Considering a small board – do I buy duplicate pedals, or…?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassed in NZ, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Buy duplicate pedals

    22 vote(s)
  2. Move key pedals to small board, run other pedals from extra board in front of small board

    15 vote(s)
  3. Move key pedals to small board, insert other pedals from extra board with cunning switching

    10 vote(s)
  4. Suck it up - what's the problem with a large board?

    47 vote(s)
  5. Buy a couple of duplicate pedals and move other back and forth

    7 vote(s)
  1. Bassed in NZ

    Bassed in NZ search of the impeccable groove... Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    G'day TB,

    What should I do?

    I've got full pedaltrain jr - 8 pedals (in this order: tuner, octabass, proton, multicomp, chorus, delay, vt bass, tone hammer), which I really dig. I play a mix of jazz, funk, rock and soundscape-y type music, and different pedals I'll use at different gigs.

    But, all I use most of the time are the tuner, compressor (love the tubesim mode) and the tone hammer. So, I'm considering building a smaller board (PT nano size) with just these three pedals. I have a few options – which would you choose?
    1. Buy duplicate pedals and create a small board
    2. Move these three pedals off to a small board, and have the other pedals in a medium board and cascade them together (medium board: octave, filter, chorus, delay, vt bass => small board: tuner, compressor, tone hammer). Perhaps not an ideal signal chain but liveable?
    3. Move the three pedals off to a small board with some cunning looping device(s) so that when I put the boards together I get the same signal path as now. Don’t know if such a device exists that can insert pedals at two points in the chain simultaneously: so that tuner – multicomp – Tone Hammer, becomes: tuner, <octave, filter>, multicomp, <chorus, delay, vt bass>, tone hammer. Or do I just stick with option 2) as pedal order is close enough?
    4. Suck it up – what’s the big deal just having one larger board anyway?
    5. Make the smaller board with say a duplicate tuner and multicomp (as these are the hardest to move on and off my current board), and move the TH between main board and small board as necessary.
    6. Sorry, no carrots.
    Why am I considering this? Sometimes my board just feels too big and overspec’d for the gigs I’m doing. A small board would be super convenient, great for just taking not much to rehearsals and small jams (with my Berg IP112), good for those jazz gigs that I'm doing a lot of that don't have much real estate on the stage (sit on top of the amp), avoids the "do you really use all those pedals" comments on some gigs, easy for someone else if I loan the gear out (to trusted people only - don't derail the thread on this one), and simple is good in my book.

    So, am I simplifying or complicating? Which option have you chosen, or would you chose and why? Looking for pros and cons of my options (or other alternatives), and your advice...
  2. assuming money isnt a problem here. how often are you going to be switching between ur large board and ur small board? if its going to be a ritual of move them to the small board, next day move them to the large board, next day back to small board. then i'd just go ahead and buy the dupes. if they're going to stay on the small board for months, years, decades until some special need arises for the large board then i wouldnt bother.

    assuming money isnt a problem.

    I think personally I would feel weird if I had several of the same pedals, may feel like a wasted investment to me. YMMV
  3. If money isn't an issue, I'd take this as a chance to experiment with a new tuner (well, that can't be all that fun...) comp and pre-amp/eq/thingy for the new board.
  4. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    I went through this exact same thing just last week actually main large board (PT-2) is as follows:

    Planet Waves Tuner -> BBE OptoStomp -> Way Huge Pork Loin -> Diamond Boost EQ -> Radial EFX Loop -> Amp

    Radial EFX Loop 1: EHX Bass Muff Pi
    Radial EFX Loop 2: MXR BEF, EXH POG, MXR Black Label Chorus, MXR Carbon Copy

    What I found after a while is that I was keeping the Opto Stomp and Pork Loin on all the time and it became "my tone" in all situations - and then I get on a small stage or in a situation where having more pedals than the guitar player seems a bit silly and I thought "OK ... time for a small board".

    For me the decision was easy ... I spent the $ on a second tuner, Opto Stomp and Pork Loin because I found what works best for me (after owning countless pedals) and know that both boards will get equal use across the different projects I'm involved in.

    Not that I have money to throw around, but I've screwed up the input of the previous Opto-Stomp taking it off a board and figure keeping the pedals on one board at all times will help keep extend the life of all my pedals. Will probably save me some money over the long term.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Suck it up and use 1 board. It's a PT Jr for crying out loud. It's not that big. Switching pedals between boards would get old. Two boards would be my next choice, but then you are hauling 2 boards.
  6. What's the point of having a board if you're going to keep switching? I think it may also depend on how you're powering all of this awesome.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    I have a nice pedalboard. I am happy with it. But sometimes when I go to open jams I want something smaller.


    So I am thinking of getting a second bass pod, because it has everything in one box. It has the tuner, compressor, distortion, modeling and I can save patches.
  8. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    If you're dead set on two boards, can you get everything on two PT nanos? That way you don't have to lug the Jr and a nano.

    My suggestion would be to get one of these. Plug in everything on your small board and just connect them to each other with patch cables. When using both boards, just insert where you need them.
  9. neuman


    Mar 24, 2009
    Riga, Latvia
    I understand your dilemma; don't know if this'll help.

    My main board (a PT-2) has a BF-2B flanger and modded SD-1 in tandem as well as a Gruntbox (muff variant) and MojoHand Analogue Filter in tandem.

