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From almost nothing to a full 'board.

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by KelvinS1965, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Well, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I've not tended to really use pedals much in the past: I'd maybe stick some kind of distortion pedal in front of a clean amp, but other than a few pedals I bought back in the 1980s I tend to just dig one out once in a while.

    I recently got involved with a covers band, playing lead guitar. To be fair I could probably do most of the songs with my Marshall Mini Jubilee set to either a slight crunch, or switch to the dirty channel, but I thought that I'd put what pedals I had onto a used Nano+ 'board I found. Of course I justified getting a few more as I went along and by complete accident found that stacking a couple of them gives a decent ZZ Top sound (for 'Tush').

    I've got the overdrive and compression pedals on the input of the amp, then the delay, reverb and clean boost goes in the loop: There is enough headroom to use the clean boost for lifting solos up (unless we start playing stadiums, then I'll get the soundman to mic me up ;) ).

    State of play so far:
    Pedalboard V1.jpg

    I'm trying an MXR Timmy out over the weekend, so the Soul Food might get replaced by that: I find the SF a bit 'boxy' sounding, like I've swapped the speaker for a smaller one.

    The SL drive might seem a bit redundant into a Marshall, but the Mini Jubilee isn't really a 2 channel amp; they share the same gain control, so it goes from pretty clean to a very saturated sound using the footswitch. You can balance the volume so that the clean and dirty channels match (or not if you prefer), but shared eq and the main gain control mean it takes a bit of setting up to be able to use it for gigs, with just a footswitch.

    The SL drive allows me to dial in that more crunchy classic rock sound (it's not too far off what my SV20H 'Plexi' amp sounds like to be fair, so it does a good job). The idea was to have a low distortion pedal, then a Plexi type pedal and a fuzz pedal on top of the base clean(ish), with the dirty channel for full on saturated sounds.

    I'm still experimenting with the 'toneprint' settings for the HOF and the Flashback TC pedals. So far the standard Plate reverb seems to work well and analogue echo on a slapback setting covers the cleaner songs. I don't think changing settings during a gig would be a great idea, so unless I need to use chorus instead of slapback I'd need to decide beforehand which one to load.

    Not too sure about the RAT clone (Mooer Black Secret) yet. We will be adding a couple of 70's punk songs later, so I bought it for those sounds. I don't think it's too critical about where it goes in the chain (not like a Fuzz face for example), though I might move it nearer the front of the chain.

    Funny thing is: Tonight I played through our set list using just the Marshall clean or dirty and my Esquire (which I've fitted an Eric Clapton mid boost and a tapped pickup)...maybe I don't need the pedal board after all? :D:oops:
     
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  2. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Meister

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    My very first pedal was a mini-pedal like those. It was the MXR Phase 95. I got it the year it came out. My band was just starting and we played a lot of Waylon stuff, being the only guitar player I needed a Phaser. I like the Phase 95 but it did not work well with the "normal" size pedals I have been accumulating since then as our collection of songs changed and grew. I decided that instead of risking a break mid-show I would by a standard Phase 90. Now I have 8 pedals that I use on a regular basis. I recommend not discounting pedals. I was adamant that I would never use more than a Phaser. Now I advocate for using a minimalist pedal board. No more than what you need, but no less than what allows for maximum tonal flexibility. My rig can go from super-sparkly clean with absolutely no crunch to Hendrix and Van Halen level distortion with those 8 pedals. The only problem I have is that those eight pedals are the only eight pedals. There are no backups or spare power supplies. I would probably use the pedals to make your Marshall act like a different amp...You definitely need a Phase 95 on that board by the way. No board is complete without a Phaser.
     
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  3. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    When you get the Timmy, try the Soul Food stacked into it first. Set the Timmy to the open position with just a little gain, and little bass cut just to tighten it up. Then on the Soul Food set the drive down low around 8 o'clock, and crank the output up.
     
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  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Talking about phasers: I've got a 1980s Ibanez Phase Tone, that I've had from new:

    Phase Tone.jpg

    For me it's a bit of a one trick pony though and not something I'd use on even one song from our list, so not really an essential on my 'board. Was one of my first 'decent' brand pedals and it was 30+ years before I bought the 'matching' Tubescreamer (which I also don't really use).

    I'll give it a try, but the only issue is that there is only room for one or the other, so it'll have to be a sound I really can't get close to with a combination of the other pedals. Then it creates the headache of how to fit it on the board as I want to stick with the number I have now to avoid going down a rabbit hole of buying a bigger board and filling that up.

