Thinking About Building a Board- A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Geddy Claypool, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    I'm thinking about going ahead and building a pedalboard- it would be my first serious one. After a lot of testing and review-reading, I've decided on the following pedals:

    Aphex Punch Factory or T-Rex Squeezer (haven't decided)
    EHX HOG with Preset Footswitch and Expression Pedal
    EHX Stereo Memory Man w/ Hazarai
    Moog MF-105B Bass MuRF with Expression Pedal
    Korg pitchblack Tuner
    EHX XO Little Big Muff Pi
    MXR Custom Shop Script Phase 90 w/ LED
    Dunlop Crybaby 105Q
    Homebrew Electronics Hematoma

    I have three questions regarding my idea:
    1. Is there any production pedalboard that would hold everything real estate-wise, or will I need multiple of a custom board? I really like the look of the SKB PS-45.
    2. What would I need to power everything, what with all the wacky voltages the EHX pedals have? Most of the EHX pedals come with their own power adaptors, and the SKB PS-45 would probably take care of it with its outlets, but again, I don't know if it would big enough.
    3. What would I need (channel selector, etc.) to keep the tone of my Jazz bass (and all of my basses) in tact through all the pedals?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    I like powered pedalboards so you aren't losing extra space with a power brick. I'd recommend a specific one but I don't want to be accused of working for the company as I already have once today. :rollno:
  3. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    I won't say anything. :D
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The PS45 would probably work out, I've had 11 pedals on mine of various sizes. But, then again, you'd only know for sure if you try it out.
  5. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Yeah, I suppose you're right. A lot of these pedals are freakin' huge though (HOG, Moog, SMMH) but I don't know where to go demo one?

    I suppose the thing I need the most help with is how to keep my bass's tone intact. I know NOTHING about channel selectors or anything like that. Some assistance please?
  6. CuticleThorns

    CuticleThorns Guest

    Apr 6, 2008
    York, UK
    Loop Master make pretty much any size bypass strip you like. Then you also have options such as master bypass as well...

    I have a LoopMaster A/B/Y and recommend them as far as build quality and value for money.
  7. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    I wanted to order some stuff from these guys but they seem to make everything to order and have long lead times. If they kept some basic things in stock I'd have already done a few hundred dollars of business with them.

    It seems there's a lack of ready made loop switching gear available at reasonable prices. It's not just loop-master in fairness.
  8. johhn smith

    johhn smith Guest

    Dec 10, 2008
    Cambridge ON, Canada
    i think the most important thing is to see if all of the pedals are compatible with each other. i had/have a long signal chain including a mixer, aphex punch factory compressor 2 loop samplers, a keyboard, a korg electribe, microphone, vbass, bass pod, rackmount chorus/echo/flange, fully parametric eq, sometimes my laptop, plus more stuff as i need and everything lives in complete harmony ( no added noise, hiss or distortion ) but a few years back i added a boomerang looper to my chain and it wouldn't get along with everyone else. i tried everything but i couldn't get rid of the noise. it was bad by itself, but worse once it got into the system. i usually buy my stuff local and as i know most of the guys that i am buying from, i always insert a caveat which is provided it doesn't add anything detrimental to my system. might be something to consider when assembling a long signal chain.
  9. CuticleThorns

    CuticleThorns Guest

    Apr 6, 2008
    York, UK
    It would be great if they had items ready to order but I was happy to wait out my four weeks. Maybe they can't justify doing so just yet with regard to the amount of custom they get.
  10. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I'm not sure if even something as big as a Pedaltrain Pro would fit all those pedals. The HOG with it's footswitch and expression pedal will probably take up half of it by itself.

    What I generally do when redesigning a board is to find the dimensions of all the pedals I plan on using (and if I already own them, trace around them) and cut out pieces of paper for each one.

    Then you can move them around, organize them and determine how big of a board you need. Don't forget to leave room for jacks & cables as well as the power cables. If it's too big for a production board, at least you'll know how big you need it if you go the custom route.

    I'm skipping the question about power supplies for the moment.

    Keeping your tone is a tricky thing. Some people love big TBP loopers, but to me, if the pedals themselves are true bypass (or better yet have a good bypass) then I don't see this helping. That said, not all of the pedals you listed are TBP. The Moog in particular has a notorious bypass. You might want to buy a single TBP looper and stick it (and any others that suck your tone) in it so that your clean tone isn't affected.

