour performing Sorrow live:


Author: pedaladmin

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  1. and note that in the video you show him playing the song in the discussion is not his Steinberger but indeed his strat, and I happen to know in that concert (and others) he is using a Russian Big Muff for distortion in combination with a Butler TUbe Driver. Not that Effectrode doesnt make great products, but Glimour gets “gilmour” sound in many ways, and none of us have his brain and fingers. Effectrode’s Fire Bottle can help achieve many Gilmour tone, and for a long while he used their compressor as well. Not sure what he is using currently.

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    • Thanks for the clarifications Doc. Like I’d expect, Gilmour has probably toyed with a ton of effects over the years and this probably contributes to the reason his music is still relevant decades after they’ve been composed and recorded.

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