If you suffer from attachment issues then this blog post is most certainly for you. No we’re not here to give you relationship advice, we are of course, talking about pedalboards!
The last time we spoke to our guest stars from Winter NAMM 2018, Grant Klassen and Michael (Mikey) Woodward of Goodwood Audio gave some great advice about pedalboard set-ups and signal chains and if you didn’t catch it, you can read the full interview here. Today, the dynamic duo are gonna give insights into how they achieve their drool-worthy boards, this time we focus on cable plugs and fasteners…
What kinda cable plugs do you suggest for which pedal, and if you’re running stereo or mono?
Grant: There is an ideal plug that you can use a lot of the time, and then there are the plugs that you use because of space constraints. Straight cables are great, but they take up a lot of space if you want things as small as you can on your setup. Straights are amazing for channels, for labelling, but not always usable if the pedals are close together.
Mikey: People love the pancakes, but there’s a problem with running them on stereo, they don’t go in together, so we use right-angles so they go side-by-side.
Grant: A rule of thumb, if your jacks are less than 25mm apart, pancakes will not work for you if you need them side by side. That’s when you’ll have to go right-angles or straights. If they’re more than 25mm apart, you’re all good.
Mikey: For jacks that are close to each other on a typical Strymon MIDI pedal, pancakes might fit, but they will cause too much strain on the jacks, especially if the cables are moving around. The problem now is that these jacks and cables will protrude out the bottom of the pedal, so we get a piece of timber with velcro on both sides that will elevate the pedal on the pedalboard so your cables run comfortably.
The other thing I do is give it an extra raise, and therefore extra space for cables to run underneath
Grant: We love soldered cables, we started the business because of soldered cables because my friends and I had issues with solderless cables failing. That said, not all solderless cables fail or fail right away; we just prefer soldered cables because they’re great cables and sound amazing. Soldered is exclusively what we use to date.
Mikey: I have a saying: “Solder, or suffer.”
What fasteners do you use, and have you got any tips or tricks?
Mikey: We are fans of Velcro; it’s affordable. We use Velcro branded Velcro; it’s got really good adhesive that sets over time. The adhesive actually has a set time, be it 24 hours or a week, it gets tougher to pull off. Velcro brand velcro also has a really good connection between the hook and the loop.
Beyond that, for tips and tricks, one of the things with some pedals (the RAT for example) with massive screw heads that don’t give you enough clearance to be secure on your pedalboard, and the screws are gouging into the pedalboard. The RAT pedal, volume pedals, wah pedals are good examples with pedals with screws that get in the way between the pedal and the pedalboard. A trick that I discovered by accident, is to use the dual-lock strip before attaching the hook of the Velcro. The dual-lock is thick enough to clear the screw heads. We leave these pedals as the last to be hooked onto your pedalboards, because they’re really hard to detach from the velcro, which is awesome when you have your pedalboard settled, but a nightmare if you want to switch them around.
Grant: Other tricks – use a thin metal ruler between the hook and loop of your Velcro to pop it off easily. Credit cards work as well. Another trick is to use thin wooden strips with your hook and loop on each side so you can raise them up to use right-angled jacks. We paint them black so they don’t look like wood.
Inspired and need a pedalboard for your own awesome rig? Check out all MONO pedalboards and our cases to carry them in here.