Just to give a bit of background, I use this rig board for guitar, bass and keys. I'll list everything in the order that it's in, in my chain and then give a brief description.
1. Jam Pedals Retrovibe - The newest pedal on the board but it's been a long time coming. I searched high and low for the "perfect" Univibe. After months of research, I decided to try out Jam Pedals. I was recently able to pick up this used Retrovibe for a smokin deal on Reverb. It perfectly replicates all that swirly goodness of Hendrix, Gilmour, Trower and the likes. It does everything you'd expect it to do and more. For instance, it's sorta like an EP boost in that it adds a special warmth to your tone that's just amazing. I need to get an expression pedal for it next. Very cool pedal. 10/10 recommend!
2. Big Muff Pi (Toy Machine) - This is just your typical classic large enclosure Big Muff Pi. I got it from a friend after I did some setup work on some of his guitars. I purchased a Big Muff re-housing kit from Griffin Effects via eBay and then swapped the guts over into the smaller enclosure. Now it's a LOT more pedal board real estate friendly. The re-housing kit came with a really cool Big Muff sticker but I decided to just use my own stickers instead. I love the Big Muff circuit on guitar but honestly I primarily use this for bass because it just sounds soooo nasty. If you've never played bass through a Big Muff, you should do it TODAY!
3. Mythos Fuzzy Face Kit - This was a fuzz face kit pedal that Zach from Mythos pedals offered in a limited batch a few years ago. It was a box of parts and instructions and I built/soldered it all out myself and did a fun 'paint pour' technique on the enclosure. THIS is my main fuzz for guitar. It's just that classic fuzz tone that made us all fall in love with fuzz in the first place. Super simple controls, just a volume and fuzz knob but there's also an internal bias pot, which I prefer to keep dialed in just a little hot. In conjunction with your guitars volume, it's an amazing fuzz for literally any application. I can get sputtery fuzz and then back it off for a really nice overdrive. It lets me do the classics like Hendrix or modern stuff like All Them Witches.
4. Xotic Effects EP Boost - I LOVE THIS PEDAL! It only has one knob but makes such a huge difference in your tone. It sounds amazing no matter where the dial is turned. This is another one of those pedals that adds warmth and dynamics to your tone. Its a really great take on the old Echoplex units of the 70's and how they added a special warmth. I mainly use it in one of two ways, as an 'always on' pedal with the knob turned all the way down OR as a traditional boost with the knob cranked to about half way or 3/4. This pedal made my entire rig sound better and will probably make yours sound better too! 10/10 recommend!
5. Analogman King of Tone V4 - The cornerstone of board. I waited exactly 4 years, 11 months and 2 weeks to get to the top of the KOT waiting list. AnalogMike was ever so kind as to accommodate my custom color request. This KOT is normal gain left side and high gain right side. I use the right on distortion or overdrive mode (depending on what I'm playing) and the left side as a dedicated boost. It's simply the best overdrive I've ever played. The boost side is 'always on' for me. This pedal is just a great general use gain pedal. You can do anything from classic rock to more modern rock with it. It stacks great with other boost, drive & fuzz pedals too, leaving infinite sonic possibilities! All hail the King!
6. MXR 5150 Distortion - This is my go-to for a more modern gain structure or distortion. Don't get me wrong, it'll easily cover the classics and sounds great at low gain settings but it also has a great modern type gain with super nice mids. That's where this pedal really shines. The 3 band eq really makes it easy to sculpt your tone. There's also a 20db boost and a super nice noise gate built in! In the complete spectrum of gain pedals, I feel that this is a very underrated gain pedal.
7. MXR 10 Band EQ - Because I use this pedal board for guitar, bass and keys, I might sometimes need to tweak things to make it sound better for a certain type of instrument - this 10 band eq lets me do that super quick. Other times I might use it as a simple gain/volume boost, as it has a surprising amount of gain on tap, and it sounds killer! I like this old version better because it's black as opposed to the newer silver version. And besides, who doesn't love sliders? Sliders are awesome! It's a very handy pedal if you play multiple electric instruments or if you just obsess over tone. It really lets you make some nice adjustments that are truly noticeable.
