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Help Me Select Pedals!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by JonL58, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. JonL58

    JonL58 TDPRI Member

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    Hi folks...
    A friend and sometime bandmate has asked me to put together a small pedalboard for him. I know what I like for my own style of playing, but he's very different and doesn't really know what to get. He plays a Telecaster Thinline, a Taylor acoustic with pickup, and a Taylor T5-Z that has both an acoustic style pickup and two hum buckers for a more electric sound. He plays rhythm guitar only, in a classic rock cover band (nothing too heavy, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Dead...) and in a more acoustically oriented duo. He plays pretty much only full chords (both "cowboy" and barre), but no fills or double stops. He stays in his zone... his strumming is not too heavy nor too light. He's looking to "fatten" his sound or make it fuller. He has a variety of amps, including a Fishman and a boutique job (I forget the name) that's more or less a blackface Deluxe Reverb. Also a blackface Vibro Champ he uses a lot.

    He has a Joe Walsh Double Classic (which is an overdrive and compressor in one unit with separate controls). He doesn't have to keep it as part of his board, but it seems like it might be a good fit for his needs. He needs a tuner with a big display (we're old!). I can probably find a suitable one but recommendations are welcome.

    I'm thinking his board should include a tuner, the Joe Walsh OD/Compressor, and a good acoustic guitar preamp (Baggs, or one of the ones that gets good reviews - again, recommendations welcome!). What else? Maybe a delay pedal? Maybe a flanger or chorus? I think five pedals max including the tuner is enough.

    Your detailed thoughts are most welcome, as well as recommendations for the board itself (must have a case and be easily portable), and also the order of effects.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    Some suggestions:

    JHS Morning Glory / Bluesbreaker style
    Greer Lightspeed
    EHX Soul Food, JRAD Archer (or other klone)
    Catalinbread Epoch Boost, MXR Echoplex, JRAD APE, or other EP-3 Preamp pedal

    Not suggesting one of each, but some to look at. Can't go wrong with any of those really.

    To fatten things up for me I do this:

    bluesbreaker pedal -> klone pedal -> rest of pedal board -> EP3 preamp pedal -> amp .... I'm at 3 pedals before I even do any other effects, but with those and a good amp, its a great sound and can get dirt by boosting further (I have two additional boosts built-in between those 3 pedals I use: Coppersound Foxcatcher -> Aluminum Falcon (hard to find) -> stuff -> CB Epoch Pre/Boost.


    Big Tuner: Pearson Strobotuner

    Delay: Boss DM-2w or MXR Carbon Copy

    Reverb: Boss RV-6 (this can also mix a bit of delay with verb)

    Don't see chorus/flange needed for stuff listed, but I am probably wrong.

    Acoustic Pre: Fishman Aura Spectrum or Platinum Pro

    Hope it helps - my suggestions are not inexpensive, but I believe they can help achieve the goal.
     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.
  3. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does his amp have reverb?

    If he’s playing full barre chords he’s going to need to be careful about what he picks for dirt because that can get super muddy super fast.

    That or he can lean into having a cool fuzz or distortion pedal and start using power chords or single notes.

    Eq pedals are incredibly useful.

    If the amp has no reverb, some kind of decent reverb pedal or maybe delay, depending on taste.

    Maybe one more dirt pedal, something flexible, so he has some stacking options with that od he already has? With just one more dirt, you have pedal a and pedal b off, pedal a on and pedal b off, pedal and and pedal b on, and pedal a off and pedal b on. That gives you a bunch more useable sounds and if you get them dialed in right you don’t need to fuss with the setting in the middle of playing.

    For that kind of classic rock he’s probably going to get more mileage out of a tremolo pedal than a chorus/flanger/phaser, but the c/f/p will pop a little more because you don’t hear them so often.

    We’re in the golden age of cheap Asian knockoffs so it’s less commitment to audition pedals than it used to be.

    A clean tracking octave pedal could get him into imitation 12 string territory or add a little bit more sparkle and or thump if you have some restraint dialing it in, but that’s probably a little extra for what he’s looking for.
     
  4. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    For the acoustic side, I like the tc play acoustic. On the electric side, tuner, OD, Delay, multi-modulation pedal would get him introduced to common effects.
     
  5. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    MXR micro amp for the acoustic. Even rolled all the way back it seems to make acoustic pickups bigger.

    Boss DD-3 digital delay for mild slapback and doubling sounds.

    Boss DC-2W dimension to thicken everything up without being obviously modulated.
     
  6. DisharmonicDark99

    DisharmonicDark99 TDPRI Member

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    Lots of really good suggestions in this thread already. This might seem like a somewhat untypical choice comparatively, but one of the pedals that I use at every gig that works for both my Tele as well as when I throw on my acoustic-with-pickup is my Pickup Booster pedal. I use the Duncan version of this and while it doesn't exactly alter the tone, it just fattens up and makes the sound a bit bolder in spots where I need it. Depending on where you set the resonance toggle switch on the pedal, you can use it to make a single coil sound a bit fuller and bolder, and while I don't really see it being advertised as such, I think it works great with my acoustic, helping to make it sound more bold and giving it a bit more body and volume without sounding like an overdrive or anything like that which would make the guitar sound distorted or alter it's tone in a negative way. Not sure what it's going for these days but I got mine for around $100 USD so it's pretty affordable too. It's one of the few pedals that I have kept on my board consistently for a while now.

