About a month ago I rebuilt my guitar pedalboard and have been making some adjustments to the setup since that time. It’s been performing beautifully and I’m happy with the results. This effort included the following ingredients:
For this incarnation of my pedalboard I used a Pedaltrain PT-Pro which came with a flight case. The pedalboard base is welded from aluminum and is lightweight and very solid. The first steps in putting this new system together are (1) mounting the VoodooLab Pedal Power 2 power supply and (2) installing a powerstrip for the AC-powered effects. Then the velcro gets applied to the top of the board. So the picture of the bare pedalboard isn’t much to look at, but the foundation work is complete.
The next step is “pedal tetris”. Before mounting the pedals on the board I spent several hours trying out some layouts to see which would be best. I had a bit of a head start… before I ordered this board I got all the dimensions of my pedals and did several test layouts in Visio to ensure this would work as expected. There are also some interesting online tools that allow easy setup and configuration of pedalboards.
Here is a picture of the pedalboard with all pedals installed. Each pedals is mounted with velcro, and some also got a zip-tie “seatbelt” to keep them from shifting. You can also see a number of zip-ties securing the cables between pedals. This helps keep the layout neat and manageable. When installing zip-ties it’s nice to clip the tails off once they’re nice and tight. This usually leaves a sharp end where it was cut. I used a lighter to melt those sharp ends slightly, reducing the potential for pokes and cuts. Part of the setup process involved making the custom-length George L cables and connecting the power cables. I adhere to a simple rule of routing power below the board and audio above it. This is both for aesthetic and electrical reasons. By keeping these runs separated (even by half an inch) it helps prevent noise from getting into the signal chain. It’s good practice to do this when wiring pedalboard and studio rack equipment.
So which is which? In the diagram on the left I’ve identified each item. The routing is as follows: The Input Select is a simple A/B footswitch for choosing either the XDS Wireless Receiver or the second input. This allows me to easily go from wireless to wired inputs without having to pull out any cables. Next is the Peterson Strobo-Stomp 2 Tuner pedal followed by the Keeley Compressor, Keeley-Modified Crybaby Wah and the Way Huge Pork Loin. This signal chain feeds into the Line 6 POD XT Pro which is then routed to my amp.
It was an interesting project to assemble this setup. It’s definitely the cleanest and most flexible system I’ve ever had. I’d love to find a way to get this kind of power and tonal versatility from a smaller system, but good tone requires good gear. The next gear project will probably involve searching for / building a really great Stratocaster.