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The 'Handy Tips' Pedal board building thread


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I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread that had handy tips for pedalboard building.....any tips you like (then of course we can all argue about them...)

So here's a few I believe are useful:


1. Cables- the most overlooked thing on a pedalboard. Buy good quality, keep as short as poss.
2. Also, arrange in straight lines with r/a corners to change direction.
3. Never coil cables, and especially in 'one loop'- this will cause induction and hum. This applies to power leads and patch cables
4. When planning a board, always add 1.5 inches around the perimeter of each pedal for jacks and ps jacks and to prevent hum via induction


1. Put the ones you stamp on most at the front.
2. If you use a looper, put looped pedals at the back as theoretically you won't need to stamp on them
3. Put power supplies under the board
4. Think about comfort- eg if you use a Pedaltrain, often a wah is not comfortable to use at such a steep angle.
5. be logical- if you play in one band and always play stage left, then run your input, output and mains leads to accomodate this. If you play in many bands and in different stage places, try an arrangement that gives flexibility.
6. Pedal heights- try and use a packer to get the pedals you stamp on at roughly the same height (other wise you'll tread on setting knobs!)- a 10mm thick piece of MDF covered in velcro both sides is dandy

Other things;

1. Putting panel neutriks on the side of PB- DON"T. You're adding an extra connector, an extra length of cable, and an extra weak or fail point into your rig. (I fell into this trap)
2. Power supplies- make sure any you buy are NOT daisy chained soulutions (even if housed in a metal box)- make sure they're individual PS's - like a PP2.
3. True bypass in isolation, generally, is useless. It relies upon every pedal having matched impedance when on- you'll get loads of mis-matches. Buffered pedals or loopers with buffer better.
4. Get a mains conditioner for the pedals and amps. Pays dividends. Olson are cheap and they rock (and Pete Cornish recommends them).
5. Transport- do you need to transport, and if so, how? if you do, wrote a checklist of pedalboard 'downtaking' in the bag or lid- like take out all jacks on the periphery of the board before putting flightcase lid on!!!



Volume (as guitar vol)
Envelopes, Pitch shifters, Auto wahs
Volume (as master volume)
Any other modulation
Leslie sims (especially stereo ones)

I don't believe a tuner should be in line through choice. Prefer in an isolated loop with a mute function. End of chain best, to prevent ghost noise

Over to you.

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Low capacitance but unreliable. Soldered connections are the way to go. GL's should have never stole from Bill Lawrence's design, they don't work as well as Bill Lawrence's.



That's why I use soldered pancake jacks. I thought it was obvious. Did you read what posted or just go into a blind rage when someone mentions George L? 2 pancake jacks back to back are over 3/4" thinner than 2 GL's. But I recommend the wire for it's low capacitance.

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I deffo think soldered only. I use switchcraft jacks - all my cables are Pete Cornish, and I don't know the capacitance, but I'm sure if they are from him, they are fine. I use straight jacks a lot more than most pb board builders.

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Oh yeah- one more-

Never, ever ask your elderly, faithful hound to wire up patch leads....

cos you can't teach an old dog neutriks......



arf arf


also if placing the PSU's under the board try, if possible, so that they are not directly underneath pedals. The PSU (despite toriodal transformers and shielding) emits some electric field. In most cases it will not cause any noise but some pedals and cables are susceptible (notably wahs).

Run power and signal cables apart. If they have to cross try to run them at 90 degrees to each other as theoretically there will be no interference (strongest interference running parallel to each other).

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