5 for $500 (a hypothetical pedal game)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ljholland, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. ljholland

    ljholland Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    I'd like you all to play a hypothetical game. On a $500 budget, I'd like you to create a reasonably well-rounded pedalboard. But, before you start just writing down what you currently have on your board there are a few rules in this game.

    - You must choose 5 pedals.
    - These pedals must be very readily available. In other words, you must ONLY choose pedals that can be bought from a current catalog or are cheaply littered on the EBay market and easy to get. Many players don't have easy access to stores – especially outside the US. Even if the pedal is available on a manufacturer's web site, in an online boutique pedal shop, or in Guitar Center (that's carrying more boutique stuff), I'd prefer you to stick to more pedestrian choices that you might find at the local Music & Arts Center store, Musician's Friend or Sweetwater catalog.
    - Don't think in terms of a list of "best" pedals. Each choice should be a known, reasonable choice for a pedal of its type. This is the pedal that you used to have before you got the fancy boutique pedal.
    - You may include a tuner pedal.
    - Indicate the order that you would buy these pedals as if you got $100 per month for 5 months. In other words… most important to least important.
    - Estimate a street price in the US dollars. I know prices can be higher overseas but for the purpose of the game, just assume US street price. Prices vary. Target $100 per pedal and stay within the budget. If you go a little over on one pedal, you’ll need to make it up on another - just try not to go over $120 on any one pedal.
    - Ignore taxes and shipping.
    - Optionally, consider adding a comment as to why this is a good choice.
    - A preference is that these pedals would fit within the confines of a Pedaltrain Mini-sized board.
    - Bonus points for being able to afford that Pedaltrain Mini in your 5 month!
    - Cables are not part of the budget. Assume these are thrown in. In later months, you can buy fancy cables.
    - Don’t include a power supply. Assume you will run these pedals off a power supply that is not part of your budget. (Aunt Bertha is giving you a 1-Spot for your birthday).
    - While factors such as true bypass are important for many of us, don't consider it essential.

    The format is:
    1 - New/Used, Price$, Manufacturer, Pedal, Comment
    2 - New/Used, Price$, Manufacturer, Pedal, Comment
    3 - New/Used, Price$, Manufacturer, Pedal, Comment
    4 - New/Used, Price$, Manufacturer, Pedal, Comment
    5 - New/Used, Price$, Manufacturer, Pedal, Comment

    So what's this all about? I guess it’s time to fess up. I'm writing an eBook about FAQs for guitar players (check the sig). I'm hoping to publish this in the next few months if not sooner. Since new players are always asking for pedal recommendations, against my better judgment, I'd like to include a list of good starter pedals.

    So, set aside our crazy TGP world for a moment, your hand painted and wired boutique pedal and imagine you've just started your pedal board journey. What would that 5 month journey look like for the "regular folks"?
  2. mc_deli

    mc_deli Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    What percentage of your ebook profits are we on?
  3. ljholland

    ljholland Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    That would depend on how much you'd like to contribute! For a response to a poll like this....probably not much eh?
  4. lhama

    lhama Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I'm just going with sweetwater's prices:

    Korg pitchblack - $70
    Vox v87 wah - $90
    Ibanez TS9 -$100
    Mxr Phaser 90 - $80
    Boss DD7 - $150

    I would start with the TS, if it's a single channel amp, or the dirt channel is useless. Then the delay, tuner, phaser and wah. If it's a good two channel amp with a loop, then the ts last.
  5. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Bethany, OK
    Boss DD7 with tap.. $139 + FS 5u $29
    OCD $139
    Dyna Comp $69
    Phase 90 (R28 mod) $74

    That's 5 if you count the tap.

    All those are new prices... Add a pedaltrain mini and use MF 15% off sale and you are golden right at $500 including cables.

