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Pedal Alley 2021: Reader Boards

The pandemic has brought guitarists lots more time to tinker with tone toys. Here’s what players all over the world have been putting together in their bunkers.

Pete Bosak

Pete Bosak: Guitar and Bass Board

I’m writing to you from Canberra, Australia. My pedalboard is a bit different I guess, as I split my guitar signal and do both guitar and bass parts in my band, Blissphorus. We recorded our album (The Art Is All We Need) with this setup and do all our gigs this way, with no bass player. The signal goes through the Polytune, into the MXR A/B box, where I can toggle between guitar only, bass only, or both. The guitar side then goes through the Micro POG, Neunaber Immerse, and an MXR Carbon Copy to a Marshall JVM205H head and cab. The bass side goes through the Electro-Harmonix Bass 9, to a SansAmp Bass DI, and into a Mark Bass Little Mark 500 with a 2x12 cab.

It’s that time of year, when Premier Guitar readers get the chance to show their pedalboards, and how they use them to create worlds of sound. There’s no wrong way to signal a stomp—the options are virtually endless. Read on to see what players have been cooking up in their COVID guitar bunkers. A few highlights include a completely white-washed mystery pedalboard, a retirement bucket list project from a 62-year-old beginner, an elaborate rackmounted setup made with a goal to streamline pedal-Tetris, and much more. Enjoy!

The trio bandleader and Jason Mraz backer breaks down her journey through guitar academia, how to play with other musicians, and whether theory still matters.

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Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

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A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

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The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

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The author standing next to a Richardson gunstock lathe purchased from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. It was used to make six necks at a time at Gibson in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keep your head down and put in the work if you want to succeed in the gear-building business.

The accelerated commodification of musical instruments during the late 20th century conjures up visions of massive factories churning out violins, pianos, and, of course, fretted instruments. Even the venerable builders of the so-called “golden age” were not exactly the boutique luthier shops of our imagination.

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