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My DIY Pedalboard

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by GMC, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    A few more pictures. Once the cabling went in...every thing got real messy! This cabling is all working correctly but it's messy and needs tidying with custom length cables. The Hog2 only has a Midi in, so I needed a midi thu box to assist, which has added a bit more cabling complexity. So my next job is to source a few more longer cables and re-route the two that cross over the Hog2 and then work out some patch bay sockets to route the input and output cables to the casing and hard wire them to the ES-5. Then I need to cut up some more midi cables and solder up the other ends to make some custom length midi leads. The red lead is my output and the green is my input.
    It still looks neat with the lid down :D
    My idea is to control the Hog2 via midi / ES-5 patches so that I have all the various sounds I want from the Hog2 saved as patches. That way I shouldn't have to open the lid to adjust or tweek it too much.
    BritFunk and Das Jugghead like this.
  2. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    I've been offered a great deal on a swap / upgrade to a Boss ES-8 which I'm contemplating the swap out. The head ache is the integration into my board. The ES-8 is substantially larger. I would need the expression pedal to go off board, that means wiring a TRS out board cable socket. The ES-8 will fill the full width of the board, but the top tier will need a new shelf that is full width. It's going to be a lot heavier with the ES-8, but having 9 loops is going to be very sweet, and the option of stereo cabling. The other headache is making sure my ES-5 is backed up so i don't loose all my patches.
  3. tubedude

    tubedude Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    So what does she weigh?
  4. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Not sure the expression is useable with how it’s keyholed into the board. Upgrade to the es8!
    GMC likes this.
  5. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Currently, just under 1 kg unloaded. I haven't weighed it fully loaded yet.

    It's ok, the range and access is fine. It's a big pedal and the hole is pretty much my foot size. I would probably have difficulty if I wore boots.
  6. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    So...the ES-8 didn't happen in the end. The seller sold it to another chap, which is fine. What slowed me down in the deal was thinking about how I was going to fit the ES-8 to my current board as it was built with the ES-5 in mind. I think if I was going to go down the ES-8 route in the future, I would need some extensive modifications. I think the ES-8 natively suits a wider board, although it would fit in this 18" wide enclosure...I like the expression pedal on board. Probably a 22" wide or maybe even a 24" board would be more suitable for an ES-8. I'd also need to make the board a little longer (front to back edges) to accommodate the ES-8's extra size. The ES-8 can fit in this current space, but it would need a new top deck and the expression pedal moving off board and it is a little tight front to back with the EHX Hog2 under the hood and supporting PSU / Midi / Nuro hub and cabling.
    BritFunk likes this.
  7. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Latest DIY board pic. My new (to me) 2nd H9 is now loaded onto my board. Off came the Zoom MS-70CDR, which I felt quite choked about. Midi, power and audio is wired up and reasonably neat under to hood. That's the bit that took some time. I shoved my Mobius over an inch and at some point I'll need to re-route the cable access holes for it.
    I'm intending to use my 2nd H9 for verbs and delays, leaving my primary H9 for all the other stuff. I wanted to be able to turn the 2nd H9 on at any point so I've placed it last in my chain, after my Boss ES-5. That means it's not in a loop, but runs from the output of the Boss ES-5. At the moment, the H9 is also the board output, so I'll need to make up a nice patch panel for it. I can control this H9 via Midi through the Es-5 or manually on/off using the buttons. Amazingly, my 5 port PSU is powering everything! It's daisy chained with my analogue pedals, so I'm guessing their current draw is quite small. Later in the year, I'll get a Strymon expansion pack for it, so I can run the Boss ES-5, Hog2, Aftershock / hub and my 2nd H9 all on individual spurs. In the mean time it seems to be working fine and sounding great (no artefacts heard through my amp or headphones). As much as I miss having a dedicated filter pedal, having 2x H9's means that I can use a filter on one and verbs/delays etc on the other. I can also use the Mobius filter options too. So I'm not sure I'll need one for a while.


