Well, the board is pretty much together for now. I haven’t taken a pic yet, but I’ll get around to it eventually.
My signal goes Wah -Volume (tuner out – pitchblack) – io – PURE – DE-7 – DD-20 (w/external tap tempo)
Here’s the roundup:
Wah – it’s a Crybaby. It’s not “the best wah ever,” but it’s passable. I will eventually buy a new one or slap some new guts in this one, but for now it works.
Volume – I use this for swells and for killing my signal for silent tuning. It doesn’t have the smoothest taper, but it’s completely noise free and it works well once you learn where the sweet spot is.
Pitchblack – it’s a tuner, and it’s black. What’s left to say? It’s really easy to read on stage, and it’s pretty accurate (+/- 1 cent).
RAILhead Effects io – I have written a lot about this pedal, but I’ll write a little more. This pedal, as I understand it, is designed to be played in front of a clean amp. I think it’s based on a Marshall preamp gain stage (but I may be mistaken), and it gives you a reasonable facsimile of the fabled Van Halen “Brown Sound.” It’s basically a Marshall-in-a-box, and it is awesome. Discovery of the weekend: this pedal gets a really cool light overdrive tone when you roll off the volume knob on the guitar.
RAILhead Effects PURE – It’s a clean boost. I forget how many decibels of volume it adds, but it’s a lot. You can use it in front of an overdriven amp to push the preamp tubes, basically making the amp more distort more. If you have the headroom, it gives you a volume boost. I’m not really using this one very much at the moment – it doesn’t really fit in with my setup right now. I’ll probably replace it with the low gain overdrive that I’m working on (more on that later).
Ibanez DE-7 – This one is surprisingly awesome. I bought one because it’s known for it’s ability to self-oscillate and make crazy noises when you set it for high repeats and play with the delay time knob. Well, it does that and a lot more. The “echo” mode is a really great analog-sounding delay. The repeats are really warm and dark, and it just sounds fantastic. I used this all day yesterday at church and even managed to get some dotted-eighth type sounds (even though it doesn’t have tap tempo). Really cool, and cheap. They’re like $70 new and you can sometimes find them used for like $50. When I play with TLP, this one will probably go in the amp’s effects loop and I’ll just switch it on for solos or whatever.
Boss DD-20 – this is the working man’s delay pedal. It’s got presets so you can have up to 4 different delay settings to cycle between. This is really handy for going from an ambient/reverby kinda sound to slapback to dotted eighth to reverse (or whatever). It also has a jack for using an external tap tempo switch. It isn’t the best-sounding delay I have ever used (that would probably be the Damage Control Timeline), but it sounds pretty nice. It is extremely functional, and very affordable – I think I paid $150 for mine.
I’ve got a Voodoo Lab ISO 5 mounted underneath the board (Pedaltrain PT2) powering everything.
I still need to add a low gain overdrive. I used to have a Timmy, but I (stupidly) sold it after I bought my M13. I should probably get back on the waiting list, but for now I’m going to build my own. David Barber made the schematic for his now discontinued LTD Silver publicly available about a year ago, and a lot of DIY pedal guys have made circuit boards available. I bought one and ordered a bunch of parts, so I’ll need to dig out my soldering iron and get to work once everything shows up.
A couple of other things on the radar: the Strymon Brigadier Delay and the Strymon blueSky Reverb. I really want both of these. If/when I get the Brigadier, it will replace the DD-20.