Show Me Your Stepped Pedalboard

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Squatch57, May 5, 2015.

  1. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    I'm in the process of planning and building a stepped pedalboard and I'm curious what's out there
    (I searched for a thread but couldn't find one)
    I'd like to build two boards, one for the effects loop as well
    Show me your homebrew space-saving solutions!

    (This pic shows an impractical setup, but I was just experimenting with cardboard boxes)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  2. IRG

    IRG Member

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    I think the problem with a lot of these boards, is size, and how you move them from point A to point B. Unless you just want it for home/studio.

    I use the common Pedaltrain now, but I've added the optional 2nd row risers, which lifts off the second row sort of how you want it, yet the portability is just as good as a regular Pedaltrain. That might be worth looking into, unless you really want three rows of pedals. And then reaching those different levels tends to be awkward.
     
  3. Marshal28

    Marshal28 Member

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    I just made a board like this (sorry for the lack of pictures) and these are a couple of things that I learned/changed during the process. I maybe should have asked some questions ahead of time...

    1. Be sure to leave room for the power supplies to be located under the steps. Do this the first time around...
    2. Be sure you have a solid area to attach handles if you are building a lid.
    3. Try to use as few of pieces of wood as possible use a jigsaw to cut the ends of the board.
    4. Glue your board before drilling and screwing.
    5. Apply your finish (stain/sealer) before cutting and drilling.
    6. Be prepared to make your patch cables at home.
    7. Leave room for your patch cables and power supply plug-ins at the top/side of each step.
    8. Leave some room or drill holes to run your cables through (for the sake of tidiness).
    9. Be sure to leave a large enough change in vertical step height that you will not stomp on your underlying pedals control knobs while stomping on overlying boxes.
    10. Draw schematics before cutting anything and ask more experienced builders for advice!

    I made a number of rookie mistakes and will probably end up remaking a different board with my added knowledge in the next couple of years. Best of luck!
     
  4. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Yeah, it won't be as big as the pic 'cos I'll be dividing it into two boards
    But there'll be extra stuff such as auxiliary switches & loop switchers
    I just see a lot of boards where there's several inches of wasted space being the loop switcher for example
    Also, having them stepped avoids hitting knobs when switching etc
     
  5. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Great info Marshal28..thanks!
    It does take a bit of planning and I'm not rushing into it!
     
  6. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Marshal28 made very valid points. Plan the board according to your pedal selection and if you know you will change or swap things around. Keeping the signal chain in it's order would also be beneficial especially when you are wiring up the board. Also, plan on having several heights of plywood available for risers if you want to maintain the same plane for each level.

    I built this board for a TGP member who wanted it compact but accessible. There were several sizes of plywood I used for risers for the second row and even for the two expression knobs at the bottom left hand corner.

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    There are 4" handles on each side, but I took the pics before I attached them. Board dimension is 28" x 16"
     
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  7. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Nice build jenepo1!
    The other thing I'm thinking is with all of the pedals stepped with gaps behind I can use a lot of straight jacks
    I can have a shelf sitting practically 1/2" in on the back of the loop switcher to save space
    And having hinged sections for access is another possibility
     
  8. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    The hinged tier is nice as long as you have a padded ATA case. You don't want the tier flopping around a case during transport because of the wiring and the state of the pedals themselves. If you are using straight plugs on the loop strip, the Switchcraft 380 plugs are the ones to use, they are only 1" long as opposed to the standard 1.75" straight plug.
     
  9. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Yeah, maybe strong Velcro to keep the hinged sections in place, or some sort of hook
    I've seen guys mount pedals underneath (if they're set & forget)
    Space permitting I could have an Octaver etc. under there

    I do have a bunch of ATA type cases around, so I may build to suit if they're big enough
    As long as each board and case doesn't weigh more than my Super Reverb I'll be happy lol
     
  10. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, don't pop a nut. Make sure you place rollers on your case if you build a board that big.
     
  11. Marshal28

    Marshal28 Member

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    I really dig 3M's Dual Lock. It's like velcro on steroids; you won't need much.
     