    I actually had a Pedaltrain Classic a few years ago and sold it to a friend as I just wasn't using it: I'd end up taking pedals off it, just to take to jams or some gigs where I only needed one pedal.
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I forgot to post the rig that this 'board goes into. I use the smaller 1x12 for rehearsals. It came with a 'V-type' speaker that I thought I'd change, but so far I'm impressed with it at the first rehearsal I took it to. I have a spare UK made Vintage 30 (or an older Greenback in a more 'Plexi' style 1x12 cab, but the MJ seems to sound better with a Vintage 30).

    Jubilee Stack.jpg

    I've also got the matching 2x12 cab with (UK) Vintage 30s in it, but it's really heavy, so I'll save that for gigs that need the extra level, to save my back. :)
     
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  6. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Nice board! and great original phaser. I'd keep it off the board and use it at home, and get a Phase 90 or the new skinny MXR one to keep it pristine. I just did the same with my '83 Ibanez AD9 Analog Delay and '86 Ibanez SC10 Super Stereo Chorus.

    As for the different drive sounds, while getting really close is fun, no one will notice if your overdrive is slightly different. I use a Barber Direct Drive and a J. Rockett Majestic for 2 levels of overdrive, with an EP Boost. Works for most cover songs we play in terms of clean, grit, and crunch, with the EP Booster as a lead boost for all of them.

    Any reason the tuner isn't first? I'd imagine you have to turn off all the other pedals to get a clean signal to tune with... if you haven't, try the SP Comp as the first pedal before your drive - very different to have compression/drive vs. drive/compression and you can figure out which you like.

    On the flashback, try the digital setting, like the 2290 engine - crank the delay, and then have the level low. It works well as a delay/reverb and sits well with your tone. You may find you don't need the HOF then as well...
     
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  7. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Dude, a board of all mini pedals means you need a Tumnus (or Mosky on the cheap) instead of a Soul Food.
     
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  8. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It kind of simulates that mid boost drive into a cranked amp sound. It sounds like you probably don't need that.
     
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  9. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I’ve just gone completely the other way. Had a massive board and just sold 90% of it and bought a Helix HX Effects to simplify my rig. I kept my volume pedal, my favorite dual overdrive and one Zoom Multistomp just because it’s a nice “Swiss army knife” pedal to have when you need it. EHX Hot Wax dual OD upfront of my H&K TubeMeister head with the volume pedal and the HX Effects in the loop.
     
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  10. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I just got a the Black Secret recently myself. It replaced a MI Crunch Box (V2 I think). I'm not too sure about it either. A Rat is definitely not a MIB. It's a grittier fuzzier sound. It does the '80s thing pretty well. Using it at a gig for the first time, the first song/solo I used on was Keep Your Hand to Yourself, and my singer turned to me afterwards and said, "Dude! That was awesome!" :lol:

    But, I prefer my MIB pedal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  11. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    That’s a great amp! I’m using a Fender Bassbreaker cab with my H&K TubeMeister 18 head. It has the V-type in it, as well, which I expected I would replace with an Eminence Private Jack, which is one of my favourites. But now that the V-type is broken in, I kinda love it so it’s going to stay. The H&K 112 cab came with a V30 and I really did not like it with this head, which is why I went with the Fender cab.
     
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  12. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Great feedback everyone; thanks. :cool:

    Hadn't thought of the tuner being at the front or end of the amp chain; to be fair it seems to work fine where it is, even if some of the pedals in front are on. I've done the usual velcro set up so I can move things around to experiment, though so far I seem to only use the SF and the SL drive together for one song. If I'm honest, just using the amp dirty channel alone works well enough for that song though. Will definitely have a try of different orders though, hopefully over the weekend.

    Will have a look into those settings for the Flashback too, thanks @nedorama

    @naveed211 I very nearly ordered the Tumnus after watching loads of comparison videos: I like that it's a bit more bass heavy than the other Klones. My friend has a KTR that I might be able to borrow at some point: I actually used it one gig ages ago because I'd forgotten my SL drive and he lent me it. Can't remember much about it as it was my wedding party and we just played an opening short set before the main band came on (since I had a captive audience :D).

    I did look into doing something similar to you @mkdaws32 by using a Mooer Pre Amp Live that I have. However, I spent an evening getting four basic sounds and their respective boosts set up, only to realise that they sounded horrible, with a weird sort of 'crackling' as the distortion fades back to clean. I wasn't using any IRs, just straight into my amp. Better put that one in my 'for sale' pile I think.

