Pedal Board 2

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Here's the finished item

Below is the last stage of my old pedalboaI bought some 19mm marine ply and it took me about a day to draw out a design plan, cut the boards, rout the butt joints, glue and assemble.

Then it took a further day to cut out the top tier board, work out and route out the various wire holes and sand it all down.

Below is the last stage of my old pedalboard: If I put an ES-5 in there, I would loose most of the bottom row of analogue effects. So a 2nd Tier was the obvious choice. It alos allows me to hide a lot of the inevitable cabling.


Pedal Board 2: A bit of a Journey

In Jan 2018 I realised that my trusty Boss pedalboard wasn't going to service my needs any longer. I had just bought an Eventide H9 and I was looking to add a Boss ES-5 switcher / midi controller. Those two items alone would have taken up half of the old pedalboard. Then there was the increased wiring and PSU requirements. I looked for commerical boards, but i just didn't see what I liked. I was massively inspired by the Schmidt boards, but I didn't see the size I wanted. So I started sketching. Then I re-sketched and re-sketched again.

I wanted to use a 18x16" foot print. I wanted dual levels. The 2 tiers, plenty of depth for cables and having pedals below. I wanted three rows of pedals too. I wanted a cut out for my expression pedal and I had plenty of room for pedal expansion too. At some point I wanted to add a EHX Hog2 and a second H9.

I chose the Boss ES-5 because it was the most versatile switcher available and it was a lot smaller than the ES-8.

I bought some 19mm marine ply and it took me about a say to draw out a design plan, cut the boards, rout the butt joints, glue and assemble.

I chose a Boss case and PSU, although recently I have replaced the PSU with a One Spot 1.7A unit which is driving everything far better.

I really like the input and output boards on this case, it means the effects pedals don't take a hammering every time I unplug my bass.

The case packs up with the cover and it just works. It's got a great handle and I can pop the PSU and cables inside and shut it all up.

I'm using various interconnects, EBS flats, Planet Waves Solderless and a number of Dunlop direct connectors (which are great).

I've built a few pedals and I've added a few more Overdrives to my board this year. I'm at a place where I'm really happy with the results and every pedal has a specific purpose.

1) Input is into the Boss ES-5, The MXR BOD Octaver is in my first loop, it's a lush and organic sounding analogue Octaver. My EBS MultiComp compressor is in the same loop.

2) Next is my MXR BEF envelope Filter

3) Source Audio Aftershock - and awesome pedal that is totally digital but sounds totally analogue.

4) is my Eventide H9

5) my Strymon Mobius and Zoom MS-70CDR performing ambience.



The pedals fit really well and I'm liking the new layout a lot. I've not quite finished wiring all the pedals yet. I've been using Evidence Audio SIS solderless for a few years now and they are mostly great...but they do come loose over time. So I've been mightily impressed by the new Warwick Rockboard flat cables...really nice and available in a lot of different lengths. So I'm migrating over to them. They also have the slim-est angled midi plugs I've ever seen.


My old CDT tutor at school said that every mature craft usually needs 3 design passes. 1st pass is the paper design stage. 2nd pass is the actual build with slight tweeking due to the naivety of the paper design. Then the re-work / rebuild after using the thing for a few weeks.
So here's my revision 2. It looks similar in the photos but there was a lot of man hours involved. I've also fitted ball join snaps and spring loaded hinges for the top tier board.
I'm loving the new Warwick flat cables, I just need three more 60cm leads and I can open the top tier fully and unrestricted. Their new flat midi cables are a work of art...except they aren't adjustable to their left / right I need to buy a 4 port midi through box and some solder-able midi plugs to modify them better. But easily the lowest protrusion midi leads yet, which is needed for multiple H9's.


Construction details: The Under-Croft

Here's a shot of the sprung hinges I've used, bought on Ebay very reasonably and took a few weeks to arrive from China. I looked for something very similar to type used on the Schmitt arrays.


These are the ball clasps. A bit tricky to line up.