    As for tuners, two of the ones I've used recently with good results are the KORG tuner pedals, which run on the more inexpensive side, and the Peterson StroboStomp pedal which is a bit pricier but super-reliable and has more features. But both of those have very easy to read displays, and I have bad eyesight so I appreciate that feature too!
     
  7. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Please have your friend go to a music store and try some pedals. You already have a good handle on what he needs. We could name our favorite pedals for pages and pages (and we probably will), but that doesn't help him.
     
  8. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    EHX Neo Clone. it’s a great, small chorus.
    I like the Boss DD-8 as it has a simple looper.
    There are a few multi-mod pedals that are small and appear easy to use.
    TC Dreamscape and EHX Mod 11 come to mind. I do not have experience with them however.
     
  9. David C

    David C Tele-Meister

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    I'm in this camp. I think the two of you need to spend an afternoon at the store trying various pedals just to see what interests him. It seems to me there are basics, such as tuners, reverb, delay, distortion, overdrive that you should try out together. But my basic list isn't everyone else's basic list.

    I suggest you go spend some time plugging in some pedals to see how your overall sound moves toward a direction you like. The used pedal market is beyond huge for a reason.
     
    OmegaWoods likes this.
  10. standup

    standup TDPRI Member

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    Hard to say what this person I don’t know needs. But my favorite fattening pedal is Barber Gain Changer, it can just a bit of girth, works great for subtle boost nod edge of grind sounds. And for tuners with a big display I like Korg pitch black. Easy to read even outdoors in the sun.
     
  11. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods Tele-Meister

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    "Build me a pedalboard" is akin to "pick me a spouse" in my estimation. Too many variables, too personal a task.

    I'd say tuner and eq are about as far as I'd be willing to advise.
     
  12. JonL58

    JonL58 TDPRI Member

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    Great suggestions so far! Thank you so much. He and I are both vaxxed now, so maybe going to a store isn't out of the question. I had been planning on bringing my limited supply of pedals to him to begin trying some things. Maybe we'll do that first and then head to a store.
     
  13. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I would also try a good compressor in the chain. Does wonders for amplified acoustic guitar -- knocks off the volume spikes so you can run a higher average level. will indeed make it sound "fuller." maybe that Joe Walsh thingie can do this.

    I bought a Redeye DI a year ago, right before the gigs stopped. sounds good around the living room, anyway.

    I use a Horizon tuner, doesn't seem to be particularly well-known brand but the screen is big and bright, legible as hell.

    but yeah, music store.
     
  14. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    A compressor will help the tele. I’d recommend a Boss AD2 Acoustic Preamp for his acoustics. It can add a full mic’d sound in tandem with a piezo pickup and bring the richness that gets lost. Really cool pedal that’s often overlooked. Check out the demos!

    For his board, I’d just stick with a few Boss pedals. Boss CS3 Compressor, Boss AD2 acoustic preamp, Boss OD3 overdrive. Maybe a delay and tremolo if he needs some effects.
     
  15. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    JHS Colour Box V2. Acoustic, Electric, Bass, etc. You're welcome.
     
  16. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    It's deeply personal, but I'll have a go.

    Tuner>Phase 90(*)>Dirt(**)>TC Flashback Delay(***)> Amp

    (*) No other modulation pedal comes remotely close to the awesomeness of a 1-knob Phase 90. Added bonus: instant '70s.
    (**) What dirt totally depends on what amp he plugs in and what he likes. For "fattening a little" I'd advise a BD-2 (if the amp is pretty mids-heavy) or a Bluesbreaker (for a more scooped amp). The BD-2 has a big range and can work well as a distortion pedal too. Mooer's "Blues Mood" and "Blues Crab" are both awesome pedals for little money.
    (***) Cheap, and ANY of its models is a good delay. If he tells you he dislikes too many options, tell him to hardwire the selection knob on his favorite delay and be done with it.

    If ever he had wanted to take solos I'd have advised a boost pedal too, but it does not seem necessary.
     
  17. JonL58

    JonL58 TDPRI Member

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    TC Flashback is in my rig and I love it. I'm going to bring that to my friend and see how he likes it.

    I also have a JHS Superbolt, King of Tone, Flashback, Silver Spring reverb, cheap tremolo, EP boost, and vintage Deluxe Electric Mistress to try with his Joe Walsh Comp/Drive pedal. I borrowed a Tonebone PZ Deluxe acoustic preamp from a friend. I guess we'll see what general kinds of effects work best for him, and then go shopping for flavor. (I have a Colby fuzz and mini crybaby too, but those won't be necessary for him).
     
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  18. JonL58

    JonL58 TDPRI Member

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    I just checked out some videos of it. Very cool. I think it'd be too much for my friend. Not $$$, too many options. I think he's going to need a rig that he can find a sweet spot with and not get too far afield by over-tweaking knobs.
     
  19. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    There is a learning curve but it is worth it. If I could have only one pedal...
     
  20. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    that's some funny stuff!:cool: so true and so giggle-worth.
     
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