OK, so by now you may probably be well aware of my love for guitar pedals and other floor effects. Most of them are very affordable (even when bought new), come in a stupid ridiculous variety of sizes shapes and sounds, and make great gifts. So, at some point in your guitar career you are bound to get a pedal as a gift, a casual impulse buy at a store, or maybe given one by a fellow area musician! Maybe you run into this guy at a party with your fellow dumb musician friends and wow, he's right...
....I can sell my soul for this awesome boutique pedal.... And then the ensuing collection of pedals takes you further down the rabbit hole of pedal addiction!
No matter how you acquire your pedals, eventually you're going to need a way to keep them organized. After all, the 3 pedals all with 9 volt batteries and a mess of shitty cables lying loosely on the floor looks like shit and makes you look like you're in fifth grade! What are you thinking?! Don't be THAT guy....
AHHHH!!! The mess!!! It burns!!!!!
So companies make custom pedalboards, pedalboard cases, board bags, pedalboard power supplies, pedalboard wiring kits, cable making kits, and much more! The only problem is, how do you know what to get? How the hell do you make the call? Pedalboards aren't cheap, and all things considered, if you are on the fence about having ANY effects, or thinking about maybe moving your 3 pedals to a rack drawer in the future, is it even worth it to commit to a board?! Let's say you're running a small pedal board with just a Tubescreamer and tuner pedal, so a small board makes sense to buy. Or does it? What if you buy more shit in a few months?! Then what? Do you sell the small board? Or do you buy a huge board now and live with 3 pedals on a huge board with tons of empty space until you can fill it up? Or what if you run a massive one like 311's Tim Mahoney? Do you buy a huge board and try to cram it all on? Or do you buy a few medium ones and hope you can make them all work together?! Current pedalboards likely cannot cover your growth as a guitarist (or gear reduction).... that is, until now!
What if you have a medium sized board that is full, and you got into some new effects? Do you try to cram them in somehow? Sideways? Do you leave one on the floor? That sucks for gigging! Do you do the unthinkable and try to remove some effects to make room for the new one?!
By now, you either want to quit guitar, or never use pedals ever. But deep down you know you're lying and won't give it up! So read on my friends!
The fellas over at Digital Audio Labs have created a simple and quite snazzy solution to the horrible woes listed above! Thanks to a modular construction set up and basic materials, DAL is now offering "STOMPBLOX". That's right, Stompblox are interconnecting pieces of metal board risers- think of these as beefy Lego blocks or life-size Tetris pieces you can create your own monster with. Best news of all?! It grows with you, WHEN you want it to!
I mean seriously, I know there are gonna be a ton of guitar players out there who will love the prospect of combining Legos and guitar effects. For you retro 80s kids, this is probably going to be the coolest thing to grace the guitar world since the GameBoy pedal. No, I'm kidding, there is no GameBoy pedal, but there ARE Stompblox, so let's explore!
So, this invention really is quite clever, and while it may not make sense at first, here's why this is such a great idea. For fairly modest pricing, you can get boards of various sizes and functions that all play nicely with each other! Do you find yourself asking these questions?
Scenario. You get your hands on an effect that perfectly completes your tone. You try to fit it on your pedalboard but no matter how you twist, turn, and arrange, you’re maxed out–no space. Stompblox pedalboards connect to each other, making more room for pedals as you need it. If you run out of space, simply add another unit.
- Does your effect collection seem to expand?
- Do you plan to expand in the future?
- Is this your first pedalboard?
- Playing a smaller gig and can’t bring all your effects?
With Stompblox you can connect and disconnect sections whenever you need to. Stompblox is the perfect solution because you don’t buy more than you need and can add as your rig demands.
So basically, with Stompblox, you can pick the size that works for you and where you plan to go. And hell, even if you don't plan to go there now, but let's say you all of a sudden develop a love for wah pedals and buy 5. Well, now you can just pick up an extension and build on to your current board. Oh shit, wait you HAVE to put them on the lower row so you can properly "wah"! No problem because these arent normal pedal boards. So even if your current "lowest row" of pedals is alrady full, you can just add a new row and you're all set!
Just look at all these combinations!
Are you a singer and guitarist? Do you hate the fact that your pedalboard can clash with your mic stand?! Well again, Stompblox comes to the rescue by allowing you to create voids in the board where a mic stand can live! Easy!
Are you one of those guys with shitloads of little pedals, but very large feet? Do those third, fourth, or even fifth rows of pedals become impossible to tap with your toe of your stage shoes? Do you find yourself kicking lots of pedals because your current board buried all of the rows at the same level? Stompblox allows you to cheaply add risers to rows or individual pedals to raise them above the surrounding ones so you can accurately place that clunky foot of yours. You're singing, playing, and hitting pedals, don't you have ENOUGH to worry about?
Best of all, these things are not outrageously priced! I'd personally like to see some of the "kits" a bit cheaper, but the add-ons are really not bad at all! In fact, that's usually the biggest pain with any of this stuff is getting into add-ons and finding out they are so poorly priced, it becomes more expensive than just getting all new rigs!
The only other thing that could be cool to add on eventually would be a custom gig bag or case of some sort, which understandably is difficult given the DIVERSE nature of the end product- since you make your own product! Good news is, the modular units DO come with their own little gig bags!
Finally, check out this cool product demo video about Stompblox made by the fine folks at Pro Guitar Shop.com!
So go explore what Digital Sound Labs has to offer!