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Thread: MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

  1. #1
    Registered User Toni Schula's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Vienna, Europe

    Question MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

    Now that I have extended my arsenal with an electric mandola I apparently have developed a new disease: gear acquisition syndrome.

    For most of my musical life I was really devoted to pure acoustic music. No effects at all (well maybe just compensate close micing with a decent ambient reverb).

    Then I started playing with an electric band. Almost no mando content though, I mainly play the bass there. Anyhow last time we had some fun playing a medley composed of Shady Grove (instrumental) and Sunshine of Your Love. With the mandolin ran through amp simulation with heavy distortion. This was great fun and finally got me hooked on electric sound and made me purchase the eMandola.

    But now that I play in an Americana band and we do some Rockabilly, and I started to use my Airline Mandola (tuned as an octave) besides my acoustic mandolin, I start having the need for effects. But what to get.

    1) What I really need is just slap-back echo. So any decent delay pedal would do. That would be my minimalist approach. So ~ 60$ should do.
    Then I do not want to end up with tons of specialized stomp boxes for tremolo, high gain, ....

    2) There are some nice mini pedal strips like the Tech21 Fly Rig 5 and its siblings, which adds overdrive, high gain/amp simulation. This is quite expensive in comparison but the signal chain is fully analog. (digital delay is in parallel, of course). Seems to be a very decent small multi efx unit.

    3) but even then, would'nt it be nice to have something even smaller, plus headphone outs for silent practising for a mere third of the price. E.g. this one: Valeton Dapper Mini. This one can easily come with me to the after work band rehearsal where I already need to carry the acoustic mandolin and electric mandola.

    4) On the other hand, this unit above offers much, looks good and has good reviews, but wouldn't it be very nice to add tremolo. So what about this one: Valeton Dapper Amp Mini
    Different amp simulations (well basically "just" clean, crunch and high gain) + delay or reverb + chorus or tremolo or vibe.

    5) With so many possibilities wouldn't it be nice to have recall-able presets? In a let's say vintage oriented design? Like this one: NUX Cerberurs. Here we are back at the price range of (2). Maybe not the same sound quality but much more flexible. And then, (3), (4) and (5) are from Chinese companies. Not only "Made in China" like basically almost the rest in the market.

    6) But then similar if not even greater flexibility is available in the 200$ price range: This one has excellent reviews: Boss GT-1. But it is not as small as the other options, and it has modern design. This wouldn't hurt at all with the electric band, but with the Americana band we play music from the 1940ies and 50ies ...
    And do I really want to spend my time trying out all the myriad of options?

    And then, would'n be option (1) sufficient? Less is more?
    So many questions...

    What do you use with your electrics? For which styles of music?

    (There are MANY more excellent options. The sky is the limit - also price wise. There was never a better time to purchase guitar effects than now at the end of the era of electric guitar music.)

  2. #2
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Leesburg, VA

    Default Re: MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

    If what you really need is just a slap back echo, then find a used Flashback mini, and load in a slap back tone print. FWIW, I find the Flashback v.1 perfect and mostly just use the lofi and slapback settings.

    The Tech 21 stuff is well regarded. Also worth a look at: the TC Nova System. It will give you a lot for around $200 used these days including presets, but no amp emulation.

    The Zoom 70-CDR and and MS-50G are great pedals if you are willing to put in some time with the manual and beat the learning curve. Both offer emulations of dozens of pedals that are either hundreds of dollars apiece, or otherwise impossible to find. These emulations are not 100%, to be sure, but to many ears are more than good enough.

    Not typically a fan of the smaller Boss boards, but the new MS-3 is worth the $400 or so just for the built in effects. It's beyond just being a combination of a fly board, switcher, & midi-controller. I presume the mono-out can feed a set of headphones.

    If I'm on the electrics with my full board, I'm usually looking a set list of classic rock, folk rock, etc. If I am looking for a minimal electric board, it is the Polytune Noir tuner, with the DOD 250, along with the Ventura Vibe, Flashback Delay, and Polara Reverb. If I'm on the acoustics, I tend to go minimalist on the fx. Amped thru the Fishman, I use a plate setting on the amp and will bring my Baggs Venue, Fishman Chorus and if needed one other pedal.

    So, here's the hidden surprise: grab the DOD 250. A few NOS can be found, still around $50. You'll do your homework and quickly realize it is an amazing pedal. If I had to bring two pedals beyond a tuner, this would always be one of the two.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

    Dude, I feel your pain. EFX are a Pandora’s box, for sure. I read every one of these threads until my brain hurts, and then I go have a drink (or three) and play something acoustic for a couple of hours. I’ve been struggling through with a 30 watt Roland Cube and a Red Dirt Road OD pedal for my Tele and Mandobird IV with our praise band. The clean channel with multiple amp modeling options on the Roland and the dirty metal distortion work well, but the reverb, delay, flanger, and choro require some finessing, some of which I’m sure is operator error. The RDR is a great pedal, and offers an impressive tonal spectrum for 1 pedal, but is pricey.

    Our sound engineer (who’s a very intelligent electrical engineer by trade who’s learning the music game from his help with his son’s band, Kairos, that’s a Christian influenced screamo metal band gaining some regional popularity) has a couple of modeling pedals that have 100+ modeling amp/EFX options. They work fine in our setting of contemporary Christian/rock, but do sound a little “canned” to my ear. I’ve resisted the pedal board approach because I usually don’t need it, but, I’m growing progressively unsatisfied with my electric and EFX, I’m completely useless to you, but am very interested in your responses.

    In our band I’m the utility guy. I play guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo, or mandocello depending on the personnel and songs, and will often play 3 instruments in a set, though I’ve been trying to minimize to at least 2 lately. I’m the band’s groupie as well,
    So simplification is welcome...

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  6. #4
    bass player gone mando
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Brooklyn and Rhinebeck NY

    Default Re: MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

    My mandolin EFX pedal board goes: POG nano -> EBS chorus -> EBS phaser. Three is enough, and it's quite a small board. Among the three of them, or one or two at a time, I can cop a keyboard type sound, fill things out with just the chorus, or go psychedelic by adding in the phaser. I don't use effects all the time, maybe every third song or so. I use the same pedalboard for bass. I run the pedalboard off the send-return of my Radial PZ-Pre.

    I do have reverb but not on the pedal, on the Fishman Loudbox Artist which is both my monitor and my preamp to the FOH. The only other thing I'm thinking of experimenting with is a wah.

    [Edit - I don't use effects all the time - in fact, I play the mando without effects most of the time - but one band I'm in does classic rock "acoustically" and that's when I use the effects.]
    Last edited by chuck3; Apr-01-2018 at 9:58pm.
    Collings MT O
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    Weber Bitterroot Mandola
    Weber Sage Octave

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  8. #5
    Registered User Toni Schula's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Vienna, Europe

    Default Re: MAS -> GAS: Which effects pedal?

    I pulled the trigger: Valeton Dapper Amp Mini
    Mainly because it should be small enough to fit into the gig bag.
    And then there is 30 days 'money back guarantee'.
    So maybe I will be satisfied or maybe the journey will continue....

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