The Pedalboard Wars: It's on Like Donkey Kong!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by teletimetx, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    A-tone-ment.

    Nope, not really looking for forgiveness here. I once lived in Oklahoma and lived to tell about it, so maybe that’s why I have a soft spot for our colleague @RetroTeleRod.

    Or maybe my parents dropped me on my head.

    Seemed to me that his asking for forgiveness was also like drawing a line in the sand. No apology required for a compressor pedal, really, and no shade from my tree if he wants to put an acoustic simulator on his board.

    But to take a picture of it and wave it in our faces? Was he really interested in forgiveness or was he kind of wandering close to a troll border? It did make me laugh and it did spawn some wondermous conversation and a few priceless videos - on balance, can’t fault a fella for trying.

    Tragically though, it set me to thinking. Had to sit down.

    The words came to my head – Do I have to get out my $14 Arion Tubulator? What if I just hooked up some stuff to look like a pedalboard, but with some egregious choices? Not to make fun of anyone else’s taste in pedals, but simply to invite some some folly upon my own.

    I have not exercised flawless judgment in the pedal path to righteous tones. No, I have not, but along the way, and with considerable help from considerably more informed folks, right here on TDPRI, I at least developed a protocol for considering such devices, so as not to waste the equivalent of good amp or good guitar money on small aluminum switch-equipped boxes with shiny lights – and blah, blah, blah. I just filled up my wife's car with gas this morning and there went at least one pedal. Up in smoke.

    So let's get it on! You made some bad choices? Here's mine - a pedal board to laugh at. Go ahead, I’ve already beat myself up over some of the choices here, and some of them I quite like and are actually in use, but not necessarily in the manner you see in the photo. My knowledge of these devices is extremely limited. I’m hoping that there will be some fun to be had here with a bizarro-world version of “show us your pedal board”. A voodoo labs chorus, a tubulator and a B9 pedal on the same board? Let's get it on!

    I invite you, one and all, to make up your own logically challenged pedal board, if only that someone might see something and by coincidental brain storm, fabricate some new sound of genius. Bonus points for including one of your four-legged assistants in the photo. C’mon, make us laugh or get off my lawn!
    pedalwar board 2.jpg
     
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  2. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love this thread. :)

    You've already seen my entry.

    BTW, the rub board is awesome!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  3. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    Hilarious. The only problem is that the Tubulator is actually not terrible! It's basically a hot pink tubescreamer. :)
     
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  4. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    its like you went to the pawn shop and bought all the wrong pedals
     
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  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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  6. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Y'all better start putting some Rats on these boards or everyone is gonna get Perma-banned!
     
  7. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    there was a brief period where the tubulator was tubulatin' on my board and it was not disagreeable; however it devloped I giant bumblebee hum/rasp and I haven't had the notion to try to fix it. But for $14, I think I recovered my investment back in 2004 or so...maybe if I used it in front of a RAT...
     
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  8. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    I do like the mic stand concept there and I sort of recognize some of your boxes; kind of like the whole thing, really, which is a general indication that, yes, you sort of missed the idea of the thread. That's a perfectly wonderful board you got there, for what my tiny 2 cent opinion is worth...

    your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to go home, hunt down some of your less successful pedal acquisitions, then make it look like that's what you could be using (if perhaps you were common sense impaired, [which obviously you are not]) and then take a photo of that shipwreck and make us all laugh.

    If that sounds too much like homework, then just stay tuned and be entertained by others...
     
  9. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's usually pretty good advice that some things are better left unsaid. But it's too late for me to start following good advice. This is a story, many small parts of which might be related to the truth, perhaps.

    The Elbonian Tractor Rock rig, Eurovision Kiev, 2005

    {Part One}

    Some of my buddies dub me to be the Duke of Low Paying Gigs. After enlisting them in a few of my adventures, I can’t deny the coincidence.

    2005 found me at the edge of an abyss, divorce papers served, bank account drained, etc. It eventually turned out ok, in the way some caterpillars turn out to be not butterflies, but Miller moths. They look warm and fuzzy, but they ruin your flour and eat your sweaters. It’s the old adage – if something seems too good to be true, well, you know the outcome. But getting there can also be a mind-bending adventure. At least I lived to tell the tale.

    happily ever after.jpg Happily ever after? It ain’t necessarily so.


