Help improve my rig

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by trumpus, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Hey all,

    Well, as you can tell by the post time that i am up all night here, working the overnight shift at the hospital and i've got some free time on my hands.

    I love this board, though i'm relatively new, and i've learned a TON about gear from you guys (so thanks!).

    I was hoping some of the more educated would take a look at my rig and make some suggestions as to how to improve it! Here's what i'm running:

    Guitars:
    1982 Ibanez AM-205 (dual humbucker)
    2001 Gibson Custom Shop ES-346; Paul Jackson Jr. (dual humbucker)
    1990 Fender Telecaster Deluxe (single coil red lace sensor at neck, dual single coil blue lace sensors at the bridge)

    Signal:
    Guitar > Teese RMC3 > Doobtone Microbuffer > EMMA DiscumBobulator > TB Loop (send > Digitech Whammy II > receive) > Analogman mini BiComp > Fulltone Fulldrive II (blue, no mods) > Timmy > Fulltone Dejavibe (old, white elephant looking thing) > Input to Mesa/Boogie DC-3 (EL84, 1X12)

    Effects loop of DC-3 send > Dual TB Loop (Loop 1: EH Small Stone, Loop 2: Boss DD-5) > Volume Pedal (tuner out to an older korg tuner)> Line 6 DL4 w/ exp. pedal > effects loop receive +/- stereo output to Fender Blues junior.

    Power is supplied with 1 Godlyke adapter to most pedals, though i use a dedicated supply for the whammy and dejavibe. I have an NGM standard board for my direct effects, and a homemade board for my effects loop

    Ok, with that out of the way, here's my story. I used to play pretty regularly with a band, but i decided to go to grad school, and when I did, i pretty much stopped playing out, or with anyone else for that matter. I love my gear, and i love playing and have no desire to sell off all my stuff (as the gf would prefer) since i don't play much now. Pretty much, my playing is limited to occasional bedroom practicing, with the hopes that now that grad school is over and i have a job, i can eventually get back into regular playing with another band.

    I'm no virtuoso by any means either. I'm self taught and could definately stand to learn some better fundamentals, but i still enjoy it, and have fancied myself somewhat of a "lesser" gearhead. The band i played with previously was sort of a jam-rock group, but i like to play rock, funk, some jazz and some ambient grooves.

    My budget is tight (i had to save spare income for a couple of months just to buy my Timmy, the first piece of gear i've bought in 3 years!!), as I am only a first year grad (a veterinarian, but we are, after all, the most routinely underpaid professionals) and to boot, i'm doing an internship and then a residency, so i am definately taken serious advantage of (salary-wise) in the name of higher learning.

    I was hoping that some of you might look over my current rig and make some suggestions on the following things:

    1. Pedal placement! Is my buffer ok where it is? Would you (personally, of course) change the order at all, and if so, what sonic changes would that produce? These are just a few - ANY suggestions would be much appreciated!!
    2. Replacement of existing pedals (ie swapping out the small stone for a red witch, different vibe, different delay)...again, based on opinions...

    OR

    3. Addition of pedals - is there something i don't have that might be a cool addition (i've always had an inclination to pick up the digitech space station - am i crazy? SHould i get a fuzz? Should I swap the DD-5 for a memory lane? Add a tap tempo to my dd-5, mod it for effects loop

    4. ANY other general advice - retube amps, new cables....? Slam me for my use of the blue FD-II over the Mosfet RI? Anything! The floor is open.

    I know this is a lot to ask, so i won't be upset if i get minimal responses, or a bunch of people saying, "do your own damn research!" but i figure, what the hey!? You guys know more than anyone else, and i'm sure you love to share the knowledge with an aspiring gearhead!

    I've basically spent the last few months starting to clean things up - new cables, adding the buffer and TB boxes, with plans to retube the amps and things like that. I really just want some input or suggestions - even if they are totally biased opinions, on where to go next with my rig. I want something that is functional, but fun enough to play with by myself....

    Thanks in advance!!

    Brian
     
  2. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I would probably trade up the FD for a mos or even one with the toggle switch since it would take up the same space and give a much wider tonal palatte to choose from. Otherwise, killer setup!! I loved the way the TIM sounded with my tele. I bet you are really enjoying the timmy's prescence on your board.
     
  3. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement! I actually just got the Timmy a few days ago, and working the night shift (and sleeping all day) hasn't afforded me much time to play. I can't wait for the weekend!

    I definately have been considering swapping out the FDII for the Mosfet version or the toggle version.

    Does anyone know (i'm sure someone does) the differences between all the different models?

    Brian
     
  4. Passenger84

    Passenger84 Member

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    Hey, I'm kinda new to gearpage as well and I'm not at all what you could call an "experienced gearhead", but just thought I'd throw my props in for your idea about getting a Memory Lane. I really, really like that pedal. Of course, you'll lose some delay time if you switch out either the DD-5 or the DL4, but the analog sounds from this pedal are great, not to mention it's the only analog one out there with tap tempo.

    But I play with some guys who get great sounds from both Line 6 and Boss delays, so maybe your rig's perfect as it is! :D But, just thought I'd say that in my opinion the Memory Lane is a very cool pedal.
     
