When it comes to pedal puzzles and putting together your dream sound rig, there’s no right way—just your way. Check out these boards from your fellow readers, and be inspired!
Nick Kivlen: Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap
Pro guitarist Nick Kivlen uses this tidy board with his band Sunflower Bean. He describes his effects choices below, with candid amusement.
Behringer Vintage Delay
“This is the first pedal I ever purchased! I bought it for $19.99 on Amazon and I’ve used it every single show since. I like to have it set to a very subtle slap echo just for a little character on clean tones. Absolute steal.”
Ibanez Tone-Lok CF7 Chorus Flanger
“These ’90s pedals are great, because they’re so ugly, nobody wants them. You get all the value of classic Ibanez stompboxes for a super cheap price. Super reliable and the locking tone knobs function really well.”
Boss OC-3 Super Octave
“I actually kinda stole this pedal from my friend when he was drunk. He’s a jazz guy but had this pedal given to him for his birthday. I convinced him to let me permanently borrow it one night. I only use it on the gain setting and it delivers super-deep fuzz tones. It also pairs really nicely with a phaser to break up some of the low end.”
Xotic Effects SP Compressor
“When I first got this pedal, I had a hard time learning how to use it. Sometimes compressors can seem like a dark art. I pretty much leave it on the entire time, sort of like a good luck charm. I don’t know ... I’m too superstitious to turn it off now.”
Vintage Pro Co RAT (late ’80s)
“My favorite distortion sound of all time! This RAT is the first one to have the LED light, which is super helpful. The pots on it, however, are marked from 1984, so the components inside are luckily from the classic era of whiteface RATs. It sounds super rad with the distortion high and the volume on the guitar rolled back.”
Danelectro D-8 600mS FAB Delay
“This is the delay I use for super-heavy oscillation and laser sounds. I probably stomp on it more than any other pedal, and its super-cheap plastic casing has held up after all these years! Really great digital-sounding delay with an easy control configuration. When it comes to delays, anything more than three knobs seems excessive to me.”
It’s that time of year, when Premier Guitar readers from such disparate places as Florianópolis, Brazil, to Katy, Texas, share with us their prized collection of sonic goodies. All kinds of players write in: Sunflower Bean’s frontman/guitarist Nick Kivlen goes down memory lane, describing how he acquired, through many years and sources, all the pedals he loves. Simon Gotthelf, who has his own YouTube channel dedicated solely to the world of guitar and demoing gear, shows us his fave pedal configuration. A few session guitarists give advice on grab-and-go stomp setups. And then there are dozens of players who call themselves “bedroom” guitarists, many of whom know more about how to wire up a board than some stars featured on Rig Rundowns. Now, let’s dig in!