Building a new pedal board

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ShoeManiac, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    For years I’ve gone back and forth with pedals. Either with none in line or a couple of Boss pedal boards. See below:

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    To be continued..,
     

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  2. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    But my pedal tastes have evolved. I still like a few Boss pedals but it seemed like I needed something a bit more nuanced for my sound and style. Witness some of these pedal purchases:

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    It seemed like a good time to update the pedal board. At first I got a Pedaltrain 2. Big mistake, mostly because it’s SO BIG. I was never going to be a bassist who needed a gargantuan board. I wanted solid, fundamental effects on hand and some options. So I decided on a board other than the Pedaltrain 2 that could accommodate what I wanted in a reasonable footprint.

    continued....
     
  3. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    So I got a Pedaltrain Nano Max. It’s big enough for what I have and there’s some room to adjust things. But I also realized that the smaller board would probably need an appropriately sized power supply. The Voodoo Lab Power Supply 2 was just too large to make things seamless. So the Voodoo Labs unit went up for sale and I got the Cioks DC5 link. And it seems like the right choice. But mounting the thing was a challenge. The old axiom of “measure twice, cut once” needs to be amended to “measure twice, make a template, drill once” for this kind of job.

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  4. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    This is the pedal order that I’m currently considering. But I’m also trying to be mindful of the power draw from each pedal, the possibility of introducing noise, wiring and what any possible unforeseen things that might arise with this configuration.


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  5. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    After getting the connections in place from the beginning of the chain through the end, I’m leaning towards this setup. And while I just love the sound of the Aguilar Octamizer, the location of the 1/4” jacks is a real PITA.

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  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I’d put chorus last in your group. I’d put the overdrive before the octave. But it’s preference because you can get great results with a lot of arrangements. Experiment.
     
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  7. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    Some initial notes from yesterday’s dry run? It was really all about troubleshooting.

    MOUNTING THE PEDALS ON THE BOARD
    This looks relatively easy, but it had to be done quite methodically. In an ideal situation I didn't want to have to put velcro on the pedals. But Aguilar, PLEASE, you're killing me with the design of your pedals! The Octamizer is built in very solid fashion. But the box doesn't mount easily on a board. I'll share some photos soon to detail why.

    And while I have a lot of experience working with tie-wraps (aka zip ties, aka cable ties), they're less well suited to the task. Especially if you need to troubleshoot and pull a pedal off of the board. The other consideration is having enough room to hit each footswitch cleanly.


    POWER
    The CIOKS has 5 power output jacks. Three are rated for 9 volts / 100 milliamps, and two are rated for 9 volts / 300 milliamps. This had to be split between 6 pedals.

    The Boss TU-3W and TC Electronic Spectracomp each got their own dedicated 9v/100 ma power. I set the third 9v/100 ma output up for the VT Bass, but there was no indication that it was powering up. I swapped cables and no change. Then I switched to running on battery power and got a solid red light when the pedal was switched. ARRGGGHHH!

    I initially set up the Aguilar Octamizer, Darkglass Microtubes B3K up daisychained on one 9v/300 ma output, and the Boss CEB-3 got the second 9v/300 ma output. NOT GOOD. It was too much power for the Boss chorus pedal and led to a screeching out. So I wound up daisychaining the Octamizer, the Microtubes and the chorus pedal from one of the 9v/300 ma outputs.

    Now that this has been worked out I'm going to break out the tie wraps and start cleaning up the power cables.


    PATCH CABLES / AUDIO
    When there are this many cables in line there's invariably going to be at least one that just isn't good. Thankfully I was able to identify that one relatively easily.

    But with the cable runs? They were relatively easy.... except for the Aguilar. The location of those 1/4" jacks is a PITA!


    OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
    So far, so good. The power situation with the VT Bass is disappointing, but I've effectively had that pedal in mothballs for a while. I'm hoping I can get that repaired so that I don't have to keep a healthy supply of 9V batteries on hand. But the SVT preset sounds fantastic. Still, I might need to reach out to Tech21 to see if they've got some authorized repair guys that might be able to address the AC adaptor.

    I've had the Spectracomp for a while, but I had always wanted it to function in a larger pedal board. It has not disappointed so far, and I'm going to have to explore more of the Toneprint presets to find that one compressor config that suits me best.

    I really like the upgrades Boss made with the TU-3W. I wasn't totally sure about the Waza Craft concept. But when I got the pedal my initial impression was that it was built like a tank. The tuning options are quite substantial. But looking at the display through my glasses was a bit of a personal reality check.

    The Darkglass Microtubes pedal is more understated than expected. But I think a big part of the picture with this pedal was due to running it through my Fender Rumble combo. I've got to run this board through either my Eden / EBS rig or my Ampeg PF500 / Ampeg PF115HE setup to get it really dialed in. Those are my gig / recording setups.


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    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  8. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    Bumping this up in the hopes of getting some feedback about a particular issue - mounting Aguilar pedals on a board like this one.

    Putting velcro on the lower rails of the Aguilar Octamizer was not a secure solution. I considered using tie-wraps, but I'm not feeling great about that option.