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2021 April Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - Concatenated Continuity

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCoppersoundCrazy Tube CircuitsDriveDrunk BeaverFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzModulationOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsPitchSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzZander Circuitry+-
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2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateAprilFinal700.jpg

April has been another pretty formidable month - and at last I have the CopperSound Triplegraph in my hands - which presented some challenges in being accommodated within the rig. I’ve had to significantly adjust and rejig various elements and areas - including of course the format of the above reference visual.

 

This indicates the physical position of the Triplegraph at position #14 in terms of physical pedal placement - where it sits just before the CBA Automatone Preamp, while it’s actually connected, via long patch cable insert, to go in between slots #1 and #2 in the chain - so the very first thing after the Keyztone EXchanger pickup enhancer in reality.

 

There’s also a number of triplets or trinities introduced to the chain in April - where we have the fantastic 3 Crazy Tube Circuit Constellation variants in a row, now 3 Pettyjohn Electronic pedals in the chain with the very recently arrived Iron MKII (overview coming early next week), and of course the recent immense fuzz trio from Zander Circuitry.

 

There’s also a new analog chorus in action for some at least a few rotations - the Drunk Beaver Jellyfish which I believe is my brightest sounding chorus to date. I had intended to do a family portrait photograph of the rig to mark the changes - but I’m still waiting for a few bits and bobs to land which are needed to tidy up the rig before its beauty shot. I will thus include two photos for next month’s overview - marking both the recent pedal-chain statuses.

 

I secured a number of new pedals this month - some of which I’ve yet to feature in the chain, and some of which I cannot reveal until next month!

 

Very excitingly though, my Big Ear Pedals Wood-Facia Loaf Fuzz arrived, and at the same time Grant Wilson consented to making me my very own variant of Wood-Facia Woodcutter Distortion - which has now been built, but won’t be with me until likely sometime during the first half of next month.

 

I also sneakily acquired the JA Modular Fuzz for a significant discount, and picked up the Deluxe Modern Module with it - which is how I intend to run it, but for obvious reasons that will not be broadcast. In any case I have so many marvellous new fuzzes that that one hasn’t yet had a rotation - in fact quite a few killer fuzzes are still standing by including the excellent Fuzzrocious Li’l Fella - all will be revealed in good time.

 

A little ahead of schedule I also secured a Spaceman Aurora and finally an Apollo VII too - bringing that Soaceman Effects capsule collection up to 12. I have a few moves to accomplish in the chain first though before either of those see a rotation.

 

And finally very excitingly I have the new Thorpy FX and Redbeard Effects pedals in my hands - each of which will be launched next month - on May 11th, and May 18th respectively as far as I’m aware - prepare to be impressed all over again then!

 

Finally finally, besides the new Boss TB-2W landing at the end of next month - Boss also has a couple of stealthy anniversary releases which should be materialising in May too - more about that when all the ducks are in a row!

Next month I will be focusing especially on Modulation Pedals and Tone Benders!

 

Oh and I picked up a copy of the Third Man Records / Jack White Manic Flex- meaning just the Bumble Buzz left to capture.

 

Here follow the #Slot updates :


The Finessed and Reinforced Pedal Chain!

The Finessed and Reinforced Pedal Chain!

So the remaining parts I needed to tidy up the rig arrived yesterday - and everything is now as it should be. I'm secretly quite proud of this arrangement - and how it uses Thule Roof-Rack Bars as anchor points for the pedals - and I've pinned the semi-permanent slots to the bars to ensure that nothing budges out of position unnecessarily. I can't really use conventional or traditional pedalboards as I chose and change things too often - so the methodology I have evolved here is perfect for this particular context.

 

This is somewhat similar in technique to the Holey Boards - as pedals are locked into position via Cable Ties - indeed the longest variety I could find at 98cm - those work really well.

 

I still use industrial black elastic at some junctures as there needs to be a significant degree of flexibility as I rotate several pedals a week typically.

 

Everything is wholly in position now - but I've obviously knocked a few knobs in the process - so will need to re-tune the chain to a degree - which is healthy actually as it really kelps your ear-training and your feel for tone and texture. I'm noticing the Compressor is set a touch high - I've already tweaked a few pedals - but it's all sounding pretty great already - just a few more final tweaks and we're back to 100% high-fidelity again. It's always nice to hear that everything works after you've done a major exercise on the rig - that is not always the case!


Inset

Slots #02, #03, #04 : Synth / Auto-Wah / Sensitive Fuzz - typically!

