Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Henry Gascon. 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 email@example.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
Pedal Line Friday – 4/5 – Henry Gascon
I’m an avid lifelong fan of Johnny Marr who instilled in me not only a love of post-punk music but also a love of guitar. I’ve been playing casually for the better part of 15 years now primarily experimenting with sound to find my own guitar voice if you will.
A few years ago, after listening to Johnny Marr’s first record The Messenger, I was motivated to start building a collection of Carl Martin pedals which Johnny uses in his studio. He talks about his usage of them in a fantastic interview with Premier Magazine in promotion of his most recent (and fabulous) record Call the Comet.
I’ve been fortunate to find these pedals over time, either new or used, but here they are.
The DeLayla XL is a vintage echo pedal with some neat slapback capabilities, the Chorus xII enriches the overall tone without compromising your sound, the AC-Tone mimics the voice of a vintage Vox AC-30, the PlexiTone allows you to be more aggressive with the crunch of a Marshall amp, the Hot Drive’N Boost provides some serious overdrive when needed, the Compressor limited helps to control feedback (always a good idea on a pedal board) and I got the new Boss Waza Craft tuner primarily to match the colors of the other pedals. The original white one of course is outstanding.
What I like about these pedals are its versatility. I can easily toggle echoes, delays, slapbacks, and tones with a couple of foot taps or adjustments. The only thing I’m really missing here is a Reverb pedal which I’m still considering. I usually prefer a sound that is clean and aggressive, but also gives you the range for dreamy, psychedelic effects. This board does that. Overall, the diversity of the pedals provides me great range of what I want to do musically, depending on the mood I’m in or where the guitar wants to take me.
The board is connected to a Fender Reverb Deluxe which has always been my favorite amp and goes beautifully with my Johnny Marr signtature Jaguars. For patch cables, I primarily use Mogami cables which are really fantastic, durable and stable. Their instrument cables come with a lifetime warrantee too.
I also have the Boss GT-100 which Johnny uses on stage but these Carl Martins are a bit more fun and easier to play with.
Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Mark Ruark. 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.
Pedal Line Friday – 3/22 – Mark Ruark
I am one half of liars’ conspiracy, an ambient/drone collaboration based in Minneapolis, MN. Our sounds can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, cdbaby.com, as well as liarsconspiracy.com
My current rig is one of three Epiphone guitars: a Les Paul Special I, a Les Paul Studio Custom, or an ES-339 Pro.My amp is an EHX 22 Caliber into an Epiphone 1×12 cab.
I’ve been a fan of Celestial Effects for a long time. We’ve done a variety of give aways over the years. One thing that has always stood out to me about this company – their build quality. Awesome, awesome level of components and attention to detail. They recently contacted me about some changes that they’re doing with their company, and since I know a good few of you that read Effects Bay are professional builders, aspiring new builders trying to make a go of it or just DIY builders. Either way, you guys might be interested in the services Celestial Effects is offering.
Celestial Effects have discontinued their Zodiac series (sad to hear about this) and are integrating that business with their other business – Thermalogic which offers volume manufacturing and private labeling on a proprietary basis. I sent some questions to Domenic Mancini who manages the engineering and manufacturing side of things.
Talking with Domenic Mancini of Celestial Effects
– Do you work with small builders or short runs?
– Do you do PCB design work?
– Is all of your manufacturing/assembling done in the US?
– Where are you located?
22 Kane Industrial Drive Hudson MA 01749
– Can you explain the overall process from receiving a schematic design to the end user receiving assembled PCBs?
Celestial Effects and Thermalogic are an OEM manufacturing and engineering provider. All our customers are handled under propitiatory agreement meaning what information about your guitar effect and your company you disclose remains with us. In other words, we build for you and the Celestial Effects and Thermalogic trade names do not appear on any of our customer’s products nor do we share any aspect of our working relationship with other customers. This has been a high standard of doing business with our customers for nearly 50 years.
So, it all starts with a phone call. We will discuss the customer’s exact specifications and services they require and provide a quotation for these services before any work begins. Every customer is different and our company is very flexible to fill the customer’s exact production and engineering needs. Once pricing is agreed, an order is placed by the customer and we begin our magic. We offer all services the customer may need and quote the job on a case by case basis.
Lets say the customer has designed and bread boarded a guitar effect or made a few prototypes, but does not have any of the design “documented” for a full production run Step one will be to create a project file. We will then take the information the customer provides us begin building the manufacturing documents to bring the customer’s pedal to market. This may include schematic generation, creating a bill of materials specifying each part and possibly laying out the PC board, designing the case and the artwork as well. With our 50 years of electronic circuit assembly knowledge, 11 years building our own Zodiac series pedals and a large engineering staff, we can offer a lot of advise and help so the customer has the best information available to make critical decisions. We can help the customer avoid the pitfalls we have stumbled on in the past creating a smooth process for the customer.
