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Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

My Homemade Pedal Board and guitar effects

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My very humble pedalboard. This is a homemade version made of 6mm x 50mm pine slats. It was initially made with the cheap wood because this was a test build. It worked out pretty well so I am using it. As for sturdiness... I don't think it will break unless I really try. I specifically made two layers so that the back layer is slightly higher than the front. This makes it harder to accidentally step on the front pedals.

All slats are glued and screwed in for stability. This seems to be the trick here as the whole rig is extremely stable and sturdy.

The wood has been sanded and varnished. The varnish helps the 'common' valcro strips stick well onto the wood. By 'common' I mean that I did not buy special pedalboard valcro, but again, for testing purposes got common valcro pieces of a hardware store. These are cheaper and work very well. The pedals are stuck even when I carry it upright or shake it.

As you can see in the photos it comfortably fits 5 pedals, a pedal board power supply and a multieffects unit. If I got rid of the ZOOM GN1xon I would probably fit 2-3 more pedals. If it were Mooer pedals I could probably fit 20 :-)

This pedal board as mentioned before is built on a budget yet sounds very good. It is also designed around my situation, i.e., I have three young kids in the house so need to be able to practice quietly or with headphones and have a rig for gig/band jams.

It is important to me that I can jam at home with headphones or a small practice amp (I often play this through a Line6 SPider 3) and go into a rehearsal studio and have very much the same sound and the same effect on the amp when using crunch/distortion etc. With this setup I have definitely managed that.

I am also always chasing sound and try to come up with solutions that sound great and don't break the bank.

To explain how this is achieved I will start with the two constants. The Joyo California and the Zoom G1Xon. The Zoom G1Xon is a very cheap digital multi effects unit that sounds great. It does very good amp modeling and cab simulation. This is the last out and is set to mimic a MESA/Boogie Mk3 combo with an Orange 120 4x12. It is only there to create the amp sound. I do use the expression pedal but mainly just for volume control.

The Joyo California too is a amp sim and is based on the MESA/Boogie. The rest of the pedals into the Joyo because it can handle and sounds great when driven. It is therefore great between the drives and crunches and the digital Zoom (the sound from the overdrive pedals straight into the Zoom is no good, but first into the Joyo is fine. Probably because the Joyo sends out a amp simulated signal and is cleaned up).

The Zoom G1Xon is ok to use live or as the only pedal but I like analogues.. or single pedals with dials I can tweak :-) . But it need to be pre-programmed etc etc and the way I like things it is too cumbersome. I would suggest the Zoom G3 or G5 if you want a good digital effects pedal.

What the Zoom gives me in my situation is a output for headphone, stereo and out to an amp. I can put it into the main amp input or set it to go into the effects return (because all the pre-amp and sound modeling has been taken care of already by the zoom and Joyo California amp modeling).

So you can see how this one rig is now portable thanks to my pedalboard and is easily used reliable in different scenarios.

Some more notes about the rig:
The Joyo California is a rare beauty. It sounds great, does a good job as an amp sim and can therefore also be used as a DI Box or straight into a desk. I would not use it like that but rather use it to model the output through to a amp or effects in. I love it as an overdrive, it is warm, clean and clear. I will buy the others too for sure (Joyo British - Marshall amp sim, Joyo American, Fender etc)

The Behringer Overdrive/Distortion sounds great when it is on. Very nice distortion and overdrive or blend in between... BUT.. sorry Behringer, they are made of plastic and sooner or later it will be crushed.

The Joyo Ultimate Drive also sound awesome. It is a OCD clone and cheap at that. I use it for boost, crunch and gain. The Joyo digital delay is not my favourite and will be hunting for a good analogue delay asap.

The last one is one of my first pedals. A rocktek Phaser and I bought this in South Africa 20 years ago and it is still going strong :-)

For a very modest pedal board the sound is brilliant. I will try to have some audio samples up soon.


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Read 3246 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 August 2014 21:47
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