1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

There's the line and there's me stepping over it...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Seriously, I really like my set up and it 's already large! Everything, current on the boards 27 pedals... on the shelf: about a dozen more, on the workbench: 4 more... plans to build: about a baker's dozen... on the list of wanna buys: 6-8 more

    That's over 60 pedals... that I actually want to keep... and only about 5 that I feel like I will eventually sell. Every pedal has some sort of unique quality that keeps me interested.

    My current boards are basically partitioned into 4 loops and a looping station board. I also have a guitar specific board planned. If this keeps up I will have 6 modular boards... each about the size that most people would consider effects junkie status.

    I keep my band set up to about 11-12 pedals and rotate some out. The music that I do on my own is crazy enough to warrant my entire set up, but beyond here is really just about the enjoyment of playing different circuits...

    Lost in a wormhole? maybe... but it's a fun wormhole.

    I still haven't learned how to make the call on allowing a pedal to "beat out" another in the collection... even some of the "cheaper " pedals have character.

    So what tipped the scales for you guys to simplify and stop hoarding?
  2. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    I made a rule for myself. If I don't play it for a year, I sell it. No exceptions, even some vintage pedals. Grew up around hoarders, and I don't want to be like that. I've owned hundreds of pedals, but currently only own around 10 or so.
  3. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Lack of funds, mainly. Also, a strong desire to "move on" if a pedal isn't being used in my current projects. When something loses it's usefulness, it gets the axe.

    Having said that, most of the pedals I currently am using are pedals that I have owned 2 or 3 times in the past. I have come back to them under the realization that there are many ways to solve the same puzzle. For me that was a big part of slowing down the revolving door of effects purchases and trading.

    Sure this pedal sounds great, and that other pedal sounds great too, but in the end they both still sound like me playing my bass trying to get a similar sound. I'm not really a "tone is in the fingers" kind of guy (I obviously use effects), but all of the pedals I have now are pedals that I know do the sounds the way I want them to in a live scenario. Even though this distortion or that boost or fuzz or whatever also does the sound that I want/like, there is no reason to swap everything out and start over just to end up getting basically the same sound.

    In the end, I've broken my board into a small PT-JR sized board for my main project and another board of the same size for my home use / solo stuff. This keeps everything limited to the space at hand and with the knowledge that I literally don't have anymore room on the board for more pedals.

    For my main project I've kept the board down to the pedals that I use every single night and removed the possibility of adding non-essential pedals to the mix. I love a pedal like the POG2 for instance, but in my main band, it just isn't right for the type of music we are playing at the moment. That realization helped trim back the desire for more and more pedals as well.
  4. I've never had the issue of having too large of a setup because I have a checklist for buying pedals, and for keeping them.

    1) Do I own that type of pedal?
    2) If I do, is this an upgrade? If so, sell the old one.
    3) If it is not an upgrade, is it new? If so, don't buy it.
    4) If it is used, is it a good deal? If not, don't buy it.
    5) Do I need this pedal for my current project? If not, don't buy it.

    Following those steps, I have ended up with a basic setup of:

    MXR Bass Octave Deluxe (new), MXR M80 DI (new for xmas), EHX Russian Bassballs (used for 30$), ZVEX Mastotron (new for bday) and a Fuzzrocious Demon (new).

    With those pedals, there hasnt' been a sound that I've wanted that I can't get for my current band. I'm not in teh market for a delay, because I need it for a few songs. Once I buy one, it'll be one that I won't need to keep changing like the Way Huge Supa-Puss.
  5. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    One day I decided I was spending too much time fiddling with the board and wasn't really in love with my sound.....so I unplugged from the board and went direct into the amp and had an "Oh yeah, now I remember" moment and haven't gone back.

    I do have a drawer full that I've kept, and bust them out at jams for fun....but my band's sound didn't benefit from all that anyway so, not at shows
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I used to have 25 pedals on my main board (which was a 4'x3' double decker behemoth), and there was a moment when I threw my hands up in the air and sold them all. The reason? Some of the companies that had built my pedals had gone out of business, and the value of my pedalboard, which was already expensive, skyrocketed.

    I was loaded up with 6 Lovetone pedals, 7 custom ZVex pedals, and various others that were becoming highly sought after at the time. I popped them all up on Ebay for $1 each with no reserve, and made over $9,000! Hell, I had a single pedal (Lovetone Flange With No Name) sell for $1,800 by itself. It just seemed ridiculous to me to be gigging with a $9,000 pedalboard, so I dumped it.

    Over the years I've dipped my toe in and out of the pedal world, but have never had more than 5 at a time, and most of the time I've been without a single one. Now that I'm mostly doing recordings these days (as opposed to playing 250+ shows a year), I'm starting to get pulled back into the fold (and subsequently, back into TB after a long absence).
  7. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    The hard part is that my own music is pretty darn experimental so there aren't many things I can't find a use for. I also made the mistake of falling in love with parallel effects loops, so more than one of nearly everything can find a home.

