Tag Archive for: pedals

Pedals on the Pedalboard

How many pedals? How much money?

Whenever I watch pedalboard tours, like this one by David Hislop, it is easy enough to answer the first question.

But what about the second question? How much does it cost to put together a pedalboard like that one? Or, for that matter, the pedalboards we often see being used by local praise and worship guitar players?

Fret no more if you have wandered by this post. I will share the pedals from my latest pedalboard build and the cost of those pedals. Where I used pedals that I already owned, I marked them as “Old” and listed the replacement cost.

All in Canadian dollars. All with taxes and shipping charges (if applicable).


Here goes:

Those costs do not include the pedalboard, the looper/switcher, the wiring and connectors.

Can you really spend $8,000 – 10,000 on a pedalboard build?


I’ll detail the wiring and connectors in another post but for now it is easy enough to understand the appeal of products like the Line 6 Helix Floor and the HX Stomp. You get a lot of mileage for the money with those products.

You have to be really committed to the craft to invest this heavily into the gear.

I have a fly rig with an HX stomp, tuner, overdrive, power supply and pedalboard. Even that rig is close to $1,500 all in.

Pedalboards and pedals are amazing tone machines.

They are also very expensive to build.



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.


Digitech Trio


I came across the DigiTech Trio purely by chance. I was scanning some of the product news coming out of this year’s NAMM and I saw a YouTube demo by Jason Zerbin. Jason is part of a Canadian indie band called Zerbin. I love their website and their music. Definitely worth a look.

The Trio listens to your guitar and creates matching bass and drum parts. Jason’s video highlights how the pedal operates. Basically you press a footswitch to teach Trio the song part and then press it again to start playing with the drummer and bassist.

I’m not sure how well this pedal would work in a live situation. I don’t think the unit can store multiple songs for on-demand playback of backing tracks. However, for individual practice it looks like it would be a really dynamic tool for players.