These are the ball clasps. A bit tricky to line up.


Power Supply

Here's the Strymon Ojia PSU that I am currenlty using. It's amazingly small and neat.

My H9, Mobius, Aftershock, ES-5 pedals all get dedicated 500ma ports, all the rest are daisy chained from one 500ma port. It seems to be working well, there's no ground hum anywhere in the signal chain. Listening via a audio interface and a pair of's very clean sounding.

It's a bit if a tangle in there at the moment. Next month, I'm hoping to add a 4 port midi thru box to clean up some fot the Midi tangle. I've also bought a few straight midi plugs, so i can cut and solder some of my angle plugs and make some custom midi cables. I've found that the right angled ones tend to be great at one end of the run...and all wrong at the other end.



EHX Hog 2: Under-Croft

When I planned this board, I intended to have a EXH Hog2 under the top tier. It's a huge pedal (not sure I can even call it a pedal...more of a panel!). I wasn't intending getting one until later in the year, but one came up S/H for a REALLY good price and I figured that it was a really good deal. So My new to me EHX Hog2 arrived a few days ago in great condition, only to find that my pre-planned dimensions were 1cm too narrow (to fit under the hood).

There would be complications if I moved the centre panel, so I decided to remove it and carve out some space for the Hog2 to slide in. One dusty and noisy hour later...the Hog2 is in place and seated very neatly and snug. The re-cabling and re-routing of the power, midi and audio cables took even longer! It's all in and working. I can tidy up some more in a few days.


A few more pictures. Once the cabling went in...every thing got real messy! This cabling is all working correctly but it's messy and needs tidying with custom length cables. The Hog2 only has a Midi in, so I needed a midi thu box to assist, which has added a bit more cabling complexity. So my next job is to source a few more longer cables and re-route the two that cross over the Hog2 and then work out some patch bay sockets to route the input and output cables to the casing and hard wire them to the ES-5. Then I need to cut up some more midi cables and solder up the other ends to make some custom length midi leads. The red lead is my output and the green is my input.

It still looks neat with the lid down :D
My idea is to control the Hog2 via midi / ES-5 patches so that I have all the various sounds I want from the Hog2 saved as patches. That way I shouldn't have to open the lid to adjust or tweek it too much.

I had to get a Midi Thru box because the Hog 2 only has a Midi in port, so I can't daisy chain it. The Midi Thru box (A Quadra from Midi Solutions) will also clean up the spurious midi data that comes from the Strymon Mobius. The Mobius really doesn't play well with other midi devices after it.


Latest DIY board pic. My new 2nd H9 is now loaded onto my board. Off came the Zoom MS-70CDR, which I felt quite choked about. Midi, power and audio is wired up and reasonably neat under to hood. That's the bit that took some time. I shoved my Mobius over an inch and at some point I'll need to re-route the cable access holes for it.

I'm intending to use my 2nd H9 for verbs and delays, leaving my primary H9 for all the other stuff. I wanted to be able to turn the 2nd H9 on at any point so I've placed it last in my chain, after my Boss ES-5. That means it's not in a loop, but runs from the output of the Boss ES-5. At the moment, the H9 is also the board output, so I'll need to make up a nice patch panel for it. I can control this H9 via Midi through the Es-5 or manually on/off using the buttons. Amazingly, my 5 port PSU is powering everything! It's daisy chained with my analogue pedals, so I'm guessing their current draw is quite small. Later in the year, I'll get a Strymon expansion pack for it, so I can run the Boss ES-5, Hog2, Aftershock / hub and my 2nd H9 all on individual spurs. In the mean time it seems to be working fine and sounding great (no artefacts heard through my amp or headphones). As much as I miss having a dedicated filter pedal, having 2x H9's means that I can use a filter on one and verbs/delays etc on the other. I can also use the Mobius filter options too. So I'm not sure I'll need one for a while.