    My second board (a PT-1) has a BF-3 flanger and SFT clone in tandem as well as a BYOC Large Beaver (muff variant) and EBS BassIQ in tandem.

    Same types of pedals but variances in sounds and how the pedals interact. Maybe for your smaller board (if money is not a factor) find similar pedals or ones you've wanted to try out. Give each board its own charcter and flavor. Just MHO.

    CPplaysBASS - don't worry about the number of pedal "silly" factor; my guitarist has 4 pedals at every practice and gig and my PT-2 houses 14. I use 'em when I/we feel appropriate and we do chuckle that I have more effects. :)
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I have debated an M9 (don't need the amp/cab modeling) for an "all-in-one" solution. It's a bit of overkill for a tuner and compressor and the occasional something else though....

    I do like the Pod when I use it at church as a DI to the FOH.
  11. I picked response #2, although response #4 was a close second. If it were me, I would go with #4, but that's only because I don't have the cash for two boards.
  12. Same here.
  13. You could do that I suppose, or you could make yourself a rack unit consisting of a tuner, compressor, and pre amp. (oh yeah, I just used the R word) You could even find a Preamp unit that does all three.

    Assuming these pedals would be always on anyway, I don't see the need to buy more pedals.
  14. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    Use fewer pedals
  15. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    How often is it necessary to switch between boards? Although I voted #3, I'm thinking "suck it up" is more where I'm leaning.
  16. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    I could see splitting the three "basic" pedals onto something like a PT Mini (just for organization's sake) and then connecting to the bigger board of "other" pedals when needed. No need to drop the extra cash on a duplicate set of pedals, especially in today's economy. But then, you would have to "suck it up" in a different way and carry two boards in some situations. Probably best to just take the "suck it up" option, leave everything on one board and tap stuff on and off as needed. If you like, think of having the unused pedals there as pulling a Commerford, disguising which pedals you're really using. :)
  17. I'd say it depends on gigging/recording activity. Ifyou do it enough to justify it and pay for it, yeah sure wihy not buy duplicates. Otherwise, why bother.
  18. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I picked 'Suck it up...' but I don't consider the PT Jr to be a big board. I've scaled down to a PT1 and while it's not exactly small it's not offensively big either. It fits under a mic stand which my old aircraft-carrier Gator board didn't, how much smaller do you want it?

    Bear in mind that your bass itself ultimately governs how much stage space you need, so using a smaller board won't make any difference to that. If you end up carrying your gear a long way I can imagine a smaller setup would be nice, but if not don't bother.
  19. Bassed in NZ

    Bassed in NZ search of the impeccable groove... Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey guys - thanks for all the responses and votes so far - appreciate you taking the time to give me your opinions / experiences.

    How often would I need to switch pedals between a small and large board (or lug both boards)? Probably once a week at the most. Is money a consideration? - yeah of course. Can I justify the extra cash for duplicates - maybe, but it would be a dubious justification.

    Like the idea of getting similar but different pedals, but that opens a whole other can of worms (and GAS...)!

    It's been really helpful getting thoughts and requirements down in black and white and getting feedback on it. Here's my thoughts so far:
    • Majority of people are voting for the "suck it up" option - and you're right, the PT Jr really isn't all that big. Do I use everything at every gig? No. Does it really matter? No. Could I pull the TH off my board if I wanted to go simple (as it's my only preamp into the poweramp of the Berg IP)? Yes.
    • Close(ish) second though is those that would recommend I buy a duplicate set of pedals. I'm still temped to do this, though TH + multicomp + tuner + PT nano would put me at around USD600 if I bought from the States (without shipping - got a mate travelling there this week). USD600 is enough to buy a small house here downunder (well, almost...), so it's worth considering can I really justify it? Answer is probably no.
    • I am tempted to consider splitting up the board I've got though. I'd fit everything on a PT nano + a PT mini (and probably have room for a synth pedal in the future :) ). But then, as has been noted, I'd have to lug two boards (not a big deal), but got to ask myself - for most gigs, having the VT, or the octave, or the chorus, or the filter could be quite handy. Would I want to limit myself by not having these available? Even the jazz gigs tend to have a few funk tunes, where a filter for a solo adds a bit of flavour, a chorus on the fretless can make it stand out a little more, and the VT is almost always welcome.
    • If I picked up a tuner (probably a pitchblack) and an extra power supply for the TH (the hardest things to take off my current board), I could have just about all I need for a simple setup. Taking the TH off the board and sticking it in the gigbag with the tuner and extra PSU gives me a mutable preamp + tuning capabilities and that should work quite nicely for when I need to keep it real simple.
    So, I reckon you guys have just helped me save around 500 clams by indulging my question here - go and grab yourselves a coffee / beer / beverage of choice, give yourselves a pat on the back, and bask in the good vibes of knowing that you've helped out a fellow TB'er...


    p.s. - here's the current board that I'm sticking with...
  20. Make a cable that patches your big board to your small board. Some sort of a 6pin (or whatever you need) connector where you have a female end for your small board, a male end from your big board, and a second male end with all of your small board connections jumpered (this one stays with the small board).

    A total PITA, but cheap and effective.

    EDIT::: Must learn to read whole thread. Glad you've come to a decision.