Posted by: kubiakl | August 27, 2011

Pedalboard

Nothing revelatory here, just a little note in praise of pedal boards.  Since I expanded my collection of pedals it was a hassle to carry them anywhere – the last few times our band got together we went acoustic.

Now that was partially because we were prepping some songs for an open mic night (which went pretty well), but it was also because I was tired of hauling all my gear to the drummer’s place.  It was nice to be able to pack everything into my acoustic case (the Martin guitar, a slide, capo, and tuner) and so much lighter to carry down the stairs.

Last week I received the Pedaltrain PT-2 pedal board I ordered from Amazon.  Setup was pretty simple – you arrange your effects, make sure all the wires fit, then velcro everything in place.  Pedaltrain sent a roll of high quality velcro to use that is the perfect width for the slats on the board and some cable ties to keep wires in check.

The board is large enough to fit all of my pedals with some room to grow if I decide to add a few.  Right now I have my signal chain set up like this:  Fulltone Mini Deja Vibe -> Guyatone Micro OD -> MJM London Fuzz -> Fulltone OCD -> MXR/CAE MC404 Wah -> Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo.  The Deja Vibe sits at the top right, my dirt section is below, the Wah is to the left of the overdrives, and the tremolo is on the far left bottom.  I had the Danelectro Dan Echo on there originally, but wasn’t using it so I pulled it off (still haven’t got around to fixing the output jack issue).

Pedaltrain makes their boards out of a lightweight aluminum which feels very sturdy.  I don’t foresee any issues with the frame.  There is space underneath to mount a power supply with two cut outs in front to run the cords from.  The slats allow you to push your instrument cables and power connectors underneath everything so they don’t get in the way.

It allowed me to use the Danelectrode power supply with a daisy chain adapter to power four of the pedals on one adapter.  The Deja Vibe gets it’s own power supply, and the London Fuzz drew too much power for it to work in the chain.  Eventually I’ll move up to the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2, which allows for isolated power outputs to each pedal.

Like the Danelectrode, it has regulators on outputs 7 and 8 to emulate the change in tone a dying battery will give a pedal.  They fit in the space underneath the Pedaltrain so that all you have to run is a single power cable to your board.

Today we got together to play a little and it was nice to carry everything in one bag.

Oh, I forgot to mention that part – you can order the PT-2 with a hard flight case (for the touring musician) or a soft case with a carry handle.  The case itself is pretty tough and fits the pedal board without having to remove any pedals.  I was sure that my wah would be too large but it zipped just fine.  The shoulder strap on the soft case has heavy duty metal buckles so I felt secure carrying it on my back.  There is a front zipper pocket that held my Vox coil cable, George L’s 10 foot, and an extra power supply.  It wouldn’t fit much more but that was all I needed fortunately.  I stuck the power strip with two Danelectrodes and the Fulltone power supply inside the case with the pedal board without running into any problems.

When I got to the drummer’s place it took so much less time to set up than usual.  I unzipped and pulled it out, plugged in my cables, and was good to go.  The best part was that my settings hadn’t really moved on my pedals – I didn’t have to spend so much time dialing back in my sound.  It was the same story when I got home.  For that I am eternally grateful to the Pedaltrain folks.  You guys just saved me a whole lotta time.

There are plenty of pedal board manufacturers out there but I did the research.  It’s hard to go wrong with a Pedaltrain.

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