    I feel like a lot of the obsession is based in how different effects make me play differently. Throwing on an envelope follower or delay can force you out of typical timing mentalities, different dirt pedals can affect my dynamics, choruses and reverbs can remind me to play less notes. Everything is so damn inspirational... ha ha

    I think NFA has a good rule, if ya don't play it for a year then sell it... I'll have to see what/if that helps 86 some items. Typically, I pull just about everything out every few months do play around with it except for some utility boxes (blenders and routers)...
  8. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    I use a big case that holds my pedals (it's all over the PYPB). If it doesn't fit in there then I won't get it. If I want something then it must replace something else in it. It's a big case but has REALLY helped me control GAS and funds.
  9. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    ive gone with that rule also, although i for me its if ive played it with my band. ive bought tons of stuff that was fun at home to mess around with but had no practical uses whatsoever!
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    What tipped my scales? Well, the biggest thing was the simple fact that the type of band Im in, a three piece (instrument wise) so theres a lot of sonic space I need to cover and the fact that we are the type of music we are. We love to experiment and see how far we can take our sound. It helped me that my guitarist has and uses two boards. When I first started jamming with them about 6 years ago all I had was a BDDI and a CEB3.

    When I met the vocalist and started bringing him around the band started going somewhere, I got a new amp and cab and thats where it ALL started. I had some questions about my new gear, and joined TalkBass. The rest is all downhill! I learned what GAS meant very quickly and started learning and buying all kinds of pedals because in the 14 years Ive been playing I think I tried about 10 pedals and that was in the way beginning. I started learning how to shape my tone, what tone was and how important it was, to me anyway. I started seeing the bass and tone in a whole new light.

    Im at 21 pedals on my board myself. I have a second board that I dont even really use that has about 15 pedals on it and another 20 or so pedals laying around at random. I dont want to get rid of them because I think I can use them one day for some project or band. Plus Ill never get what they are worth to me.

    This continues to this day and I am grateful for it. I love the bass and all things involved. So yeah Im still going down the rabbit hole, but Im happy to be. I have learned so much about gear in general the last two years and the adventure never ends! I love it.
  11. I was just thinking about this today. My situation isn't quite to the extent of everyone else here, but I have 3 dirt boxes on my board and another on the way, and then 4-5 more that I want to buy. And that's ONLY dirt. Not to mention pitch shifters, chorus, reverb, delay, and all those other wacky effects.

    I just don't know if 10 dirt boxes on my board will be too many. Unless I have multiple projects.
  12. neuman

    neuman Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    Denver, CO 'burbs
    I followed some of these guidelines; to control GAS:

    PT-2 for band and I use individual dirt pedals and a Zoom B3 for most of the modulation

    PT-mini set up with an iPad mini, Sonic Port and all loaded up with "pedals" and amps from Jam-up and Amplitube and whatever else the iStore has to offer

    Still a lot of options, easier on the wallet and if I find a dirt I want, one of my current pedals has to go.
  13. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I do think it's good to find a balance between having enough options to meet your needs plus some flexibility for experimentation, while also not having so many options that you never have the time or desire to explore the individual pedals in much detail.

    It looks like I'm going to stick with the pedals I can fit onto "gigging board" (PT Jr.) plus a smaller backup/alternates board (PT Mini). I won't sweat trying out a new pedal or two here or there, but if it stays an old one must go. Possible exceptions may be made for pedals I receive as gifts.
  14. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I think part of my issue is also that I currently have a miserable marketing /sales, job that allows for quite a bit of discretionary income... but I know I will be getting out of the soul-sucking industry when I finish grad school... so in a sense, if I have to have a miserable money job, I might as well buy some fun sh*#...

    This is also the first time in 15 years that I don't have one committed/focused originals band to keep me busy, instead I have a handful of fill in or "for fun" spare time projects... so it leaves me with a bit of a creative void that I try to fill with off-the_wall solo stuff that is for my own expression...

    You all will know I've been cured when you see a catalog of pedals hit the classifieds...or even one for that matter. "Baby steps, Bob!... baby steps."
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I'm at the point now too where if I want/need/GAS for something, I have to flip/sell/trade something else. It just got too expensive for me and I went crazy for a year and a half straight. Seemed like every paycheck, at least a third of it went to pedals. But now I want something, I have to move one of my own first.
  16. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, I usually deal in "gear dollars" which is basically just funds gathered from the sale of other equipment. If I don't have the money from gear sales, I don't buy anything...at least 90% of the time.
  17. yaksonator


    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
    I do the same as this. Every now and then I'll save a little at a time towards my pedals.
  18. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Same here.

    I've built up enough effects that now I can (almost) sell-to-buy what I want.
    Thing is, my tastes have grown expensive over the last couple of years.
    So now I'm back to saving up for the last few high priced items I think I need.

    Still, it never ends.
    But I can't hold on to things I don't use.
    Especially when I want other things.

    Thanks for starting another 'support group' thread DagoMaino!
    Seriously, the encouragement we share here is good for creativity.
    And that's good for all of us.
  19. I have been helping quell my GAS with temporary trades and such. That way I can try all these pedals I've been wanting and narrow down the ones that are actually useful in my setup, without doing the whole buy/wait/try/sell dance.
  20. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    ha ha... My name is Dago, and I'm an effects junkie. It's been 2 weeks since my last pedal purchase. It started when I first heard the Siamese Dream album, but I didn't really start my downward spiral until I hear the Jupiter album by Cave In... I call it "My Dark Signal Chain".. and it follows me everywhere, whispering in my ear "Have you tried that one? I bet it's neat!" I know it will be a long road to recovery and I will probably always have that one fuzz pedal haunting the back of my mind, but with the support of others in recovery I will find a healthy relationship to my tone again. (slowly rolls 2 week chip between fingers, hangs head and sits back in the circle.)