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If you follow the Pedal Haven Instagram account, you know that we were recently lucky enough to win the Haunted Labs Zombie Buffer Giveaway that they ran last month! This was rather exciting for me, because I have personally been on the lookout for a buffer pedal for quite some time – good timing!
Anyway, I recently just got the package in the mail, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the Zombie Buffer by Haunted Labs.
What Does a Buffer Pedal Do?
First of all, let’s talk about what a buffer pedal does.
When you run your guitar signal through lengths of cables and pedals, your tone may not always come out sounding the way you had hoped. This is because every cable and pedal can slightly distort the frequencies that are fed into them from your guitar, so once your signal reaches your amplifier’s input, it sounds like a weak mess. This atrocity is often referred to as “Tone Suck”, since losing these frequencies literally sucks the tone from your guitar signal.
This is where a buffer pedal comes in handy! A buffer pedal helps bring the life back into your guitar signal. A buffer pedal is an active circuit that restores the high & mid frequencies that are often lost while your signal traverses through cables and true-bypass effect pedals. Ultimately, if you are experiencing issues with your guitar tone sounding dead, or just not up-to-par with what you had hoped, it may be worthwhile to invest in a buffer pedal when learning how to set up a pedalboard.
The Zombie Buffer from Haunted Labs
Haunted Labs is a boutique pedal building company, and they create some amazing works of art when it comes to pedals. Thanks to their giveaway, I was able to get my hands on The Zombie Buffer that they offer here on their reverb store.
Now, the Zombie Buffer has no knobs or footswitches – just an input jack, output jack, an LED, and a 9v power supply jack – so there is not a lot to talk about, in terms of settings. However, what we can talk about is the pedal’s undeniable ability to restore the life to my tone.
From the moment I hooked the Zombie Buffer up to my pedalboard and saw that hauntingly blue LED light up, I was excited. Haunted Labs really did an excellent job at capturing the “100% Transparent Clean Buffer” aspect of the Zombie Buffer. This buffer really does have the ability to bring tone back from the grave, without changing the way your overall tone should sound.
Our Thoughts on the Zombie Buffer from Haunted Labs
I use a lot of fuzz and dirt pedals, and I am always suffering from my tone becoming muddy and getting lost under the bass and cymbal sounds in a live setting. The Zombie Buffer pedal helped restore the lost high end & mid-range tones in my signal, and really helps ensure that my tone is cutting through the mix – while sounding crisp and clear. I am not sure how I went for so long without a buffer pedal in my signal chain.
The Zombie Buffer is a truly transparent clean buffer, and it acts exactly as you would expect. It provides a more ideal input impedance to your signal chain – helping reduce “Tone Suck”, and provide a more crisp tone.
Outside of its fantastic performance in terms of tone restoration, the Zombie Buffer’s 1590A-sized enclosure artwork is very eye-catching. Portraying a haunted scene of a reanimated zombie hand protruding from the grave, the Zombie Buffer really showcases exactly what it is doing to your signal. The pedal has scuffing around the LED of the pedal, showing the bare metal underneath the paint. Perhaps this signifies the haunting spreading from the deep interior of the pedal. Finally, this pedal has a hauntingly blue LED that signifies that the pedal is working. The LED is always on. A constant reminder that it is resurrecting your once-dead tone.
In the end, the Zombie Buffer by Haunted Labs is a fantastic solution to the dreaded “Tone Suck” that we all fear. I would encourage anybody to go check out the Haunted Labs website and Reverb shop for more details on this Zombie Buffer!