    So my current path is:
    Bass into the input of the Boss ES-5
    Loop 1 Octaver followed by Compressor.
    Loop 2 EHX Hog 2 (underneath in the lower level)
    Loop 3 Mastotron into Source Audio Aftershock
    Loop 4 Eventide H9 (primary)
    Loop 5 Strymon Mobius
    Boss ES-5 output into Eventide H9 (2nd unit) and the output runs from the 2nd H9 to my amp. My passive volume pedal connects to the ES-5 and is used to control expression via Midi to any or all midi pedals on my board.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    DrMole and Das Jugghead like this.
  8. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Nice. How much does the board weigh unloaded?
  9. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    A little under a kilo. The Birch ply is really light.
  10. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    A more recent under the hood photo:
    There's still some more work to be done. I have a new funky techno carry handle to fit. I need to route out some better cable gaps for the 2nd H9 and Mobius. I also need to rationalise the midi hub, PSU and Nuro Hub better. I think I need a wee shelf in there to organise it better. I've ordered a stereo angled solder jack so I can vastly shorten my Expression pedal's lead. It's eating up too much space, even though it's coiled up neatly. I've also ordered a Hammond 1590a enclosures to make a patch panel. In fact I bought a pair of them, one to get wrong and one to get right ;-)
    Currently, the in and out cables are plugged directly into my Boss ES-5, which isn't helping with the mess. I'd like to solder up some discrete cables made to exactly the right length which run from the ES-5 into the in / out patch panel.
    For the IEC power cable, I'll cut a hole and directly connect to the Strymon PSU brick through the side wall of the pedal board. Although I'll make it look nice and secure the PSU brick securely too. Where I want to be with the cable management and the space is that there will be enough room on the right hand side to put my amp, guitar and power leads in there, a box of plekkies and a pair of 9v batteries. That way I can rock up with my bass over my shoulder, amp in my left hand and FX in my right and I have everything I need in one slow trip.
    DrMole and Das Jugghead like this.
  11. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    OK, I've spent a few hours trimming the cable routes on the top edge of the board, they've been catching on the back panel when I open up the top layer. I've taken all the cables out and re-routed them better, there's still a way to go before I'm happy with the cable routes, but it's getting there and a lot tidier than before. I've added a new shelf for the Midi thru box and Source Audio hub to sit on. I shortened my expression pedal cable and soldered an angled jack on it...that looks a lot neater and allowed me to remove a large length of coiled up and unused cable from the tangle of wires. I've cut and soldered some of the angled midi cables I have, I seem to find that they are often right and one end and then wrong at the other. So I've started to cut them and solder up new jacks to make custom midi cables. These work much better for me and they allow me to use the really cheap angled MIDI cables or the really nice new Warwick Rockboard cables that seem to have the same problem but are seriously low profile. I've fitted a really cool techno style handle that's similar to the style that Schmidt is currently using. I've secured the Strymon PSU in a better place and I've cut a hole for the IEC cable to plug through.
    It's working really nice now. 5 hours work and not huge amount of visual difference. I'm hoping to start on a lid for it soon and I still need to make a neat in / out cable patch bay.

    DrMole, DirtyDuke, ccouch7 and 4 others like this.
  12. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Current board load out. I've swapped out the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe for a Source Audio C4. The black strap is just to hold the lid down when moving it about. At some point I'll design and build a proper lid or case for it. But that'll have to wait until I've moved house and unpacked the workshop again.
    DrMole, Das Jugghead and ccouch7 like this.
  13. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    I've been having some power issues with one of my feeds. The Strymon Ojai has 5 isolated feeds of 500ma each.
    My two H9's draw 450ma each, so they get a dedicated feed each. My Strymon Mobius is lower but still a power hungry 250ma. So that gets it's own feed too, I've also noticed that the H9's and Strymon gear need isolated feeds as they really throw some artifacts into the power lines. My Boss ES-5 is on it's own feed, although that's only a 125ma requirement. Then my last feed is into the EHX Hog2 (170ma), Analogue pedals (hardly any draw), SA hub (50ma) and SA Aftershock (150ma). But I've noticed that my Hog2 is a bit unstable on this feed. I've recently swapped out my MXR Bass Octave Deluxe for a SA C4 (165ma) and that's pretty much tanked my Hog2. It powers but drops signal and is pretty unreliable. So I swapped out the Hog2 with the Boss ES-5 feeds, essentially putting the analogues and SA devices chained with the Boss ES-5 and not on the Hog2 line and all of my power issues seem to have been fixed. I wonder if my Hog2 needs a lot more than the stated 170ma.
    Either way...my whole board is being powered by a single amazing little Strymon Ojai. It took well over an hour to figure out the new feeds and cable routes...sorry no piccies as there's not much to show visually.
  14. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Currently my ES-5 loops are:
    L1 - Source Audio C4 in to EBS Multi Comp
    L2 - EHX Hog 2
    L3 - Mastotron and Source Audio Aftershock
    L4 - Primary H9 max
    L5 - Strymon Mobius
    Out - Post H9 max (performing mostly delays and verbs)