    I am a headstock tuner guy, but the same money spent othe tap could get a snark pedal and the DD7 would still have tap function. Or you could spend $15 on small bear parts and build a tap switch
  6. wundergussy

    wundergussy Member

    Jun 3, 2010
    Portland OR
    Dunlop pretty much takes this one. I will also go all new, as that'd be more helpful generally. Also remember with prices that you can get 10% off at least at GC pretty much whenever, and Dunlop IS on their list of coupon-users. Also, I am gonna use today's Amazon prices to show how much of a deal you can get there:

    $85 MXR Badass Modified - Easily the most dynamic and versatile OD you can get readily at this price point all day, every day.
    $116 MXR Carbon Copy - Can't beat that price for an analog delay that sounds reasonably decent.
    $99 Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini or $85 EH Bass Big Muff - Mini FF's are not at Amazon yet, but starting to hit GC's. Need a fuzz on the board, so one of these would be the obvious choice; taste-dependent.
    ($65 - 105) MXR Phaser The nuances of the different designs are such an individual's taste thing, I figure I'd just list the range and leave it up to someone to make an informed decision. I'd personally go for the script-with-LED version, or splurge an extra $16 on the Whirlwind.
    $103 Dunlop Multi Wah OR $65 MXR Badass Distortion Pick what matters more to you in this fifth slot - more dirt, or a wah?

    As for a tuner, an $11 Snark seems to be the logical choice here.
  7. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    If I was just starting out, I would recomend the Visual Sound pedals.

    Visual Sound Route 66 $150
    Visual Sound Son of Hyde $100
    Visual Sound H2O $190
    Snark SN-10S Tuner: $60

    This would cover tuning, comp, OD, distortion, chorus, and delay!
  8. thecomposinator

    thecomposinator Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Bellevue, NE
    Used - Polytune mini - 60 - Small footprint, solid display tuner.
    Used - Fulldrive 2 - 110 - Two channel, TS circuit, three-way toggle, for one dual pedal it has a lot of sonic possibilities, plus it's not too expensive.
    Used - Boss DD5 (w/TAP) - 90 - Solid tap tempo, not a bad variety of sound either, sounds good too.
    Used - Boss RV5 - 100 - Solid reverb, many types to choose, modulation reverb is good too.
    Used - EB VpJR. - 80 - Simple volume pedal

    Not a bad little setup. I don't even have some of these....maybe I should get them????
  9. 4nd3h

    4nd3h Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    Line 6 POD hd500, used for 350-400

    That's it
  10. zetamkiii

    zetamkiii Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Tokyo, Japan/Pittsburg, Kansas
    With that kind of a budget, I'd consider DIY for the dirt pedals and buy a good delay/modulation with what's left.
  11. br91

    br91 Member

    Dec 24, 2011
    Used TC Transitions Delay with toneprint $135 (ep less drive)
    Used Corona Chorus with toneprint $120 (dimension m)
    Danelectro Transparent OD?? 50$
    Danelectro Fish and Chips EQ boost $40

    could add a TC Vortex with toneprint (Joe Perry), or lowcost Vibe. Voodoo Lab?
    I have only tried the Danelectro food series vibe, but I think it bleeds.
  12. a1briz

    a1briz Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Near Philly, PA
    Used Zvex Distortron - Overdrive plus Marshall in a box fun, ACDC, Led Zep you're covered $100
    Used TC Flashback - Excellent delay plus fun with Toneprints $100
    Line 6 M5 - Tuner + Reverb + Modulation + Noise Gate + tons of cool patches $129
    Boss DS-1 - Distortion $49
    TC Ditto Looper - lots of fun, what the heck $129

    Listed in order of importance to me, not chain order in pedalboard.

    ok, I think I'm over budget by $7, so use a coupon code and you're all set.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  13. thewordking

    thewordking Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Snark Tuner $10
    Ibanez TS-9 $99.00
    Fulltone OCD $135.00
    TC Flashback Delay $169.00
    I'd spend the last $87 on a random used modulation or fuzz pedal. I'd also recommend buying any or all of them used.
  14. mc_deli

    mc_deli Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    This is TGP right?
    Polytune mini -> Timmy -> Wet
    All used in the emporium
    Save up for a TS-9 w/AMan mod and the Timeline. Get a paper round.
  15. dave12

    dave12 No commericals! No mercy!

