Radical change in pedal box design is needed

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dave s, Oct 27, 2005.


  1. dave s

    dave s Member

    Messages:
    5,924
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    had a really 'adventurous' weekend playing, singing and stomping on pedals ... and knobs ... and cables ... and the sides of pedal boxes.

    So I'm thinking there HAS to be a better design for stompboxes. A box design that:

    1) Doesn't allow knobs to be unwittingly changed when your shoe brushes the pedal next door to the one you hope to engage.

    2) Doesn't require you to lift your foot straight up and mash straight down (yes, I do that while playing, singing and swinging at pedals without looking) on a 1/2" wide button to engage or disengage a pedal.

    3) Doesn't matter if one pedal is 3/4" or 3" above the board--all pedal buttons should be at a similar height and easily accessible from the front or the back row.

    So I got to thinking about other devices that can be activated by foot. The only parallel I can find are the go / stop controls on an automobile. Then, I thought about the angle they designed into that system to allow users to interact with it easily.

    Ironically, they didn't design it with a straight down approach. The pedals are angled to be ergonomically correct with how a foot works. It doesn't matter that we sit to drive and stand to play guitar, the foot still operates the same.

    I'd like to see angled, or perhaps wedge-shaped pedal boxes. The on/off button can still be in the same place but on an angled plane, so it would be much easier to operate.

    Secondly, the knobs should be at the rear of the pedal. The function description for each knob can still be written on the face of the pedals but with the knobs out of 'foot's reach' but easily accessible when you choose to change something.

    Lastly, pedal manufacturers should have to come up with a standard side of the pedal for in / out, say for example, left side in, right side out. Why are so many of them different? Heck, some of 'em aren't even marked! (like my sho!)

    Somebody take this idea from my left-handed view of the world and design a more ergonomically functional pedal. If you end up making millions on the idea all I want out of the deal is a medium gain pedal that sounds good with my matchless clubman. :D

    dave
     
  2. 6789

    6789 Member

    Messages:
    2,799
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
  3. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

    Messages:
    5,227
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I know what you mean. The knobs on my TC Jaurnig DGTM are pretty big, and you can move them by breathing on them. At my last show, I hit that thing at the end of a song, and WHAM! major increase in volume.

    The knobs on a hot british, though, those things stay where they're put. Kudos to radial, they seem to have thought of everything.
     
  4. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Messages:
    6,127
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Ya mean like this:

    http://www.stevesmusiccenter.com/FulltoneMOSFETFulldrive2.html

    or these:

    http://www.banzaieffects.com/products/coldfusion.htm
    http://www.banzaieffects.com/products/fireball2.htm
     
  5. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    LOL what you are describing perfectly is a BOSS pedal!!! Whack the footswitch from almost any angle, it works. Knobs protected from feet by being small and recessed below the plane of the footswitch. Standard side jacks and top 9V power. I know what you're thinking - no true bypass... but you gotta love that SILENT switching!
     
  6. BMF Effects

    BMF Effects Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,011
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Location:
    S-Lomita, CA
    ...I can help out with some of your questions.

    1) The "angled box" idea is great. The problem is the type of enclosures available. Unless you're one of the big boys (and I'm not) you're limited to what's readily available, meaning Hammond-type enclosures. To the best of my knowledge, Fulltone's enclosures are custom made. Look at all his early versions...they were all built in Hammond enclosures.

    2) Accidentally hitting the knobs is a drag. I try to keep my knobs and footswitches out of each other's way. That being said, if you wanted more space between the two you'd have to move to a bigger enclosure which would take up more space on your pedalboard. The best idea I've seen to prevent this was the Ibanez Tone-Lok series.

    3) Industry standard In/Out jack locations? I'm all with you on that one. I try to keep my designs as uniform as possible.

    Have you ever thought about running a Looper strip? That way you could turn your pedals on and off without stepping on the pedal itself. As for a medium gain pedal that works well with your Matchless...check back with me in a few weeks. :D
     
  7. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

    Messages:
    5,227
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree with theelectic. I actually thought that what you were describing was similar to boss pedals.

    The thing I don't like about boss pedals is that on a cluttered pedalboard, it'd be easy to accidentally turn one on. WIth the D3PT style switches, that cuts it down considerably. Which is why I prefer those.

    Although in one song my band plays, at one point I have to switch from memory to manual on my eq-20 and activate the delay on my dd-20 simultaneously. It's a happy accident that those pedals are right next to each other on my board, so with one stomp I can do both!
     
  8. aquadog

    aquadog Member

    Messages:
    1,281
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Sounds like an old maestro fuzz
     
  9. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

    Messages:
    10,459
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I like the idea of industry standards, but I would still like the builders to add their own personality to their products too. Different sizes and shapes don't affect me as much as the knob and jack placements, however.

    When you click my www below, the first picture you will see is my pedalboard. It's pretty loaded, but I always want more (yeah, GAS is a bitch!). All but one pedal uses side-mounted in/out jacks, and with the George L connectors I use, there is an inch of wasted space between any two pedals. If all of the pedals were required to use top-mounted jacks, I could have one or two more pedals on my board!

    I used Ibanez Power Series pedals in the 80s that were built this way, and I could force seven pedals plus a wah on board that was designed to hold only six total.
     
  10. erksin

    erksin Member

    Messages:
    20,540
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    One very cool thing about the MI Audio Blue Boy I own is that the side mounted jacks are near the top edge of the pedal, only about a 1/2" wasted next to another MXR-sized box.

    Top mounted everything would be ideal (jacks, 9V adapter), and input and output jacks from R to L. I realize that due to certain design restrictions that it might not always be possible (pot sizes/locations, size of the board,etc), but it would sure make life easier for us with cluttered pedalboards.
     
  11. dave s

    dave s Member

    Messages:
    5,924
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    NE Ohio
  12. dave s

    dave s Member

    Messages:
    5,924
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Thanks for chiming in with some 'real world' advice.

    I'll look into running a looper strip.

    thanks,

    dave
     
  13. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Messages:
    6,127
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    A bunch of the EH pedals (holy grail, Muff, small stone, small clone) have a sloped design. Unfortunately all of these sloped pedals are WAY TOO FREAKIN' big for my taste. I'd love it if every pedal out there came in the small mxr box.
     
  14. BMF Effects

    BMF Effects Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,011
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Location:
    S-Lomita, CA
    Check out www.loooper.com for ideas. No shill, just trying to help out.
     
  15. Shakkal

    Shakkal Member

    Messages:
    687
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
  16. gururyan

    gururyan Member

    Messages:
    4,854
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    south of hell
    I was going to mention my Banzai Cold Fusion too, it's as you describe as a "good" example. But yes, an industry accepted standard for switch height and jack placement would be nice.
     
  17. Don Rusk

    Don Rusk Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,845
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    St. Louis
    you can also put wedges under each pedal and make them all the same hieght and angle....or even angle the whole board like the Pedaltrains etc....
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    23,828
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    If we're complaining I want in!

    The Ibanez 10 series was almost perfect. The jacks and dc were on the front, the knobs recessed into the top and you could velcro them side by side for an instant pedalboard.

    However, it can also be nice to have a bigger knob that can be boot controlled for a little tweak onstage. But DO put the jacks on the front!!!!
     
  19. amper

    amper Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    US

    Hah, sounds like the one song we used to do where I would put my foot sideways and hit four Boss pedals and the amp switch all at once...
     

Share This Page