#1
Hi everyone,
I've spent the last 2 weeks researching on the web and I'm starting to run out of (life)time, I'm appreciating every little bit of advice for my setup problems...

I'm planning to build a pedalboard consisting of this (so far):

- Tuner (Seiko ST800)
- Wah (Morley Bad Horsie)
- Distortion (Metal Muff)
- EQ (MXR M-108)
- Volume (Mini Morley)
- Chorus (Boss CE-5)

That's also my signal chain order, still a bit unsure about the EQ (also tried before the distortion but didn't like it) and the volume pedal though.

Tomorrow I'm getting the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus so I should be sorted for the power supply which brings me to the 1 thing I can't seem to figure out on my own - I want to put on a looper switcher, 1 I've come across that seems (!) to do everything I can think of, looks cool and ain't super expensive either is http://buzzelectronics.co.uk

I want to be able to set up distorted (rhythm, lead) and clean sounds that I can switch between by a single click, not having to hit 3 different pedals to go from clean to distorted sound. So obviously a programmable looper would do the trick. Buzz is offering custom solutions and this is where it gets tricky for me.

(looks like the general options are pretty universal for all loopers I'll just stick to Buzz for now as I've looked the closest into this 1)

Every loop can be set up as:

- Tuner Out
- A/B output
- Amp switch
- Dedicated Master Bypass
- Loop
- in FX loop

I can't figure out how many loops I really need, I'm thinking 6 or 8. Is there anything wrong with having the tuner between guitar and looper? And if so, does it make sense to have 1 loop constructed as a "Tuner Out" which means I won't be able to use it for anything else in the future?
Never felt the need for an A/B output, what do you guys think, is it smth I should have implemented just in case?
I'm playing on a Micro Cube GX amp which to my knowledge doesn't offer any channel switching on the amp. How do those amp switch loops work? And again, should my looper have 1?
I'm not fully understanding the Dedicated Master Bypass either. If I turn off all the loops it does exactly the same, right? and why would you want to play w/o any effects??
I could also configure loops to go in FX loop which my amp doesn't have but I'm feeling like it would be wise to have that option for later, what you think? And if yes, would 1 loop most probably be sufficient for most cases?
And what would I need a MIDI connection for?

I'm pretty much only using 1 distorted sound for both rhythm and lead (just switching pickups, wouldn't mind being able to change EQ settings for both separately but looks like I'd have to buy a 2nd EQ pedal...?) together with the wah, the chorus for the clean sound and the volume pedal always available (so shall I just put it AFTER the looper??). This is 1 possible setup, in the end I wanna have 1 extra free loop if I should get more pedals in the future.

(Loop)
(1) Tuner Out/Mute
(2) Wah, Distortion
(3) EQ
(4) Volume
(5) Chorus
(?) A/B Output?
(?) Amp switch?
(?) Dedicated Master Bypass?
(?) in FX Loop?

Thanks already for the help!
Last edited by muphdiver at Nov 5, 2014,
#2
I'd be very wary of spending that much on pedals, pedalboard power, and fancy looping solutions if you're only running a microcube. Don't get me wrong, a microcube is killer for what it is, but it's a little practice amp. Unless you absolutely have to play at really low volumes all the time, I'm not sure it's the best use of your funds.
#3
Thanks for the input, Dave_Mc. I guess it's a perfectly valid point. The thing is I just didn't get to look for a proper amp yet. The Cube sounds real good to my ears (I DO have to worry about neighbors unfortunately) so I looked into the pedals first. I just wanna have as many options available as possible once my pedalboard is built. Will probably look into amps when that's done.
#4
No worries, yeah if you have to play really quietly it might still be worth it.

All that fancy looping and MIDI stuff is kind of getting beyond what I bother doing myself, though.

The really lo-tech solution is to put anything which you need to kick at the same time next to each other (if possible) and then you can kick them at the same time. That works better if the pedals are from the same manufacturer (or at least use the same switch type), though since they tend to be the same height and need the same amount of force etc. to kick all at once.
#5
#6
I have to agree with Dave and say get yourself a new amp first. Trust me, small solid state practice amps and a pedalboard like that won't yield a good tone. Look at tube amps, just something small (15 watts or under) before you drop hundreds of dollars on a rig like that.

I respect your point that you want to get the board done first and then look at amps, but once you hear some good quality tube amps next to your micro cube you'll HAVE to buy a new amp. I don't know a whole lot about the best metal amps (which I'm guessing by the metal muff is the stuff you want to play?) but can you please, PLEASE go to a guitar store and try out some decent tube amps first. Check out the Blackstar HT-5R 5 watt amp. Also, an effects loop might be beneficial for some of those modulation pedals.
Just my 2 cents
#7
Thanks a lot guys, really appreciate you taking the time!

What can I say? I like thought-through and hassle-free solutions even if they're a bit pricey makes me enjoy playing way more haha!

