Important Scientific Discovery: Different amps require different pedal board setups!

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
378
Manitoba, Canada
After years of research, tops scientists (namely me and my shadow) have discovered that no one pedal board, however meticulously built, is the be all answer to your amp conditioning problems. Obvious in hindsight, perhaps, but I've finally realized that every amp has its idiosyncrasies, that better match this or that OD, this or that comp, this or that modulation pedal, etc., etc., etc..

I'm currently running 3 boards. One board is tweaked to work with a Twin, one with a Tweed Bandmaster, and one with a Princeton RI. Naturally, there pedals that will generally benefit any setup, but I've become convinced that certain pedal/amp combinations make far better bedfellows that other. So is my little discovery a surprise to most of you, or have you known this all along. What say you?
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
378
Manitoba, Canada
BTW, any hints as to how, and especially why, you've tricked out your own setups are most welcome. I too will be discussing my own findings and setups along the way. Have fun...:cool:
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
378
Manitoba, Canada
One massive benefit is that you don't have to try rediscover your favorite settings each time you change amps. For some reason, it seems easier to tweak your setting for a given guitar on that same board/amp combo. At least that's my experience...
 
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ruger9

Country Gent
Nov 1, 2008
3,606
NJ
Yeah- it's the dirt especially. All my pedals sound great with all my amps, except dirt. The "needing different dirt pedals for each amp" thing is what keeps me from having "one pedalboard to rule them all", which is my end goal. To put all the dirts on one board would require a 2nd power supply. I am considering it, for the home (does not move) board. Probably get one of those new D'Addarion expandable pedalboards.
 

MatchlessMan

Country Gent
Nov 29, 2010
1,167
Swindon UK
My two main gigging amps are a Matchless Lightning Reverb and a DIY 5E3 Deluxe clone.

I run the Matchless almost clean and it will happily take any and all the pedals on this somewhat self-indulgent board:

L5ayWby.jpg


The 5E3 not only doesn’t need a lot of fx, it can start to sound muddled with fx applied, so I generally use just slap-back plus a boost for solos:

kYlEjaE.jpg
 

S.R.Cash

Gretschie
Aug 29, 2019
445
Ontario, Canada
To simplify what I carry around, my Western/Rockabilly rig got it's own 'Board' inside. I needed (of all things), to brighten up my little Fender amp, so I used a Soul Food OD with Drive at 0% and the tone at 100%, and a fab Echo...
n1J9fI5.jpg

Acoustic Board: Flyrig AC, Dig. Delay, Polytune (to PA)
"general purpose" board: Hammertone Reverb, Space Delay, Digital Delay, Chorus, Polytune (to Deluxe Reverb Tone Master)
Eighties Board: Boss DD3, Boss Dimension C, Tighty Whitey compressor, Polytune (to JC-22)
 

ombudsman

Electromatic
Mar 19, 2022
69
Cincinnati OH
I have one board that I use for all band practices or gigs, which can be with several very different sounding bands and various guitars and amps, sometimes bass as well. I think my head would explode if I had to make decisions or re buy for multiple boards.

The one nod I make in that direction is that my first pedal is always a fuzz or boost which sits next to the board, running on batteries, so I can switch that up any time.
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
378
Manitoba, Canada
From my modest experience most time-based effects do an expectable job on any amp. It´s the fuzzes, overdrives and compressors that work differently with different amps.
Essentially, I'm in agreement with this observation. I will say though, that the Keeley Caverns is the best match for my BMaster, while my Strymon Flint really shines with the Princeton RI (in combo with the built in Rev and vibrato on the amp). Also, I have a TCElectronics delay which also works best with either the Twin or the Princeton...
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,707
Tucson
I may be an outlier, but I really don’t feel the need to use different boards with different amps. The biggest variable that would argue in favor of this would involve overdrives, and the overdrive one would use in front of a ‘65 Twin might be far different from what one would use in front of a Vox or a Tweed amp.

For my own uses, overdrive is rarely used and I tend to use a Nobels ODR-1 (which is very transparent), an MXR Sugar Drive or a Soul Food, none of which are made for high gain applications, but tend towards the mellow, so I doubt that my overdrives would make much of a difference.

Reverbs, tremolos, echo/delay devices, chorus and phase shifters don’t strike me as being particularly likely to have a different effect on different amps. I’m a big believer in setting preamp levels carefully, and if a pedal has a Level, Volume or Gain control, it’s a preamp, at least when engaged.

Yeah- it's the dirt especially. All my pedals sound great with all my amps, except dirt. The "needing different dirt pedals for each amp" thing is what keeps me from having "one pedalboard to rule them all", which is my end goal. To put all the dirts on one board would require a 2nd power supply. I am considering it, for the home (does not move) board. Probably get one of those new D'Addarion expandable pedalboards.
I have my world famous Swiss Army Board, which is my home board, and gives a lot of flexibility for recording. this photo is a bit dated, and I have a Nobels ODR-1 in place of the Boss overdrive, a Catalinbread Talisman Plate Reverb in place of the HOF Mini, and a JHS Spring Tank in place of the Catalinbread Topanga, but you get the idea. I can come up with a lot of variety, with regard to preamp and overdrive choices.

I have also thought along the same lines as you, with regard to having modular boards. Maybe have one board with delay, reverbs, phase, chorus, and another board for things that mess with gain.


15EF9BD8-057B-476B-B028-65ACECCF3154.jpeg
 

Runamok

Country Gent
Well, for the Gretsch Twang, I prefer the Princeton. For my Fender guitars, it's the Bandmaster (with a Script Dynacomp and a Keeley Caverns rev/delay)...
View attachment 187885
Aside from sound:
That Caverns pedal needs a bigger box or smaller switch knobs.

If they put the stomp switches on the side,
there will more room for knobs.

How do you read & adjust controls?
Put the knobs on a face-level satellite box where I can read them & leave the stomp switches at my feet?

Else I will eventually need a knee replacement.
 
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ruger9

Country Gent
Nov 1, 2008
3,606
NJ
I may be an outlier, but I really don’t feel the need to use different boards with different amps. The biggest variable that would argue in favor of this would involve overdrives, and the overdrive one would use in front of a ‘65 Twin might be far different from what one would use in front of a Vox or a Tweed amp.

For my own uses, overdrive is rarely used and I tend to use a Nobels ODR-1 (which is very transparent), an MXR Sugar Drive or a Soul Food, none of which are made for high gain applications, but tend towards the mellow, so I doubt that my overdrives would make much of a difference.

Reverbs, tremolos, echo/delay devices, chorus and phase shifters don’t strike me as being particularly likely to have a different effect on different amps. I’m a big believer in setting preamp levels carefully, and if a pedal has a Level, Volume or Gain control, it’s a preamp, at least when engaged.


I have my world famous Swiss Army Board, which is my home board, and gives a lot of flexibility for recording. this photo is a bit dated, and I have a Nobels ODR-1 in place of the Boss overdrive, a Catalinbread Talisman Plate Reverb in place of the HOF Mini, and a JHS Spring Tank in place of the Catalinbread Topanga, but you get the idea. I can come up with a lot of variety, with regard to preamp and overdrive choices.

I have also thought along the same lines as you, with regard to having modular boards. Maybe have one board with delay, reverbs, phase, chorus, and another board for things that mess with gain.


View attachment 187896

What's the Boss Dual Foot Switch for? I've never seen one.
 


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