Going analogue

Over the past few months I’ve been pulling together a bunch of interesting and quirky pedals to put together a pedal board. When I was playing live more then my pursuit was for simplicity and reliability which lead me to the Line 6 Pod XT Live. Now most of my playing is back at home I’ve felt the need to put a foot back into the analogue world.

Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Left-to-right and top-to-bottom, they are;

  • Boss RV5 Digital Reverb – I traded this for a TruArc stainless steel bridge with one of the guys from the Gretsch Discussion Pages.
  • Digitec DigiDelay – Bought from another member of the Gretsch Discussion Pages.
  • Dod Flanger 575B – Kindly donated by fellow Six String Blissner, Doug Darrell. This is a really interesting pedal. It is an absolute beast and takes either two 9v batteries or a 20v DC power supply. I’m currently trying to track down a suitable power supply but if I can’t find one I’ll be building something.
  • Behringer UT100 Tremolo – A budget buy from eBay. I stumbled across it going for pennies within a couple of minutes of ending. One of my more successful snipes. Not a particularly robust enclosure but sounds brilliant.
  • Alfalfasprout69 Custom Shop Blue Alpaca (Way Huge Red Llama clone) – The one that started me off on this pedal board route. Custom made for me by Alfie, of Six String Bliss fame. Quite simply the mutts nuts of overdrive. This does absolutely everything I want.
  • FirstAct 222 Distortion – When Clint sent me the Crybaby this was tucked in the bottom of the box. A wonderful surprise. I’d put it in the same class as the Behringer Tremolo – not classy, not desirable, plastic box, sounds as good as any boutique pedal I’ve tried.
  • Nocturne Dyno Brain – I got this one from Pappy of FifthFret.org. A gem of a pedal. It replicates the preamp section of a Roland Space Echo. It has currently got a noise problem (that I suspect is a grounding issue) which I need to fix.
  • Alfalfasprout69 Custom Shop Tonekicker – This is a small 18db preamp that is designed to fit into a guitar, made by Alfie, but which I have housed in a small enclosure.
  • Dunlop Crybaby Wah – A donation from Clint Searcy of Searcy String Works fame. It has seen better days but within second of switching this one on it is obvious why it is a classic. It is easy to forget, with so many mods and clones available, the reason this pedal is so much modded and cloned is that the original is an absolute gem.

15 thoughts on “Going analogue

  1. Fantastic selection of effects Dave… Even though these days I use a rack mount effects processors, I still have a real soft spot for pedals, what you see is what you get and what knobs you turn is what you hear!!!!

    • I’d agree Alfie. There’s something very “immediate” about a set of pedals in front of you.

  2. Looking cool mate. I’m liking the ‘garden bench’ pedal board. You could conceal all the cables by passing then through the slots. Not too portable though.

  3. Awesome start Dave!…. The rv5 i use alot in modulation mode to add a keyboard pad fx.

    • I’ve been really impressed with it Larry. The spring reverb has an unusual “ping” to it that I don’t particularly like, but the plate, hall and room settings sound great. I love the modulation when running it in stereo into two amps.

  4. I am very excited to see what you do for a pedal board! I checked out the link of what inspired you and have to admit, I like it. I am curious if you will make a pedal board that closes or if it will just be an open board like the one you linked to. You mentioned this was for home use and the POD is for live playing so I will wait with baited breath!

    As for this blog entry, will you post some samples of how you’re using these pedals? I know I’m a complete hypocrite since I never post sound clips myself, but I’m still asking!

    I’m also curious if you feel like you’ve got all your sonic effects needs covered. Is there any other effect that you still need to add? You’ve got overdrive, distortion, delay, etc., but anything else you think you need for your foundation of effects?

    • I will post samples eventually. It is a lot more time-consuming because I have to mic it up. But I will get round to it once finished.

      I’ve wondered too about whether I’ve got everything covered. I suppose the 3 potentially missing pieces are chorus, phaser and compressor.

      I don’t tend to use chorus and phasing so I think I’ll be OK there. I do like compression but the Notcture Dyno Brain smooths things out nicely so I’ll probably go without.

      I’m not sure all of those I’ve got will go on the board. I don’t really use the distortion and the tonekicker territory is well covered by the Dyno Brain.

  5. No pressure on the samples! Just letting you know you have an audience. 🙂

    I have wondered if a good boost can replace much of what people use compressors for in their guitar signal chain (ignoring how it is used for mastering recordings, etc.). Of course, I don’t have either one right now, but probably will at some point (good ol’ GAS). My little overdrive shoot out really helped me see how pedals overlap. Sounds like you’ll have a great, but simple, fully functional pedal board when all is said and done!

    And keep me in mind if that tonekicker territory is covered by the Dyno Brain!

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • 🙂

      You’re right, if you’re only using a compressor to give you a volume boost but it is definitely worth trying one out. It is very subtle but can add a really “professional gloss” to your tone. I don’t know if you’re like me but my picking can be very inconsistent. A compressor smooths it out nicely.

  6. a compressor is a great edition to your pedalboard, but you need to get one that makes the notes sound natural and not like a squashed lemon. I have a Marshall ED-1 Compressor pedal and its good but not all that subtle & a little noisy, hmm.. maybe I’m using it wrong 🙂

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