A Pedal Junkies Budget Pedal Board Challenge

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by syxxstring, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've been lurking here for awhile, hopefully this doesn't overstep my bounds.

    So the challenge? How cheap can we build a pedal board?
    Not counting the actual board itself or cables.
    Something so cheap you can leave it in your car and not worry? Ill give my thoughts after some time to read posts and stew.
    Anyone want to offer a prize?(other than cheapskate bragging rights)
    If anyone wants to offer a prize the mods can declare a winner and timeframes etc...

    My rules:
    1. No who needs pedals, you only need 1 pedal etc... Pedal junkies only.:BEER
    2. Functionality, portability, and functionality should be the main challenge.
    3. Based on retail prices only! No stealing, trading your aunts lama for a Matchless Hotbox, pawnshops, building it yourself,or offering personal services and favors to shop owners for free pedals.:Devil
    4. Should be items that everyone can get to. Not that there's a secret boutique $10 overdrive.
    5. Multi effects/processors/rack gear are cheating.
    6. Bonus credibility for providing sound clips and pictures.

    Why? Read below.
    I recently hurt my back and had to move my pedal board out of its 4'x16"X10" 3/4" marine grade plywood home. It was sad. It was covered in green fuzzy carpet and it embodied the name of my old band Excessive Compulsive.

    So I bought an SKB hardshell pedalboard. I then did the math on how much I was dragging around.
    SKB pedalboard-$200
    Sampson UHF Wireless-$250
    Korg Pedal Tuner-$80
    Z-vex Sho-$189
    Distortion pedal(varies daily) call it $100
    Bad Horsie Wah-$75
    Digitech Whammy1-$500
    Rocktron Short Timer Delay-$55
    JT Pedals V-trem-$250
    George L's cables-$120

    So lets round and call this 2 grand. Anyone else see this as a tad ridiculous? Anyone else afraid your wife might see you reading this and do the math on your pedal board?

    So as part of this lighter rig I bought an Epiphone Valve Junior amp. All my friends and miscellaneous people have since given me numerous compliments on the tone. Weird, never happened this much with my Mesa's or Soldano. People are amazed by this amp, as am I.

    I also bought and Danelectro Fab overdrive for $14 at a GC grand opening. Its not constructed the best but sounds well Fab, especially with that amp.

    Both of these have me wondering how cheaply I could put together a real functional leave in my car pedal board. Saving me dragging my main board up and down stairs and leaving 2k sitting in the back of my car for days on end.
  2. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

    May 20, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    I'd order the following from BYOC:

    Ross Compressor Clone 3-knob kit = $80
    Triboost kit = $90
    Fully loaded Phaser kit = $99
    Screamer Overdrive kit = $75
    Base delay kit = $75

    Total cost = $419

    I'd leave all of the boxes unfinished and label the controls with a sharpie (initials only and written sloppily), build my own patch cables, velcro them to a small sheet of plywood, and run them all on batteries. I'd use cheap Radio Shack barrel connectors to terminate the power jacks when not in use to keep the batteries from draining (pedals with patch cables).

    I should be able to keep the whole thing under $500. Not bad for a board sporting boutique quality effects that affords me most of the functionality of my current pedal board (worth just shy of $2000). I can make it look as bad as I want (paint over-spray, bad writing, scuffed boxes, rust, etc.) so that I can leave it in plain view and no one will want it.


    Whoa! This was my 1,000th post. It's official - I spend too much time on-line.
  3. jeak

    jeak Member

    Sep 17, 2005
  4. ixsaves13

    ixsaves13 Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    OD light: Analogman Silver mod - used for $160 or Nobels ODR1 - $100
    OD heavy: Ibanez FC10 (rat copy) - used for $45
    Volume: Ernie Ball mono jr. used - $50
    Chorus: Boss CE2 used $85
    Delay: L6 Echo Park $133 new out the door
    Board: Home Depot 16" x 12" x 1/4" plywood $10
    Dual Lock: 8 ft - $26
    Power supply PP2 - $166 New shipped to you

    $615 w/ Nobels
    $675 w/ Analogman

    For a cheap budget pedalboard....
  5. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    Las Vegas, NV
    I wasnt even thinking $500, Im trying to think $200-$300.
  6. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

    Oct 4, 2003
    Bmore, Murlin
    Dano and Behringer.
  7. dosmun

    dosmun Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Midland, MI
  8. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    All new retail prices from zzounds.com

    Digitech Bad Monkey - $40 Sounds as good as any TS I've heard.
    Fender Pedal Tuner - $44
    Ibanez DE-7 Delay - $70
    Dano Tuna Melt Trem - $35
    MXR Phase 90 - $70

    Total - $260
  9. Jim Martin

    Jim Martin Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    I was thinking about buying a three of those kits and a big (like ten inch long) enclosure. Then I'd mount them in the enclosure...BYO-Multieffects-Unit!

