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  1. #1
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    Default Setting up effects pedals

    Is this the correct chain?
    Amp, looper, blues driver, tu-2 tuner, guitar?
    Would I put the fs-5u switch between the looper and blues driver?
    What is better two fs-5u or a fs-6 ?

  2. #2
    Blues Crazy
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    Manhattan, NYC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadmandu View Post
    Is this the correct chain?
    Amp, looper, blues driver, tu-2 tuner, guitar?
    Would I put the fs-5u switch between the looper and blues driver?
    What is better two fs-5u or a fs-6 ?
    Actually there is a very precise way to hook up a pedal board , mostly so NO pedal takes away from the signal. Also please do NOT depend on batteries....there r many power chains that come with extra attachments and feed up to 12 pedals for a mere $35.00

    NOt sure if ya use one but especially with a pedal board get yourself a BBE SONIC STOMP...some say this pedal doesn't do anything, when touring we used em on stage and at the board. This is a subtle pedal which the best way to explain is.....take your rig and play, then as the LAST pedal before connecting to the amp out the BBE in line and turn it on....the difference does NOT change tone, but enhances with it on its like you tooka blanket off yor amp....for $99 bucks or less they r fantastic especially for live performances n recording.

    Here's an article that gives a full explanation..which has pics and deeper explanation at

    Effect Pedal Order on Guitar Gear
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    So you've been out shopping and bought yourself a load of effects pedals and you get home and you start wondering what order to put them in...

    Well there are not really any rules, but there are some rough guidelines that you might like to start with. I have got some very cool crazy sound by breaking the guidelines, but it will probably help if you know what is going on and the reasons that the guidelines exist!

    Which Chain Of Effect Pedals Makes Life Easier?

    I stole the above quote from an article on effects pedals by Robert Keeley (one of my favourite effects pedal makers) which can help you remember the order to place your pedals. I have a few slight modifications and additions to this that I use, but this is a great way to remember the rough order quickly, and it comes from one of the great pedal masters.

    Effect Group

    Order Of Effects

    I'm going to explain and explain each stage in a little more detail and added notes on an effects loop for those with that function available. It's important to stress again in though that there really are no hard and fast rules and you really ought to just experiment.

    Every time I get a new pedal I play about with it for quite a while, explore that pedal on it's own, and then also play with it's position on my board just to see how it's going to work with other effects.

    1. Tuner
    Having a tuner on your pedal board is I think, essential. It's best if your tuner comes before any of your effects that alter the way it should work. If you can I would recommend getting a tuner with a switch for true bypass, so that the signal is not running through the tuner all the time.

    I use the Peterson Strobostomp for this and think it is excellent, the best pedal tuner around in my opinion. If you don't have true bypass then you may be able to run the tuner from a spare output on a volume pedal (many volume pedals have this extra output).

    2. Wah / Phaser
    Many great players (including Hendrix) placed the wah before distortion... though many of the modern rock guys place it after distortion to make the frequency sweep cleaner. Personally I prefer the Wah before distortion, but it's personal taste really. Depends a bit on the pedal too - how wide the frequency notch is and what frequency range it covers.

    Wah boosts a frequency that is controlled by moving your foot, and phasers cut a frequency electronically, so they are kinda similar.

    I really like the effect of putting distortion before a phaser sometimes, so on my pedal board I have a distortion on either side of my Phaser pedal.

    I have my Wah on a G-Lab True Bypass Wah Pad, which I think is a great product... I have a few Wahs that I like, the Keeley Mod Vox Wah and the RMC3 are probably my first choices to try out.

    3. Compressor
    The majority of players seem to like the compressor before adding distortion. It changes for me all the time, but I think mostly I prefer it before gain... to tell the truth I very rarely use compression with distortion - I mostly use it for a clean sound. But I do use the Keeley compressor (set with no compression) and it somehow just makes the guitar sound fatter, so I often leave it on all the time with this setting. Lots of guys use this particular compressor this way - it the "make it sound better pedal".

    Compressor sometimes sounds good after distortion too, it helps with noise (compressors can be noisy and if put before overdrive then the distortion pedal makes the noise louder). Placing the compressor after distortion also increases your sustain (depending on the type and amount of distortion used!). It can sound darker if placed after as well - so it really is down to your ears and what you think sounds best!

    4. Overdrive (Distortion, Fuzz, Gain, Crunch)

    I usually have 2 or 3 distortion units on my pedal board depending on what vibe I am going for... at least one between the wah and the phaser, and one or two after the compressor in this position.

    Overdrive distortion pedals are one of the most important effects on your board and is a very personal taste. On my board today I have a Pete Cornish SS-3, an old Ibanez Tube Screamer, a Zen Drive and a bud box MXR Distortion +. And I like and use all of them. If I was to recommend one - it would be the Zen Drive, very versatile and breaks up real nice.

    5. EQ
    Can be useful after the distortion pedals to shape the sound, and they can also be used as a boost pedal. Remember that boosting here will increase the signal going into the following pedals, and in some cases this may cause 'clipping', unwanted distortion if the input to a pedal is too high. I don't tend to use EQ much these days, but this is where I placed it when I did, just be careful with how much you boost.

    If you want a solo to cut through you can often just boost the mids a bit and it will help it cut through without being too loud.

    If you are using a valve amp (and using an effects loop) using the EQ as a boost can be a cool way of getting more distortion out of your amp - forcing it to run a little hotter!

