Today’s pedal line is from Jimmy Rolle. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
Axess Electronics BS2 – Buffer Splitter
Output A – Matchless DC30 ef86 channel
Output B – Matchless DC30 12Ax7 channel / Rivera Knucklehead
I have used a bunch of stuff over the years with this being my most current lineup. In general I like to have 4-5 different gain flavors on a board then a simple wah and analog delay. The pedals are in an order that works for me to achieve the desired result. This is a breakdown of the signal path and what each pedal is used for:
The Lehle Little Lehle II is used to place the Boss TU2 tuner in a true bypass loop. The Boss TU2 features buffer circuitry that affects your signal even when the pedal is off. Having the TU2 in a loop allows me to choose to have a buffered or unbuffered signal from the start of the board. Some pedals, namely fuzzes or older style distortion pedals, react very differently to buffered/unbuffered signals, so it is nice to have the choice to obtain a desired sound.
The next pedal in line is the Fulltone ’69 pedal. I have had this one on the board for about 8-9 years and really like it for classic fuzzface type tones. From the ’69 the signal goes to the Lehle D. Loop where I have options for Loop A and Loop B. I have a Bad Cat 2-Tone in Loop A and a Maxon 808 + EH Big Muff Pi in Loop B. The Bad Cat gives me a big “Tone Boost” type of sound, in a lot of ways like a bigger, better, treble booster. It does introduce some hum when turned on, I believe due to the preamp tubes and power trannies inside. The Maxon + Big Muff Pi sound is thick and gives you great sustain and articulation for leads. For me, the Big Muff is only OK by itself, pretty scooped and lacking in definition. The Maxon 808 adds the midrange punch and clarity I’m looking for.
I’ve had a number of wahs over the years, the two I liked best being the Fulltone Clyde and the Teese RMC “Picture Wah”. The RMC has a slightly wider and smoother sweep than the Clyde, and a hair more top end. I’m sure someday I will have the Clyde in there again, just to mix it up. Either way, they are both killer “classic” sounding wahs.
The signal then goes to a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET. The merits of the FD2 are pretty well documented. This one replaced my original TS9 that was my very first pedal and stayed in my lineup for almost 15 years. The FD2 is just a flat-out great overdrive that is versatile and easy to dial in.
At the left end of the board I have an EH Deluxe Memory Man which is in a LOOOPER true bypass loop. The DMM really needs to be in a loop because you can hear a very small amount from the “Echo” output event when the pedal is bypassed. The DMM has a classic, creamy analog delay sound with some versatility compared to the typical smaller analog delay units.
From the delay, the signal goes back across the board to the Axess Electronics BS2 Buffer/Splitter. The BS2 is a high quality signal buffer which converts your high impedance guitar signal to low impedance. It also features 3 outputs, one of which is a transformer isolated output with a phase reverse option for using when combining two amplifiers. There is an internal “gain” pot that you can add a few dB of clean boost to your signal if you desire to push the amps input section a little harder. Usually I have the gain up a few clicks to refresh my signal and drive the amp a little harder.
After the BS2 the signal goes to the Whirlwind Selector which allows me to choose outputs A/B or both outputs simultaneously. For my band _pollen, I send one output to each channel of my Matchless DC30 and use both individually and in combination depending on the song. For my other band, American Falcon, I send one of the outputs to my Rivera Knucklehead and then use the speaker phase reverse switch on the DC30 to eliminate phase cancellation issues between the two amps.
As far as cabling goes, the majority of the pedal board is wired with George L’s “Vintage Red” cable, which sounds great but is somewhat fragile. The other jumpers are some sort of standard cables that I picked up because I needed more for my board. They seem solid and sound good. I use a Colossal Cable “Modern Classic” for my primary stage cable, and two DiMarzio cables to go from the board to the amp. The DiMarzio’s are high quality cables, which I don’t think they make the same version of any more…don’t know why.
About the author:
Jimmy is a good friend of mine for many years, and I’ve had the privledge of playing guitar with him in various bands and projects. Jimmy is also featured in the EffectsBay.com pedal demos.