    As for the power question, I'd wait until you have your board put together to solve that. for the time being, just use wall warts and a power strip or two. Reason being, I wouldn't make big plans for pedals with unusual power requirements until after you're sure you like your board and want to keep them all.

    Personally, I'd recommend that you start with the more unusual pedals and check them out first before buying others. In your case that would likely be the MuRF. I loved mine but couldn't really find good applications for it so I sold it.

    And if you keep it, buy one more pedal and make sure you like it individually and with the MuRF (if you think you'd ever use them together) before adding another. All the pedals should work together well.

    Hope that helps.
  11. I'm fairly certain that a Pedaltrain Pro will fit everything you want to go with, but I really don't think that the SKB board you mentioned would hold it all. I don't really know about any power supply that would take care of the HOG and the MuRF. You may just need to velcro a plug strip to your board.

    I think that you have some really cool pedals in your plan (I can't say enough good things about the Hematoma, and the HOG is ridiculously awesome) but I would suggest at least looking at the Bass Big Muff vs. the Little Big Muff. It seems to be a lot more versitile, and it should hold down the bottom better.
  12. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    Good advice Big O!
  13. Racermech


    Apr 10, 2007
    As far as pedalboard size, you gotta try to figure out the way you want to lay everything out and how big that will be.

    What I have done to try to figure out size specs is find the pedal space specs of the specific boards you are looking at. Then, using a tape measure and masking tape, mark out that size on some flat surface. Then, take all your pedals and lay them out taking into account cabling. Then, you can get an accurate idea of what board size you need.

    I was desperately trying to fit everything of my own on to a pedaltrain pro size, but by laying stuff out, I realized that I had to go with 2 boards, which will end up being pedalpad axs boards.
  14. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Thanks a TON for the advice everybody, and thanks a ton for the lengthy response TheBigO. Good links and food for thought, I'll work with it.
  15. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    I'm going to be using the Hematoma more often, as a more subtle, bottom-heavy drive. Then I wanted a Muff for a crazy, over-the-top fuzz. When I tested the Bass Big Muff and the Little Big Muff, I found that the LBM had just as much bass, and got a lot crazier. I just didn't feel the same connection with the Bass Big Muff.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Also, can somebody explain how to use the Loop Switchers a bit? It might be a stupid question, and I know a little bit, but I'd really appreciate a little more explanation.

    EDIT: I think I've got the Loop Switchers down, I think the Triple Loop w/ Tuner Out and Master Bypass is the one for me.

    EDIT #2: On Loop Master Loop Switchers, can I activate more than one loop at the same time?

    EDIT #3: Yes, I can. The website cleared that up.
  16. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Quick question for those who have used Loop Switchers for a while:

    Is there any point in get a Switcher with a dedicated loop for each individual pedal? Or should I be fine with a 3-loop switcher and doing the loops by group (gain, modulation, time)?

    I mean, if I get one with like 6 or 7 loops (depending on what I decide to keep from my original list), what if I get a new pedal? I'll need a new Switcher altogether.

    I guess I'm asking, is there anything wrong with this? (assuming I drop the Bass MuRF and compressor)

    Loop 1: Hematoma, Little Big Muff
    Loop 2: HOG, Phase 90, 105Q wah
    Loop 3: SMMH
    Tuner Out: pitchblack

    Are there any disadvantages to that?
  17. Well, this is just my opinion, but if I had a bypass strip, I would run specific pedal combinations in each loop. For example, if I used the Hema and the Phase 90, or the LBM and the wah at the same time most of the time, I would run both of them in one loop. That way, you can kick them both on at the same time with one switch, rather than tapdancing around the board.

    If it were my board, I would run it like this:

    Loop 1: HOG (You probably want this one to be first for tracking purposes)
    Loop 2: Hematoma -> Phase 90
    Loop 3: LBM -> Wah

    I'd skip putting the SMMH in a loop, since I believe that it already has good bypass, and that way you get a little more control out of it.
  18. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Would you put the SMMH before or after the looper?

    And same with a volume pedal, I already have one and was wondering where to put it- before or after?
  19. I would run everything into the volume pedal, into the SMMH. That way you can do cool violin swells and other effects with the volume and delay.
  20. Ok, let me rephrase that, it wasn't clear what I meant. Run the looper into the volume pedal, and then run the volume into the SMMH, and then out from there into your amp.