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Pedal Mania IV - 2018 Mid-Year Update

12 Degrees of SaturationBarn3Bearfoot FXBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCryBabyCustom TonesDelayDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEventideFuzzGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioMI EffectsModulationMu-TronOrigin EffectsPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchReverbREVV AmplificationSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkIIII700SM-min

My pedal chain has never sounded better, and it’s the closest it’s been yet to achieving my end game of having the perfect pedal in every slot. Of course some slots are more multi-use than others, and some have a plethora of exceptional pedals available for rotation. While many slots have pretty much permanent residents now too.

 

There has been a lot of movement in the first 10 slots, with really only the Tuner at #1 and Compressor at #7 holding firm for now. Even though the...

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Pedal Mania - Tone Anxiety Pt 2

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMooerMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOneControlOverdrivePedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTone AnxietyToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlgSKSignalChainV5700

UPDATE - Game Changer! Boss launches MD-500 and RV-500 Strymon-killers - with dual split channel effects - more in a later blog!

 

As you might expect, and not long after I delightedly announced the completion of Phase 1 of the Pedal Chain, I was already working on Phase 2 and beyond. In fact, in my usual manner - Phase 2 is a little more complex and detailed - with a real overview of the key pedal decision-making choices available.

 

One of the most remarkable being the ousting ...

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The Importance of Clean Pedal Power - Optimising Power Supply to Improve Tone!

Carl MartinCioksDecibel ElevenFriedman EffectsGuitar AccessoriesMXRPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPower SuppliesStrymonTheGigRigT-Rex EffectsTruetoneUtilityVoodoo LabWalrus Audio+-
2017AfBlgPedalPower700

I must confess that I have thus far not paid sufficient mind to the exact power needs of my aforementioned fairly lengthy pedal chain (see Pedal Chain Delight). In fact I use 6 different power-supplies and probably too much daisy-chaining at the moment. Improbably though, my chain is still remarkably noise-free (perhaps not totally 100%), but I pretty much know where it could do with improvements.

 

A key problem is that decent, properly isolated power supplies are relatively dear, and I...

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Pedal Chain Delight - Tone Quest Phase One Completion

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsElektronEQFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMooerMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOneControlOverdrivePedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationStryfectaStrymonTC ElectronicToneQuestTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlgSKSignalChainMkX700

It’s taken a while, lots of trial and error and patience, but I am at a point where I am finally totally happy with my phase one pedal / signal chain. It is essentially a ’vanilla’ chain of classic sounds - overdrives, fuzzes and distortions, and mostly regular effects. It possibly goes a little broader and deeper than some - but generates largely mainstream sounds - covering the whole gamut of genres from barely their breakup warmth to full ferocious distortion - from pop ...

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Tone Anxiety - worrying about signal chain choices

12 Degrees of SaturationBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionEQModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GatePedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerStryfectaStrymonTC ElectronicTone AnxietyToneQuestTunersUtilityWampler+-
2016AfBlgToneAnxiety700V3

So - I’m happy with my guitar and amp choices, and am progressing nicely down the most fun, yet most mind-boggling part of electric guitar ownership - namely pedal selection and signal chain arrangement / sort order. There are all manner of things that need to be considered along the way - well beyond how each unit sounds and performs - such as power-supply to and power-drain by each unit. And there are a lot of units out there - as you can see from the base of this article which lists ...

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Assembling The Perfect Pedal Board

BoostBossCompressorCryBabyDelayDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFuzzKingsley EffectsLoop-SwitcherModulationOverdrivePedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainReverbStryfectaStrymonTheGigRigTheGigRig G2ToneQuestTube OverdriveVolumeWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2016AfBlgPerfectPedalboard700


It’s somewhat ironic that I did my damndest to avoid going down the pedal route, but here I find myself enamoured with pedals, and particularly those which Strymon produces. The Mobius, TimeLine and BigSky have become a mainstay of many a professional’s pedal board, and the sheer virtuosity in versatility is staggering. You just need to have a look at the quality of the Strymon website and its product pages in particular to realise that they are currently wholly without peer in this...

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Tone Quest - A Lifetime Musical Journey in Many Parts

12 Degrees of SaturationAmpsBossCompressorCryBabyDelayDunlop EffectsDunlop UltexElectro-HarmonixFuzzGuitarsKatanaModulationPaul Reed SmithPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPRSReverbStryfectaStrymonToneQuestVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2016AfBlgToneQuest700

Not every guitar player ventures forth on a Tone Quest - many are happy just to noodle around with what they’re familiar or comfortable with, and have no motivation to go out and seek their own holy grail of sound. For others though, like myself, this is part and parcel of the wonder of guitar playing and ownership - finding your own guitar voice, or several of them even.

 

There are numerous constituent parts which go towards making up the total output sound - including at the ...

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