    << Effects Loop send - if available >>
    if you have an effects loop then here is where you would use it! The reason for using an effects loop is to be able to use the distortion built into your amp - usually valve. I always use this if I can. Why spend a load of cash on your amp with nice valve distortion and then not use it?

    After the EQ you would plug into the front of your amp - then send the "send" to the Pitch effect, and then plug the "return" into your last pedal.

    6. Pitch (Vibrato, Whammy Pedal, Pitch Shifters, Pog, Octaver)
    Distortion pedals don't like being fed too many frequencies at once (especially if you are using a lot of distortion), so all pitch changing effects will usually come after distortion.

    7. Modulation (Chorus, Flanger, Envelope Filters)
    Modulation pedals add a thickening of frequencies so also belong after distortion.

    8. Level Pedals (Volume, Tremolo, Noise Gate, Limiter, Compressor)
    Volume pedals are best at this point for two reasons. They are often used as an effect and having them here (before the delays) means that the volume swells will get the delay or echo treatment, which usually sounds awesome (think Van Halen's 'Cathedral").

    You may also have created quite a lot of hiss as your signal has passed through all those effects and if you push the volume pedal down to zero here that hiss will not be fed into the amp. Placing it here will silence all (except your delay) at once.

    Included here are noise gates (which make silence if level drops below a set point - great for heavily distorted guitar sounds) and limiters (which stop the signal going higher than a certain level), and could even include a compressor if you wanted it later in the chain, they are often working as a kind of limiter anyhow.

    All of that said, when I was touring with Katie Melua, I use my volume pedal first in the chain!

    9. Echo (Delay, Digital Delay, Analogue Delay)
    This is the point to place your echo and delay units, so that all the cool sounds you have created will be echos. You can experiment with this though of course, sometimes you want your delayed signal to be fed into a chorus or pitch shifter, but usually not! But it's up to you to experiment.

    My fave delays are the EH Deluxe Memory Man, the MXR Carbon Copy, the T-Rex Replica. But most of all I love old tape delays, but I tend to only use them in the studio, not take them out on tour.

    10. Reverb
    This is something that replicated a natural environment, so it's last. It's often built into amps too, so it the last thing before the signal hits the power amp. Many of my amps don't have built in reverb, so I have a G-Lab Dual Reverbpedal on my board most of the time.

    << Effects Loop returns to amplifier if available >>

    Guideline breakers

    Over the years I have a few things that break the guidelines but that really work for me.

    Valve tape delay
    Always seems to be bet better when the guitar goes right into it. So whatever happens after - old valve tape delays go first. Mainly because the fab crunchy tube sound only seems to work properly when the guitar is right into it. I'm sure there will be an electric reason, but I don't know what it is.

    Example Board - Justin's board early 2009

    Ok, for an example I dug out a photo of the effects board as I was using it in early 2009, and for the clinic I did with Larry Carlton (there are some YouTube clips of me playing Summertime and I Don't Need No Doctor with this set up if you wanna hear it, using the Suhr Badger 30 amp and a Telecaster).

    <picture coming soon, I know I have one, but I can't seem to find it right now!>>

    Chain (all patched through the Gig Rig True Bypass switching system):
    Guitar -> G-Lab True Bypass Wah Pad -> Keeley Mod Vox Wah -> INTO GIG RIG (and send to Strobostomp tuner) -> Keeley Compressor -> Ibanez Tube Screamer -> MXR Phase 90 -> MXR Distortion+ -> Zen Drive -> TO AMP FRONT INPUT (red) -> FROM AMP SEND (purple) -> Uni-Vibe -> Tape Delay -> EH Deluxe Memory Man -> G-Lab Dual Reverb -> TO AMP RETURN (blue).

    Hope that helps!! J

    REmember before ya hit the amp add the BBE SONIC STOMP.....

    Also if using a Vintage amp to get the BEST TONE POSSIBLE price on the back most say 105volts..well back in the mid 60's most houses were getting 95-105 volts but with today's bigger electrical n more efficient power we r now getting 115-125V
    If you buy a VARIAC at an electrical supply you can build,one easily for under 40 bucks, they sell the pedal for $200
    What this does is allow you to dial down to 105 V....and get a whole new response from ypur amp, running it at a higher co,Tate puts a strain on the caps, fuses, filters, tranny,s reverb drivers and even the speaker...

    Having a degree in electrical design I questioned how much a difference could this was HUGE, now I have more control, better reverb, Tremelo , but mostly I'm not warming up tubes,and other parts more than needed.

    Some who play Tube Amps tend to think leave em on stand by when taking a break, but really stand by is only for initial warming of the amp...leaving it on stand by for long period...anything over 30 minutes can do damage you may not hear IMMEDIATLEY but down the RD caps, filter, tranny will pay for the extensive exposure to higher voltage n heat

    THis is not a problem with Solid State amps.......

    HOpe this helps ya out, also if u have a preferred brand of pedal using there pedals matches up vs having different manufacturers......

    Try to to have more than one pedal that performs the same far as the small patch cords in between I prefer GEORGE L,S PATCH CORDS OVER THE PREMANUFACTURED PATCH CORDS.....
    MAKE SURE THE OUTLET YOU PLUG IN IS PROPERLY GROUNDED AND IF POSSIBLE A DEDICATED OUTLET....MEANING NOTHING else is on that circuit than your amp n pedals, this way no noise from fans, lights, dimmers in the house circuit will cause noise....runningna seperate outlet on its own breaker will ensure NO noise and NO fluctuating voltage.

    Good Luck



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