Yeah, I had also looked into that Octa-Switch II - looks good as well! - but ended up with Buzz as he customizes the thing to my needs and for less money. Not sure what an Overdrive pedal would do to my sound...? So far I was good with heavy distortion and chorus

Thanks for the tip nathan:-) I'll see if I can test that Blackstar around here somewhere. The thing is I even have a small tube amp already lying around for a long time (Ibanez Valbee) but the Cube sounded so much better to me. Admitted, I didn't take a LOT of time trying to get the Valbee to my liking after I got the Cube (just read now obviously a lot of guys are improving their Valbee's sound a lot by changing the tubes), maybe I should give it a second chance...
#8
^ sometimes the very cheapest tube amps (like the valbee- i haven't tried it) don't sound all that great, because it's pretty clear they've cut corners. it also depends on how quietly you have to play (and the stuff you're playing, and also personal preference).

if you know you don't care about tubes, that's fair enough.
#9
Another point I'd like to raise is that if you upgrade your amp first you can find out which pedals sound good and which ones don't. Depending on what amp you're looking at, a metal muff (for example) could sound great through the Cube and crap through something else (or vice versa). Then you have to sell it at a loss and buy something else.

My advice would be to go to a guitar store with your Cube and run a metal muff, bad horsie, EQ and chorus pedals through it and see how they sound (if they let you of course ). Then play them through a more upmarket amp and see how they sound. You might find that you like the distorted channel of an upgraded amp more than the metal muff for example.
Last edited by nathan:-) at Nov 9, 2014,
#10
metal muffs make my ears cringe. there are tons of better options. i would imagine you growing out of the metal muff after some period of time.
#11
AMP first then worry about pedals. for instance if you get an amp with good distortion then you won't need a distortion pedal at all but rather an overdrive. the amp is the basis for your tone and needs to be your fist worry. pedals are icing on the cake not the cake. also you lack a delay on your list which seems to me to be a needed item (opinion though). also ask yourself how much you will use any given pedal. volume can be controlled from the guitar so do you need that pedal (for instance).
#12
Thanks guys for making me want to spend even more money now haha! Seriously though, I guess I didn't put it very clear in the first place - I got all those pedals already, I was just trying to get rid of all that cable shit at first and then things got a bit out of hand with the looper Never put too much thought into amps as I was pretty happy with that Cube (so far ) and me having to adjust to my neighbors (baby downstairs etc) anyway but thanks for bringing that up.

Looks like you guys agree that that ValBee isn't really the benchmark huh? I had a feeling there must be more to tubes than that. Will give the whole amp thing some research tomorrow, nathan:-) mentioned the Blackstar HT-5R 5 watt, any other suggestions for me that I should look into? A rough direction is all I need, I guess if I really get another amp I'd go for something bigger than 5W as anything louder than the Cube I'd have to play at a different place anyway and there the volume doesn't matter. Thanks a lot boys!
Last edited by muphdiver at Nov 9, 2014,
#13
ah if you have the pedals already that's different

just to point out, the blackstar isn't all-tube. it doesn't matter if you like how it sounds, but a lot of people think they're all-tube (probably because blackstar, in my opinion, VERY STRONGLY IMPLIES IT IS), and I just want you to go in with your eyes open.
#14
so i ordered a fxl8 pro haven't got it yet so can't tell you about the quality. there is a similar product, a joyo unit, literally the same but without midi and has 4 amp triggers instead of 2. these switches have 4 channels that are placed before the amp and 4 channels for the effects loop and tuner output. Its about 200 euro including shipping.

something like this will allow you to place the tuner in the tuner out. then place your wah and distortion before the amp input. then i would place the eq the first pedal in the effects loop (i have the same pedal and i found that there is the best position for it) after that i would place the chorus. I never used a volume pedal and im not sure where it goes. but with such unit you would have enough space for future expansion. for the switch.

On the other hand, you would have used all the power outputs of the PP+2 as you would require a high current output to power the switch and the EQ required 2 outputs to get the 18V and make sure you wire it correctly not to damage any equipment.
#15
Thanks a lot for all the info! Will try the EQ in the FX Loop! So far I went to get an ISP Decimator 2 G-String, Line6 G50 Wireless and swapped the Voodoo Lab PP2+ for the 4x4. I ordered an 8ch programmable MIDI looper with an amp switch from Buzz Electronics but still waiting for delivery.

Actually right now I'm trying to figure out how to best combine the 3 input signals on the board: 1x wireless + 2x cable input. I found the Boss LS-2 pedal but not completely sure if it lets me play on all 3 input plugs at the same time (!). Obviously if I connect guitar 1 to RETURN A, guitar 2 to RETURN B and guitar 3 to INPUT I can switch between the 3, but not sure if setting it to A+B MIX with that cable routing will combine all 3 possible guitar signals for the output... Should be able to test the pedal on Monday though.

Then I should also figure out how to get a dry signal from the LS-2 to the DRY OUT on the board. A/B/Y box probably but there's nothing to toggle does it make sense to get one or am I better off building something myself? No idea how to split an audio signal...?