Monday, May 24

It is finished.

Well, it finally got here.

I put my order in just about six weeks ago, and my Loopmaster bypass strip, tap tempo and pedal board bypass arrived today. I had about ten things to do today, but upon finding a long, thin package on my doorstep this afternoon, I put aside non-childish things and spent the better part of the day getting things set up. Step one (cut a hole in the box?) was to take a side trip to the he-who-must-not-be-named and pick up some more patch cables. And by some, I mean lots. I ended up going with a kit (or three) made by LiveWire, simply because I needed to get the biggest number of cables at as cheap a price as I could, and I got these for around $6 per cable. And it's DIY, meaning that I got every size I needed without any guesswork, which was a huge plus. I am planning, some day, maybe, on getting some really nice cables of the solder variety, simply because, well, I could have paid just a bit more and gotten fantastic cables instead of generic ones, but I also play on a weekly basis and could not have waited for shipping. But first impressions are that they conduct signal passably well. I did have a digital multimeter on hand to check them after assembly, and had to re-assemble two of the twelve I made, so that saved me tons of stress.

The little box next to the strip is a tap tempo. I used the Boss FS-5U for a long time, and it works perfectly, but I could never get velcro to stick to it, and it took up an awful lot of space for a tap tempo, so I went ahead and got one while I was ordering. All the functionality, 1/4 of the size. The box next to that, with the fun stickers on it, is called a pedal board bypass. Basically, I've got everything routed so that I have one consistent and easy-to-reach place to plug in my guitar and amp (marked G and A, respectively), instead of having to find the right place on the bypass strip or to track down which pedal is last and first in my chain. A small touch, but I really like it. I was also going to try to zip-tie it to the bottom of my pedal board, underneath the wah in my picture here so that the I/O ports would seem to almost be a part of the pedal board, but there wasn't quite enough clearance. Still good this way, though, because I can see what I'm doing.

And so, for the last time (until I completely change my setup again...), my chain is:

Guitar -> Strymon OB. 1 -> Loopmaster bypass strip:
1. Vox Wah
2. Boss GE-7
3. Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
4. Keeley DS-1
5. Voodoo Labs Tremolo
6. Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
7. Line 6 DL4 -> Boss DD-7 (with tap tempo)
Tuner out: Hardwire HT-2 tuner
-> Amp.

The logic here is that the Strymon compressor is always on, and is true bypass anyway, so it doesn't need to be in a loop. The bypass strip has a master bypass switch, so I can clear out everything and go guitar -> compressor -> amp when I feel like it, and it has a tuner out so that's not in my signal path anymore (though I really don't mind that particular tuner's sound when it's off). The only other thing I have to say is that it's almost like Loopmaster makes their stuff specifically for Pedaltrain pedal boards. The bypass strip fits perfectly on one slat, with the right angle cables hanging neatly down through the first open space. Very orderly and awesome.

I'll leave you with a spaceship shot, since I've never done it and I now have like twice as many LEDs looking back up at me. Happy pedal board day!


  1. Gorgeous.

    Especially the space ship one. :)

  2. Thanks Karl! My favorite part is that, having things finally sort of set gives me a lot of confidence to explore what I have, so when I show up to a random gig, I can get any tone I need just because I know my board. And, of course, I can see it in the dark. :D