So my current path is:

Bass into the input of the Boss ES-5

Loop 1: Octaver followed by Compressor.
Loop 2: EHX Hog 2 (underneath in the lower level)
Loop 3: Mastotron into Source Audio Aftershock
Loop 4: Eventide H9 (primary)
Loop 5: Strymon Mobius

Boss ES-5 output into Eventide H9 (2nd unit) and the output runs from the 2nd H9 to my amp. My passive volume pedal connects to the ES-5 and is used to control expression via Midi to any or all midi pedals on my board.


OK, I've spent a few hours trimming the cable routes on the top edge of the board, they've been catching on the back panel when I open up the top layer. I've taken all the cables out and re-routed them better, there's still a way to go before I'm happy with the cable routes, but it's getting there and a lot tidier than before.

I've added a new shelf for the Midi thru box and Source Audio hub to sit on. I shortened my expression pedal cable and soldered an angled jack on it...that looks a lot neater and allowed me to remove a large length of coiled up and unused cable from the tangle of wires.

I've cut and soldered some of the angled midi cables I have, I seem to find that they are often right and one end and then wrong at the other. So I've started to cut them and solder up new jacks to make custom midi cables. These work much better for me and they allow me to use the really cheap angled MIDI cables or the really nice new Warwick Rockboard cables that seem to have the same problem but are seriously low profile.

I've fitted a really cool techno style handle that's similar to the style that Schmidt is currently using. I've secured the Strymon PSU in a better place and I've cut a hole for the IEC cable to plug through.

It's working really nice now. 5 hours work and not huge amount of visual difference. I'm hoping to start on a lid for it soon and I still need to make a neat in / out cable patch bay.



Current board load out. I've swapped out the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe for a Source Audio C4. The black strap is just to hold the lid down when moving it about. At some point I'll design and build a proper lid or case for it. But that'll have to wait until I've moved house and unpacked the workshop again.

I've been having some power issues with one of my feeds. The Strymon Ojai has 5 isolated feeds of 500ma each.
My two H9's draw 450ma each, so they get a dedicated feed each. My Strymon Mobius is lower but still a power hungry 250ma. So that gets it's own feed too, I've also noticed that the H9's and Strymon gear need isolated feeds as they really throw some artifacts into the power lines. My Boss ES-5 is on it's own feed, although that's only a 125ma requirement. Then my last feed is into the EHX Hog2 (170ma), Analogue pedals (hardly any draw), SA hub (50ma) and SA Aftershock (150ma). But I've noticed that my Hog2 is a bit unstable on this feed. I've recently swapped out my MXR Bass Octave Deluxe for a SA C4 (165ma) and that's pretty much tanked my Hog2. It powers but drops signal and is pretty unreliable. So I swapped out the Hog2 with the Boss ES-5 feeds, essentially putting the analogues and SA devices chained with the Boss ES-5 and not on the Hog2 line and all of my power issues seem to have been fixed. I wonder if my Hog2 needs a lot more than the stated 170ma.
Either whole board is being powered by a single amazing little Strymon Ojai. It took well over an hour to figure out the new feeds and cable routes...sorry no piccies as there's not much to show visually.

Currently my ES-5 loops are:
L1 - Source Audio C4 in to EBS Multi Comp
L2 - EHX Hog 2
L3 - Mastotron and Source Audio Aftershock
L4 - Primary H9 max
L5 - Strymon Mobius
Out - Post H9 max (performing mostly delays and verbs)

However, Midi wise:
Ch1 - SA Aftershock / Hub
Ch2 - Primary H9 max
Ch3 - Strymon Mobius
Ch4 - EHX Hog2
Ch5 - Boss ES-5
Ch6 - Post H9 max
Ch7 - SA C4

Power feeds:
1 - Primary H9
2 - Strymon Mobius
3 - Output H9 max
4 - EHX Hog2
5 - Boss ES-5, SA hub, SA Aftershock, SA C4, EBS Multicomp, Mastotron (which all seem happy on the same line).


