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Effects buying advice

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by G.Bisson, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. G.Bisson


    Feb 26, 2009
    Recently a fello TB'er asked me for tips on getting their pedalboard to how they want it to be. So I offered the following advice. Worth sharing this with the rest of you guys. And add some additional advice from lessons others have learned. Enjoy :)

    The single biggest piece of advice I could give, you've probaly heard many times from your former gym teachers "know your limits and pace yourself". Seriously, my pedalboard took two years to come togeather. I was only able to afford to make such an investment when I had finished paying off my car loan. And just like a auto loan I set aside a budget of how much I could spend each month (about $200 a month). One pedal per month for two years. This will help pace you and control GAS pains. Most importantly, it helps you make good buying decisions. Gives you a month to narrow your search, listen to demos, read reviews (MusiciansFriend, HarmonyCentral, & TalkBass), find a store that stocks one to try out, and find the pedal that really fits YOUR need.

    The most important part of having a good setup is to have the essentials necessary for your music style. The biggest challange is getting all those essentials. So you have to go about it in a smart predetermined way to get your pedalboard to where you want it to be. Know your goals, prioritize effects that will get the most play time, take gradual steps toward obtaining them. Be flexible and enjoy the journey. With all the experience you'll be getting along the way you'll find your tastes in effects may change. Might make a few subsitutions in your head of your fantasy board.
    Maybe your the type that tastes change everytime you hear a new pedal sound clip. Pace yourself. Buy the pedals you've wanted for awhile first, if your still gassing for that new hyped pedal a few months down the road than it's meant to be, make it wait it's turn to be purchased.

    Even with all the preparation and consideration your still going to make lousy purchases, but thats what the TalkBass Classifieds are for! If you don't like what you've got, sell it, or trade! Trade off what you dont like to get your second or third choice. Dont let unliked pedals set around collecting dust depreciating in value, someone else out there wants it.

    Bargain shop. The overwhelming majority of my pedals were bought on eBay. You can almost always find a dealer on eBay selling below retail value, if not check back in two weeks. Buy used, especially if your not sure the pedal is THE ONE for you.

    When I can't find the pedal I'm looking for in the classifieds or the bay for a reasonable price then I wait until MusiciansFriend has a holiday sale. Every holiday they have 15% off when you purchase more than $100. Most pedals cost more than $100 so that works out nicely. If you dont reach the purchasing discount threshold buy some other stuff your going to need further down the road, like strings, patch cables, hardware. Your going to need this stuff anyways, might-as-well get them while they are on sale.

    And as always.... keep on ROCKIN :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, that's good stuff. I did it the hard way- my current set up cost me roughly $3500., including cables, power supply, etc, BUT I spent 4-5x that amount to get there. Sure could use some of that money now.
  3. G.Bisson


    Feb 26, 2009
    spent about $3000 on my big board and $1000 on my simpler live board. And I have about a grand worth of other pedals I'm trying to get pass on. Expensive hobby. But careful decision making goes a long way in minimizing damages.
  4. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I spent $275 on a Boss GT-10B... the last pedal I will ever need.. at least for effects.. (Really gassing for a loop station.. but the Jam Man will have to do.. ) Before that I had a Zoom B2.1.. which I sold for $130 when I got the Gt-10B. I would also add consider getting one of those similar pedals that has multiple effects in it.. That way you can experiment with the different effects.. and once you understand how they fit in with what you want your sound to be you can make better choices on how you want it to all happen.
  5. you think its hard, try being 15 with out a job (hopefully that will change soon).
    and don't think i dont apreciate good gear.
    i play a mm stingray, mxr bod, 3leaf GR, Vt bass, dod fx25 and the list gos on (dont ask me how i got all of that stuff).
    But im still playing through my crapy behringer amp (ill be up grading to something along the lines of a Hartke or SWR).

    And im not just some bedroom player ive played gigs with my band (venues are limited at this age though), and i go to a prestigious music school and play in the middle-school big band (the senior band is going on a small tour of america next year, i live in australia) ]

    so i hope you enjoyed my life story.
  6. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008
    This is good advice for sure. :D

    cool story bro.

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