    However, Midi wise:
    Ch1 - SA Aftershock / Hub
    Ch2 - Primary H9 max
    Ch3 - Strymon Mobius
    Ch4 - EHX Hog2
    Ch5 - Boss ES-5
    Ch6 - Post H9 max
    Ch7 - SA C4

    Power feeds:
    1 - Primary H9
    2 - Strymon Mobius
    3 - Output H9 max
    4 - EHX Hog2
    5 - Boss ES-5, SA hub, SA Aftershock, SA C4, EBS Multicomp, Mastotron (which all seem happy on the same line).

    In an ideal world, I would have the midi channels set the same as the Loop channels...and the power feeds. But alas, the SA Aftershock and Hub prefer channel 1. So that kind of throws that neatness out of the window. It also means that I have a crib sheet of the loops / Midi / Power numbers at hand because it's really confusing and easy to forget what does what and goes where.
    DrMole and BostonJazz72 like this.
  15. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    A cup of morning inspiration!
    House 13th Feb 2020-004.jpg
    neptoon and Das Jugghead like this.
  16. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    I'm currently thinking about expanding this board to allow some more pedals...and maybe swapping out the ES-5 for an ES-8 at some point. I want to add a new Source Audio EQ2 pedal, once it's available in the UK. That also means a Strymon Ojai expansion too. I also want to add another volume / expression pedal, dedicated to the SA EQ2. I want to add another dirt pedal (3 leaf Audio "Your the doom 2") to the board too. So it'll need some drastic re-working. I think an expansion to the right of the board, with a new right hand end panel added on. Then a new top plate that runs across the old and new parts.
    marc_btx and Das Jugghead like this.
  17. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    I'm awaiting the arrival of a Source Audio Lunar that I'm hoping will replace my Strymon Mobius. With the space liberated, I'm also hoping to slot in a Source Audio EQ2. My Strymon Mobius has served my modulation needs faithfully for several years. What I need in modulation are a great pair of Choruses: CE-2 and Multi, Phaser, Flanger and a great rotary. My Mobius also offers a good filter (that I rarely use) and an awesome harmonic tremolo (vintage Trem). In fact it's the trem and stunning rotary emulator that has kept the Mobius on my board for so long. All the other settings, I rarely use. The Lunar is an unknown quantity for me. I know that it's modulation abilities are very well regarded, especially with the fantastic low retain control (Low pass mixer). However, I have no idea how well the rotary will fair. I loose the trem option, however, Eventide have included a fantastic Harmadillo algorithm...so as long as I can get my head around it and program it right...I should be able to get everything I need from one of my H9's and the Lunar. Watch this space!
  18. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Now that the Lunar and EQ2 has arrived and I've spent some time installing them both...I can make a few comments about fitting them both. The two pedals are tiny compared to the Mobius panel. However, the Mobius had all of it's cabling on the top edge...a wise move since it has the space to do that and it does make all of the in/out cable feeds very neat. It allows a tight spacing either side of the panel too. The Source Audio One Series pedals are a lot smaller and has to make do with fitting cable sockets where it can. This means cable sockets on three sides, which means cables every where and the pedals can't butt up closely to each other. Cable routing so many cables in a tight space is hard to get neat and tidy, but not impossible...it just takes more time and requires very specific cables.
    I've recently been migrating over to EBS Blue dot flat Midi cables and they are amazingly neat, however they do still protrude a bit more than the Warwick Rock board midi flats. But they have the versatility of full head rotation that no other midi cable can do. Unfortunately, they are available in only 3 lengths. But they solve a lot of problems and make a far simpler installation with out the need to customise cables with a soldering iron. Since taking these shots, I've managed to neaten the cable routes even better.
    Power wise, these two are currently being fed from the same Ojai 500ma feed that powered the Mobius. A slightly higher current draw of 185+150mA (335mA) compared to the Mobius' 300mA draw. However, I find that Source Audio pedals are happy to play with other devices on the same feed, unlike Strymon's bigger panels which seem to require isolated feeds. Midi wise, these two pedals are very different. The EQ2 is SA's latest One Series and has dedicated full-size Midi in and thru sockets...a miracle of engineering on such a small foot print. It can receive midi CC direct from a controller. However the older Lunar pedal needs to interface via a Nuro hub and that can be tricky to configure. Especially now that I have 3 devices being served by that hub.
    My Lunar is taking taking over Midi Ch #3 that mu Mobius used and the EQ2 is now Midi Ch #9. While I was messing with the hub, I also worked out (finally) how to move my SA Aftershock to a separate Midi Channel, now on Ch #8. Previously I could only get it to work on the same Channel as the Hub (Ch #1).
    Loop wise, the Lunar take over L 5, vacated by the Mobius. The EQ2 feeds from the mono output of my Boss ES-5, into the stereo of my 2nd Eventide H9 Max (which is my ambience / delay / Verb processor).
    I do miss the look and feel of the Mobius on my board and the one stop shop for modulation. It makes creating MS-5 patches a lot easier, however the Strymon approach to Midi is quite poor and overly complicated. To call a patch, you have to double the patch number and minus one...you also have to be mindful of the MSB and LSB settings...that no other midi pedal I've used needs this junk. In the SQ world...call the Midi Ch number, CC #104 and then put the patch number in the value...very sweet.
    Although I miss the mobius....I've needed an EQ pedal for a long while. Instead of trying to iron out the gain of each patch...I now have a master volume, that also has a LP and HP options....plus a very versatile stereo 10 band graphic.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
    Mr. voodoobass and Das Jugghead like this.
  19. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Currently my ES-5 loops are:
    L1 - Source Audio C4 in to EBS Multi Comp
    L2 - EHX Hog 2
    L3 - Mastotron and Source Audio Aftershock
    L4 - Primary H9 max
    L5 - SA Lunar
    Out - SA EQ2 into 2nd H9 max (performing mostly delays and verbs)

