Since my last pedal board update we’ve moved all the way across Australia and over Bass Strait to the city of Hobart in the island state of Tasmania. As a result of this big move I’m no longer active as a church worship guitarist, but for the moment am just a simple bedroom guitar player… so I thought I should change my board around to a more bedroom sized board.
Consequently I’ve put aside my humungous Diago Tourman hard case and replaced it with a PedalTrain 3 board. It’s relatively more compact, but still large enough for me to fit in all the essential pedals. It also has the advantages of being sloped, to provide better access to the upper rows of pedals, and has enough room to mount a power supply underneath. With the help of a power drill and a couple of screws, my trusty CIOKS DC-10 power supply is cosily mounted underneath the middle at the top, with just a single power cord for the whole board.
Signal path is as follows :
- Line6 Relay G50 wireless
- Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 – possible the most accurate stomp box tuner around
- Wampler Leviathan Fuzz
- Analogman King of Tone
- Wampler Paisley Overdrive
- Boss FV-500H Volume
- TC Electronics NM-1 Nova Modulator
- Strymon El-Capistan dTape echo
- Strymon Timeline Delay (with Tech-21 Midi Mouse for preset switching)
- Strymon BlueSky Reverb
So it’s a slightly smaller board than my old one, but still very versatile in terms of the sounds I can achieve. Even if/when I possibly start playing in public again, I think I’ll still keep this setup in preference to my old board – since it’s a bit more portable and takes up a lot less stage realestate. Plus it’s a bit less ostentatious!
My only problem is that I am getting an intermittent crackly sound through my amp, which has nothing to do with my pedal board wiring. I think perhaps I may need to replace the tubes, which is a bit annoying as it’s less than a year old, but then I guess the rigors of our 4000km drive across Australia may have been a little much. Not sure if there is anywhere in Hobart I can buy tubes or if I will have to source them online.
EDIT – 14/03/2012
So I ended up ordering some replacement tubes off a place in Melbourne via eBay – I went for JJ tubes : a pair of match EL84 power tubes and a set of three gold tipped ECC83 12ax7 preamp tubes.
They arrived today and it was quite a straightforward process to replace them. The trickiest parts were removing the back panel of the amp – firstly because there is a lot of screws – make sure you use an electric driver. Secondly the panel was very stiff the first time I tried to get it off – it did get easier after I’d pried it loose the first time. The other tricky part was removing the left hand preamp tube, which has a metal collar around it’s base – took a while to tease it out. Both these problems were the same as encountered by the guy in this helpful video, which I discovered part way through :
I’m pleased to say, changing the power tubes completely fixed my problem of a weird crackle in the amp, but I proceded to replace the preamp tubes anyway while I was at it. Overall I’m very glad I did – even though the amp sounded great originally, it sounds even better with these tubes – a richer tone with more depth as well as more of that famed Vox chime. Very happy