    I got “recruited” to play as a sideman for an Elbonian tractor rock band that was scheduled to play at Eurovision Kiev 2005. Let’s just say it was inconceivable to me that the Eurovision management people had a running inside joke that preys upon the limited knowledge of some United States citizens; lure them to an impossibly opaque locale with made up stories and then see how long they can survive in a blizzard of bad coincidence. It provides amusement to a certain mentality.

    The bait story involved a rising Elbonian tractor rock band (the “Supernovas” – named after a specific Romanian tractor model, made by the Dacia motor company, yeah it’s real…).

    Seems that the Supernovas were scheduled to play Eurovision 2005, but in the month prior to the gig, they tragically lost their 2nd best lead guitar player, Bogdan Gheorghe Ungureanu. Modesty prevents me from telling how Elbonian tractor rock was described to me or how it came to pass that Bogdan bought the farm - yet the whole thing seemed eminently believable, particularly when confronted by a black hole of indignities. And you might be surprised how little it costs to rent a stooge band in Kiev whose payment consists in large part in having the opportunity to have some great fun at the expense of an American fool.

    A tragedy and an emergency requiring a real “American” rock guitarist…happens all the time. If I could just somehow find my way to Paris, they had an agent/manager waiting to pick me up at CDG, who would then arrange transport to Kiev, etc., and everlasting glory would be mine.

    So on the wings of money borrowed from Aunt Dorothy, sender of the annual holiday calendar from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, I flew to Paris. There to greet me was Iulia Milena Tomescu, newly-minted agent for Eurovision Kiev 2005, with a homemade sign, greeting me at the crowded crossroads that is Charles De Gaulle international airport. I asked about the connecting flight to Kiev. Ah, yes, please, to follow me this way.

    Oh, is it a connection on KLM?…(me day dreaming of the long-legged Dutch flight attendants…)

    Not quite, Mr. Bill. Please to follow this way.

    You might have guessed it. A 1987 Yugo hatchback; the pride and joy of Zastava Motors to savor the 25-hour drive to Kiev on the A4 with Iulia; garlic-breathed Iulia. Do I have to tell you why Romanians eat a lot of garlic? To be fair, that story is far more light-hearted than the fall of Zastava Motors and the breakup of the Yugoslavian Republic. No guitars are involved; we’ll pass.

    Fortunately, I had only a duffle bag with clothes, my trusty telecaster and a pedal board I had thrown together with my limited knowledge. The back line was otherwise provided. “All good stuff. Fender, Marshall, whatever you want. Really”. Ok!

    The upside of the ride with Iulia: got to see my first Concorde. As we’re leaving the airport grounds, there happened to be one rumbling down a runway.

    France - photos for GER 028.jpg

    The plan was to have Iulia drive until we got halfway through Germany, then I would take the wheel to finish Germany, lay waste to Poland and upon arriving at Lviv in the Western Ukraine, Iulia would re-take the wheel and drive us to Kiev. And that’s just what happened. It was more like 30 hours, because Iulia liked to eat and I liked to drink. The Frankfurter breakfast? – she got the weisswurst, I got the beer. Let’s leave it at that; we made it to Kiev.

    Kiev is an ancient city, founded by Vikings, the original Viking river cruise; older than Moscow and as I found it in 2005, perhaps highly confused between the Orange Revolution (from the Western influence) and the recidivist eastern half of the country hoping to rejoin the Soviet Union. I only know this from the reading I was able to do while ensconced in a work gulag, scraping radioactive scale from oil field tubulars somewhere near Poltava. How many people can say they got to stay at a gulag as a consequence of an after-party?

    Ah, but Eurovision Kiev 2005. We played on the second night, sometime after midnight and we slayed all 35 people who were still there, at least there in body. In Ukraine, one begins drinking vodka (well Ukrainians call it Horilka) at lunch time, so by midnight, it’s blottosville.

    Alas, the Supernova were not all they were cracked up to be, although Marius, the Slovenian bass player, had a unique sense of time that somehow held the whole schlock together. I would like to tell you we made the finals, but no, that was not to be. I did get a participation trophy.

    participation trophy.jpg

    We’ll continue in the next panel, because photos…
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  10. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Elbonian Tractor Rock rig Eurovision Kiev 2005
    {Part Two}

    So, now, the point of this whole story – the pedalboard!

