Fuzz – GuitarSystems Fuzztool Junior

Not sure when it all started, but some time this year I started to be really drawn to the sound of fuzz. I’ve spent a good many years tinkering around with overdrive and distortion boxes and have pretty much made up my mind about what it is that I like. I always thought fuzz just wasn’t for me…that it was merely an extension of the “overdriven sound” spectrum that only resided on the crazy end of things. Then I came across this video and listened to Sam Vilo noodle around very expressively on nothing but a fuzz pedal. It didn’t blow my mind to pieces, but it opened up my ears to what a fuzz pedal was capable of achieving. And as time progressed I slowly started to be able to distinguish what was fuzz and what was overdrive/distortion from my own music library. It was kind of a neat realization. Continue reading

JHS Pedal Mods – Sloppy (complaint)

jhs-toplogo1

JHS Pedals are one of my favorite guitar effects companies. They make some of the most sought-after pedals and offer some of the most unique and innovative pedal modifications. I don’t have any experience with their original products, but I have had a few of my own pedals modified by them – Boss TR-2, DD-5 and MXR Dyna Comp.

Now, with that said, I do have one complaint…and it’s about the quality of their workmanship.

It. Is. Sloppy… Continue reading

Brady Cases Custom Pedaltrain-1 Case

Back in March, I ordered a case from Brady Cases for my Pedaltrain 1 to replace the stock hard case that it came with. The original case really wasn’t meant to last and it was only a matter of time before I needed to replace it.

As you can see, it’s a lift-off style case and my board – Pedaltrain 1 – pretty much stays in the bottom portion of the case all the time (more about my board later). The pull-out handle and the wheels were options I decided to add on to make it easier to transport.

Below are some photos.

20140621-191804-69484783.jpg

20140621-191805-69485792.jpg

20140621-191806-69486683.jpg

RC-2 Stop/Tempo Switch Mod

20140617-030050-10850462.jpg

20140617-030039-10839963.jpg

Here’s my RC-2 that I modified. I found the instructions here and got this switch to install. The reason why I used this switch is because it was the strongest option for a momentary switch that was normally closed (NC). IMPORTANT: it MUST be NC in order for the switch to operate correctly with the RC-2. The wiring portion of the mod was fairly simple. I would say that the toughest part of the mod was cutting the square hole underneath the lid (not visible in photos).

I’ve always wanted the simple functionality of killing the looped phrase with one tap as opposed to a double tap, but the only way this was possible was with an external foot switch. I always thought this defeated the purpose of having a small looper pedal. But with this simple modification, I now have the foot switch mounted on the top.

Lots of win here.

Rich Mullins – Homeless Man

Rich Mullins. Right up there with Mr. Rogers as one of the few people in history I’d wanna meet if it were possible.

I’m not a fan of every single one of his songs (mostly due to stylistic preference). But of the few that I do like, they are some of my favorite songs of all time.

I still remember hearing the news about his passing. It was me, my brother and my mom. We were in central Florida at the time for a violin music competition. We took quite a handful of road trips like  this, and wherever we were, we’d tune in to the local Christian radio station. And that’s how we heard about Rich’s tragic car accident.

This little segment interviews a lot of the people whose lives Rich touched, and it’s pretty evident that he only cared about one thing – following Jesus.

Walrus Audio Voyager

20140604-000959-599733.jpg

This is the Voyager from Walrus Audio, and it is quite the awesome overdrive pedal. If you love the sound of your amp and are trying to find an overdrive pedal that’ll preserve that tone, this transparent overdrive is what you’re looking for.

I think my personal rule of thumb for choosing a good overdrive pedal is that it is transparent. It was actually pretty tough for me to compare the Voyager with other drive boxes that I currently own because I think all of them are actually quite good at doing this (Lovepedal Amp11, Boss OD-3, Maxon ROD 881). I spent a good deal of time A/B-ing them…and honestly, I’d have to say that they’re all pretty good. In the same way you come to appreciate good headphones, I’d have to spend more time with this thing to see what it has that the others don’t. Maybe its got something up its sleeve, maybe it doesn’t. But man, look at it! I know this matters very little, but it definitely gets points for looks.

My Mini Board

20140531-030122-10882777.jpg

I know I mentioned that I’d be featuring my new pedalboard in upcoming entires…this is not it.

At some point I realized that my days of acquiring effects resulted in a small stash of pedals that I didn’t use. So I wondered if I’d be able to make a complete and usable mini effects rig out of them. This is what came about from that curiosity. It’s mounted on a Pedaltrain Mini, and is pretty much really all I need to facilitate my style of playing. What it lacks, you’ll see when I feature my full board. Video demo coming soon, hopefully.

What I like about a stripped down set-up is that it sorta forces you to make do with less. This mini board is made up of exactly half the number of pedals of my full rig. Granted, the effects on this mini board are pretty much the ones I have on most of the time when I’m using my full board, I think the novelty of this smaller set-up still being able to pack quite a punch makes this configuration appealing.

Here’s the signal chain:
Morley Maverick
Boss TU-2
MXR Analog Chorus
Lovepedal Amp11
Boss OD-3
Boss DD-5 (w/ Monte Allums mod)

UPDATE: demo below

Easy Mod

bought a pack of LEDs of varying colors off of amazon (3mm & 5mm) and decided to swap the LEDs on a couple pedals. for the Maxon chorus I had to do this because under the stage lights — with the stock diffused red LED — it would sometimes appear that the pedal was on when it was not.

for the DD-5, I just did it for fun.

coming soon: most recent pedalboard arrangement and new Pedaltrain case from Brady Cases.

20140529-125939-46779158.jpg

20140529-131011-47411269.jpg

good times, noodle salad…