    However, Midi wise:
    Ch1 - SA Hub
    Ch2 - Primary H9 max
    Ch3 - SA Lunar
    Ch4 - EHX Hog2
    Ch5 - Boss ES-5
    Ch6 - Post H9 max
    Ch7 - SA C4
    Ch8 - SA Aftershock
    Ch9 - SA EQ2

    Power feeds:
    1 - Primary H9
    2 - SA Lunar and EQ2
    3 - Output H9 max
    4 - EHX Hog2
    5 - Boss ES-5, SA hub, SA Aftershock, SA C4, EBS Multicomp, Mastotron (which all seem happy on the same line).

    I might move the SA Hub onto Power feed 2 to lighten feed 5 a bit, I'll need to order up a 1 into 2 splitter power cable for that.

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
    Das Jugghead likes this.
  20. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Sound wise, there's a lot to discuss. The Mobius is a lot more featured than a Lunar offers in terms of selectable modes. One of the attractions that the Mobius offers is a User Interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate on the fly. Probably more so than most larger digital panels. It's got that big mode dial that is very easy to operate. I can call up a patch using my Boss ES-5 and then spin the dial to any one of it's nearby modulation settings / patches. This is fast and easy to use, but can be a bit irritating if the specific chorus I'm looking for is patch #2 and I've jumped in at #47. With 12 clicks on the dial...that's a lot of tuning. Of those 12 modulation options, I found some were more useful to me than others. I like the d-bucket and Multi Chorus options. Both are nice and clear chorus sounds. However, the tone control is useless on bass and the mix is a parallel blend and not so useful on bass. If I loose some low end and dial in the mix, It waters down some of the chorus effect too. I've often felt that a variable LP filter on the clean side would fatten up the loss of low end that chorus effects often cause. But that's not on offer on the Mobius. Enter the Lunar with it's Low retain control....guys are SA...this needs to be assignable to one of the unit's 4 device knobs. No bassist needs the Mix control on the Gemini.
    I found two Chorus sounds that I liked from the cloud patches: "Wet 80's CE-5 for Bass" and "Dual Chorus". I haven't yet found a Corona multi (TCe) patch yet...so I might need to make one myself. Patch 1 & 2 sorted.

