Putting Together My Ultimate Compact Rig

I’ve been deliberating for a while about how to efficiently run different pedal configurations in front of my Tone Block depending on what sort of gig I will be playing.

Several ideas and brainwaves later I have come to the conclusion that it’s better to have a slightly bigger pedal board rather than 2 or 3 different nano boards. It’s just easier to decide what board I want to take to a gig!

After a number of designs comprising two small boards, it just seemed too convoluted and inconvenient. I like the width of the Pedaltrain Nano (14″), so I didn’t like to expand the rig lengthways. It was just too wide. All the other pedal boards I could find that allowed 2 rows of pedals were too big. The Pedaltrain junior was the best option, but still too big I thought.

I wanted to minimise any temptation to add even more pedals and I wanted it to fit my existing carry case (due to budget constraints). Basically I ended up building a scaled down version of a Pedaltrain junior, measuring 14″ wide and 10″ deep. It’s just made up of scrap pieces of cheap wood and cost me nothing, seeing as I already had the stuff lying around.

It’s not quite finished. The Danelectro French Toast will be replaced by another pedal that is the same circuit, but in a 1590a-size enclosure like the other mini pedals on the board – space saver! There is another, as yet, secret pedal addition soon to be made that will help me create synth-like sounds and special effects along with the French Toast fuzz.

The synth-like tones are the reason for me wanting to expand my pedalboard. At an appropriate gig I can make my guitar sound like an analogue synth using the octave fuzz, especially with the chorus and/or phaser on too.

So now I can try out a board that will cover pretty much any gig or style of music, covering many different overdrive tones, fuzz, modulation, wah, delays and filters in the smallest footprint I could make.

Eventually there will be 12 pedals on there, which sounds like overkill, but for some gigs, half of them won’t even be used. I just won’t have to choose which board to take or worse, I won’t take the wrong board to a gig by mistake!

Once it’s finished I’ll cover it in some detail to demonstrate just how many different tones and sounds are available from such a compact pedal board.

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