Tag Archives: pedals

The Quest for Tone – My Thoughts on Gear & Skill

I’m not sure if this is going to be a rant…or a guitar sermon…or just a little sharing of where I’m at. But here I go…

As a guitarist who is also very much into gear, I too have been on this “quest for tone.” It sounds dumb, but I’d say every musician probably holds this facet of their sound to a very high regard. Continue reading The Quest for Tone – My Thoughts on Gear & Skill

Maxon OD-820 Clone: Aion Electronics “Nimbus”

Pictured here is my newest completed pedal project.  It’s the Aion Electronics Nimbus Overdrive.  Recently I had built myself a Klon clone and found it useful enough to include in my rig. If you didn’t know, the Klon is kind of known for it’s prominent mid-hump EQ. At first, I wasn’t really too crazy about this, but ultimately I decided that the contrasting nature of the Klon to my other OD tones was a good thing and this secured it a space on my board.

While browsing the Aion Electronics shop, I came across the Nimbus. The one thing I really like about this site is that if a pedal has any interesting history/controversy at all, it will be clearly written about. Well, apparently, the Maxon OD-820 had some, and it had to do with the Klon.  Continue reading Maxon OD-820 Clone: Aion Electronics “Nimbus”

Klon Centaur Clone: Aion Electronics “Refractor”

Shortly after sharing about my new mini-board (here), I acquired a Pluetoneum Chi-Wah-Wah V2 (careful…oddly nsfw) to complete and maximize the usefulness of my new mini setup. I didn’t really feel like posting about it, although I may do a more lengthy demo in the future. Other than that acquisition, it’s all been Boss mods and new complete builds. This one pictured above is one of my proudest completed projects.

Continue reading Klon Centaur Clone: Aion Electronics “Refractor”

Pedaltrain Metro-16

Here’s my mini pedalboard mounted on a Pedaltrain Metro-16, one of their new offerings for 2015.

Previously, I had the old Pedaltrain Mini. Apparently, my model had gone through a couple of revisions. One of them is publicly known and visually obvious. The other, more or less nobody knows about and you really can’t tell just by looking at it. What it comes down to is that my Mini doesn’t accept any non-daisychain power supplies. Continue reading Pedaltrain Metro-16

New Mini Board Setup

Following my new-found appreciation for compression placed post-dirt, I decided to redo my mini rig. I also swapped out the TU-2 for the Polytune I had sitting around. To my surprise/delight, the rearrangement even allowed me to cram in one more pedal (added Hall of Fame reverb). For some funny reason Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the 5000 came to mind…

Here’s the signal chain:
TC Electronic Polytune
MXR Analog Chorus
Lovepedal Amp11
Boss CS-2
Boss DD-5 (w/ Monte Allums mod)
TC Electronic Hall of Fame

Lava Cable’s Solder-free Patch Cables

My current set-up.

20131008-012855.jpg

But what I wanna highlight are the new patch cables. Previously, I had George L cables installed. I had been using them for about 8 years, I think. They were great, but there were a few occasions when the connections became insecure, causing me to spend anywhere between 10 and 45 minutes to figure out where the kink was. A couple of times the issue occurred right before a live set. THE WORST.

Anyway, I was drawn to the Lava cables because of a couple things: 1) They had the smallest plug of any patch cable I had ever seen 2) assembled cable looked very secure.

here’s a closer look.

20131008-012904.jpg

For anyone considering these, I have to first warn you that these are NOT the easiest to assemble. I’m not gonna waste time typing out the instructions ’cause you can easily google that. But I will link this video, because I believe that if you assemble them the way this guy says to, you’ll be good. If you don’t have one of those meters he’s using, I think a cable tester like this one should do (this is what I used). I will add one thing though. I know this guys says that the cables only need to be “finger-tight.” but USE PLIERS when tightening them. unless you’re ridiculously strong, pliers are the only way to guarantee that they are securely assembled.

I’m pretty happy with these. They look incredibly tidy and I do think the audio quality is better. There were some noises (very slight) that I remember having with my old patch cables that I just sort of accepted. But with these, the bypassed signal is dead quiet!

tap-tempo make-over

one very important effect combination in my line-up of pedals is the boss dd-5 delay coupled with an external tap tempo. below is a picture of that isolated set-up back when i realized how much i liked it (think where the streets have no name).

CIMG5461

the fs-5u did its job and did it well…but it took up more space than it needed to. so one day as i was browsing around ebay for pedals i came across a seller who offered a tap pedal that would occupy a much smaller footprint – it was $20 so i snatched it up. little knobless red box below.

CIMG6718-crop

this tap-tempo served me well too, but it didn’t last very long. the casing was a rigid plastic, but not rigid enough to have the weight of a foot concentrated on the switch. the switch itself was fairly cheap too – just a standard plastic momentary switch that probably wasn’t menat for repeated tapping by one’s foot. over time i think the switch started to register inaccurate tempos from my foot. ok, so it had to go.

at some point i realized that every component of that little tap pedal (which weren’t that many) was available at radio shack. the parts include: the housing for the switch, the switch itself, a 1/4″ input jack and some wires. although i didn’t have much faith in the plastic housing i realized that the radioshack package also came with a metal plate that would go on top of the box. with this, i thought the weight of my foot would at least be distributed evenly across the surface of the box.

long story short, i bought up all the parts i needed to make a new one. after about 40 minutes of drilling and soldering, i was able to put together what you see below (knobless silver box). this version had the metal plate for added strength.

CIMG9837-crop

worked great and looked great. no issues with the structural integrity of the housing. but sure enough, after some time, that radio shack switch started to crap out on me just like the last one – started registering some dumb tempos. couldn’t have that!

fast-forward to today.
i installed a quality metal momentary switch i found on ebay. and before screwing in the 4 screws, i decided to do some decorating with some reflective tape i had lying around. below, you’ll see the results of my hard work :) this one should last me a while without any issues.

CIMG3640

music gear

i’ll let my first “official” entry be about my effects pedals…

this is new: RC-2
CIMG2488
about this little box: it really packs a whole lot into a small package. it holds 16 minutes of recording time and 11 slots to save those recorded samples to. what you do with it is basically record something you play in real time, let it play back, and then either play on top of it or overdub another line onto it. and what you put in is what it spits out, so there’s no loss in quality (at least not from what i can hear) it’s fun for sure.

this is not new: Rodenberg GAS-828
CIMG6714
but i will be sending it back to germany to have the circuitry updated! YES!
this Rodenberg GAS pedal delivers a very satisfying smooth overdrive. it also looks damn cool!

this pedalboard is sort of new.
CIMG2484
it’s a small size-upgrade from the 1st generation pedaltrain i used to have all my pedals sit on. the old one was a few inches short of 24 inches. this one is a full 24 inches long, which gives me just enough for another column of pedals :) this allowed me to place 2 phasers (EH Small Stone / Ibanez PH-7) in different ends of my effects chain and also allows me to include my new RC-2 loop station.

future upgrades will come in the form of modifications to 2 of my pedals (after the GAS-828 mod).

  • robert keeley’s TR-2 mod
  • analogman’s EH Small Stone mod

that’s it for now, i think.