At Nice Rack Canada we take the craft of building rack & pedalboard systems very seriously. We were contacted recently by a very serious gentleman who is a guitarist by passion & a luthier by trade requesting the pedalboard of a lifetime (and anonymity)…

Here’s the pedalboard we delivered this week. This system was particularly rewarding & enjoyable to build, beyond specifying the pedals the client wanted to use, our client was kind enough to give us carte blanche to build a system we’d want to call our own.

The system is controlled & partially switched by the RJM Music MasterMind PBC, with additional switching support from an RJM Music Mini Effects Gizmo.

To accommodate the “here & now” specifics of the system along with “tomorrow & unknown” demands & wishes of the player, we included some unique design features. We included 3 different points in the signal path where a Fuzz pedal, OD pedal or Stereo Modulatons / Delays / Reverbs could be added on the fly with MIDI controllable audio routing and dedicated 9VDC / 400mA taps available.

Furthering the flexibility of the system configuration, we built up a custom system mixer that allows the system to be used in a variety of output modes. “Wet / Dry / Wet” or “Wet Mono Amp / Dry Mono Amp” or “Wet / Dry Parallel Stereo” or “Wet / Dry Parallel Mono”

The signal path for the system is;

Guitar –> Input Buffer with Tuner Split to TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini & RMC10 Wah –> PBC In 1-4
PBC Loop 1 <–> Eventide H9#1 “Pre Routing” Connections
PBC Loop 2 <–> Strymon Mobius “Pre Routing” Connections
PBC Loop 3 <–> Nice Rack Canada Fuzz & OD Buffer
PBC Loop 4 <–> OctaFuzz
PBC Out 1-4 –> Fuzz Insert Loop switched by PBC Function Switch 1 –> Mini Effect Gizmo In
MEG Loop 1 <–> AnalogMan Astro Tone Fuzz
MEG Loop 2 <–> AnalogMan King Of Tone Red
MEG Loop 3 <–> AnalogMan King Of Tone Yellow
MEG Loop 4 <–> Van Weelden Royal Overdrive
MEG Loop 5 <–> JHS Angry Charlie
MEG Out –> Overdrive Insert Loop switched by PBC Function Switch 2 –> PBC In 5-6
PBC Loop 5 <–> Strymon Mobius “Post Routing” Connections
PBC Loop 6 <–> Eventide H9#1 “Post Routing Connections
PBC Out 5-6 –> Boss FV30H Volume Pedal –> Switchable Dry Amp Input (with Switchable Isolation Transformer) –> Suhr Line Box –> PBC In 7-10
PBC Send 7 –> System Mixer “Dry” Signal
PBC Loop 8 <–> Stereo Insert Loop
PBC Loop 9 <–> Korg SDD3000 Delay
PBC Loop 10 <–> Eventide H9#2
PBC Out L & R –> System Mixer “Wet L&R” Signals –> Switchable Isolation Transformers –> “Wet” Left & Right Amps

The Eventide H9 & Strymon Mobius both the ability to be wired in Mono, Stereo or Mono Pre & Post Routing. With this in mind the client wanted the ability to put his Fuzzes & OD’s before or after the Eventide H9#1 (Comps, Diatonics, Octaver, Whammy, Ring Mod) & the Strymon Mobius (Phaser, UniVibe, Leslie, Vibrato, Chorus, Envelope Filter, Flanger).

The output impedance of the Eventide & Strymon pedals is such that placing the particular Fuzzes & ODs the client is using after the H9 & Mobius would result is less than optimal results from the harmonic reach devices.

To accommodate this factor we built up a custom buffer with adjustable output impedance, adjustable “make-up” gain & impedance test points to connect a ohm meter. The buffer is connected to the PBC’s Loop 3, right after the Eventide & Strymon pedals, right before the first Fuzz pedal.

The client’s favourite Telecaster has an output impedance of 6.62 kΩ, which is exactly the value we tuned the buffer’s output impedance to, thus recreating the impedance that the Fuzzes & OD’s are used to seeing from the guitar, while allowing any effect to be placed pre-Harmonics.

The entire system & Inserts are powered by the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Digital, 2+ & 4×4.

The Boss FV30H Volume Pedal was gutted of it’s PCB with Tuner out and replaced with SwitchCraft Jacks and Point to Point wiring with no tuner split. The Boss FV30L Volume Pedal was rewired to be a 100kΩ Expression Pedal.

We built up an External Switch Box for the PCB with a Globally Assigned Tap Tempo and Per Preset Assigned “Magic” switch that can be uniquely per preset for any momentary or latching switching function not addressed by the MIDI controller. Most often it’s used as Fast / Slow / Brake switch for Leslie emulations or infinite repeats in a Delay program.

System Design & Fabrication by Nice Rack Canada. Let us design & build your next rack or pedalboard fantasy, it’ll be more than you ever imagined to be possible.