Is the pedalboard era winding down?

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Thread: Is the pedalboard era winding down?

  1. #1


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Arizona
    ME: Ibanez
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rectifier

    iTrader: 0

    Is the pedalboard era winding down?

    Lately I've been seeing so many people trying hard to be Pete Thorn on guitar forums and subreddits. These huge 20 pedal rigs with loops, cables everywhere, and then their amp pedal in front or off to the side. Most of these look like a train wreck and all I can think of is:

    1) how long is this going to take to set up and tear down at a gig?
    2) how do you ensure the knobs on your 20 pedals don't move?
    3) I've experienced this with my smaller compact pedal rig, if a cable goes out, it's kinda hard to figure out which one when your board is ultra-cable managed with everything velcroed or tied down.
    4) most guys aren't running 4CM, so all of their effects are before the amp. Kinda defeats the purpose of a high gain amp IMO. If they are in the amp's loop, then there are really long cables running back to the amp killing tone and requiring even more pedals in the form of buffers.

    I get it that all the analog stuff is kinda a pendulum swing reaction away from modelers, but this is getting silly now. What is the next big thing? Racks again, maybe half racks? iPads through tube power amps? What solutions do you think will become popular over the next 10 years, or am I off base and these ridiculously huge pedalboards are here to stay?

  2. #2


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Southeast Michigan
    ME: RG1527, RG8527Z
    MB: SR706
    Rig: Mesa Boogie Roadster

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    I've used both "real amps" (I've owned several tube amps, solid state amps, and solid state/digital hybrid amps) and modelers. Right now I have both: a Mesa Boogie Roadster and a Line 6 POD500. But I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS hated pedalboards with a passion. Now, you can't claim "Oh, you're a digital guy who just never owned effects pedals" because I had a small tube amp, a large solid state amp, and about 20 effects pedals when I was in college.

    I'm thinking that if I do get in a band in the future, I might use an overdrive pedal for distortion and maybe use my POD500 just for effects since I do really like layered sounds with reverb, chorus, delay, noise gate, and maybe even compression, but I don't want to have to do tap-dancing, nor do I want to have 20 pedals on the ground -- and what if I want heavy delay on this one part of one song and really light delay on this part of another song? Does that mean I need to have two delay pedals? Or that I have to bend over and reconfigure the pedal and keep track how each pedal is set up for each song?

    In the past, my solution to this was... If I'm playing in a band without any digital modeling or multi-effects units, I just keep the pedals to the bare essentials (overdrive, delay, wah-wah, and noise gate, for example). But even that kinda seems like a lot.

    So, yeah, hopefully the pedalboard era is winding down.

  3. #3


    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: New Zealand
    ME: Horizon, Rhoads
    MA: Nameless vagrant nylon
    MB: Ibanez
    Rig: ENGL E650

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    I played a gig once where the other guy blew the fuse from that sort of thing, which sorta skewed my opinion for the rest of time. I hate that guy.

    Anyways, I always preferred to keep it simple, just me, my guitar and my amp.

  4. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Deep South, MS
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    I'm certainly enjoying mine. I run a few OD's, a volume and wah, some modulation, and adding in a few utility pedals (tuner, noise gate) runs me up to ~12 on my board at any given time. I mostly use amp gain

  5. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Arizona
    ME: Ibanez
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rectifier

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    Quote Originally Posted by WithStrengthIBurn View Post
    I played a gig once where the other guy blew the fuse from that sort of thing, which sorta skewed my opinion for the rest of time. I hate that guy.

    Anyways, I always preferred to keep it simple, just me, my guitar and my amp.
    No gate or delay? Those are two I can't live without.

  6. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM JP6 / JP7
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

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    I don't use many effects, but there's nothing wrong with trying to be Pete Thorn.

    Unless you're trying to copy his ridiculous new haircut.


  7. #7


    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: New Zealand
    ME: Horizon, Rhoads
    MA: Nameless vagrant nylon
    MB: Ibanez
    Rig: ENGL E650

    iTrader: 0

    It was a POD HD he was using, which I'm inclined to relate to the bad time I had with a POD X3 years ago, so I have a feeling that line 6 just made a few average products over the years? I'm no electrician.........

    Nah no pedals, give me the noize I only ever played small club gigs

  8. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner
    Rig: Budda SD30

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    I don't think so. The boutique pedal market seems to be thriving.
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

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