The main goal of the rig was something portable, bedroom-able that'll take pedals well. I'd like the amp to do most of the work gain-wise but I want a lot of clean headroom so that I can use my pedals to shape the output.
With all that focus on the pedals, I've obviously put a bit of thought and research into what I'll be running. The plan so far:
- Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
- TCE HOF Mini
- MXR 10-Band (that's to shape the piezos)
- Big Muff Nano (for the really nasty stuff)
- SD Vise Grip (for leads, picking with fingers and tapping)
- SD Vapor Trail
There's a mild chance of a heavier drive pedal later one (Bogner Blue?) but my style leans more medium-to-low gain, focus on sustain, so we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
So anyway, I decided to start with the SD pedals new (the rest I'm looking for used). The reputation of both these pedals is very good so far.
I haven't gotten a chance to plug in the Vapor Trail but I used the Vise Grip quite a bit (through the Mark V:25). The compressor got a bit of a rap as a djent/djazz because of Tosin and Misha's use, but it actually works really well for my style which leans heavily on tapping (a la Reb Beach) and hybrid/finger picking (a la Vince Gill). Does exactly what a compressor should, and I was particularly impressed with how diverse but how useable the different settings 'bright-mid' switch is. I didn't use the bright setting so much yet, but the neutral and mid bumped settings had a nice hump to them.
For leads and tapping with heavy gain, it definitely helped with cohesiveness between left and right hand transitions on 3 and 4 NPS taps. I had the everything up to ~12 o'clock which REALLY hit the amp hard and didn't result in much noticeable noise. I haven't tried it in this capacity but I would not be surprised if it makes for a decent clean/solo boost.
Hoping to get some time with the Vapor Trail over the weekend.