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Flying with pedals still sucks

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JimmyM, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There is no good way to do it, period. Someone needs to invent a good way to do it. Here's our crappy choices as it stands now:

    1. Carry-on.

    Why it sucks: Because you're carrying a heavy pedalboard through an airport, that's why! And going through security is no fun. You have to take it all out and run it through X-ray, then the TSA agent gets suspicious and calls the manager over, next thing you know you're in a room naked and crying and praying they don't find that weed hidden inside your Assmaster.

    2. Checked in a pedalboard case.

    Why it sucks: Extra baggage fees mostly, but there are also folks who will be handling your case who think the "Fragile" sticker on it means to throw it a little less hard than usual. Plus unless it's in a TSA approved flight case, you won't get your claim paid if it gets trashed. And if it's in a flight case, lugging it around with you plus a suitcase plus a bass plus any other carry-on you might have is not fun. And it's still no guarantee they won't trash it. Then they see your broken pedals with all the wires and parts exposed, they get suspicious and call the manager over, next thing you know you're in a room naked and crying and praying they don't find that weed hidden inside your Assmaster.

    3. Putting your board inside your suitcase padded with your clothes and checking it.

    Why it sucks: See #2, plus unless you only have a couple pedals, it often requires you to bring a much larger bag than what you originally intended. You run into overweight baggage fees if you're not careful. You risk tearing your gold lame bowling shirt. And the worst of it is that on the way back your board will be wrapped up with your dirty smelly used clothes, which the TSA agent can also smell as your bag goes through X-ray. Then as you go through security, another TSA agent says you need to come with him, and next thing you know you're in a room naked and crying and praying they don't find that weed loosely rolling around in your suitcase because you forgot to put it back inside your Assmaster.

    Unfortunately, you have to choose one if you need pedals, and I do quite often, especially when I double. Plus I bring my REDDI on every gig now, which while being more compact than a bunch of pedals, is still no day at the beach to tote along on a trip. So I went with #3 and I bring the bare minimum depending on the needs of the gig. Most of the time it's manageable, and once in a great while it gets a little hairy but not too hideous.

    But I don't know how you guys who have to bring big pedalboards cope. When you're Juan Alderete and nobody balks at reimbursing you, it's not a big deal to bring 15 pedals and 4 basses. But EVERYONE balks at reimbursing me for extra expenses :scowl: I'm fortunate because my pedal needs are nothing compared to some of you and I do some gigs where I don't need any at all. But how do you medium-to-large pedalboard types who do a lot of flying deal with it? I've looked hard to find a way to make flying with pedals easier, and it looks like a huge nightmare any way you slice it.
    Bassmunnky likes this.
  2. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    It doesn't advance the subject much, but I refuse to fly to Canada via the US these days because of the various nighmare scenarios cunningly presented to the traveller in a variety of foreseeable and unforeseeable guises. I despise flying in the US and refuse to do it.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I got no choice. Interstate travel isn't bad, but flying into the US is the worst. Giant lines, not enough agents to work them, you have to take your bags out of the airport and re-check them at the counter in a concourse that requires a 10 minute walk to get to it, and if you have any weed in your Assmaster it's a federal crime.
  4. !You make that sound pretty darn ugly. I think in your shoes I might look at

    1 mailing pedals to my hotel and mailing them back to myself from the airport. Owning two of everything could get expensive but excess baggage is expensive too.

    2 quitting weed.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. That's usually a lot more expensive than extra bag charges, especially if you overnight it.

    2. HOW DARE YOU!!! The phrase "for satirical purposes" ring a bell? :bassist:
  6. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    You should store the weed in a less audaciously named pedal, like maybe the graphic EQ. Not one would ever second-glance an EQ pedal. ;)
  7. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    I'm not a fan of Sansamp pedals but if I had to fly and I wanted decent tone I would grab a VT or Bass Driver. I wouldn't worry about a pedal board. Hopefully one pedal won't set off to many alarms.

    My drummer is in a band that tours all over the place and when then have to fly to Europe or somewhere equally far the bassist just takes a Bass Driver DI because he knows he can get a usable tone with it with any rig he's supplied.

    I've often thought of buying or building the one pedal/preamp that captures "my" tone the best and use that for out of town gigs and such.
  8. I bring pedals back from Canada all the time. I don't have a pedalboard however. I've never had any problems. I arrived back home on Thursday and during the whole day the only questions about the pedals were at my final destination.
  9. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    You could try Behndy's diabolical plan (which I recently discovered):

    Find a pedal. Create a ton of buzz around it. Make a bunch of cute noises and ahdd "h"s ihn ehvery sihngle wohrd yhou tyhpe (also be extremely cool and helpful, but this post is a satire of Behn, so we'll ignore his goodness). Do whatever you can to get people hooked on your pedals. Make sure their board looks just like your board. Even get them to use similar setting for easy transition. Then, do really nice things (I said I would ignore this....dang) in order to get them to owe you favors. Make sure these people are well spread through out the country.

    Go on tour, call in the favors, borrow these pedal board clones of your pedal board.

    It's almost too easy.
  10. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    I think I can tell the theme here...

  11. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    When possible, I downsize my board to just the 'essentials' for that gig. When I have to fly the full board, I use my road-case (pedalboard is built-in) and stuff it with a little extra foam on top of the pedals. I almost always need to re-set knobs, etc. but it's always gotten there.

    I always fight to get reimbursed for baggage fees. It can be an uphill battle sometimes, but so far so good.

    Oh, and did I mention INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
  12. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    move the weed from your "Talent Booster" pedal into your Tuner and you should slide right thru.

    Seriously though...I hate to fly now. It's such a PITA.
  13. Jimmy lemme help u out bro. Get ur girlfriend or a groupie to hide the weed in HER Assmaster and it's a done deal!
  14. Durden26


    Mar 19, 2012
    H-town, Texas
    So this pedal is not the place for my weed?


    ...But it boosts my talent!
  15. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    it's not just pedals, or the musician that has difficulty.

    I fly quite often with mobile computers/scanners designed for warehouses. They have nice "firearm" look to them. Try going through a small airport with a carry-on full of those. TSA thinks they hit a gold mine and detains you for an hour. Then they try to hold them for inspection. Then they say you're free to go, but hold your equipment.....that makes for a great day.

    And it's never O'Hare or JKF. It's always Rickenbacker or El Paso or some other little place that only has one gate.
  16. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Jimmy, you read my mind! Im in Chicago at the moment (from home in PA) and I only brought the essentials in a carry on bag...but try walking through the airport (nevermind security) with a Steinberger XL2 in a gig bag on your back! Needless to say I was stopped numerous times wanting to check the rifle!
  17. CalboDaGo

    CalboDaGo Banned

    May 16, 2011
    and he endorses "assmasters" as well? looks like the "M" could stand for "mudhole":D
  18. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
  19. CalboDaGo

    CalboDaGo Banned

    May 16, 2011
    Mercury? does the "M" stand for Mercury?:hyper:
  20. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    F'kin hilarious. A whole new kind of "pro" pedal, this is the official start of stash pedals. Calling out to all the Hippy boutique pedal builders, pedals that hermetically seals small personal amounts of things. To make you sound "Dude... like waaay better man".

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