Today’s pedal line is from Nicholas Meyer. 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.
Hi. These pedal line Fridays look pretty cool, so I figured I’d submit my humble board. I know it’s a bit more minimalistic and jury-rigged than a lot of the boards on here, but that just adds to the flavor! So, here’s the story of the board and pedals, in the order I got them.
The Morley Bad Horsie 2 happened to be my dream wah at the time I was in the market for one. I was in a cover band, and we played a lot of stuff that could be enhanced by wah, but I didn’t want to muck about with switching the wah on to use it. Also, my dad had a Bad Horsie, and my brother had a Tremonti Power Wah, both of which sounded great to my ears. As it was, I was the only one in the house without a wah, and being surrounded by Morleys, I felt a touch of Morley envy. Then I saw the Bad Horsie 2 on YouTube. Two wah modes, good sound, and no need to press a footswitch? I ran out and got it as soon as I could. I’ve owned other wahs, and even modified a Crybaby GCB-95 to sound like a Fulltone Clyde, but for its sheer convenience and flexibility, the Bad Horsie 2 has always been the one that stays on my board.
A few years later came the Hardwire Delay. Much as I liked the simplicity of my minimalist rig (guitar>wah>amp), I wanted something to give me a touch of ambience and epicness to my solos. At the time, my amp was a JCA50H, which I’d heard had trouble with instrument-level pedals in the effects loop. I wanted a delay, but needed something that could handle the high input level from the JCA’s effects loop. I also didn’t want(and couldn’t afford) a rack unit. So I looked around on various forums for pedals that worked in the JCA effects loop. After a while of looking, I found(I believe on Harmony Central) the “Jet Setters,” a group of Jet City owners who’d compiled a list of pedals that worked. The delay section was full of great pedals, but the Hardwire stood out to me. It had all the delay modes I’d ever need, in a compact package, and at a reasonable price. Turning on the “Modulated” setting through my rig left me with no doubts that I’d made the best choice. I’ve since used that setting for many live solos and even on some recordings.
What with having a massive two pedals, plus the single-button footswitch for my amp, I figured I should get a board. However, money was a little tighter after buying my delay. After looking at what some makers wanted for a bare-bones pedalboard, I decided a humble pine slab with some velcro and rubber feet would do me just fine. And so it did, and still does. I’ve thought about buying a board, but I always come to the conclusion that I’d rather spend the money on something that will improve my sound instead.
My next acquisition was the lovely single-button footswitch in the middle, which is made from a steel pipe cap, a Carling switch, and an old guitar cable. I needed a single-button footswitch at the time, because I’d just traded up from my JCA50H to a Laney GH50L. I sold the Jet City footswitch with the amp to help boost its resale value, and figured I’d just get another for the Laney. As it turned out, I couldn’t find a Laney switch, so I started looking at others. Again, I was shocked by how much manufacturers wanted for such a simple item. It was $50.00 for the Marshall single-button, and based on the reviews, it wasn’t that solid. I happened to have a switch laying around from when I modified my Crybaby(I planned to make it true bypass, but later decided against it), and an old guitar cable. All I was missing was the enclosure, so off to the hardware store I went. I originally planned on getting an electronics project box, but on the way there, I
passed through the plumbing section and stumbled upon a big steel cap. There, I was inspired to make my footswitch gloriously ugly. And so I did. After some drilling and assembly, the switch worked great, and still does.
My final pedal purchase was the Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest overdrive in the middle. Before buying that pedal, I went through a Metal Muff, an MXR Custom Badass Modified Overdrive, and a Daredevil Pedals Atomic Cock looking for the perfect pedal to use as a solo boost. The Metal Muff, though undoubtedly brutal, just wasn’t what I was looking for. I played around with it for a while before deciding I didn’t need that much gain on tap to boost my solos. I returned it to the store after a couple days. The MXR caught my eye then. To keep it short, I bought it and loved it. I’d set up a dark tone on my amp, then use the MXR as a sort of clean/treble boost, with the tone turned up, 100hz turned down, and bump button on. It was my only overdrive for a couple of years(and I still have it). Then came the Atomic Cock. I’d always loved the cocked-wah sound, and figured it could help me make my solo tone more unique. I saw the Atomic Cock on Daredevil’s website and figured a hand-made cocked wah pedal was a steal at his prices(plus I’d get to poke fun of the name) so I grabbed it up. When it got here, I played around with it for a couple of weeks. It was a cool pedal, no doubt, and a bargain, but it didn’t have the same balls and presence as my MXR overdrive, so I figured I’d stick with my MXR and try to trade the Cock for something else. After a couple of weeks on Craigslist, a Godsend; someone a few houses down had the Black Forest overdrive and wanted to do a straight trade for my Cock(If you’ve just started reading, take that sentence any way you want). I looked up the Black Forest online, and was pleasantly surprised by the great demos and reviews I found. I took that trade gladly. Once I started using it, I found it was like the MXR, but with MOAR! More treble boost, more volume, more gain, more balls, etc. Plus it could get well into fuzz territory if I ever needed it to. I’ve been using this pedal for months now, and I can honestly say it’s the only overdrive pedal I’ve used that can do everything, and do it well.
So, all that went into the selection of the few pedals you see. Wall of text though it is, I wouldn’t be nearly as happy with my tone had I not gone through it all to find these wonderful pedals. Thanks for reading!
P.S. Here’s a link to my band’s page. We’re currently looking for a singer and bassist, but still putting out new music and constantly working to improve our playing and sound – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heir-of-a-Dying-Day/267516083351627