I've been dying to get the big board back together as I've sold and rearranged some things from it after I last got it together. So, I finally sat down yesterday morning with ALL the pedals, connected everything, and tried it all out. There are some newer pedals I hadn't played together with everything else, which was a lot of fun.
My signal chain goes like this: The Gig Rig Three2One > tuner > EQD Grand Orbiter > Catalinbread Naga Viper > Greer Amps Lamplighter > Boss LS-2 (A: Magnetic Effects White Atom > Magnetic Effects Lonely Robot > EQD Westwood > EQD The Dunes) > Caroline Parabola > EQD Afterneath (glow in the dark edition!!) > Boss LS-2 (A: Catalinbread Echorec > Caroline Kilobyte > EQD Space Spiral) > Wampler Reflection > TC Electronic Ditto X2.
(Didn't connect the volume pedal or the Lehle splitter which will go like so: ... Carolnie Parabola > Lehle volume pedal > Lehle splitter > EQD Afterneath).
I had a few things I was trying out here, mainly using the two Boss LS-2s for my gain and delay loops. After all the issues with the extra noise exacerbated by the last switchers I'd used, I was worried that it would be something from the delay pedals and not the loop switches, but that wasn't the case. Dead fucking quiet.
The EQD Grand Orbiter is a newer version that I just got. I've been using a slim V2 forever, but I really wanted the flexi-switching on the V3, so I upgraded. Still a great pedal, but no surprises there.
The Magnetic Effects Lonely Robot was a surprise mixed in with everything though. On its own (or with a couple other pedals) it sounded good, but that is seriously the best sounding Rat-type pedal I've ever heard. It's so ridiculously variable and has so much control that's usable. The treble knob affects the gain knob directly, and it's got a separate bass control as well. There are two different EQ knobs beyond those and they both work in different ways. VERY cool pedal.
I was also trying to decide between the EQD The Warden and the Greer Lamplighter for my guitar board compressor. I bought the EQD Warden for the bass board, and I still like it, but I wanted to try it on guitar as I read that a couple guitarists I like use them on their boards. The Lamplighter absolutely blows it away. I'm also a little interested in a Dry Bell Unit 67 for the bass board, especially after watching/hearing Patrick Hunter's demo of it
which sounds just heavenly on bass. But for the guitar board, the Lamplighter stays!
I also really wanted to try out using my Ditto looper for weird noise effects. Since the Gig Rig Three2One has three switchable inputs and the Ditto X2 has stereo inputs and outputs, I thought I might try it out. The first two inputs on the Three2One are gonna be my guitar and lapsteel respectively, but after realizing that the stereo outputs on the Ditto both have sound, even without the stereo input being used, I ran a cable from the stereo output of the Ditto into the third input on the Three2One. I figured that I could record something with the looper, switch the input so it's feeding that recorded sound back into my board, so I could add effects to it in real-time for soundscapes and other things like that. It was a neat idea, but all it did was give me an immediate and REALLY loud feedback. I unplugged it for now, but might want to revisit the idea later...
One thing I was very surprised at, is how much I've REALLY been loving my EQD Westwood. The first time I played a The Dunes, it was a Catalinbread Naga Viper driving a The Dunes into a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, and the revelation was like "Holy shit! That's the distortion I've only heard in my head forever!!!" Every setting I had the Dunes at today, was easily matched, and sounded better, on the Westwood. I don't necessarily want to sell my Dunes, but I could probably take it off the board and be ok with that. The Westwood just seems to be SO versatile.
I also feel that I may still be on the hunt for my perfect fuzz. I really like the versatility of the Magnetic Effects White Atom, but there's a part of me that wants another sound. Maybe something with germanium? There are sounds I hear in my head, though admittedly, most of them are from a cranked amp, which is something I don't do often, if ever. Still, it's a damn good sounding fuzz, so I'll play with it a little bit.
I always loved my Red Panda Context (and the Context 2 will have spring reverb!!), but I do love spring reverb as well. I like having a separate spring reverb for the more ambient reverb types. When I first got the Context, I put it before my delays, until someone suggested that reverbs are generally put after delays. I liked the sound well enough when I tried it, so I left it there. But putting the EQD Afterneath before the delays, and having the Reflection after, works really well for me. I realized that the reason I loved the Context before delays originally is because of how much I love delays. Reverb before delay will give longer signals to the delay pedals (almost like feedback, depending on your delay setting), and I think I'm leaving it there. That said, the Afterneath is probably closer to a delay than a reverb anyways
One last thing that really surprised me too was that I had a little trouble with my Wampler Reflection. The Gig Rig power supply has a whopping 5000mA/5A maximum, which would take a while to reach, especially with pedals that have a smaller amp draw (not things like Strymon, Eventide, etc.). When I plugged it in, the Reflection clicked like the relay wanted to turn on, and then the LED blinked 3 times instead of turning on. I wrote Wampler, and they said it sounded like it wasn't getting enough power. I KNOW I didn't hit the maximum amp draw for the Gig Rig Generator, so the only other thing I can think of is a bad or loose cable in the Isolator. Kinda worries me, but my power supply has been in a box since I took the big board apart a year or so ago. Hopefully it's just loose or something like that, as the Reflection sounds REALLY good.
Going forward for my main board, I'm thinking about looking at an EHX POG2, or more likely, the about-to-be-released Pitch Fork Plus. If the Pitch Fork Plus has at least 3 preset spots (like the EHX Attack Decay), and the detune option can be used similarly to the detune on the POG2, that might be the ticket. It seems like there's a lot of overlap on sounds between the POG and the original Pitch Fork, and the Pitch Fork can do different pitches and not just octaves. Plus the Pitch Fork Plus takes up less space than the POG2.