8. Analogman ARDX20 - This is the Analogman Dual Analog Delay pedal. These are super hard to get as they sell out almost immediately from the AnalogMan website. It took me several months to finally be able to catch them in-stock and actually get one. The repeats sound amazing and the controls aren't complicated. This pedal, like the EP Boost, also adds a certain warmth to your circuit. In my opinion, the coolest thing about this pedal is that it's actually two delays in one box. I have one setting set for a fast slap back delay, for a Brian Setzer rockabilly type delay and then the other channel set to a longer delay, for a Gilmour'ish type delay. And the coolest part of this pedal is that I can easily switch between my two preset settings just by hitting the left switch. I want also want to let it be known that this unit is capable of some really nice tape delay sounds too. All in all, probably one of the best analog delay pedals on the market, as far as sound and functionality.
9. Strymon Flint - This might be the best pedal on my board. It does so much - Spring, Plate and Hall 'verbs plus 3 types of tremolos!! Simply put, I believe this is THE BEST Reverb pedal on the market and I honestly tried dozens and dozens. This pedal is digital but the actual effect does not sound digital, like some reverbs have a tendency to sound. The spring reverb is so clean and the closest you'll get to real spring reverb without actually having springs. The Plate and Hall are great as well as are the tremolos. Strymon make some really good boxes, you might pay a little more for them but they are worth it. I tell everyone to buy a Flint and an EP Booster because they are undeniably two of the best pedals ever made. Period.
10. Ditto Looper TC Electronics - I use the looper for writing and jamming. It records riffs and loops them back and you can play over them. Super easy controls, with only a level knob to determine the volume of the loop. Easy enough, right? I also dig it because it's tiny and doesn't take up much space on my board. They make a Deluxe version of this pedal with some additional functionality but this compact one works best for me.
11. OneSpot CS12 power supply - The unit that powers this creature! I bought this CS12 power supply years ago when they first came out and this has literally been one of the best pieces of terminal gear that I've ever bought. It's perfect in every way. I love that I can plug so many pedals into it. It has spots for 9, 12 and 18v pedals. Some of the spots are adjustable between 9/12volts, all the milliamps are listed for each spot and one spot even has a variable voltage 9v spot - so that means you can turn a small set screw to your desired voltage (from 4v -9v), plug in a fuzz pedal and it simulates that cool dying battery tone that fuzz pedals do when their batteries are about to die. It's a super quiet power supply also, no background noise at all. It's been a joy to own. I will use it until it stops working and if & when that time comes, I'll get another CS12 exactly like it. Worth every penny. 10/10 recommend!
In wiring this board, I used a combination of Rattlesnake patch cables, G&H patch cables and some other custom length cables that I've soldered myself. Each pedal has a Moog pedal topper on it. These make it exceptionally easier to connect with your pedals, plus it gives your board an added pop of color.
I purchased a pedalboard cleanup kit from eBay. It came 100 small 3M brackets and small zip ties. I slowly started putting the 3M brackets down and zip tying all the cables to them. The cable cleanup process can sometimes be a bit overwhelming at first but once you get started, it gets easier and it looks a million times better once you're finished.
I play literally every genre of music so I tend to buy pedals with more than one purpose or function because I like my rig to be as versatile as it can be at all times. I also don't like really overly complicated pedals with a million knobs, buttons and/or internal switches. I really prefer to keep everything as simple as possible but it always has to sound good. Thats the bottom line and always my number one priority. It has to sound good!
About a million years ago, I used to run a blog called EffectsBay. On that blog, the most popular feature I would run was Pedal Line Friday. This is where readers of the site would send pics of their pedalboard and a short (sometimes long) write-up of routing and thoughts about specific pedals and the reasoning why they liked it, etc. Readers. loved this. It was a great way to learn about new applications or techniques regarding pedals. It also brought a little inspiration and knowledge about pedals you were not familiar with. It also brought a great sense of community - people like sharing and absorbing cool things, right? It was a super popular feature, and I loved putting them together.
All you have to do is send a pic of your pedalboard (or pedal line - it doesn't have to be on a board) along with a short (or long) write-up of the board. We want a list of pedals (manufacturer/model), routing would be great, and, most importantly, why you use those particular pedals. Also, this is a great way to promote your band or musical project - include that information as well!
You can send the pic and the write-up to email@example.com.
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