    Apr 26, 2010
    I'll play. I used ebay prices (eyeball averages) since it makes sense to buy used when you're first starting out:

    1 - Used - $70, TC Electronic Polytune - There's no good reason to spend more than this for a tuner. You need one, but you don't need to break the bank. This will provide all of your tuning needs forever and there won't be a reason to upgrade.
    2 - Used, $70, Electro-Harmonix Big Muff - There are a lot of variations to choose from, but this pedal will sound great and also help you to discover fuzz. It's a little tricky as far as placement, cause not everyone is a fuzz fan, but it would definitely help bridge the gap between overdrive and distortion.
    3 - Used, $80, Ibanez TS9 Overdrive - Very basic and versatile overdrive. It is great for a beginner and even the name itself lends to an understanding of how circuits work (or at least a curiosity). It can be modded very easily later down the line too if needed.
    4 - Used, $130, TC Electronic Nova Repeater - This is an incredibly powerful delay with lots of options, but it is incredibly easy to use and dial in...even for a novice. I would highly recommend this. Again, this is a pedal you won't need to change for a long time until your tastes change.
    5 - Used, $100, TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb - This is a no nonsense, easy to use reverb. It will have all of your needs and will be able to support a professional board. You will only upgrade based on preference. It has the depth to be in a touring rig.

    I posted only in the order I would place the effects. I didn't post based on any other criteria. I realize I posted quite a few TC Electronic pedals. This was not intended, just how it worked out. The fact is, TC Electronic has a great line of pedals sound-wise, but they're all very affordable. Full disclosure- I only own the polytune currently.

    I would definitely tour with this board if I had to go minimalist. It's not just a cheapo board. There are a tone of awesome and usable sounds here.'

    The only change that I might make is replacing the fuzz with a volume pedal if that suited your needs better, but that changes from player to player, and a beginner won't really benefit from a volume as much.
  16. papersun

    papersun Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Assume all used. I'm trying to be fairly conservative with the pricing.

    1. $60, Boss BD-2: great pedal juicer. I always need flavors of dirt.
    2. $80, EHX Big Muff w/ Tone Wicker: fantastic fuzz/dist at killer used prices
    3. $100, Boss PH-1r: I'm biased 'cause it's the best effing phaser EVER. EVER. okay maybe not EVER but i really like mine
    4. $130, TC Electronic Nova Repeater: for tap and versatility it's a no-brainer
    5. $90, Boss RV-5: killer reverb pedal, budget or otherwise

    Total: $460. Go grab a Snark and have lunch.
  17. mdmack

    mdmack Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    New- $90 - tc electronics - polytune mini - great tuner, small, and reasonably accurate
    Used - $85 - Boss - DD-5 - great versitle delay for the money
    Used- $110 - Fulltone - FDII - great sounding overdrive with built in boost circuit
    Used - $100 - RV5 - one of the best verbs out there period
    Used - $45 - Dynacomp - it does what its supposed to and fits the bill
    New - $70 - pedaltrain - PT mini - your welcome

    all used prices I found buy it now on eBay except the Fulldrive, but I bought one for $75 not too long ago so I know one can be had for $110 somewhere.
  18. McQ7

    McQ7 Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Fayetteville, AR
    In order of purchase:

    new Korg AW-2G for tuner: $25 GC

    used TC Electronic Flashback for delay: $100-110 ish on ebay, GC used section

    used Dunlop JHF1 Hendrix for fuzz: $100 on ebay

    used Vox V847 for wah: $50 on ebay, GC used section

    used EHX Small Stone Nano for phaser: $40-50 on ebay, GC used section

    used Boss BD-2 for overdrive/boost: $50 ish on ebay

    new Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo CT-1 for tremolo: $39 GC

    used Danelectro Cool Cat Chorus CC-1 for leslie: $35 on ebay

    $459 for all that, so there's a little wiggle room.

    I think those are fairly versatile, easily available, and good bang for the buck to achieve 60s and 70s blues based rock.
  19. AParrotLooksAt4O

    AParrotLooksAt4O Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Jetter Red Square (3 OD pedals in 1 = $84/pedal): For the OD needs - $212.50(new w/ 15% off PGS coupon)
    Korg Pitchblack - $50(used)
    MXR BC108 Classic Fuzz - $75(used)
    VFE Blueprint Delay - $145 (used)

    I have $17.50 left for a 6pk of beer and a new set of strings too. I could live with this.

    (PGS is as readily available as Sweetwater)
  20. ljholland

    ljholland Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    Some realllllly good choices here! Thanks guys!

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