Friday, January 28

Pedalboard update for January

Okay, so what started out as me just wanting to add a few pedals turned into a full-blown cable-building frenzy which has only just now concluded. And the end result is probably the slickest 'board I've ever put together. Mostly because, when I was in Home Depot looking for a wire stripper, I came across some cable tie mounts which were running $2 for 10 of them, so I said, "Why not?" I also ran across a quality multimeter which I needed and a 10-foot piece of 2x10 that eventually became a soldering workstation, but that's neither here nor there. Point is, new pedalboard!

 As you can see, there's a lot of new stuff on there. The current signal chain is:

Guitar -> JHS Little Black Buffer -> Strymon OB. 1 Compressor -> volume pedal -> loopmaster bypass strip:
Tuner out: Hardwire tuner
1. - Fulltone Fulldrive 2
2. - Boss BD-2 (Keeley mod)
3. - Pigtronix Aria Disnortion
4. - Voodoo Labs Tremolo
5. - 2 Boss DD-7s
6. - Line 6 DL4
7. - Boss RV-5
-> BBE Sonic Stomp -> Amp

That's a lot of changes. The astute readers will note that things look an awful lot like Daniel Carson's latest board. That's not entirely by accident. I prefer to think of it as a blend between him and James Duke. Mostly, the fact that we've got a volume pedal, a compressor and a tubescreamer of some kind that's almost always on. I actually had an MXR Dynacomp for about a day that I'd gotten used from guitar center for $40, but it had this nasty mechanical throbbing sound that was probably some sort of malfunction, so back it went, but it reopened my eyes to how much a compressor really adds to a guitar. Does it color my sound? Sure, everything does. But I think I like my tone better (95% of the time) with my OB.1 in the loop.

I also blatantly stole the dual DD-7's synced to a single tap tempo from Carson, but it's great. I love the DD-7, and I've been trying to find a delay like it so I can run dotted 8ths on one and quarters on the other, or quarters and halfs, or just have one doing reverse and one analog, or anything like that. I kept trying out tons of different delays to make it work, when it turns out that all I needed was just another DD-7. And if you're going to try to sync them yourselves, be forewarned; it's hard to find a cable that will do what you want it to do. It's not a good idea from an audio perspective to split your signal like that, so no one really manufactures a cable that will do precisely that, because there's no market for it. I had to invent my own using three separate hunks of cable and a whole lot of solder. But it was fun, and now things are awesome.

They also both have the RV-5. I wanted the RV-3 for a long time. I don't really want to pay $130 for a pedal that was $80 a year ago, though. I don't care about Radiohead. Also, the RV-5 has a modulated reverb that everyone seems to love. Just got it in the mail today, slapped it on, and considered my board to be complete. But the modulated reverb does sound sweet.

Here's what I'm particularly proud (and anal) about:

Yep. All those glorious cable ties. I got some black ones while I was at Home Depot. And you can see my JHS buffer, still hanging out underneath there on the left side, still making my tone awesome without giving away that he's the one to blame for the awesomeness. Booyah.

So that's that. For now. Board rigged up with a bypass looper, a great buffer, and Canare GS-6 cables with G&H Showstopper plugs. I can't possibly complain about my board's tone-sucking abilities anymore. Now any sucking that happens is my own fault. Or my amp/guitar's......


  1. great pedalboard, for what i see everything is going in front of the amp, have you consider the amps effect loops for your effects? and just running the dirty effects in front?

  2. you voodoo lab pedal power can hold that much power?