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Your "must haves" on pedalboard when playing a wide range of styles

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by JKSteger, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. JKSteger

    JKSteger Tele-Meister

    Sep 17, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    I'm looking to trim up the ole pedalboard. I've got too much crap on there now. I play alot of different styles and such from U2-ish, 70's rock, POP country (I call it), AC/DC, Blues-Rock and anything in between. Here is my current line up...

    Guitar -> Volume> Wah > Tuner > EHX Small Stone Phaser > EHX Metal Muff > Sparkle Drive > Bad Monkey > Cool Cat Drive > Marshall Guv'nor > Compressor > Chorus > Analog Delay > Line6 Echo Park Delay modeler > amp.

    My board is overflowing! Here is what I'm noticing I'm not playing much of:

    Wah, Metal Muff, Compressor,

    I would really like to get my drives down to 2. I'm thinking about keeping the Sparkle and either Marshall Guv'nor or Cool Cat Drive.

    The Sparkle is versital with it's "Clean Blend" and the OD is basically a TS curcit (isn't everything it seams).

    I'm thinking these are my "must haves" and I'm going to change my layout to this setup:
    Guitar > Volume > tuner > Phaser > Sparkle Drive > Cool Cat Drive > Chorus > Echo Park > Amp

    Might add a Fuzz down the road.

    What are your "must haves" when playing a wide range musically?


  2. Yoni

    Yoni Friend of Leo's

    Jun 10, 2008
    Joliet, not the prison
    Man you have a lot of drive on there then again I'm no one to talk,

    My board as of now is full with my essentials, Wah, Fuzz, 2 Od's and boosts, Vibe, trem, chourus(used to be my go to effect but don't use it much anymore) and delay.

  3. Durango Twango

    Durango Twango Tele-Meister

    Nov 24, 2005
    Very subjective stuff. My current board is in flux. I used to use my Quattro pedal for everything - compression, two gain stages, tremelo and analog delay. I'm using this now as a small "board" and it's a great unit.

    I recently started playing in a trio and have to cover a lot of tones - From Adam Levy, to Derek Trucks to Nels Cline and Doyle Bramhall kind of dynamics, lots of clean tones and a fair bit of slide work. So now I'm building up a bigger board for that setting. I started with a Clyde Deluxe wah and a MDV-2 and they get turned on seldom but bring something good to the table. I run a couple of gain pedals - right now it's a newly acquired OCD v4 and a Liverpool - the Liverpool does a really nice low gain into an amp or can be dialed in to give a nice chimey clean flavor and works pretty darned good direct in case the amp dies. I'm shopping now for an additional flavor of gain - maybe a Barber LTD, a BB Preamp or a Zendrive, something that works well with the OCD. I don't find myself using a Fuzz tone - the OCD is fuzzy enough for my tastes. I'm trying the vibrato on the MDV-2 in place of tremelo - we'll see. Soon as I find the right delay I'm pretty much done.

    Al this runs into an Allen Brown sugar 1x12 combo or Accomplice head with a 1x12 EV cab (or both). The "raw" knob on these amps can really change how the amp reacts to the pedals but I typically forget to turn around and tweak it. Pretty much keep them clean.

  4. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Friend of Leo's

    My new Digitech Hardwire Valve Distortion is a must have now, since it does both tube overdrive and thicker distortion thanks to the crunch/saturation toggle. So if I had to have one dirt box, I'd go with that.

    So, wah, Hardwire, delay, & tremolo would be "must have" for me. My flanger could stay at home if need be, and so could my fuzz. The Hardwire could also eliminate my Cool Cat Drive b/c of its versatility.

  5. markxander

    markxander Tele-Holic

    Jekyll and Hyde (or Full Drive 2, or something similar)

    I think the most underused effects are the knobs on your guitar. Everything sounds kind of like a fuzz if there's enough gain and you turn the tone knob down on your bridge pickup.

    That being said, I do like having a board with a few different gain settings, a compressor, and delay (and a chorus or phaser). But really, I only ever find myself using one or two a night. I have a distortion dialed in for my Tele and one for my Les Paul, and the rest is all boost or extra.

  6. scooteraz

    scooteraz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 17, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    Currently, my pedal board has blackstone>Budwah>OCD>HBE Lorba Fuzz>Retrosonic Chorus>Option 5 Phaser>MXR EVH Flanger>DLS Delay>Option 5 Destination Rotation.

    Those are all "must have":rolleyes:

  7. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2008
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    A good OD / fuzz pedal, a delay and a tuner if you play live. After that, everything else is just for fun IMHO.

  8. JKSteger

    JKSteger Tele-Meister

    Sep 17, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    I'm really finding this to be true! Sometimes I think my feet works harder than my hands. :lol:


  9. Pinball_Wizard

    Pinball_Wizard Tele-Holic

    May 6, 2008
    San Diego
    Currently I just have;

    I occasionally throw back in wah, but every time I hear most modern wah usage I get sick of it, and take it out. Then I hear some Zappa or Chili Peppers. It'll depend on what songs I cover I guess, if wah will be in my chain.

