Category Archives: Planet Waves

New Pedalboard

Old Pedalboard / It served me well

Old Pedalboard | It served me well

New pedalboard / more spacious

New pedalboard | More spacious

So I had this new-to-me pedalboard case for… wow, it must have been 6-7 months… that I didn’t do anything with.  Since I haven’t been playing a lot of gigs on electric I guess I didn’t have a reason.  But this week I decided it was time.

A few changes.  The new board is much bigger.  The other musicians on stage will love that!  NOT!  🙂

But the great thing is that I was able to leave space for expansion.  The lower left-hand corner is spaced so I can drop in the Digitech Jamman (1st Gen).

The Korg DT-4 tuner, which is great in terms of tracking and accuracy, didn’t make it to the new board.  That has been my tuner for 17 years..??  But it was never a great stage tuner.  So I’m going to give the Boss TU-2 a try.  I’ll probably make another board for the acoustic setup and put the Korg there.

The Ernieball Pan Volume pedal also didn’t make it.  Unfortunately, it’s too long to fit on this board.  Good thing I have the Ernieball VP Jr. (which needed to be fixed first but that’s another story).

And I was able to add the MXR Custom Comp which I bought fairly recently.  I’m adding it to the signal chain in front of all the drive/distortion pedals after the wah (guitar > volume > wah).  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m kind of using it as a fattener and I think it does the job fairly nicely.  The other thing is that the Brian Moore i8 has coil-tap but the tapped signal is always so much weaker that I couldn’t use it.  Now I can switch it over to the tapped sound and boost it up a little with the compressor.  I’m sure this isn’t the way it’s meant to be used.  But with everything I have, this sounded the best to my ears.

I had some problems with the George L cables at some point.  But I checked all of them with a cable tester and they were fine.  I adjust a few just to be safe.  So I got some of those and some Planet Waves DIY cables in there.

With the old board, I did my best to fit everything and at the same time make sure I can push all the buttons with my foot without accidentally hitting a knob.  With the new board I’m able to position almost all the pedal the way they were designed to be used (except the Boss GE-7 which I put sideways because it was easier to hook up the cables and that pedal pretty much just stays on anyway).

The new board has a raised platform for the upper row so all the cables can be hidden away.  So much cleaner!  I’m thinking of adding another drive/distortion pedal on the upper right-hand corner where I have more space.  Or maybe a power strip?  As it stands, I have 4 power chords coming out: 2 Visual Sound One Spot (Line 6 ML-4, EHX Holy Grail), a power chord for the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 and an adapter for the Shure UT-4.  It would be great to be able to plug all of them into a power strip and just have 1 coming out of the board.  But we’ll see.  I’m looking forward to trying this out at upcoming gigs this summer.

I’m not sure how this happened exactly.  But except for the volume pedal, somehow I managed to group all the pedals together by color.  And much like my wardrobe, everything is black, white, blue or grey.  Go figure.

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Planet Waves vs George L

I have been using a home-made pedal board for a long time.  When I first started, I was using short (3″-6″) right-angled cables by different manufacturers.  They did okay but they were always too thick to allow the pedals to sit closer to each other.

I switched to George L’s a few years ago.  For a time, they worked great.  The cables are thin.  They conduct well.  And the plugs are very small especially the right angled ones.  But after a while, the cable started failing (on stage sometimes!).  I think there’s a flaw in the design of the angled ones.   The way they work is the you push the cable in then bend it 90 degrees.   Then a screw is used to keep the cable in.  The screw would push against the cable.  In some of the ones that failed, the screw had rubbed away some of the rubber.

I recently switched some of the George L’s with Planet Waves Solderless ones.  They seem to be working well but time will tell if they’ll have problems too.  But at least the plugs are designed a bit smarter.  The cable is pushed in but not bent.  The 90 degree angle is built into the plug (I guess there could be a cable that’s bending there but at least it’s not exposed or rubbed against with a piece of metal… I hope).  Once the cable is pushed into the plug, a set screw is used from the side to hold the cable in place.  This should be less ware and tare on the the cable.


The draw back, though, is that the planet waves cables and plugs are a bit bigger so now I’m not able to fit as many pedals on the board again.  But they’re still a bit better than other cables.