So for those of you who’ve followed this site from the beginning, you already know about my compulsive fascination with all things pedalboards. It seems that no sooner do I have one finished and working perfectly, I either start in on another one or revamp my existing setup. For the last two years we have been touring and doing a lot of bigger shows and I put together a board that would give me all the sounds I needed for any show that might come along. I also put together a smaller fly-board as we were having to fly to enough dates that I got tired of tearing apart my big board every time we traveled. As I begin to wind down the touring (I am old after all!) I thought it was time to simplify and put together one reasonably-sized board that I could actually fit in my car and carry around, and would cover most everything I have coming up this summer. I blame this craziness on John Bohlinger’s latest article in Premiere Guitar about how he was simplifying this summer too. It’s seems a lot of people are heading in this direction as I’ve seen several great new pedalboards lately and I figured, hey, why not check them out here?
So I’ve ditched a few things that were on my big board; the Morpheus Drop Tune, a Micro POG, the new Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay (an AMAZING sounding and functioning delay if you have the room), and a couple of others. I’ve added the new Wampler Ego Compressor (best sounding compressor I’ve ever used, period!), a Vox Time Machine delay, and an Xotic EP Booster. Still tons of variety but I can lift it now without giving myself a hernia! While I’ll have to relearn a few songs that we did in drop tuning with the Morpheus, I’m amazed at how little I seem to be missing from the bigger setup.
Another new board that I saw recently is from one of my favorite guitarists, Pete Thorn. In case you don’t know who that is, Pete plays with Chris Cornell, Don Henley, is currently touring with Melissa Etheridge, and is known for his killer tone. He also does a series a fantastic gear reviews that we feature here on TGM from time to time (great excuse to go back through some of our old articles!). He wanted an alternative to his large wet/dry/wet rig, and what he’s come up with is really, really nice! A great selection of pedals including a new Carl Martin AC-Tone prototype that I can’t wait to get my hands on (September release, $269 list), as well as the Musicom Lab EFX MKIII+ switcher which is one of the great new compact switching systems out there. Being the self-professed gear nerd that he is, Pete put together a pretty lengthy video of the new board and how everything on it works. You can check that out here:
Another friend of mine, Chris Ward also runs two (or more) different boards depending on the gig, and I thought I’d show a couple of them here as well. Chris plays in a variety of bands in the Eugene, Oregon area including Amy Clawson & Coltrane and is well known for both his killer chops and amazing tone. He also did the recent review on the new Aguilar HALO overdrive pedal for us here at TGM. Chris uses the Voodoo Lab switching system in his big setup, but still swaps pedals back and forth between boards when changing boards which I decided I was just way too lazy to do.
It all goes to show that there are tons of ways to build your dream rig, and I believe in trying all of them before I die! Hmmm, I wonder if I could fit that Musicom Lab switcher on my new, smaller board…..