    Next on the Mobius dial is the Flanger setting, that I hardly used. In all my Boss ES-5 patches...I have only 1 with a flanger. The mobius offers a lot of different flanger settings. To be honest...I found one that I like and then looked for something similar on the Lunar. One slot 3 loaded on the 6 patches list...tick.

    The Rotary on the Mobius is amazing. It's easy to use and by hitting the tempo button it can flip between 2 speed settings. It's one of the best rotary sims I've used, the Lunar has two Resonator effect types, they don't thrill me as much as the Mobius offerings. I found a cloud patch "lesliemr" and once I dialled in the control a bit more...I've got it to a place where I like it. It's not quite as good and the Mobius if I'm honest...but it's close enough and I can assign the speed knob to an external midi expression pedal...nice. However...there are better sounding rotary options on my nearby H9.
    Next up is the Vibe, on the mobius it's a funky and strange effect...covered completely by the Lunar's Vibe Effect type. I think the Lunar's offering is more versatile and has a greater speed range and adjustable LFO shape. I loaded "Chop Tremolo" into slot 4 and I like it a lot. I didn't expect it to cover this much ground and makes a good vibe and Trem option.
    The Phaser option on the Mobius was good, but the Lunar's options are simply fantastic. It has a clarity and movement that the Mobius can only dream of. Surprisingly I loaded 2 of these, the Stock "Classic" and "Multi" went into patch 5 & 6. So that's my Lunar loaded. I can only add more patches from the scenes on my Neuro hub.
    The other Mobius settings: The Filter. It's good, but I never used it as a filter. For me, this function is covered by either my H9, my C4 or my new EQ2 (once I get my head around that feature, and the volume swell option). The Pattern Trem is a nice feature, but u have similar options on my H9's, The Vintage Trem is fantastic, but I'm finding similar options on the Vibe Effects Type on the Lunar and again similar options on the H9's. The Swell never worked reliably for me, I prefer to swell with an expression pedal. The Formant is replicable on the Lunar, just not something I'd use. I had one patch using the Quadrature and to be honest...I don't miss it much. The Destroyer setting is more useful for a guitarist...and I have similar on the H9 or I could EQ2 it better...although I doubt that I'd bother.
    So is the Lunar a replacement for a Mobius? Yes and no. If you like all the other weird and wonderful features of the Mobius then you will find the Lunar lacking in certain areas or patches in a direct feature comparison. If you are looking for a dedicated modulation pedal that stays in the niche (where the Mobius creeps out of into other areas) then yes it's more than capable.
    The Lunar gains with it's small foot print, Low retain option and flexible 4 band EQ. It has a HPF that's a sweet addition. I was surprised at how useful the one knob tremolo is on the Lunar. It easily matches the flexibility of the Vintage Trem on the Mobius and then exceeds it with the Vibe Effect Type.
    I think the Resonator options aren't quite as good as the Mobius. However, they are still very good and more than usable. I have since found that there's a Rotary patch on my H9 that is better than both of them. I should have gone looking earlier.

    Sonically, I suggest that the Lunar is slightly better on bass than the Mobius. The Phaser is simply better. But I've not yet found any Chorus pedal (and I've tried a few) on bass that really knocks it out of the park for me. I'm often left with a sense of "mehh". That's not directed at the Lunar or Mobius specifically, I think that these class of effects operate best with frequencies that the bass doesn't produce much of. I think the Lunar's Chorus options are slightly less "mehh" for me. I've found a pair of Chorus sounds on my H9 that are stronger than both the Lunar and Mobius. "Classic Chorus" on the Vintage Delay Algorithm and "Boss CE-2" in the Chorus Algorithm. The "Tumbleweed" setting on the "Tremolopan" Algorithm is fantastic too.

    For me, adding the EQ2 was a necessity and was the main reason for pushing the Mobius off my board. It was a land grab and I needed the space. I was happy with the Mobius' sounds and functions, but now that I've integrated the lunar and EQ2 in to my board and patches...and I've worked around some of the holes left by the Mobius...I'm not actually sure I'll ever miss it.
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