PedalboardAlthough many guitarists love large pedalboards, most of them go into raptures over the sound that originates when the guitar-signal runs straight into the amplifier. The dynamic is increased and the guitar has got a higher output.

Moreover you can eliminate sources of error if you use fewer pedals and therefore fewer patch- and power cables on your board.
One hardly believes how much humming results from the mix of audio cables and power cables.

But long term no one would like to renounce his pedals. This may be the right time for downsizing.

Many guitarists have three or more distortions on the pedalboard. In this context the question arises if the same sound could be created with only two distortion pedals by activating them individually or by stacking one into the other. In this way you are able to create three different kinds of distort sounds.

Commonly it is worthwhile to use a bypass-looper to remove individual pedals or whole effect-chains from the signal path.

Next to the removal of duplicate pedals it can be pretty helpful to detach the pedals you have not used for a long time or, at least do not use regularly.
Or you assemble a total minimum of only 4 pedals if you compile your new pedalboard. For example one distortion, one tuner, one delay and a modulation-pedal (chorus /flanger/ tremolo).


Some pedals are combining two or more effects. This does not have to be multi-effects, which, in general, do not sound as good as single pedals. The Strymon Flint for example combines reverb and tremolo. Or the Earthquaker Divices Avalanche Run merges delay and reverb. By this you can create numerous high-quality sounds with fewer pedals. And those who want to give little space to their distortion, the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers could be the right choice because this pedal is able to combine a booster, an overdrive and a fuzz in different sequences or even parallel.

Sufficient power

Even for a small pedalboard it might worth it to spend some money for a good power supply with isolated outputs and to plug in each pedal with an individual jack. Although the supply with a simple power supply or by daisy chain seems easy and cheap this may cause humming and hissing.

Patch cables

Over and above this you should not try to save money when you buy patch cables. Frequently I saw pictures of pedalboards with 10 or more boutique pedals connected with the cheapest, welded, colored cables. These cables are isolated quite bad and the quality of their sound is very low. Of course, the cables between the pedals are pretty short but especially on a large pedalboard this short cables can sum up to several meters.

In my opinion it also makes sense to leave some space on your pedalboard for a selected but changing pedal. Or you can add a pedal with a (switchable) send-/ return-box. By doing this you do not have to rebuild the whole pedalboard when you want integrate another pedal.

Click here to learn more about downsizing.