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Red Iron Amps Deluxe Buffer2

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Red Iron Buffer2 I like everything about boutique and custom amp-maker Red Iron Amps' Deluxe Buffer2 pre-amp/buffer amp. I like that it is a self-contained unit, it's handmade in the U.S. and not by slave labor in some third-world hell-hole, and does one thing wonderfully--and most of all--it uses tubes!

The Buffer2 is made to connect between the line level musical instrument outputs of guitar amp simulators, pedals, synths or any keyboard and the inputs to your recording system or amp. This two-channel unit will impart the warm "glow" of a well-designed tube amp to any signal. It has both volume and master tone controls for gain tricks like real tube overdrive and active tone bending.

Buffer2 is hand-wired, point-to-point old-school style and uses half of a 12AU7 tube for gain and tone control and the second half as a low impedance driver that will interface to any pro console, mic pre-amp or guitar amp. The 7 by 4-inch die-cast aluminum chassis looks great on any desktop with its '50's sci-fi look featuring chrome handles, spacey tube guard rings and a cool blue LED pilot light. Its design and construction also has a utilitarian purpose--it makes it less susceptible to stray electronic fields that could add hum and noise. Electronically, it has two low noise, highly filtered power supplies that run the tubes at full voltages instead of "starving" them like other units without proper power supplies.

I used the Buffer2 in my Tones4$ Studios between a small guitar amp simulator and two direct inputs to my Pro Tools rig. All I can say is how did I ever get along without this unit! It put the guitar sound in a whole new world--fatter, richer and more real!

You can easily overdrive Buffer2 for a broader, less clean sound and the tone control provides loads of high frequencies if you need them. I've now permanently set it up as an external processor for running any track within Pro Tools through it for a sound no software plug-in can duplicate.

It seems the simple things are always the best and Deluxe Buffer2 is simple to set up and simple to use. Buffer2 sells for $299 MSRP and for more information go to:

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