Tag Archive for: Pedalboard


Wires and connectors. The fundamental elements to connect the pedals together. Often overlooked in terms of the overall cost of building out a new pedalboard.

I worked with Bruno at Tone Design. He was so helpful and he spent several hours with me over the month or so that it took to build out the pedalboard. If you are doing a major pedalboard build I would highly recommend Tone Design.

We looked over what would be needed for the board and the pedals and then I ordered the following items:

  • 30 SPS5 1/4 TS Black Connectors
  • 25 SP500 1/4 TS Right Angle Black Connectors
  • 8 Lightbulb 1/4 TRS Black Connectors
  • 4 Minicake 1/4 TRS Right Angle Black Connectors
  • 50 feet of Mogami 2319 Cable – for TS Connectors
  • 20 feet of Mogami 2528 Cable – for TRS Connectors
  • 84 inches of Dual Lock 250/400 Black

The cost to wire up the pedalboard? $620.63

It wasn’t the only cost. I needed the tools to do all of the soldering. Here is a photo of my soldering workstation with the wires and connectors ready to go:

To make all of the cables for the pedalboard took me a week. Yes. One full week to solder and build the cables.

I needed the following tools to make it happen:

  • Klein 5-inch Lightweight Flush Cutter
  • Eclipse 30-20 AWG Wire Stripper
  • Irwin 10-20 AWG Wire Stripper
  • Weller Bench Top Smoke Absorber
  • Weller Soldering Station
  • Solder
  • Vise

Those tools cost me $376.27 and there would not have been a practical way to do a job this large without them.

Let’s add things up shall we?

Pedals: $6,187.96

Pedalboard and Looper: $1,955.03

Wires, Connectors, Tools: $996.90

Total for this pedalboard build: $9,139.89

Easy enough to think about pedals as a secondary component of the electric guitar sound, particularly in Praise and Worship. Until you start building out pedalboards. And then it hits you. Pedalboards can easily cost more money than a high-end guitar.

The Pedalboard Build Begins

This would be the platform for the new pedalboard build: a Creation Music Elevation V2 24″ x 16″. Included with that board would be a module with 2 XLR outs on the one side that I would build myself, a module for connecting AC power and a module for the guitar input on the other side. I would build that latter module myself as well.

I wound up purchasing the board new from a Canadian dealer on Reverb as I didn’t want to wait the 4-6 weeks to receive it direct from the company in the states. It came from the Music Room in Dunnville, Ontario. They were very helpful in terms of sourcing the additional components from Creation Music as I added in the AC module and a case for the pedalboard.

How much did it cost?

The pedalboard, including taxes and shipping, set me back $445.22 Canadian.

The case, velcro overlay and AC module added another $357.22 Canadian.

After spending $802.44 I had a pedalboard.

But the cost for this new pedalboard build was just beginning.

Fortunately I was moving from this old pedalboard:

I had most, but not all, of the pedals I would need for the new build. That would save me some money but towards the end of the series on this pedalboard build, I will include all of the costs including the pedals. It may surprise you just how expensive it can be to build out a platform for electric guitar.

Anyway. See the Morningstar MC6 in the bottom left corner of my old pedalboard? That one was going to be replaced with a new looper/MIDI controller.

And there was quite the drama associated with ordering the replacement.

Stay tuned.

Hybrid Pedalboard

If we go back long enough, like way, way back. The 70s. Long hair. Bell bottom jeans. Things were far out. And groovy.

I was touring as a guitar player and also freelancing as a studio musician and an audio engineer. My rig was pretty basic: a Fender Deluxe Reverb, a Roland JC-120, a Strat and a Les Paul. Pedals? Yes. Four: an MXR Distortion+, an MXR Phaser, a Cry Baby wah and a tuner. That was it.

Fast forward forty years. Most of the stages I’m playing on these days are silent stages — no guitar amps. Thus began my journey with amp modellers and profilers.

I started with the Kemper. Didn’t work for me. Then the Fractal. Nope. Helix? Yes, I stuck with the Helix for a few years. But I missed the interactive nature of guitar pedals.

When I would set up for an event, I would spend way too much time using a computer editor to dial in tones. More time coding and configuring sounds than practicing the parts.

I decided to get out of that workflow and back into a simpler yet capable rig with pedals, an amp modeller and a looper/MIDI controller.

This is it:

The Strymon Iridium provides the foundational amp tone. I use the Vox amp model with a pair of David Hislop’s IRs. And from there the Mastermind PBC/6X provides the loop and MIDI control for the pedals.

Over the next few posts, I’ll document the process of building up this pedalboard. It took almost two months from concept to final build. We’ll start from the very beginning and I’ll include all the parts and costs so if you decide to do something similar you can learn from my experience.

You might just decide to stick with your Kemper or Helix!



It is a large pedal board. The main stage pedalboard that is. 16 pedals, two power supplies, programmable controllers. It is also very heavy so I only take it out when I need all of that extra ear candy.

I also have a minimalist pedalboard. 4 pedals powered by a battery. The perfect grab and go board.

And I have a mid-sized pedalboard. I generally play out with either the small or the mid-sized board.

Like with most players, lots of pedals come and go so the board is constantly changing. As a few folks have asked me about the mid-sized board here is the most current breakdown.


This board holds 8 pedals and one power supply. The signal chain:

Guitar -> Timmy -> Alpha Dog -> EP Booster -> Volume Pedal -> Timeline -> Wet -> Amp

The volume pedal was enhanced by JHS Pedals to remove the tone suck. The pedal is now active and it also feeds a Korg Pitchblack tuner. The orange pedal is a MIDI controller for the Strymon Timeline. I use it to step through my presets. Power is provided by Voodoo Labs 4×4. There are high output channels and I need one for the Timeline.

The next two shots provide a few angles to highlight the wiring. For this board, I opted to use a Lava soldered kit and I used heavy duty right-angle Switchcraft jacks where possible. There were two spots that were tight enough that I used the Lava soldered jacks: one side of the EP Booster and the tuner out from the volume pedal. I also used right angle plugs for the MIDI controller.

I did all of the wiring for the board myself. I prefer soldered connections over solderless.

Given the compact nature of the board, I elected not to use a true-bypass effects loop.



The bottom of the pedalboard shows the routing for the power cables as well as for the signal cables. Always a bit risky to show the bottom of a pedalboard but everything is certainly nice and neat down there. It does mean a bit of extra work though when changing pedals in and out.