    Completely unsure of what flavor of electricity might be available , I brought along a small transformer that was said to be globally universal – no matter where you were, there was a switch for that. Small in the same way that Iulia’s sitting muscles made the Yugo look small.

    Tranformer.jpg

    And as though presciently predictive that our colleague @artdecade would be clamoring for a Rat, well, who am I to disappoint? Basically guitar>Ashdown preamp>dynacomp>rat>blues screamer>homemade univibe/leslie device>amp.
    EV pedal board.jpg

    pedal board obliq.jpg

    The homemade Disneyvibe leslie: Picked that up on the epic trans-european drive with Iulia in the small Polish town of Krapkowice. It had been smuggled across the Czech border and was available for only 27 Zlotys – about $5.50 US$. It had been equipped with two 10cm speakers of unknown origin; the interior of the base spins around, producing a delightful leslie-like effect, which is only nominally interfered with by the built-in windup music box mechanism that played the requisite Disney movie tune. Works well with tractor rock, I assure you.

    The glorious backline in Kiev: 2 East German Avora 50-G’s, one of which I shared with Marius. Wonderful EQ, for sure, for sure, for sure.

    Perhaps heated words were exchanged with the Eurovision management rep who declined to deliver the promised compensation after the performance. Perhaps I should have declined to accept the band’s generous offer for substitute compensation: A couple of nicely painted easter eggs, which may or may not have been painted with leftover paint from Chernobyl.
    gig pay.jpg

    In addition to the eggs, all I had to do was drive a truck with “Romanian sausage of the best quality” back to Lviv and there I would be handed the sum of $1,500 in US currency. Enough to fly home. Little did I know that a Hazardous Waste Material permit was required for Romanian sausage of that quality and that the lack of such a permit would provide a short, but pithy stay at a work gulag.

    Nothing like surviving for 3 months on factory rejected Ukrainian dog food to make one appreciate even the most banal American mall food. Oh, and don’t forget to put your RAT in the sun every now and then to get the full, glow in the dark, paint made from radioactive scale from oil field tubulars effect!

    glow in dark rat.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  11. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    @teletimetx , you really messed up here by taking our very sophisticated @RetroTeleRod 's pedalboard as bait. Obviously, he was really attempting to make some creative music, but your pedalboard? OMG, WTF is that? After all this time on TDPRI and you put together that chain? A Tubulator and a Fat Sandwich on the same board?! You need to pay attention.

    How embarrassing for fellow TDPRI members.

    We have standards.
     
  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    My esteemed colleague @Obsessed : allow me first to explain that many times I have enjoyed your thoughts and postings here, particularly those describing your home territory, as I have a brother who lives in Montana (Helena) and your stories remind me of him and his family and I thank you for that.

    Indeed, I took the bait offered by @RetroTeleRod. I wouldn't pretend otherwise. My gullibility has been openly and frequently tested; had you read the postings above regarding Elbonian Tractor Rock, that would have been abundantly clear.

    I'm slightly worried, however, that the semi-arid, sub-arctic clime which you inhabit may have slightly desiccated your otherwise robust reading comprehension skills, as I have somehow acquired the notion that you achieved some measure of engineering education and experience, for which such comprehension skills are a requisite feature.

    I'm further concerned that you have identified only the combination of Tubulator and Fat Sandwich, a rather benign combination, if I may say so myself. Even more so, I feel that my efforts are something of a failure, in that I have only elicited a single "OMG, WTF" response, when I was foolishly hoping for at least 3 WTF's. Human folly abounds. I do consider it a minor victory, however, to have elicited an "OMG". I don't know why, but my sense is that "OMG" is not an expression that commonly graces your thought process. I could be wrong.

    Ah yes, standards. All well and good, cher colleague, but in considering this response, one question popped up in my mind that somehow needed addressing, which is this:

    Brah, do you even RAT?

    Please, tell me how many times you've parked your RAT in the sun, so as to enhance it's glow-in-the-darkness?

    Standards, indeed. Please explain your position on the much beloved RAT, and we'll talk standards.
     
