My Pedalboard Aug 2008

I’ve had a few requests for pictures and explanations of my pedalboard. Here ya go!

click for bigger image

click for bigger image

The signal path starts at the bottom right and moves leftward on the board. The output of #5 plugs into the input of #4 and continues leftward. This make the signal chain look like this:


This is a standard method of effects order (DYNAMICS, TONE, MODULATION, then TIME-BASED EFFECTS). Others do it differently, but I’ve found doing things the traditional way keeps my signal chain as clean as possible. You’ll also notice that I prefer narrow, smaller pedals to the bigger units. This is also intentional.

And, of course, go ANALOG whenever possible, and stay away from the newer digital junk that is being passed off as good pedals nowadays. You will find no Digitech, Zoom, Behringer, etc. on my board. I have spent the last several years doing away with all my digital junk and upgrading to high quality analog gear. It is time consuming and expensive, but the TONE is unbelieveable!

Below are descriptions and comments about each pedal, in pictured order:

1. Line 6 Echo Park: This is the only piece of Line 6 gear that I own. I tried LOTS of delay pedals. I just happened to like this one. I love how compact it is for the features it has. TAP TEMPO was a dealbreaker – I had to have it, and this is one of the smallest pedals around that has that feature. I am generally not a fan of Line 6 (particularly their modulation pedals, amp modelers, etc.) but I had to make the rare exception for this pedal.

2. Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Phaser: This is actually a 70’s vintage model, and belonged to my Dad. It has a super deep, spacey sweep to it that I really love.

3. Analogman Bi-Chorus: Analogman gear is highly sought after in the guitar world. Analog Mike has a huge website and mail order company that promotes older analog pedals, offers mods for popular pedals, and sells some of his own unique creations. This chorus pedal is based on a vintage Electro-Harmonix Small Clone circuit, but has modifications that are really handy. For example, the original Small Clone did not have a depth knob, but raher just a switch between two presets. For me, it always seemed like one was too flangey, and the other was too swirly – there wasn’t an in-between. The Bi-Chorus is actually two chorus settings side-by-side that you can toggle back and forth. This allows you to have a slower chorus sound and a faster, more “rotary” sound both already dialed in the way you want them.

4. Boss TR-2 Tremolo: A basic, easy to find trem pedal. One of the downsides of this pedal is that you lose a little volume and punch with the pedal in the ON position. So in the future, this will be going back for the Analogman mod to correct that problem.

5. Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff: This is one of the newer offerings from the recently rejuvenated Electro-Harmonix. I used to own an older USA Big Muff and a Russian reissue Big Muff. But I liked this one because it was small, and because it offered classic fuzz tone with a lot of sustain. The truth is I don’t use classic fuzz tones very much, so this is used more as my “3rd option” pedal behind the other two main distortions.

6. DOD FX40B Graphic EQ: This is one of the weaker units in my signal chain. I wouldn’t have purchased this pedal today – but since I already owned it and it was available, and it served a specific purpose, I made the exception. But I don’t really use it for much tone-shaping or EQ-tweaking. I primarily use it as a boost pedal. The first slider on the pedal is a gain adjustment. So I basically use this pedal as a gain boost AFTER my two main distortions. This allows me to have a lead boost without screwing up my tone.

7. Boss DS-1/Super/MidRange Analogman Mod: This is not a stock DS-1 pedal. It has been sent away to Analogman for his Super and MidRange mods. The stock pedal is fairly thin and buzzy sounding, with a loss in low end. After the mod, the pedal is a bit louder with all knobs at 12:00, and a much thicker, fuller sound, with no high end tinny buzzing. Just a true distortion sound, a lot less like the sound you get out of a pedal. It replaces many of the cheap components that Boss uses with expensive, high grade audio parts. Analogman also re-equalized the pedal for a punchier sound without adding more distortion or noise. The mod actually removes a ton of high frequency noise from the pedal. The DS-1 has quite a scooped midrange, especially stock. This is cool for heavier modern sounds but sometimes too thin in the mids for classic distortion sounds, especially through a Fender type amp. So it has a mod to allow dialing in more mids for more of a classic tube amp sound. They added a small MIDRANGE knob on the side of the pedal. It has the exact stock midrange setting and sound at about 10:00. Turning it up gives more midrange and a little more volume. It works along with the TONE control. I use this pedal for my heavier, Marshall-ish distortion sounds.

8. Boss SD-1/808 Analogman Mod: Everyone knows that the best overdrive pedal ever made was the original Ibanez Tubescreamer TS-808. But as true vintage ones are going on Ebay for over $350, they’re just a bit pricey! Well one of the lesser known facts is that the Boss SD-1 is a very similar sounding pedal, and was basically a copy of the original Tubescreamer circuit (although with some Boss tweaks along the way). So I bought a cheap SD-1, and sent it to Analogman for his 808 mod. They change out some of the cheaper components and replace them with high-grade audio parts. They upgrade capacitors, they replace the switching components, etc. The end result is the sound of an original Tubescreamer! I love this pedal and use it all the time. When the distortion level is low, it is a vey warm bluesy boost. When you crank up the distortion, all kinds of tones from SRV to Eric Johnson can be acheived.

9. Ernie Ball VP Junior Passive Volume Pedal. This is a stock Ernie Ball volume pedal – no mods or fuss. it just simply always works and has a very smooth taper (unlike the piece of crap Dunlop volume pedal I used to have.)

10. Analogman Mini Bi-Comp: Ahhhh, another “secret sauce” pedal. This is basically two different compressor pedals in one body, both created by Analogman. A long time ago, there was the MXR DynaComp – a nice little compressor pedal. But it had some quirks. The ROSS mod was popular among recording artists as a fix for the inherent uneven-ness. Enter Analogman, who came in posession of the orginal ROSS specs and now offers that same great sound to anyone. So the LEFT side of the Mini-Bi-Comp is a Ross Dynacomp. On the RIGHT side, however is a clone of Dan Armstrong’s Orange Squeezer compressor, whose sound is forever immortalized on the opening riff of “Sweet Home Alabama” and is also prominently featured in the Dire Straits song, “Sultans of Swing”. The squeezer side lets the pick attack through, and then absolutely squashes the rest of the signal – it’s a rather cool sound! I used both of these compressors extensively when I play. One side or the other of this pedal is on at all times.

11. Tomb of the Unknown Tuner: Actually, my tuner croaked, and I will be buying a replacement soon. I am looking seriously at the new KORG PitchBlack.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

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2 Comments on “My Pedalboard Aug 2008”

  1. willyang Says:

    sweet board. analogman is great, i’ve dealt with him in the past. i have the korg pitchblack and it is a great pedal tuner…it tracks fast and is very visible even in high light environments. check out my board on my blog when you get the chance.

  2. jermtech Says:

    I actually did purchase the Pitch Black and like it very much.

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