    A friend has a Helix, he speaks highly off, but I'm a bit more old school I'm afraid: I like that if the pedals go wrong, I can bypass them and at least get a usable clean or dirty sound from the amp. I even have a back up amp, in the form of a Vox MV50AC...it would just about get me through our set, with some manual adjustment if it really came to it.

    I've got an old Boss CE2 as well, but I took it apart to respray it back in the late 1980s (I used to hate anything that looked scratched or beat up :oops:). It's got some odd knobs on it now, plus 'Letra set' decals, under a (now) lightly crazed clear coat of nitro (since that's all I had back then). Looks pretty cool, but I think I messed with the internal pots thinking I'd make it 'sound better'. :eek::oops: Must have another try at tweaking them whilst playing to see if I can reverse my 'mod'. :confused:
     
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  13. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I always have backups, as well. An old Bandit and the Zoom Multistomp I mentioned above can get get me through a gig alone, if need be.

    I’ve certainly been around the block a couple of times with full boards, multi-effect units, and back again, but this new “hybrid” approach seems to suit me well. The base tone is all my real amp and cab - no IRs or amp models. Then I have the pure analogue dual OD upfront so the Helix HX Effects is handling utility stuff, like noise gates, EQs and tuner, plus all my delays and reverbs.

    I can use IRs with great results instead of a real cab for going direct to a board or for recording, but the basic tone is still coming from a real tube amp an my favorite OD pedal.
     
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stack the Soul Food (Klon) with the Rat (try each before/after the other).
    I have a Golden Horse mini instead of the Soul Food/Klon.


    .
     
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  15. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    No mini Crybaby?
     
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  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I did try SF>'RAT' as it stands, but it didn't remind me of any particular song, so I don't know that I'd use that combo. I'll have to try the other way round though.

    I tend to go through the pedals to find something in the ballpark for each song, a bit like Nedorama does.

    Also, I've been meaning to ask: What's with the '.' above and below every post you make? I always know it's you on the various forums without looking at the name when I see it.

    I've got a full size 1960s JEM Crybaby wah pedal, but like the Phaser it's not something I really use. We don't really do any songs where it's a prominent sound, plus I'm not very good at using one to be honest, so there is that too.:oops:
     
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  17. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Meister

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    Not a fan of EHX Hot Wax, as the Crayon side is before the Hot Tubes without order switching. I think the Hot Tubes might be better off as a standalone. Also they removed the tone control for Hot the Hot Tubes side. Which seems like not that big a deal until you realize that the tone control lightens up the tone of the Hot Tubes making it much more versatile. i think there are other better, slightly more expensive dual overdrives out there.
     
  18. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Well...I like the MXR Timmy, so it's going to be in place of the Soul Food. You can probably see the settings in the photo below, so not using a lot of gain (though my Esquire and Strat both have Eric Clapton mid boost which can push it a little more). I think I prefer the middle switch setting. It works perfectly for the songs where I just need a little bit of grit (with the Marshall gain, just on the edge of clean/crunch).

    I found that by putting the SP compressor in front of it I get a similar sound to that when the switch is to the left, plus I can just have the SP on a clean guitar sound as well. I like the Timmy into the SL drive, though maybe not a sound I need at the moment, it's good to have another option. The Black secret seems to work better (for me) in Turbo mode, which makes helps to differentiate it more from the SL drive. I don't think I'll use the BS with the other pedals into it as it just starts to sound 'messy' to my ears.

    Pedalboard V2.jpg

    I also tested the Polytune with all the pedals on in front of it and it works fine, so I've left it there for now as the way the various patch cables/Z-links work it all just about fits despite the Timmy being smaller than the Soul Food.

    Apart from more practising this weekend I'm going to look at the Tone print options for the Flashback and HOF as suggested previously.
     
  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Yeah - I’ve had a few (visual sound Jeckll and Hyde, visual sound dual TS clone, EHX Tortion, and some others). The Hot Wax works best for me and my amp, but it’s all personal preference, which is why there are so many choices out there. I tried the Hot Tubes and Crayon separately and preferred the Crayonnin front, actually. The Hot Tubes can be so transparent - it’s a great OD.
     
  20. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Are you having any issues with the pedals moving when you step on them?

    I have regular velcro on my board and mini pedals really like to fall off and move with just velcro. Anything more normal size seems to stay put fine.
     
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