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Wouldn't It Be Nice...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by testing1two, Mar 18, 2009.


  1. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    ...if all pedal manufacturers agreed to put the 1/4" ins/outs and the dc power supply jack on the top of the pedal instead of on the sides? I dream of a day where my pedals can live side by side without losing 3/4" per side to connectors. I dream of a day where I can troubleshoot a bad patch cord without having to lift pedals from the pedalboard to unplug something. I dream of a perfect daisy chain across the top of each row of pedals...*sniffs*

    But to quote the prolific songstress Tiffany, "As real as it may seem, it was only in my dreams."
     
  2. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    No. No it would not.

    In on the right and out on the left works great for me, but I'll agree with you about the power on top.
     
  3. Valerus

    Valerus

    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    The power input on the top would be nice. I also see what you're saying about the input jacks on the top.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I agree that it has worked for many players over the years and will continue to do so, but look at the following example from a space management standpoint:

    IMG_0276.

    See how much space is wasted on side connectors? This is only one example using an extremely small pedalboard, but I think it demonstrates what I consider to be a needlessly inefficient design. One could easily fit another pedal on that board if all the connectors were top mounted.

    It just seems like we continue this inefficient method because that's how it's been done predominantly in the past, not because it works best.

    Again, it's just my opinion of a Utopian dream designed to spark dialog. I'm sure there are excellent justifications on both sides of the fence and I'm anxious to hear them.
     
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Problem being with that example is that if all the jacks are on top all the cables become a tangled mess up there (not good if you have a second row of pedals above on a larger board), and you'd probably have to take the pedals off to unfasten them anyhow. Also, I could definitely squeeze another pedal on there if needed. Just move them closer and utilize the ends of the pedalboard. ;)

    With the input/output on the side I've never had problems with arranging pedals. Top mounted ones require lengthy cables, and creative ways of doing things. Observe:

    smarchboard.

    [​IMG]

    I wish I could scoot the Fatman down a bit to make it more secure, but as you can see the top-mounted input proves difficult with the typical right angled pedal jumpers, with it jammed up against the metal (at least with the power jack directly to the right). I could flip the cable the other direction, but then my foot might get hung up reaching for ze flanger, and then the entire show would come to a screeching, pathetic end. Well maybe not quite that dramatic, but I would swear and possibly miss a note or two. Either way the entire affair would be avoided if all my pedals had side inputs and outputs. You can clearly see which row has the tidy arrangement. :D

    EDIT: I should note that I don't really find top mounted jacks particularly bothersome, but I do think side mounts are ideal. The only time I ever think "WHY DO THEY DO THIS?!?!" is when power jacks are mounted on the side, immediately next to one of the in/out jacks. My power cables always get tangled up in those cases.

    EDIT x2: Good goat I've given this way too much thought. I'm tired of being unemployed.
     
  6. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    Some builders will do it if asked...well at least the small beans ones. It's not gonna happen on your MXRs, etc. nowadays.
     
  7. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I find with smaller pedals I like the extra space on the side. The Blueberry, CP9 and pitchblack on my board couldn't be closer together without being too close for my foot, and I don't have huge feet.
     
  8. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I just wish the power connector was standardised for 9v pedals, perhaps the boss type for example. Such a pain when the odd pedal (Electro Harmonix I'm looking at you) uses a rarely seen mini jack that need a special adaptor cord to use with a multi power brick.

    What would be even better, which may or may not happen in our lifetime, is a completely wireless pedal board, that uses a bluetooth variant for connecting them in any order you wish, and an inductive powered pedal board like there is for mobile phones and other gadgets that you stick stick them on the surface and draw power without plugging them in.
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Actually, it takes less cabling on top mounted jack because you don't have to wrap at least one cable around the corner of a pedal as you have to with side jacks. I do however always use bypass loop strips, so if you run your pedals directly into each other, then the cabling could potentially be a little less. The cabling can also be far less messy than side mounted jacks as you can easily cinch the wires together, and flipping the cable connectors upwards has never caused an unplug for me. Basically, if you're kicking the cable out, then you'd be kicking off the knobs of you pedal as well. Your lower row of pedals could be arranged in a much cleaner fashion, and be able to fit in an extra pedal or two. My wife has been privy to me arranging and rearranging every pedalboard I've had dozens and dozens of times, and top-located jacks and power are always a cleaner solution.
     
  10. Happynoj

    Happynoj

    Dec 5, 2006
    UK
    I like turtles.
    Top mounted jacks wouldn't really work for pedals with large switches - Boss, Digitech, DOD, etc

    If you want more space on your board, then buy a bigger board.
     
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Why's that?
     
  12. Happynoj

    Happynoj

    Dec 5, 2006
    UK
    I like turtles.
    Edited my post slightly. But actually it wouldn't really be a problem. I typed before I thought.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    :D
    And there's little good reason to buy a bigger, heavier board if you can use a smaller board for the same number of pedals.
     
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I just wish they would all agree on power. I can live with in's, out's and power on different sides, but multiple power adapters is a PITA.
     
  15. Happynoj

    Happynoj

    Dec 5, 2006
    UK
    I like turtles.
    True, but at the same time, we can't control the board sizes that manufacturers produce, and we can't control jack placement - established companies aren't going to change now. The size/number of pedals/weight of a board is all just a compromise that we all have to live with.
     
  16. whoatherechunk

    whoatherechunk

    Apr 4, 2008
    big +1
     
  17. However, some effects wouldn't be the same if used with the same power supplies. Most are 9V, though, no?
     
  18. It probably seems like that to you because you don't know anything about pedal construction. You can't just jam the jacks anywhere, other parts get in the way. Unscrew the backs of some of those pedals and see for yourself.
     
  19. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    While I won't dignify the first part of your comment with a response, I will simply point out that pedals are being built every day that put everything on the top. I'm not talking about "jamming the jacks anywhere" but designing pedals with top mounted jacks in mind. Nobody is held at gunpoint and forced to put the jacks on the side; it is a design choice.
     
  20. I need to see if I can get a Catalinbread Bantam pedal with in, out, and power on the top.:bag:
     

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