Pedalboards have been a major part of my life for the past 10 years. With Blackbird Pedalboards, we have built and sold over 5,000 boards and have seen pretty much everything. One thing that is certain is that putting together a clean and quiet pedalboard takes some time and practice. Over the years, we have come across several tips and tricks that go beyond just the normal signal chain questions. These are insightful and often overlooked areas of setting up a board that can take some of the trial and error out of your new rig. Our Youtube series Tone Tips gives you some our best tips on what to do and not do when you’re putting together your next rig.
In our latest Tone Tip, we talking about buffers. If you’re using a large pedalboard and you are noticing tone loss in your higher frequencies, the problem may be in your true-bypass pedals. Since a TB pedal connects the pedals input directly to the output, it is in turn creating one long unbalanced signal chain. Try putting a dedicated buffer at the front or end of your signal to restore your guitar’s true tonal clarity.
Our next video tackles a cool trick to mount your pedals. Tired of your pedals falling off your board? This pedalboard tip shows you how you can take a $10 bike chain and turn it into hundreds of figure 8 brackets to permanently mount your pedals to your pedalboard.
When you’re wiring up your pedalboard its a good idea to avoid AC power connections such as transformers, power supplies or plugs. Not all power sources are created equal and some are more properly shielded than others. You can use a small combo amp to probe inside your pedalboard to find where these AC hot spots are and avoid them.
Our last tone tip is on an area that many people overlook; pedal amperage. If you’re out of outputs on your power supply you can chain a couple analog pedals (drives, wahs etc.) off of one and still be under the amperage limits. Just try a few combinations to see what you can chain guilty without any added noise. Just be sure to keep pedals with processors, time based chips and high amperage requirements isolated.