In an ideal world, I would have the midi channels set the same as the Loop channels...and the power feeds. But alas, the SA Aftershock and Hub prefer channel 1. So that kind of throws that neatness out of the window. It also means that I have a crib sheet of the loops / Midi / Power numbers at hand because it's really confusing and easy to forget what does what and goes where.


A cup of morning inspiration!


Goodbye long term Mobius, hello SA Lunar

A massive change, I've been growing a dissatisfaction for my Strymon Mobius. I'm awaiting the arrival of a Source Audio Lunar that I'm hoping will replace my Strymon Mobius. With the space liberated, I'm also hoping to slot in a Source Audio EQ2. My Strymon Mobius has served my modulation needs faithfully for several years. What I need in modulation are a great pair of Choruses: CE-2 and Multi, Phaser, Flanger and a great rotary. My Mobius also offers a good filter (that I rarely use) and an awesome harmonic tremolo (vintage Trem). In fact it's the trem and stunning rotary emulator that has kept the Mobius on my board for so long. All the other settings, I rarely use. The Lunar is an unknown quantity for me. I know that it's modulation abilities are very well regarded, especially with the fantastic low retain control (Low pass mixer). However, I have no idea how well the rotary will fair. I loose the trem option, however, Eventide have included a fantastic Harmadillo as long as I can get my head around it and program it right...I should be able to get everything I need from one of my H9's and the Lunar.

Although I miss the mobius....I've needed an EQ pedal for a long while. Instead of trying to iron out the gain of each patch...I now have a master volume, that also has a LP and HP a very versatile stereo 10 band graphic.

Currently my ES-5 loops are:
L1 - Source Audio C4 in to EBS Multi Comp
L2 - EHX Hog 2
L3 - Mastotron and Source Audio Aftershock
L4 - Primary H9 max
L5 - SA Lunar
Out - SA EQ2 into 2nd H9 max (performing mostly delays and verbs)

However, Midi wise:
Ch1 - SA Hub
Ch2 - Primary H9 max
Ch3 - SA Lunar
Ch4 - EHX Hog2
Ch5 - Boss ES-5
Ch6 - Post H9 max
Ch7 - SA C4
Ch8 - SA Aftershock
Ch9 - SA EQ2

Power feeds:
1 - Primary H9
2 - SA Lunar and EQ2
3 - Output H9 max
4 - EHX Hog2
5 - Boss ES-5, SA hub, SA Aftershock, SA C4, EBS Multicomp, Mastotron (which all seem happy on the same line).

Sound wise, there's a lot to discuss. The Mobius is a lot more featured than a Lunar offers in terms of selectable modes. One of the attractions that the Mobius offers is a User Interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate on the fly. Probably more so than most larger digital panels. It's got that big mode dial that is very easy to operate. I can call up a patch using my Boss ES-5 and then spin the dial to any one of it's nearby modulation settings / patches. This is fast and easy to use, but can be a bit irritating if the specific chorus I'm looking for is patch #2 and I've jumped in at #47. With 12 clicks on the dial...that's a lot of tuning. Of those 12 modulation options, I found some were more useful to me than others. I like the d-bucket and Multi Chorus options. Both are nice and clear chorus sounds. However, the tone control is useless on bass and the mix is a parallel blend and not so useful on bass. If I loose some low end and dial in the mix, It waters down some of the chorus effect too. I've often felt that a variable LP filter on the clean side would fatten up the loss of low end that chorus effects often cause. But that's not on offer on the Mobius. Enter the Lunar with it's Low retain control....guys are SA...this needs to be assignable to one of the unit's 4 device knobs. No bassist needs the Mix control on the Gemini.
I found two Chorus sounds that I liked from the cloud patches: "Wet 80's CE-5 for Bass" and "Dual Chorus". I haven't yet found a Corona multi (TCe) patch I might need to make one myself. Patch 1 & 2 sorted.

Next on the Mobius dial is the Flanger setting, that I hardly used. In all my Boss ES-5 patches...I have only 1 with a flanger. The mobius offers a lot of different flanger settings. To be honest...I found one that I like and then looked for something similar on the Lunar. One slot 3 loaded on the 6 patches list...tick.