    I'm thinking the TS clone, the chorus clone and the delay clone.
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    multi-effect floor processors are consistently ignored or under-rated around here but offer incredible bang for buck, convenience, and indeed, top-level or near, performance. IMO
  11. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Guest

    Boss SD-1 - $40
    Danolectro Cool Cat Chorus $80
    Boss DD-3 - $150
    Vox 847 Wah - $120

    Total $390
  12. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

    May 20, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    That's a really cool idea!
  13. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Nashville, TN
    IF you are using an amp with some natural distortion but need more here's a tip. The Seymour Duncan pickup booster works great, and doesn't have any noise issues. Some say the stock switch is problematic, but that can be changed. Seen them for under $40 on ebay used. I thinking of swapping out my Keeley Katana booster for the SD on my pedal board, believe it or not.

    Just a thought for the budget board.
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    I know, I know, I've mentioned them before and no one cares. The 80s Korg PME40x boards are still around, 4 effects, with power supply and internal buffered switching run around $150 used (a bit more if you buy the effects separately). They're as good or better than Boss/Ibanez stuff from the 80s. Say OD, Chorus, Delay and either distortion or phaser for $150. Then a cardboard box to carry it in...
  15. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

    May 20, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    I was just reading through the original post again and noticed that I missed the rule that states "no building it yourself". Without building 'em myself I can't play cheap - not with pedals. There are quite a few cheap guitars and amps that I'd be more than happy playing (PRS SE and a Crate V16 for instasnce) but I can't think of a single cheap pedal that I'd place between my guitar and amp. This may sound like 'cork sniffy' but I can't stand playing through the FET buffers in Boss, Ibanez, Maxon, Line6, Digitech, etc. pedals because of the limited dynamic range. I don't have issue with the slight loss of highs over long cable lengths and a bunch of true bypass pedals. If I were going cheap for a pedal board my original post describes my only solution. I'd otherwise leave the pedals at home and go guitar->amp.
  16. D.G.

    D.G. Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    Portland, OR
    I could get by with this:

    1. Tech 21 Double Drive - $99 - serviceable low/medium/high gain, great boost, great buffer
    2. Ernie Ball Jr. Volume Pedal - $69 - as long as there's a good buffer in front of it, no tone suck
    3. Line 6 DL 4 - $249 - multi-delays/looping, it's hard to find a cheap looper...

    I'm actually thinking of re-building my small board with this setup and maybe adding a Barber Direct Drive, or Tube Screamer.
  17. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Yamaha magicstomp 1 ($100 Musician's friend)
    bad monkey $40 - OD
    Brand new rat $60- Distortion

    The yamaha takes care of the all your mod FX and has a built in tuner. Its limited in how many patches you can access and tweak on the fly but it sounds GOOD.
  18. tocs100

    tocs100 Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    Ogden, Utah
    This is a cool thread, let's keep it going.
  19. Swain

    Swain Member

    Oct 2, 2005
    N. Little Rock, AR.
    Danelectro OD, Echo, Chorus, and Flange - $60.00.

    BOSS DD 3 - $100.00.

    $160.00 Out the door.
  20. MjCartney

    MjCartney Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebie Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Your big buck items are are the wireless, Whammy, trem, and board. Here's my suggestion to trim some $$$ and size, yet satiate your pedal junkie tastes.

    - Pedaltrain Mini: $70 @ Tone Factor. Small and lightweight board, perfect for grab n' go. A Pedaltrain Jr is also a nice size, it's about twice as big as the Mini for $100, but now you're starting to bring the weight back...
    - No more wireless, you're using cables now. Buy 3 nice 20' cables, your budget is $60 if wanna stay cheap or $120 if you buy 3 20' George Ls or Lava. (1 cable will be a spare.) My advice on cables is to always buy the same cable. Find one that works for you and remain consistent, that way you'll always know how to EQ your rig. I prefer George L myself, but if I had go cheaper, I'd just buy a bunch of the same cable. As long as it's consistent, you can deal with it.
    - Reuse your Korg Pedal Tuner-$0, or grab a Pitch Black for $90 if you gotta get smaller.
    - Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz $40
    - Danelectro Cool Cat Transparent OD $50
    - Danelectro Cool Cat Drive $30
    - Digitech EX-7 $200 (This will replace your Wah and Whammy, plus give you some extra stuff. It also does some dirt, but the dirt has to go with one of the other sounds, it can't be used independently. It will also sit off of the board unless you go the PedalTrain Jr. route.) Alternate choice to replace Whammy: Boss PS-5 $150. Smaller footprint, cool sounds. Alternate Wah: reuse the Bad Horsie $0, or buy a Vox V847 $90
    - You can't reuse the Rocktron delay, I have to stop the madness. Pick up an MXR Carbon Copy $150 @ Tone Factor. If you must go cheaper, get a Boss DD-3 or Digitech DigiDelay for $100
    - Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo - $50
    - Reuse the George L's for patch cables. $0
    - Power Supply: One Spot with Daisy Chain $30, but if you can swing it a T.Rex Fuel Tank Jr. will fit nicely on the back fin of the PedalTrain Mini or underneath the Jr. It gives you 5 isolated outputs, and includes lots of power cables. $100 @ Tone Factor. My favorite supply is the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ $170. Won't fit on the Mini, but will fit under a Jr. If you went with a Jr., I'd say get the PP2+.

    Good Luck!

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