Once complete, the next step will be the prototyping stage where we will build up a small quantity against a larger order for first article inspection by the customer. This way, if components or design changes need to be made, the customer has not invested quantity resources into the design. Before delivering first articles, we share all documents and prototype parts with the customer for approval. Both companies “check off” on each aspect of the design so there is no misunderstanding. Redundant checks along the way are a rule here, measure twice and cut once!
Next will be the decision for parts sourcing. Will Celestial Effects source the parts for the customer or will we stock components provided by the customer to fill the manufacturing needs. The benefits of having Celestial Effects source the parts is that the customer can ride the coat tails of our large quantity component buying power to reduce costs and also these parts would be covered under warranty by Celestial Effects.
Once the project is released for manufacturing, we will decide how many units per month the customer requires and begin the manufacturing after all parts are received into our facility. Once the product is mature, we just receive orders and ship product. From time to time we will review the designs as there may be components approaching obsolesce, component pricing increases or component availability be comes a problem. At this point we may suggest a design make over to keep the pedals in production. In some cases, new components or technology will become available in which a re-design would be advantageous to the customer for product longevity or added features.
The sky is the limit here at Celestial Effects and we take great pride in our customer service and outstanding quality.
The Cure are playing a couple of shows in Africa, and I’ve been catching a few videos and photos! This year, they’re playing a few festival type shows along with a few special concerts. The last time I caught them live was back on their US tour in 2016, and my only regret – that I didn’t see them more. So I’m hoping for another US tour. Fingers crossed.
Over at Reeve Gabrels’ Facebook page there was a post talking about the “Your Day on the Lawns” show in Johannesburg there was talk about some of the pedalboards that were in Africa, including Reeve’s guitar and Bass VI boards as well as a shot of Robert Smith’s boards. Awesome. Check ’em out below. – Photos posted by Reeves Gabrels 3/16.
Over at Haunted Labs Instagram account, they’re running an insane give away. They’re calling it the March Mayhem Give Away, and I totally get it. This is a give away that lives on Instagram only, but it’s worth it. No account? Well, I would make an account just to enter this bad boy.
Here is the official details from their Instagram:
Who needs March Madness, when you can have… MARCH MAYHEM! Haunted Labs has teamed up with some of our friends to give one lucky winner the pedalboard of their nightmares – umm.. we mean dreams, of course.. on March 31st!
Voodoo Lab Dingbat Pedalboard Power Package (Large with Pedal Power MONDO)
Rattlesnake Guitar Cable 20ft Copper Weave
Sinasoid Sliver Patch Cable’s 11 5″ and 1 30″
Premier Guitar 1 yr Subscription
Cooper FX Moment Machine
Cusack Music Tap A Delay Deluxe
Deep Space Devices Trigonaut
EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine
Electro-Faustus EF111 – Guitardämmerung
Greenhouse Effects Stonefish
Ground Control Audio Serpens
Haunted Labs Paranormal Fuzz V2
JHS Charlie Brown
Keeley Compressor +
Mattoverse Inflection Point
SolidGoldFX Surf Rider III Dark Tide Edition
Source Audio Lunar Phaser
TC Electronic Sub n’ Up
VOX Wah Wah V847A
Walrus Audio Emissary
ZVEX Horizontal Fuzz Factory
Winner will be selected at random and notified via Instagram direct message at the giveaways conclusion.
Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.
Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Mike McQuain. 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 email@example.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
Pedal Line Friday – 3/8 – Mike McQuain
I actually have 2 pedal boards that I use on a regular basis – one is kept at church, where I play with the modern worship band, and the other is kept at home for practice, recording and the occasional jam session or playing out with friends.
Until recently I had been running everything in front of an Egnater Tweaker combo amp on stage. However, in an attempt to reduce overall stage volume, I am now going direct to the mixer and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I like the results.
Next up is my home studio board (currently being rewired) that is very similar to the church board, with a few exceptions….
Power for both boards is via a Walrus Audio Phoenix clean power supply, which has plenty of power on tap with 15 outputs and no extra noise!
In addition to the two boards, I have a few other pedals I keep around and may occasionally swap out with something. These include the first generation of the series Transparent Overdrive (Timmy clone), Overdrive (OCD clone) and Distortion (Crunch Box clone). I also have an old Danelectro Daddy-O, and a few other miscellaneous things. I seem to suffer from a constant state of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) so I’m buying and selling pedals every other month it seems… yes, it is a sickness but I love it!!!
