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My first pedal board, advice most welcome

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Btbp, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    I think I've hijacked a thread or two elsewhere on this topic so thought to start my own thread. Hopefully any feedback might also prove helpful for others as well.

    I have questions about:
    1. The signal path
    2. Connector cables
    3. Any experiences with the 2 boards which I've narrowed down to:
    - The Accel XTA15
    - The Holeyboard Zig (and possibly Zag extension)
    4. Power supply and which pedals to run at other than 9v

    My criteria: A small board, but not too small, and definitely not too big, space for the power supply underneath.

    My Main Pedals:
    - Broughton High-Pass Filter (new)
    - Keely Bassist Compressor (new)
    - Sansamp BDDI
    - TC Electronics Chorus / Flanger
    - Radial Twin City ABY (for using 2 separate amps or wet/dry signal splitting)

    My Other Pedals:
    - Boss OC-2 Octave
    - Boss RV-3 Reverb / Delay
    - Boss Syb-3 Synth
    - Ibanez CE6 Chorus (sometimes I prefer this to the TC)
    - Boss LM-2B Limiter (never use it)

    Accel XTA15 Pro Tier Yellow Pedal Board with Tote

    New! Holeyboard ZigZag

    I'll post a follow-up to keep this one short.
  2. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    For connector cables I've been looking at a combination of solid connectors, solderless cables from Lava (overly expensive?), George L(not cheap either), GET Music, D'Addario, and short cables from M MAKA, Getaria, Hosa.

    From what I'm reading the solid connectors, while good for connecting like-configured pedals, the build quality of the ones I've found on Amazon (Sendt, Donner, Sonicake) seems questionable.

    I'd definitely need a couple longer cords to connect the left of the bottom tier to the right of the top tier, the solderless ones look good for that.

    One thing I'm not sold on the Holeyboard is that it's intended to be used with cable ties, whereas I'd prefer to use Dual Lock. With all the holes in it I'm not sure there is enough area to adhere the board platform. On the plus side it's really expandable, simple, and a great size and great design.
  3. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    Mock-up: Accel 20190213_213227_2.
    Bassist4Eris and hintz like this.
  4. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    20190213_213436_2. Holeyboard mock-up
    hintz likes this.
  5. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    How I think the signal train will flow:

    Bass -> HPF -> Compressor -> BDDI -> TC Chorus -> Octave -> Reverb -> ABY

    ABY -> Amp 1
    -> Amp 2
  6. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I would change some things in that chain.
    The HPF should go last just before the ABY and the Octave would go first, or after the compressor, for better tracking.
    JimmyM, Btbp, gregmon79 and 2 others like this.
  7. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I would probably go about it this way:

    Bass -> Compressor -> Octave -> TC Chorus -> Reverb -> HPF -> BDDI ->ABY

    If you want to use the DI on BDDI, you need to have it in the end of the chain in order to send wet signal to FOH.
    Btbp and hintz like this.
  8. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    You need to decide which purpose will you use Radial for: if you want to use it to feed both amps with wet signal, you need to have Radial last in the chain. If you want to use it for wet/dry signal splitting, you need to put Radial first in the chain.

    If you do not need to switch between the amps, you can achieve the same without Radial using either chorus or reverb in stereo mode.
    Btbp likes this.
  9. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    Smurf Village
    my advice.... try the pedal order that sounds the best TO YOU!. Enjoy.
    Btbp likes this.
  10. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    I've always had an affinity for Zig Zag:D
  11. You are approaching this like I did: think, think, think, research like crazy. You will eventually dive in, and you will eventually rework your board over time. So, I guess the message here is to enjoy the journey.

    If you don't want to go the zip tie route, I'm not sure I see any reason to use the Holey Board. They're not my cup of tea. AND some of my pedals would not easily hook up with zip ties - they would get in the way of the foot switches or controls.

    Oops. Got called to work. Will continue this later.
    Btbp likes this.
  12. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I use that Radial ABY in a two channel amp setup. Love it. You may wanna bypass it if you ever go single amp/single channel, though. It'll buzz like crazy if each output isn't connected to something.
    Btbp likes this.
  13. ^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^
    My BDDI is on the end, and when you play at a gig with provided sound, they take the line right out of it and contour to taste. Easy Peasy. Bassists should never be the problem....Honest Opinion only.
    Btbp likes this.
  14. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I like these EBS flat cables, they take up very little room which allows for more pedals, they come in a variety of lengths to run from bottom left to top right, etc.

    EBS PCF Deluxe Flat Patch Cable

    As to the order I like Octave > Synth/Wah > Modulation > Drive/OD > Preamp/DI > Comp (I would like Comp > Pre/DI but my Messenger suggests running Comp after it) If you are using the DI I suggest putting the hpf before it.

    I just got a Voodoo labs Power Pedal Power Plus 2 but you really have to list all your pedals and what power requirements they have and then compare to power supplies.
    Btbp likes this.
  15. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I was just about to post on the EBS flat cables. I like them.
    I went through a George L's phase. I experienced too many failures with them.
    westrock and Btbp like this.
  16. If by "solid connector" you mean the male-male adapters instead of using short cables, I recommend against it.

    You won't save much space by using them, and if you need to remove one of your pedals (which I assume will be velcroed to the board) it will be much more difficult - it might bend out shape, or damage the jack of the pedal that's staying on the board.

    Cables with "pancake" type right-angled connectors will take about the same space or less, and will be much more flexible (figuratively and litterally).
    Btbp likes this.
  17. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing...

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    That holeyboard looks cool. Do they come with a road case or bag?
    Btbp likes this.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Me too. At least for starters.

    I also don’t see anything in your signal chain that would benefit from running above 9V. Some of it could actually be damaged by a higher voltage source. So for what you’ve got, I’d stick with 9V throughout.
    Zbysek and Btbp like this.
  19. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    ...and here I was thinking I wouldn't get any replies...

    Thanks all for the great feedback. Keep it coming. I'll reply in-line

    To use the stereo out from other pedals is a great point.

    Please do!

    That is good to know, thanks.

    I do like Voodoo gear, and wish their Medium board was a little bigger, I was planning to go with one of their reasonably-prices sets.

    That's great advice and I agree, at first they seem like a great idea and elegant design, but poor quality and actual functional use don't seem to make them a good idea.

    A guitarist I play with got one with a old school-looking Tolex case.

    I was pretty set with the Accel but I do like the modeluar flexibility of the Holeyboards, it makes the case for a basic board for this to always use like Compressor / Pre-amp/DI / HPF / Chorus and have expansion capability for a more effects-oriented board for things I probably wouldn't use at every gig but once in a while.

    I wouldn't run any of the 'standard' pedals like the Boss with anything by 9v, but I do need to check with Broughton and Keeley as I seem to remember they can and even suggest running with 18v for more headroom.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    Zbysek and Jason Hollar like this.
  20. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I think you should keep the cardboard. looks cool.
    jthisdell likes this.

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