Version 1 of my Big Board, described here, didn’t last at all – perhaps just a few weeks – before I swapped out some pedals to creat version 2, described here.

As mentioned in the description of version 1 of this Pedaltrain 2 board (my so-called “Big Board”), I wasn’t very happy with the TC Dreamscape and the lack of a solo boost.

So, I ditched the Dreamscape altogether and added two drive pedals – a BB Preamp for the front end to give a bit more dirt, and my trusty MXR Micro Amp for a clean boost. I also decided that two Mesa Throttle Box pedals was overkill, so ditched one of them. Remember, the idea here is that I have the Throttle Box and the AMT P2 for gigs where I have to use supplied backline, or (heaven forbid) my Dual Rec blows up mid-set…

Once again, the heart brain of the board is the Musicomlab EFX Mkiii MIDI Looper/Controller, set up so that loops 1-4 are before the amp and loops 5-8 are in the amp’s FX loop. The Musicomlab also changes the presets on the Eventide Timefactor via MIDI.

Pedaltrain 2 2013 - version 2

Signal chain

Musicomlab Loops 1-4 are before the amp, Loops 5-8 are in the amp’s FX Loop.

  • Polytune Mini – This is true bypass, so doesn’t give me any issues with the wah
  • G-Lab True Bypass Wah Pad with Dunlop Zakk Wylde wah
  • Loop 1: Mesa Throttle Box (for rhythm, but not used with the Dual Rectifier rig)
  • Loop 2: AMT P2 (alternative rhythm, again not used with the Dual Rectifier rig)
  • Loop 3: Empty
  • Loop 4: BB Preamp – gain is totally backed off, with a bit of volume boost to hit the front of the Dual Rec harder. I’ve also boosted the bass EQ to give a bit more fatness to leads, etc.
  • Loop 5: Empty
  • Loop 6: Eventide Timefactor
  • Loop 7: Empty
  • Loop 8: MXR Micro Amp – this is my clean boost for solos, right at the end of the chain

No changes to the power supply, still the good old VoodooLabs 4×4 mounted under the Pedaltrain 2 using some Z-Nuts to hold it securely in place. No changes to the cabling either, just a mix of George L and Lava solderless connectors.

A closer look

BB Preamp and MXR Mico Amp

The BB Preamp is used in front of the amp (in Loop 4) to drive the Dual Rec preamp a bit harder. The BB’s gain is wound off completely, with a touch of level boost and a smidgen of additional bass EQ to fatten everything up. The MXR Mico Amp is simply used as a solo boost for leads (in Loop 8), and works perfectly for this application.

G-Lab True Bypass Wah Pad and Zakk Wylde Wah

The G-LAB TBWP is screwed to the Pedaltrain, and the wah is mounted with Dual Lock using an EWS Wah base.

Pedaltrain 2 2013 - version 2

The Loooper Patcher box is velcro’d to the rear of the Pedaltrain, which makes it a doddle to connect the board to the amp with my Pedalsnake.

And finally…

This version 2 of my Big Board has been perfect. A fair few gigs, loads of rehearsals, no technical issues, great sounds, and easy to use (once one has spent time programming the Eventide and the Musicomlab).

However, I’m planning some more changes, the most significant (and a lot of work, too) being to transfer all the pedals to a Pedaltrain 1, which will free up the Pedaltrain 2 for my Fractal MFC-101 and 2 Mission Engineering expression pedals. I also need to re-think my boost and chorus needs. To be continued…

The PhazyLuckers “Luc Is Speaking” EP is now available on iTunes.

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