Custom Pedalboard: Blackbird? Helweg? Tone Snob? Someone else?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jfwund, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. jfwund

    jfwund Member

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    So, I'm thinking about biting the bullet and getting a pedalboard made in order to reduce wiring and consolidate the amount of space I'm taking up, but I'm not sure where to look. UPDATE: I went with Tone Snob!

    The board will be 13x28 with a wah pedal wedge and have 1/4" jacks for my cables to go to/from the amp and to/from the amp's effects loop (so 4 jacks, one on the right and 3 on the back).

    The board will have an on/off switch with a light, and a power supply (Truetone CS-7) mounted underneath.

    This will primarily be a board for playing at home, I don't play out really any more, so I'm not getting a case, just the board. It will be designed to match my Boogie Mark V. Very excited!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  2. gavinashun

    gavinashun Member

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    I can highly recommend the Friedman Tour series. If you get the "buffer/IO" then it can easily do the 4 chord system you're talking about. Cheaper than a custom build, built like a tank, has all the bells and whistles you want.
     
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  3. meterman

    meterman Supporting Member

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    Check out pedalpad.com, I just got one of their studio series boards and it is excellent. Very well made angled suitcase-style board with power and input/output jacks built right in and space underneath for power supply and cables. Really well executed design. The regular model is a little big for my needs at 17" deep but the studio series is only 12" deep which is enough for 2 rows of standard size pedals with a little room to spare. Fully customizable, the only thing you want that I didn't see was the power switch and light but that should not be too difficult to add. Mine was 26x12" w/ standard black tolex, three 1/4" jacks and power for $320. I've been using an NYC for years which was great but putting the power supply underneath frees up space for 2-3 pedals and keeps all my cables neatly out of the way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  4. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    I know Michael Helweg, and can say there will be no issues with quality with his stuff! I'm not sure what kind of a wait there is though.
     
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  5. Jazzmaster60

    Jazzmaster60 Member

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    I’ve also been in need of a larger board and had outstanding communications from both Blackbird and Helweg.
    In the end I decided Helweg is the best board for my needs.
    Not only is Michael an outstanding communicator but he’s an excellent designer both knowledgeable and generous with his advice and time.
    I believe Helweg is many steps ahead with his pedalboard design and his approach to Pedalboards.
     
  6. diego.fresh

    diego.fresh Member

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    if you use TRS to TS splitter cables, you could just have 2 TRS jacks. In case space is an issue...
     
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  7. jfwund

    jfwund Member

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    Thanks - how exactly would this work? I would have signal going into the board from the guitar and from the effects loop send on the amp, and coming from the board to the amp input and the effects loop return. Since that's 2 signal paths, I'm not sure how the splitter would work.

    The pedalpad now has my attention, too. I'm going to get a quote to see what the pricing looks like for a few of these - that may help sway my opinion somewhat...
     
  8. underdog726

    underdog726 Member

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    I am having one made by jamboard. I ordered and the next day he sent me pics of the progress and double checking options then more a couple days later. Jamey is super cool to work with, and reasonably priced.[​IMG]
     
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  9. ((TechnicolorSkyline))

    ((TechnicolorSkyline)) Supporting Member

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    Helweg was my favorite, but the wait time is crazy. Probably the best out there, but be prepared to wait a long time.

    Blackbird was garbage, don’t waste your money. Cheaply made, and they cut corners to save money.

    Tone Snob is awesome, and a very reasonable wait time too. It’s what I’m currently using.

    Salvage was pretty good, just don’t know if he’s even building boards anymore.

    Creation was ok, had some issues with mine so didn’t keep it long.

    Just my two cents on what I’ve liked so far...

    My Tone Snob 12x26
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. PianoMan

    PianoMan Supporting Member

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    Between myself and a client I’m wiring a board for, I’ve had my hands on two Gentleman pedalboards from Caseman, and I’ve been extremely impressed with the quality. With the Australian $ where it is right now, it’s actually not too bad price wise as well.

    I’ve also owned a flat board and an Elevation board from Creation Music Company. Also very nice boards, and John (owner) is a great guy, but not quite on the same level as the Caseman.
     
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  11. Banditt

    Banditt Supporting Member

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    I like my West Coast pedalboard....you do the google.
     
  12. Gallery

    Gallery Supporting Member

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    Groundswell Pedalboards
    Jeff was great to work with and his product is sturdy, beautiful and well built.
     
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  13. jfwund

    jfwund Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations so far, guys.

    Still curious about how the splitter cable could work...

    Cheers!:beer
     
  14. meterman

    meterman Supporting Member

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    I think he's saying you could use a stereo jack and basically run a long insert cable, which is a stereo/TRS cable with a stereo plug on one end and a Y splitter on the other that would connect to the in/out of your amp's FX loop. That would carry your FX send on one channel and your return on the other. You would need a Y cable inside the board too to split that stereo signal back out to 2 mono cables to connect to your pedals. I guess the benefit would be running a single stereo cable to your amp's loop instead of 2 separate cables.

    Edit: reading his post again, he seems to be saying you could also use TRS for guitar and amp but I don't see how that would work. I'm curious, hopefully he'll chime back in.
    I'm thinking you could just use a regular cable from guitar > board and then a 3-cord pedalboard snake to bundle your FX send/return and line to amp together without messing with the TRS
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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  15. Wolfboy1

    Wolfboy1 Grandpa but...Not Yet Old! Silver Supporting Member

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    Those Helweg boards are VERY well made and unique!
     
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  16. jfwund

    jfwund Member

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    Just an update here - I went with Tone Snob. Lots of great choices, and Helweg was really tempting, but it was hard to beat the time and the quote from Tone Snob, plus he's working with me to match my amp. Technicolor Skyline, your board(s) are beautiful - they were my first exposure to Tone Snob boards, and checking out their instagram/gallery, they've done some really nice looking work.

    I did have a question about 1/4" jack placement - going to have one on the right from the guitar to the board, then 3 more on the back to the amp and to/from the amp's effects loop. Is it better to have those on the back or on the side? Since this is a home only board, I'm not concerned about an audience or stage wiring so much. As this will be my first non-messy, non-cables-everywhere pedalboard, I'm not entirely sure how it should be organized to best avoid the cable sprout that seems to happen with my boards. How would you arrange the jacks (and power cable too I guess)?
     
  17. meterman

    meterman Supporting Member

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    I have input on the right and power, output and expression jacks on the left
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018

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