My guitars include three Les Paul Tributes, each with different pickups for a variety of tonal options. An Epiphone ES-335 Pro semi-hollow, a Gibson SG (for slide), a Frankenstein Strat and a Breedlove acoustic with a Fishman pickup system. I have bought/sold about 50 guitars over the years but have finally settled on a good collection of the “old standards” from Gibson and Fender (just need a Tele LOL).
Over the last 40 years I have gone from no pedals, to a single MXR Distortion+ (wish I still had that vintage unit), to literally spending thousands of dollars on gear in a never ending quest for that magic thing we call tone. I have learned that the most important elements in your signal chain start with your hands and a good guitar and amp. Do I “need” all these pedals? Probably not… but it sure is fun to play around and try new things!
Patric Carver (NSFW), a friend of mine, who happens to be a professional photographer took some shots at a recent Bob Mould show at the Fillmore in San Francisco, CA. He was kind enough to send over a couple of shots including one of his board.
I’ve been a fan of Mould for many years. I was super into all of his projects going from Husker Du, to his solo work, Sugar, etc. His voice is iconic and guitar riffs are legendary. His set up has always been pretty straight forward – here is a break down of the pedals
Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Chandler Grace. 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.
I figured that I would send out a photo pf my board. Here is what we have going on:
The ES-8 is configured for multiple configurations on the different banks based on the inputs and outputs:
* Bank 1 – Wireless in, Mono out (Front of Amp)
* Bank 2 – Wireless in, Mono Out (Front of Amp) w/Effects Loop
* Bank 3 – Wireless In, Stereo Out (JC-120 1 & 2 Front of Amp)
* Bank 4 – Wireless In, Stereo Out (JC-120 1 & 2 Front of Amp) w/Effects Loop on JC-120 1
* Bank 5 – Wireless in, Mono out (Front of Amp)
* Bank 6 – Wireless in, Mono Out (Front of Amp) w/Effects Loop
* Bank 7 – Wireless In, Stereo Out (JC-120 1 & 2 Front of Amp)
* Bank 8 – Wireless In, Stereo Out (JC-120 1 & 2 Front of Amp) w/Effects Loop on JC-120 1
All of the same “loops” settings are the same in each bank as specified above, only the inputs/outputs are different.
All patch cables are Lava Cables Tightrope solder-free cables and the power cables are 3 Monkeys DC solderless cables (With a few Voodoo Lab cables)
Pedalboard itself is a Pedaltrain Classic Pro with a Speekon power port and 5 1/4″ outputs connected to the ES-8.
My band is Frozen Charlottes (Formerly Operation Mockingbird, we changed the name at the beginning of this year), is a Goth/Deathrock band and the tone of my guitar is very specific. Because this particular genre really got is start in the early 80s, I am using predominantly pedals and amps from that time period. Most of the pedals on my board are from the early to mid 80s (All of the Boss ones, in particular the CE-2 which is a silver screw and has been a workhorse for me for over 30 years).
I keep the JHS Prestige Boost pedal at about 8:00 o’clock with always gives me just a tinge of overdrive on a clean setting but really makes the humbuckers in my HSS Strat sing.
Not shown here though is the real magic. I have the ES-8 plugged in via MIDI cables to an Akai MPC Live so that I can control either the ES-8 from the MPC or vice versa. The MPC controls our live synths that I play in conjunction with the guitar.
It has become pretty easy to tell who the top dawgs are in the boutique guitar pedal game. Set your minimum price point to like, $175, and you’ll find the most sought after brands. Strymon, Chase Bliss, Walrus Audio, EarthQuaker Devices, Catalainbread etc.
But that’s why us pedal nerds like boutique, right? We spend an insane amount of money on a single effect, because of the love and care that went into the custom PCB’s, hard-to-source analog components, and graphic designs that are begging to be screen printed and framed on the wall (or just turned into your desktop wallpaper). So what have we seen boutique guitar pedals in 2018, and what can we expect now that it’s 2019?
2018 Boutique Guitar Pedals- A Year In Review
Preface: this is coming from the perspective of what I would call “the middle”. I am a guitarist of 18 years, and I would consider ten of those years as a professional. I’ve toured playing for rock bands and singer songwriters, playing on TV shows and hole in the wall venues in strip malls. Nowadays I play in wedding bands and jazz combos. I regularly record in my home studio but from time to time get to do bigger sessions. My need for a healthy pedal rig exists, but it is rooted in tone, functionality, and price (in that order).