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OC41

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This is an unusual month, and the first time ever that I've had 3 fuzz pedals at the start of the chain. I have had two before, but never such a holy trinity - and I'm rather enjoying all their individual flavours as well as combined output. Obviously I featured detailed description of each in my recent overview - and all of these come highly recommended. Of course normal service will resume eventually - with the Boss SY-1 going back in on #2, and the Flower Pedals Hosta Wah-Filter going back in on #3 after another rotation or two. There are plenty of fuzzes inbound, as well as several that I've not featured yet on a focus slot - so plenty of movement ahead! Including of course the big TB-2W release / arrival next month.


Slot #12 : Mid Gain / Dumble / Fuzzy-Drive / Mostortion / OCD / TrainWreck

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I'm giving my trusty Kondo-Shifuku another breather as I further explore the outer reaches of the Pettyjohn Electronics range. This time around I've landed a perfectly standard non-modded version of the Pettyjohn Iron MKII which will be taking up a rotation or two or more on this slot. In fact it will probably remain on this slot until I have the Gold MKII in the chain too - after which point I will start mixing things up again - and some older favourites may very well return to the fore once more.


Slot #14 : Octave Up, Octave Down, Kill-Switch & FX Loop Engage

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'#14' is actually a brand new slot as such - but not necessarily numerically speaking! It will be the fixed position for the Coppersound Triplegraph - in terms of where the pedal sits in the physical chain / placement. While it has a couple of long patch cables actually inserting it between pedals #1 & #2 in the running-order signal chain - so in effect #2 in the chain, while its location will be forever more at #14 in terms of its physical footprint. I've featured an overview of this pedal very recently and it's everything I thought it would be. Note that you need to adapt your technique a touch when deploying this pedal - you need to summon your inner Jack White!


Slot #20 (former #19!) : Silicon & OpAmp Fuzz / Big Muff / Octave Fuzz / Oscillating Fuzz / High Gain Fuzz / PLL / Rat 2

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This is typically my Big Muff and Rat slot - also for some of the fuzz-synths too - currently holding the Atreides at bay! So the perfect slot for the new monster Silicon Transistor type Zander American Geek Muff Style Fuzz. This is a formidable versatile Big Muff with plenty of range onboard as per the recent overview.


Slot #21 (former #20!) : High Gain Fuzz 1 / Fuzzstortion

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Another great sounding Big Muff style pedal - this time the Zander Ziva Opamp type - with its fantastic sustain and slightly different textures to the American Geek on #20. I have this set slightly mellower / softer than the Geek. The two of them together give you amazing Muff full-range coverage.


Slot #24 (former #23!) : High Gain Fuzz 2 / Modern Metal 1 / Mid-Pushed High Gain

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This is a fiercely contested slot - with the Redbeard Honey Badger and Blackhawk Balrog fighting for domination of this spot - and now with the excellent Zander Foxxton Woods in the mix two. A really smartly featured upper-octave fuzz and so easy to dial in and control. All octave-fuzzes should have a default second footswitch for engaging that effect - please take note Beetronics!


Slot #30 (former #29!) : Analog Chorus

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Time for the superbly bright Drunk Beaver Jellyfish BBD Analog Chorus to take up the reigns for a rotation or two. Actually this year is turning out to be quite the year of Chorus - where I have a number of those on my priority wishlist - including the new Alexander Pedals Sugarcube, forthcoming Demedash T-60, and recent Walrus Julianna, and of course my long term target - the Yvette Young signature Zvex Instant Lo-Fi Junky - which I've missed out on a couple of times now. I will be doing an imminent article on a Capsule Chorus Collection - identifying which my priority targets are, and what I have accumulated thus far!


Final Thoughts

A lot of people have asked me if the Triplegraph is really worth all that hype - I was surprised to learn just how many have been made - as mine is number #948. It's pricey, it's bulky, but boy is it well made - for me it's an essential for my rig - and is one of the few pedals I'm sort of securing to the chain as I can't ever see anything unseating that for its core purposes - it just works so well and really is a joy to deploy.

 

And everyone should really pick up at least one or two of those new Zander Circuitry compact pedals - Alex has done such a good job with them - their format, looks and output is just spot on - and for a very reasonable outlay.

 

Also all fuzz aficionados should own at least one of the CTC Constellation pedals - those are Modern Vintage Classics! and wholly standout for what they deliver in such a compact package.

 

The chain has been disrupted quite a lot this month as I've changed around 9 or so pedals and made various tweaks to running order etc. The top visual is now entirely accurate in terms of what is on the board and in what order.

 

Next month will see some Boss and Thorpy action for sure - along with a few more surprises. Are there any new or recent pedals dear readers that you are currently enjoying - do let me know! In any case there is no shortage of innovative and high quality examples.

 

I will have some photos of the updated rig for the next one of these overviews.

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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