  12. wesawtheseas

    wesawtheseas Member

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    I have one, a tm cases. I have spent more time reconfiguring it than anything else, the second tier is really nice for putting all the cables out though, tell you what.
     
  13. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Yeah, I've noticed that stuff on ebay, $20 metre. Looks good!
     
  14. rbrogan

    rbrogan Supporting Member

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    I just finished putting together this board about a week ago.

    [​IMG]

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    It's still pretty rough around the edges, but I had to throw it together from the remnants of my old pedalboard for a few shows we have coming up. The materials are from an old IKEA Gorm board that's been progressively hacked down through the years. Underneath the tier is a Cioks AC Rider which powers everything, and a mess of wires. The top tier is held on with Velcro. It holds it pretty well, but I also don't make a habit of picking up the board by it.

    Putting it together I made a few errors that I just had to work around. The blocking I used for the riser wasn't quite tall enough to clear the the power supply, so I had to grab some of the left over Gorm slats to bump it up, this made the whole thing a little taller than I wanted. I will probably grab a piece of plywood to make a bottom for the board and then move the power supply to rest on that. Hopefully that will pull the height down and inch or so. Originally I had the DMC-3XL level with the moog drive next to it, but the low profile switches on it where pretty awkward to hit because of the moog's sloped front section. I made some quick blocking to bump that up which helped that a lot.

    The other thing I really didn't consider is that I do most of my tapping with my right foot, and the DMC controller gets the most action between looping and switching presets. In hindsight, it should be on the right side of the board. I sing lead in my band too, so the combination of mic placement, reaching across myself to trigger a loop and trying not to fall over made for some messy moments during a few songs.

    I still would like to switch out the korg tuner for a polytune 2 mini noir, and the fulldrive 2 for a fulldrive 3 to free up just a bit more space, and clean up some of the placement and routing. So it's a work in progress, but it's a big improvement from my old board in terms of size and simplicity of set up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    Cool rbrogan!
    And good idea keeping the tappy stuff on the right-hand side, I'll keep that in mind!
     
  16. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    My new switcher just arrived 10 minutes ago, so that'll help the planning
    It's pretty big, but I'm on a budget and got a killer deal!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ccouch7

    ccouch7 Member

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    I've posted these pics before but since you're looking for ideas for stepped
    pedalboards.
    This is my current board, I had to keep everything kinda low profile so it
    would fit in the case (DAP Audio D7401) that I wanted to use and still get
    the lid on.
    It worked out pretty good for me because I didn't want a big thick case to haul around.
    It's 21" x 15" x 6.5" thick with the lid on.
    It has a hinged tier that is held down with screws for now, soon to be
    switched out for thumb screws.

    The board itself, it's held in the case by 3 screws thru the bottom and into
    the 3 aluminum uprights. (the black boards are 3/8" thick nylon) -
    [​IMG]

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    The case, I lined it with 1/8" thick closed cell foam.
    [​IMG]

    And the board bolted in the case with no pedals.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    And finally all wired up.
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    I'm in the process of building a similar (same case) guitar board for myself,
    and a smaller FX loop board for my guitar amp.
    Hope this helps some!
     
  18. phazersonstun

    phazersonstun Member

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    [​IMG]

    There are little blocks of painted wood elevating the back row of pedals with channels for cable pass through in them.
     
  19. Squatch57

    Squatch57 Member

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    That's totally awesome ccouch7, thanks for posting that!
    The hinge idea is great, I love the metalwork too, but I have to stick to wood heh
    I've probably got too many pedals for a sensible rig like that so I might end up making three boards
    I'm doing ambient & psychedelic and I want too many options!
     
  20. ccouch7

    ccouch7 Member

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    Thanks man! I hope to see what you end up going with pedal wise and board wise.
    I know what you mean about too many pedals, right now I'm testing pedals
    for my guitar board to see what will make the cut or not from the stash.:D

    Also -Sweet board Phazersonstun!!
     
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