I’ve been playing more guitar the last few years and playing live a bit more recently, and I was tired of having to rely so much on the clean/crunch tones and reverb of whatever amp I was using for all of my sounds. Because of that, I decided to start investing in a few pedals and make my own DIY pedalboard.
This article isn’t so much about my DIY process, but more so about the pedals I utilized to create a consistent tones from amp to amp, venue to venue. It’s been a few weeks with this set up and I couldn’t be happier with the dynamic and diverse sounds I can get out of this rig. Usually playing with my Fender American Deluxe Telecaster through a few different amps.
Here’s the signal path…
JOYO JF-10 Compressor
Easily the least remarkable pedal on my board, this uber-cheap compressor is the first thing my guitar hits. Basically it keeps all of my volumes in check and makes sure anything quiet isn’t too quiet and anything loud isn’t too loud. Perfect for the church stage or small venue when you need a lot of consistency in volume.
Boss GE-7 – Analog.man Modded
The ultimate tone-shaper, this graphic EQ helps keep my tele from being overly abrasive in the high-mid frequencies. I’ve messed around with it in a few different spots in the chain but this seems to be the best spot that still lets the voice of the pedals ahead of it shine through. I usually just barely tap the top three frequencies (1.6k, 3.2k, and 6.4k) down one or two dB’s to take a little bit of the hair off the tone. When I placed the pedal after the overdrives, it tended to make the whole thing sound garbled or underwater, but this early in the chain shapes the guitar tone, rather than the other pedals.
Plus, if you blast the low end and torque the output, you have yourself a pretty nice fuzz pedal. Very versatile. And I went with the Analog.man modded version (based on reviews) because it got rid of the hiss that comes standard with the BOSS GE-7. No thanks.
JHS Morning Glory
This quintessential “always on” pedal, my Morning Glory is just that. It probably singularly contributes to my tone more so than any other individual pedal on my board. The sparkly overdriven crunch is perfect for “clean” tones that have a little dirt in them. Can pretty much cover anything from CCR to AC/DC in crunch level. Plus the bright switch and tone knob help me keep the presence of my tele, while taking the harshness down a bit.
Analog.man King of Tone
This is the holy grail of overdrive pedals and I probably don’t even deserve to own it. It can do everything I want an overdrive pedal to do and a whole lot more, and the only reason I have this pedal right now is because of my great childhood friend, Andrew Capra.
Long story short, after a LOT of research, I landed on the KoT. It’s the most versatile overdrive pedal I’ve heard and can adapt perfectly to many different amp types, so I pulled the trigger and got on the waiting list for one. (Yes. Waiting list. Currently the waiting list for an Analog.man King of Tone is almost two years. Yuuuuup. So I figured I’d sign up and start saving for one and by the time two years was up, I’d have a nice chunk of change ready to buy one.)
But one week later, somehow, I had one in my hands. Not just any KoT. MY KoT that I had modded just for me. I won’t get into the details here to save time, but suffice it to say, Andrew Capra is Santa Claus. Thanks again, brother. (I’ll have a KoT ready to move in about two years for you!)
Ernie Ball VP Jr. (250k)
Classic, low-cost, sturdy volume pedal. No whistles here. Placed after my drive pedals to make sure the volume doesn’t affect the tone of the drives at all. (no pic)
Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
I know, I know. It looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie from the ’70s, but it’s probably the most powerful pedal on my board. It can do every type of delay I want and would ever use live, has five presets, and has a tap tempo as well. I’m still exploring all of the crazy things this gadget can do, and probably will be for awhile.
EH Cathedral Reverb
Not going to lie, this is probably the first pedal that’s going to get the boot from my board. I like it alright, and it does everything I need it too. I just keep seeing other pedals that either do all that stuff more conveniently, or come in a smaller footprint. I did get a rocking deal on it so I don’t have any buyer’s remorse, but I haven’t stopped shopping for the perfect reverb pedal yet.
Ditto Looper Mini
I think this was the first pedal I ever bought. Got it a few years ago and it expanded my guitar playing ability like nothing else. Super helpful in songwriting and riff…producing? Yes. Super compact and easy to use. I threw it on at the end of the chain so I could use whatever effects I wanted in the loop.
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus
This is what I use to power everything. It seemed like everywhere I looked, this was the standard for the safest, most convenient, and most durable power in the business. No complaints here.
I recently dismantled an old piano that had been sitting in my basement for years and I decided I wanted to use some of that piano to make my pedalboard. I chop-sawed a few pieces off, did some quick measurements, and glued and screwed around until it was perfect(-ish). I threw on a few layers of clear coat to make sure the Velcro would stick and blammo, the deal was done.
Luckily (and due to some occasionally fortuitous measuring), the whole thing fits perfectly into this old vintage suitcase I had lying around. What are the odds?!
Well that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the pedals, or my setup. I can always post a few sound clips of pedals if anybody wants as well. Thanks!