When I first started messing around with stompboxes, I was a fan of DOD’s. My first ones were the old cast iron one from the early 80’s (a Delay and a Flanger), which were later replaced by a IceBox chorus and Vintage Fuzz. Capable pedals, but then I discovered…The Holy Grail.
No, not the one that Arthur and his crew were after. This was the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail reverb pedal. With both spring and hall emulations (plus something called a “Flerb”), it sounded true and wide (the spring sounded very similar to the one in my old Vox Cambridge Reverb). With that, I was hooked. I then went after a Double Muff overdrive pedal. It’s two Big Muff circuits (one into another). With one, it’s creamy; turn on the second and it goes into mega-crunch mode.
The Small Stone phase shifter was next, followed soon after by the Small Clone chorus. While I longed for a Deluxe Memory Man, it was well out of my reach. I soon found the Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai at a killer price, so into the chain it went. Finally, this past Christmas, I got the Knockout Attack Equalizer. A 1Spot 9v power supply and a piece of leftover laminate floorboard later, and I had a pedal board.
Today, the board flows from the Knockout –>Double Muff (although never used at the same time) –> Small Clone –> Small Stone –> Stereo Memory Man (from there, it’s either the right channel through my Holy Grail then to one amp and the left directly into another amp, or) –>Holy Grail –><opt Switchblade A/B switch> –>amp.
You know, some time, you need to do a little updating. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still a huge EHX fan. But I’ve begun to branch out a bit. Check this out:
There are still the old favorites — the Knockout, the Small Stone and Clone, Double Muff and Stereo Memory Man — but now with some select adds. First, the MXR DynaComp compressor, feeding into the Ibanez TS-9 TubeScreamer. Both of these pedals are standard features on many a pedalboard, and I know why. In addition, I have a MXR Carbon Copy analog delay pedal (love the metalflake green finish) for great delay effects. It looks like there’s some duplication here — for example, the TS-9 and the Double Muff — but they each have their own tone and actually sound pretty over the top when combined! Same with the Memory Man and Carbon Copy — CC is analog and it sounds that way, while the MM is digital and has own charm. This also allows me to feed my stereo Vox rig (simply two Vox Pathfinders…) Oh, and that little orange box on the left — an Orange Micro Crush battery-powered amp. SKB is coming out with a pedalboard with a built-in amp — I’m already there!
The ‘board evolves
Things are a little different now on my pedalboard…arranged a little differently, with some new/old favorites added in and more tones available to me.
The only pedal I’ve added is my old DOD Ice Box (FX64) Stereo Chorus. It was one of the first peadal I ever bought new (the other was a DOD distortion). I’ve also rearranged some things and cleaned up the board using an IKEA Gorm shelf. The signal is mono until it hits the DOD Ice Box, which then splits into two signals. The Memory Man is fed in stereo. Output from the right Memory Man channel goes directly to my Vox Pathfinder 15R, while the left runs first through the Holy Grail reverb then out into my other Pathfinder. There’s some redundancy, but two choruses and two delays make for some fun sounds. Most nights, however, I’m running the TubeScreamer distortion, IceBox Chorus and the Holy Grail reverb to build my favorite tones. Off to the side I have two different flanger pedals (an old Ibanez and recent Danelectro), plus a Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz with a bunch of different fuzz tones. Sometimes, I swap them in for a different sound…