Gear Note: My Pedalboard

NOT my pedalboard

NOT my pedalboard

Now is the winter of our discontent, indeed. Here in Massachusetts, we’ll substitute “wicked pissa bad mood” for “discontent,” though. Hope you and yours are staying warm and dry. (By the way, “yours” refers to family and loved ones, not body parts, unless you want it to, of course.)

Someone sent me a PM asking what I have in my pedalboard, which sounds way more suggestive than it actually is. Unlike my guitarist friends, mine is pretty simple, consisting of:

The Line 6 wireless system is fairly new (bought several months ago, but finally put into use recently). So far, it has performed well. Sounds nice, but the transmitter’s form factor means it either clips to my belt, sits in my pocket, or clips to my strap. I tried the 3rd option and quickly modified that by putting the transmitter inside a neoprene pouch that has “hook and loop” [rhymes with “Hell Crow”] straps that wrap securely to my guitar strap. Getting to the transmitter’s power switch is a bit awkward, but I don’t have to worry about the transmitter’s clip sliding off my strap, or worse yet, down to damage the finish of one of my basses. The transmitter’s battery door seems somewhat flimsy, so the pouch is definitely the way to go.

The Boss TU-2 tuner has been around for years. Boss now sells the TU-3 which they say is better in bright sunlight. Unless you do something silly (e.g., inadvertently press a button to put it into an alternative tuning mode), this workhorse will perform well. After growing up listening to bands tune, this tuner, which allows guitarists to tune silently, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

My SansAmp is one of my favorite possessions of all time. Instead of schlepping a bass amp, run an XLR (or 1/4″) cable from this textbook-sized unit into the mains. Your back will thank you the next day. Even better, you don’t sacrifice sound for convenience. The manufacturer has setting notes that emulate different amp configurations, but most musicians will likely want to experiment. The previous model, which I used and liked for several years, had 1 channel (i.e., you adjusted the knobs and that was your tone). This model has 3 foot-switchable channels, so you can have, for example, a normal sound, a fuzz sound, and a high treble sound. Very neat!

The above are all powered by a 1 SPOT from Visual Sound. Normally, a power supply sounds about as dull as the past few decades of Woody Allen movies. The nice thing about the 1 SPOT and similar products is that the days of 1 power supply per component are HISTORY! Not only does this make for a slightly neater pedalboard, but much more importantly, you only need 1 outlet on your power strip. Gigging musicians know how valuable that is.

So that’s my stuff. As a bassist, I don’t need that much. How about you?

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