The Rotary on the Mobius is amazing. It's easy to use and by hitting the tempo button it can flip between 2 speed settings. It's one of the best rotary sims I've used, the Lunar has two Resonator effect types, they don't thrill me as much as the Mobius offerings. I found a cloud patch "lesliemr" and once I dialled in the control a bit more...I've got it to a place where I like it. It's not quite as good and the Mobius if I'm honest...but it's close enough and I can assign the speed knob to an external midi expression pedal...nice. However...there are better sounding rotary options on my nearby H9.
Next up is the Vibe, on the mobius it's a funky and strange effect...covered completely by the Lunar's Vibe Effect type. I think the Lunar's offering is more versatile and has a greater speed range and adjustable LFO shape. I loaded "Chop Tremolo" into slot 4 and I like it a lot. I didn't expect it to cover this much ground and makes a good vibe and Trem option.
The Phaser option on the Mobius was good, but the Lunar's options are simply fantastic. It has a clarity and movement that the Mobius can only dream of. Surprisingly I loaded 2 of these, the Stock "Classic" and "Multi" went into patch 5 & 6. So that's my Lunar loaded. I can only add more patches from the scenes on my Neuro hub.
The other Mobius settings: The Filter. It's good, but I never used it as a filter. For me, this function is covered by either my H9, my C4 or my new EQ2 (once I get my head around that feature, and the volume swell option). The Pattern Trem is a nice feature, but u have similar options on my H9's, The Vintage Trem is fantastic, but I'm finding similar options on the Vibe Effects Type on the Lunar and again similar options on the H9's. The Swell never worked reliably for me, I prefer to swell with an expression pedal. The Formant is replicable on the Lunar, just not something I'd use. I had one patch using the Quadrature and to be honest...I don't miss it much. The Destroyer setting is more useful for a guitarist...and I have similar on the H9 or I could EQ2 it better...although I doubt that I'd bother.
So is the Lunar a replacement for a Mobius? Yes and no. If you like all the other weird and wonderful features of the Mobius then you will find the Lunar lacking in certain areas or patches in a direct feature comparison. If you are looking for a dedicated modulation pedal that stays in the niche (where the Mobius creeps out of into other areas) then yes it's more than capable.
The Lunar gains with it's small foot print, Low retain option and flexible 4 band EQ. It has a HPF that's a sweet addition. I was surprised at how useful the one knob tremolo is on the Lunar. It easily matches the flexibility of the Vintage Trem on the Mobius and then exceeds it with the Vibe Effect Type.
I think the Resonator options aren't quite as good as the Mobius. However, they are still very good and more than usable. I have since found that there's a Rotary patch on my H9 that is better than both of them. I should have gone looking earlier.

Sonically, I suggest that the Lunar is slightly better on bass than the Mobius. The Phaser is simply better. But I've not yet found any Chorus pedal (and I've tried a few) on bass that really knocks it out of the park for me. I'm often left with a sense of "mehh". That's not directed at the Lunar or Mobius specifically, I think that these class of effects operate best with frequencies that the bass doesn't produce much of. I think the Lunar's Chorus options are slightly less "mehh" for me. I've found a pair of Chorus sounds on my H9 that are stronger than both the Lunar and Mobius. "Classic Chorus" on the Vintage Delay Algorithm and "Boss CE-2" in the Chorus Algorithm. The "Tumbleweed" setting on the "Tremolopan" Algorithm is fantastic too.

For me, adding the EQ2 was a necessity and was the main reason for pushing the Mobius off my board. It was a land grab and I needed the space. I was happy with the Mobius' sounds and functions, but now that I've integrated the lunar and EQ2 in to my board and patches...and I've worked around some of the holes left by the Mobius...I'm not actually sure I'll ever miss it.



My Lunar now sports some rather fetching Blue aftermarket knobs

My Aftershock as a setof matching black ones and my C4 a set of Silver ones

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