  10. AngryEL34s

    AngryEL34s Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    GoudieFX Compressor, Fulltone FD-2, EHX Deluxe Memory Man, Diaz Tremodillo and Dr. Scientist RRR. Covers most of what I need.

    I have a Green Big Muff and a Deluxe Electric Mistress I can throw in the mix in a pinch.

  11. A good quality cable...

    (and a TU-2 for underneath the amp so it tilts backwards a bit)

  12. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I'm playing with what sounds like a similar band: Carrie Underwood to Pink to U2 to Pat Benatar to CCR. Current set up is:

    Wah > Fuzz > tuner > Dano CO1 > Rocktron Austin Gold > Line6 Roto > VolPedal > DigiDelay > Marshall Reverb > Dr. Z Carmin Ghia

    • Wah --- I'm doing some songs that actually need it to cover, but I'm usually not a big wah player
    • Fuzz & CO1 --- I could get away with only one of these two as I rarely use both in the same song, but I do like the variations they give
    • Austin Gold --- mostly clean boost but it's different than punching up the volume pedal. Also, makes it easier to adjust for different guitar volumes.
    • Line6 Roto --- this spot keeps getting changed around. I've also used a TremVibe in the same spot; keep thinking about a phase; maybe a chorus. But unless you need to comp records note for note and tone for tone, I think this is a spot where you can just pick one and figure out how to use it for your band.
    • Volume --- Using this more the longer I've had it. I keep it backed off just a bit from max in case I need just a little more boost; does nice things for background textural sounds; faux strings and keyboard. Of course, if I ever learned to properly use a guitar's volume knob I wouldn't need it.
    • Reverb & Delay --- could probably just use one of these, the reverb has a plate setting that could take care of most things in that area for me. On the other hand, if you play in big enough spaces with amps turned up enough there is almost no need for reverb at your feet.
    If I wanted to minimize, I'd probably use:
    Fuzz > CO1 > Roto > Reverb

    But that would also mean more pedal tweaking between songs and learning to use a vol knob for swells.

  13. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Essential pedal? = Tuner.

    It's the only one that's actually essential.
    Reverb? maybe, does the amp not have reverb?

  14. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

    Jun 26, 2007
    My "travelboard" is comp=>od=>delay. When I feel like carrying extra weight, I'll add a wah at the beginnig of the chain. Covers pretty much everything I need.

  15. dalandan

    dalandan Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2008
    tuner pedal for starters. a good amp too.

    but if you're going to be hauling all that around for a COVER band, why not go multi? You may sacrifice tone but being able to save patches will be so much easier on you than altering your settings for each pedal on every song/set. It should also let you plug in directly to the mixer in case you don't want to bring an amp.

    yes, you sacrifice a bit of the sound but the convenience is there for you.

    why not invest in a really good one? The new Line 6 or the TC unit comes to mind, but that's just IMO.

    good luck!

  16. JKSteger

    JKSteger Tele-Meister

    Sep 17, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    I've actually thought about this one alot. I've been trying to nail down the "sound" of the song I'm covering too. Not bad with classic rock but man, some of thoes U2 and Floyd songs get a little crazy with delay and effects. At this point I've decided to stay with my board but last night I trimmed the fat. My chain is this: guitar > tuner > small stone > sparkle drive > cool cat drive > volume pedal > compressor > chorus > Line6 delay > amp. I went through some songs and I can hit about 90% or everthing with this setup. So what if some of the stranger delay/echo on some of the songs are not 100% accurate. It's live and I don't think anyone really cares...except me and I'm over it :D


  17. SackvilleDan

    SackvilleDan Tele-Holic

    Feb 8, 2009
    He's right, I was stacking a Tube Screamer and Timmy today with outrageous gain settings (and my bridge pickup tone waaay down) and got some fun splatty tones.

    I also got this weird kind of reverse-decay on the low notes, where the attack was well pronounced but then "expanded" into mush, it was really fun, but hard to explain. Now, to put that in a song!

  18. cwcowell

    cwcowell Tele-Meister

    Oct 15, 2007


    Just get a multi-effects unit. 99% of the audience can't tell the diff between boutique effects and a Pod. As gearheads we're loath to admit it, but we all know it's true.

  19. TIMP3

    TIMP3 TDPRI Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    I don't play out but i can not imagine needing more than what i have now -

    guitar>Korg Pitchblack>Monsterpiece MKII fuzz> Boss BD2 OD>Holy Grail Reverb>amp (Champion 600)

  20. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Compression -> Overdrive -> Volume Pedal -> Delay. Amp MUST have reverb (I use DRs). I use 2 DD-3 delays for preset long & short echo. I have done countless gigs with that rig over the years in many styles using both Tele and Strat.

    My current rig is all old Boss pedals with the exception of an early '80s RAT which is fun about 2 songs a night.

    Pedal I should remove from the board: Boss CE-2 chorus. I just don't like chorus, it's a placeholder. Perhaps a better phase shifter than my old Phase 90 that's in the closet.

    Pedal I keep thinking I should get after 30 years: some wah-wah. Never got around to it.

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