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  13. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    With your permission...my new signature. :lol:
     
  14. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wonky. This thread is wonky.
     
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  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    :lol::lol::lol: Indeed, you have been paying attention to my bio and have me nailed in many ways and you are not wrong at all including the sub arctic influences and perhaps the thin air, but that obviously didn't help you with your pedalboard.;):D

    Ahh, the RAT. This will be just one person's opinion/rant and I will get lots of flack for this just because it is such a (yawn) boring "popular" pedal. I did note that you are missing a RAT on your board.:twisted: Congrats, at least you got that far along. I think the RAT is for those stuck in the 80s when there were few pedals to choose from and were about the only thing to make those old loud crappy SS amps sound good enough for a local gig. Yeah, about as good (or lame) as the DS-1, but the name was cooler. I suppose you need one if you are an 80s (the era that rock got boring too) cover band, but otherwise why? I read about a RAT being the solution to people with a pedalboard, but in the end, peruse the pedalboard thread and see how many experienced players actually have RATs on their board. Perhaps it is a good starter pedal to find out what you don't want, but the hype about it is growing cob webs by the decade.

    But just to remind you, I call myself an idiot daily and do really stoopid things. Philosophically, I am an existentialist, so perhaps one day when I fall off a frozen waterfall, I will seek out a RAT, just to hear the time tunnel of the past.:p

    Okay, this ought to keep the pedalboard wars thread going for days.:D:twisted::lol:
     
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  16. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Buckethead
    Ichirou Agata of Melt-Banana
    John Ashton of Psychedelic Furs
    Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel
    Jeff Beck
    Matt Bellamy
    James Dean Bradfield
    Nuno Bettencourt
    Frank Black
    Peter Buck
    Bernard Butler
    Jerry Cantrell
    Gustavo Cerati
    Nels Cline of Wilco
    Justin Chancellor
    Lawrence Chandler
    John Christ
    Kurt Cobain
    Graham Coxon
    Francis Dunnery
    Kevin Eubanks
    Robert Fripp
    Bill Frisell
    David Gilmour
    Dave Grohl
    James Hetfield
    Scott Kannberg
    John Linger of Neils Children
    Stephen Malkmus
    Thurston Moore
    Krist Novoselic
    Ira Kaplan
    Sunn O)))
    Buzz Osborne
    Paranoid Time
    Joe Perry
    Paul Reynolds of A Flock of Seagulls
    Kurt Rosenwinkel
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    Sonny Sharrock
     
  17. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    All in a day's work. :cool:

    Truth be told, your analysis of the much vaunted RAT not only made me laugh, but may not be too far from my current thinking as well, regardless of how many well-known players have patched one in.

    Tragically, I'm an omni-theologian, Existentialism included and that makes me look at the RAT as a challenge of some kind, as in "Someday, the RAT will have a useful place on my board", in the same way that Scarlett O'Hara says, "As God is my witness", knowing full well she does not believe in God; she believes only in Scarlett O'Hara. How would I know? I was once married to a Scarlett O'Hara. But that is another story entirely.

    I do like the glow-in-the-dark feature, though.:rolleyes:

    Wonky, you say @artdecade? C'mon, wonkiness is an inherent characteristic of any confirmed pedal user. If you don't think so, then please count the number of working pots/adjustment toggles/and other sound altering features on your current working pedalboard and relay that number here for all to evaluate the level of wonkiness involved. Please?
     
  18. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    My board is is a volume pedal, a Boss delay, and a tuner. Occasionally, I use a Rat when I can't get the amp cooking, but I prefer having the right amp for the room.
     
  19. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    well that hardly counts as a pedal board at all.

    Even the earliest boss delays, from what I can gather had maybe three pots to fiddle with, four at the most, so not much really and from the sounds of it, you might use yours as a "set it and forget it box". Ain't none my bizness no how.

    There was a 15-year stretch or so, when all I had was a tuner and a Boss TR-2. I like tremolo.

    So, ok, yeah, this thread is wonky. Got me there.:)
     
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  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey wow, 40 out of 11,000 posts. Not quite the way to count them, but close enough. Ummm, yup, somewhere less than 1%.

    Yeah, alright, it probably is a bit more than that, but some of those board owners have certainly seen the light and removed their old generic RATs by now.:rolleyes:
     
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