Help Build My Board (Backstory w/ Boss, Flint, True Spring, Eventide Space)


Sep 20, 2008
I like quality over quantity, and I only really use a couple of effects: (1) TS9/SD1 style overdrive; (2) analog style delay; (3) reverb, mostly spring; and (4) tremolo, mostly bias-style. I'd like to be able to fit it all on a Pedaltrain Nano or similar minimalist board.

Help me build it, with your suggestions for best-in-class versions of each effect.

Here's my backstory, what I've tried, and what I have.

: I'm currently using Boss versions of these effects: SD1, DD7 (analog mode), RV6, and TR2, powered by a 1Spot. I actually really, really like these. They each sound pretty good, I love their ultra durable form-factor, and I already own them. The problem is that even though I'm only running 4 pedals, there's a pretty noticeable difference between the sound with the pedalboard and the sound plugged directly into the amp (a decent amount of noise/hum/hiss, loss of volume, changed eq a bit). I'm not a true-bypass purist or anything, and in fact like the everyman style of an all-Boss board, but the change in tone is pretty noticeable.

Eventide Space: I always wanted to try one, so I did. It is an incredibly high-quality pedal in every way, but a bit overkill for me. I found that I just got lost in deep space and wasn't playing music as much (I literally drooled on myself multiple times it was so mesmerizing). Also, it required a different power source than my 1-spot, so I couldn't really use it with other effects. The deal-killer for me was that the spring algorithm had tremolo, but it was before the reverb, not after like a Fender amp would be, and the effect order couldn't be modified. I realized that the Boss RV6 sounded fine for real-world purposes, so I sold the Space.

Source Audio True Spring: I heard rave reviews about the quality of the spring algorithm in this pedal, and it is all true. The outboard unit model and the long-amp-style models are dead on, better than anything I've heard. The Boss RV6 is actually pretty darn good, but the True Spring was more life-like and had a bit of compression that seemed more realistic. But the enclosure didn't feel very solid - it was lightweight and the little switches seemed fragile. I also didn't like having to use an app on my phone to dive into the parameters. Finally, I compared its tremolo to my TR2, and I liked the TR2 better: the true spring tremolo was good and was dead quiet, but the analog TR2 seemed to add some texture and substance, and sound more "real" in a way.

Strymon Flint: This is one of the most-recommended pedals, and for good reason. It sounds great, but to be honest, I think that the spring algorithm is better on the all of the above (Boss RV6, Eventide, and True Spring). The Flint's spring reverb seemed to impose almost too much compression, maybe in an attempt to make it sound more tube-amp like, but it seemed to take away the realism of hearing the springs move. On the tremolo, it was like the True Spring -- very good, but the analog TR2 seemed to have a velvety texture while the Flint just seemed like a digital volume-changer. Finally, I don't know how to describe it, but the Flint's reverb seemed to hover above the tone, not in it (I think it might have something to do with how they filter the digital reverb effect into the analog signal rather than convert the analog signal to digital and back like the Eventide).

Here are my options

1. Keep the Boss pedals and just get over the noise. Alternatively, I could investigate whether investing in a power source could fix the noise issues. Also, I could trade the SD1 and DD7 for waza versions (SD1w and DM2w) in hopes that their "better" buffers solve the issue.

2. Return to either the Flint or True Spring (both dead quiet and didn't change my tone) and add an analog delay and overdrive.

3. Maybe consider a Source Audio Collider (true spring reverb and delay), and add analog overdrive and tremolo.
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Friend of Leo's
Nov 10, 2013
I suspect the TR2, if its older and not modded, might be the issue with your signal chain. I love boss pedals for delay, reverb, modulation, not a fan of them for dirt tones - newer TR-2s are solid - I just think there are better.

RV-6 in +delay mode could kill two birds with a single pedal - its excellent.
For tremolo, I like EHX Pulsar, so maybe a pulsar nano for size.
DD-7 Analog mode I am sure is good, but a DM-2w would be killer

For dirt in the SD-1 vein, I'd recommend the MXR Super badass modified Overdrive - its an SD-1 in sheeps clothing. SD-1 is not bad, just not my flavor. I think the MXR is just a cut above.

For single power source, truetone 1spot - it should handle all that with no issues.


Mar 5, 2013
keep the SD1, it’s a great overdrive (I sold it, but…) and if you want more dirt, stack a second overdrive to get a wide rage of sounds mixing together the ODs (you can use the SD1 also like a booster, zero gain/max volume)
delay: MXR Carbon Copy, one of the best choice for analog delay
reverb:MXR Reverb will do the job (I don't have much experience on reverb)
tremolo: my favorite, in order…. Fulltone SupaTrem, Demeter Tremulator, Supro Tremolo, Voodoo Lab Tremolo, T-Rex Tremster, JHS Tidewater

they can fit easily a Nano/Nano Plus pedalboard
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Poster Extraordinaire
Mar 16, 2003
Missoula, Montana
Well, hmmm, I'm probably the wrong person to answer this as I really love the Flint, harmonic trem & plate reverb all day long. But my other board has the boss FRV-1 and the Demeter Tremulator on it & these do a much more accurate version of Fender amp reverb & trem. I can get them to sound a lot like a Princeton Reverb. FRV-1 is out of production but not hard to find.


Sep 14, 2011
Charlottesville, va
I realize this may not answer your inquiry exactly, but illustrates how you can get five pedals on a Nano. The black pedal is a Mr. Black mini-trem. By a mile the best trem I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a bunch.


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Mar 8, 2022
I use a Catalinbread Topanga for reverb on my Pedaltrain Nano (powered by a Ciocks 5 underneath for the 18 volts). Boss DM-2W would I think give you everything you need for analog delay. Supa trem Junior great for tremolo. I don’t think you should get any noticeable noise from those pedals. And easily room for whatever drive pedal (not really my thing - I use a Catalinbread Fuzzrite for drive!)