“Digital Brain, Analog Heart”
2018 saw the continuing prolific rise of Keeley, Chase Bliss releasing their first reverb pedal (a collab with Robert Keeley), the “tamest” release from EarthQuaker Devices yet in the Westwood overdrive, and many MANY more. But the overarching theme I have noticed is that digital is finding its way back into the hearts of many players. Joel Korte has hit the current state of guitar pedals on the head with the mantra, “digital brain, analog heart”.
A quick browse of #pedalboardoftheday on Instagram will show the expected results. Lots and lots and LOTS of Strymon Big Sky’s, Timelines, Chase Bliss Dark World’s, the occasional Line 6 M5, and Eventide H9. The anatomy of the 2018 pedalboard is as follows:
Volume pedal (VP jr for most, a Lehle if you just have TOO MUCH MONEY rn)
An expensive compressor that’s “always on”
“Overdrive of the month” (transparent overdrives became the IPA or the cabernet savignon of the boutique pedal industry — just go to the local shop and pick the one with the coolest label, because it’s all the same damn thing)
Boutique fuzz (only slightly more nuanced than the overdrive situation)
A Chase Bliss modulation – OR – a Mobius
Strymon Big Sky – OR – Chase Bliss Dark World (if you were on the waiting list)
Perhaps a supplemental Line 6 M5 or Eventide H9
A few observations here. Number one- overdrives are over. Sure, there will still be Klones, and EarthQuaker came to the party, but the buzz is done. Number two- guitar players are learning to trust in digital technology again. From experience, I am seeing more and more hired gun/Nashville guitarists with multi-effects units on their pedalboards. They’ve gotten smaller, and more powerful, and can save you in a pinch.
And third- pedalboards are getting smaller. We saw a huge surge in micro pedals over the last few years, and that seems to be here to stay. Players are learning they don’t need three overdrives, a distortion, and two fuzz pedals to get by. And the expression pedal seems to be wavering in popularity. For most players, paying the extra dough and using the pedalboard real estate, assigning a parameter, setting the maximum and minimum on a limited analog interface blah blah blah… is a lot of work for not much payoff. The MASH technology of TC Electronic was innovative, but it hasn’t created any kind of Shoegaze Revolution, yet.
Where Boutique Guitar Pedals Are Headed in 2019
More of the same, less of the lame. In short: more affordable, and more digital.
–Keely has announced the “X series”, designed to be bare bones, affordable boxes that can cover all the basics for those looking to go boutique without waiting on a list or selling their dog’s kidneys.
-*We haven’t hear from Strymon in a while, I fear they will come out with something that will impact your credit score.
(*in the time between writing this and actually posing it, Strymon has announced the Volante. “The El Capistan on steroids”, and EQD released videos for their hyper-practical Swiss Things)
–Deadbeat Sound seems to have taken all the money they would have put into more expensive pedals, and spent it on their Instagram ad spend. I have been blown up with Deadbeat’s throwback video ads for their dirt cheap boxes with a Moog-derivative look.
-Boss will always be the Boss, like it or not.
What Have I Missed?
I know I didn’t get it all. I try and avoid the negative cesspool of the Reddit guitar community these days. My social media and related ads are likely showing me the same things over and over. So I will leave you with the notion that I am not claiming to know anything more than anyone else.
But what are you seeing? Where are pedals going? Where is there room for innovation, and what are the pitfalls that boutique pedal makers all seem to fall victim to?
About the author:
Jake Van Paepeghem is a touring guitarist and music producer/composer based out of Portland, Maine. Student of jazz, Jake has shared the stage with American Idol Kris Allen, Seattle rock group This Providence, NYC based vocalists Emily Braden, and many more. His latest original release is the 5 song EP “Until I Fall Back Down” from the Boise Idaho based band, Interstate. Jake also works as a content writer and video editor for the marketing firm Energy Circle, and lives in Portland with his wife and collie-lab mix Sara.
Wow, 6 years ago I posted a factory tour of Electro-Harmonix. Yesterday, I saw a recent tour with Sweetwater and I thought it was very interesting to see the process changes from then to now. Owner, Mike Matthews is his same self, which was also good to see.
Items I thought were personally interesting – the factory is now completely handles assembly only. No boards are soldered in mass, etc. I didn’t see any silkscreening of enclosures as the previous tour. I was blown away by the sheer size of the building and the amount of employees there. And finally, I thought it was great that Mike seemed to know the names of all the individuals on the shop floor. I feel that is very important, and that was great to see.
Electro-Harmonix Factory Tour - YouTube
What did you guys think? Let me know by commenting below!