Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pedalboard 2.0

My quest is at an end.

I mentioned before I was going through an overhaul of my guitar effects. The project took me places I didn't know I needed to go.

First I sold my analog echo pedal. I've had it four years, gigged with it and still made a profit. In its place, I put a BOSS digital delay that cost about half and took up a third of the space. It's also immensely powerful, going up to three seconds before the sound repeats, plus it adequately copies the warm analog sound. It was a very good decision.

I'm a fan of modulation. I've always had a chorus or a phaser in my board. I originally planned to add a BOSS chorus and a tremolo to the MXR Phase 100. A bit much but I wanted choices.

Then I discovered the Line 6 MM4. It had all three effects in one pedal, plus 13 more! I had already bought the BOSS chorus but the deals on ebay were too good. I ended up getting one for 65% off on ebay.

It showed up a half an hour before our last jam session (and I can't tell you how I look forward to those!). I plugged it in and tried it for the first time in a band setting. The sounds were good but a little weak.

I did some research and found that Keeley did a modification on this processor. They swap out the chips for higher grade electronics and improve the response. Sounded vague but Grant loves his Keeley effects so I sent it out. Even with the extra cost I'm still up on the deal.

It came back yesterday. And it's like a different pedal. The sounds are richer, stronger, louder. The LEDs are even brighter. And blue.

It's still a bit limited in range. None of the models can achieve the crazy, no- musical tones the individual stompboxes reach when they're turned up too far. But considering the price and space options, plus the added bonus of a true bypass signal, I'm satisfied for the next few years.

While I was at it, I took the opportunity to velcro down the tuner and run it in the chain, add a 5 in 1 adapter so I could power everything with one plug and vacuum the damn thing out. You have no idea what four years of catnaps will do to velcro.

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