  5. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Definately a sweet pedal from what i've read and the response around here...Unfortunately, where i am in Colorado, we have a paucity of guitar shops and none with even halfway decent gear (nothing high end!) so playing these pedals is out of the question for me.

    Also, spending so much on a delay is not an option for me right now anyways...i'd almost rather sink cash into either an effect i don't have yet (i've had my eye on the Fulltone Supatrem) or other tonal improvements like tubes...

    ...that being said, i love think abofut this (i'm sure we ALL have a "want" list, and i'm constantly adding new things to mine).

    Brian
     
  6. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    If you are looking for a tremolo, think swamp thang.
     
  7. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I've been in a similar situation (played in bands since I was 15...gigging, played pretty heavily up until I went into electronics school at the late age of 30, and so heavy a load I dropped playing almost completely for about 5 years. I had hit a creative wall anyway. Got back into it but this time acoustic, then back into electric, then tube amps again, then recording at home, and now a band again. Having a BALL with it too!)
    and just two general recommendations...

    One, you ought to just buy another new pedal to have a new pedal to play with...but

    Two, you ought to check out "falling in love again..." here on this forum.
    Main point is, throw out the old assumptions and start again. I would definitely try to reorder the pedals just to see what works best for you, and because it's fun! But also it's sometimes fun to audition each one seperately again...take one pedal, have ONLY that pedal in the chain, and get to know it again. See what it can do. Judge if you still like it. Later on, try a couple, then three, etc. Different pedal orders, but not every combination. Think about which pedals are never on at the same time, or which ones you use together with which ones. This can also help with pedal order.

    Also try them at higher volumes. Isn't it great to get back into it again?
    If you are like me, you'll find new ways to play, still sounding like you, but a long break did wonders for my playing. It gave me some distance, so I found out that "wall" I hit before was really trying too hard to do too much. As an older player (49 now) I find I can still play fast, though it took a lot of practice to get up to speed, but also I can lay back, play with silence more again, and find nirvana in one or two well placed notes played "just right". New equipment is great, and pedals, and such, but don't get too distracted if you are just getting into it again, it is really the core...YOU and how you play, that is going to get a sound. I hope this doesn't come off as condescending, I fell into the equipment trap when getting back into it again, but joining a band was WAY more helpful to me because I started practicing AND playing with others, and I wanted to play well, and learning what didn't work all over again as well as what did. Later came more nuances, and now after about two years of regularly playing in a band, I am finally starting to put it all together, the ability, the style, the effects, (but often NO effects), and all of it and I would say the band has pushed me to it more than any pedal. But I DO love playing with pedals too :) just that I do it as a sort of reward after getting some good practice time in again.

    But I loved every second of "relearning" and practice, and tweaking, and reading about, and discussing here music, pedals, sound, tone.

    Good luck! I wish you many happy hours playing and getting into it again!
     
  8. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Not condescending at all. Actually, what i needed to hear. Reading that, definately made me realize that you are COMPLETELY right about playing with a band and relearning. The 4 years i played with my band, i learned more during the short rehearsals and just jamming, than i ever did reading a book on theory or playing technique. I wish, i wish, i wish i could play with a band right now but i just don't have the time to devote to make it worthwhile. I haven't really found anyone here (as my move to Colorado from NC last summer is likely going to be temporary - i'll be moving for a residency in July) to start just jamming, but i wish i could.

    I will definately heed the advice about re-auditioning pedals. What you said rang true - i can admit that i've been using the same presets on my dl4 that i used with my band, for the 4 years since played last, simply because i just never sat down to mess around with it (i did all that when i first got it 6 years ago - and never even occured to do it again!). I need to reqire my board for the Timmy, so i will just disconnect everything, and run through the pedals one by one to see what they are capable of!

    Thanks for all the advice - and for illustrating that it IS possible for me to relearn and regroup to play again!

    Brian
     
  9. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Hey man:

    I would suggest getting an eq pedal of some sort (a sniper modded GE-7 is great, though I own a stock boss eq-20 which I am in love with).

    I bought mine mainly because I'd heard that an EQ is a must have for every serious player, and it is. I find the main functionality of an EQ is that I can cut through my bands mix, whereas before I was in the throes of the dreaded CTUPMATR illness. You being a vet and a guitar player, you must have heard of this, though since you haven't done your residency yet, mayhap not. Just in case, it stands for "constantly turning up my amp throughout rehearsal" sickness. Anyhow, with my eq, I'm cured and can freely indulge in all life's pleasures once again!
     
  10. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    As someone who's been in and out of gigging situations over the past 10 yrs because of grad school and work, I say: do yourself a favor, don't waste precious time worrying about tweaking a gigging rig you don't have time to use, you've got plenty of functional gear already (and it sounds like you don't need any more debt).

    If you want to keep your chops up, forget all the pedals for a while. Just keep your amp tuned up and have clean strings on your guitars, and spend whatever extra coin you have on cds and music books which will give you something to focus on when you find time to play. I keep going back to Ted Greene's book "Modern Chord Progressions," there are a hundred seed ideas for melodies and riffs there even if you can't play all of his inversions (the late Mr. Greene was the jazz guitar equivalent of an Olympic gymnast). The Complete Beatles transcriptions are fun, too, and humbling for their ingenious simplicity. Definitely the more productive purchases in the long run.
     

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