The Cioks Ciokolate is a serious and professional power supply – strong as an elephant, available to adapt to different surroundings just as many human beings … and delicious (at least for us guitar players) as a candy bar.
Why should I buy a new power supply?
It makes sense to ask me that, since I’ve written several posts about how fond I am of the Pussy power supply (also made by Cioks). When I returned from the oversea trip, I did with my new smaller board, I wanted to use my bigger board for the final recordings for my coming album. Suddenly I remembered that I stole the Pussy Power from that board right before I left for Canada. Since I’m very happy about my new smaller board, and have no intentions of letting it go, I needed a new power supply for my old board. I was just about to order another Pussy Power, when I remembered something.
What does the Empress buffer+ do, and do I really need a buffer? … I mean there are several interesting pedals out there that can do some really exiting stuff, so why spend money on a pedal that doesn’t add a wild distortion or other ‘stuff’ to your sound? Well let me try to tell you about my experiences with buffers and why I just got the Empress buffer+.
When I made my pedalboard a couple of years ago I spent hours reading about true bypass, browsing the internet to find the right pedals, cables and jacks. I was very happy and excited about most of the stuff I ended up buying. But I must admit I was confused and disappointed when I finally put everything together and plugged my guitar into the board and amp … what happened to that nice warm and present tone I just had a minute ago, going directly into the amp?
Overview of my board 2014 with the Empress Buffer+ down in the right corner
After talking to some of my more nerdy friends who have had boards for years, I was recommended a buffer. Actually a guy in a music store already mentioned a buffer to me, when I was complaining about how all the volume pedals choked the tone while I was trying out all the different brands – and back then I replied that I was looking for one good volume pedal … not a volume pedal AND something to fix it. But now I was a bit more ready to hear about buffers. Again I’m not into all the technical stuff … I just want it to sound good.
Let med try to explain very briefly what a buffer does.
I’ve been addicted to delay machines since the 80’s – now I’ve just become addicted to the new Empress Tape Delay Pedal.
I got my first delay fix from a Boss pedal in the late 70’s – the same time the Chorus CE-1 entered the market. Shortly after realizing I had a delay-addiction, I started looking for more serious alternatives to the noisy Boss and bought my first rack unit.
Since then I’ve been through a lot of different units. The TC 2290 has been a favorite and the brain/center in my rack-setup for years. A few years ago, when I decided to go for a pedalboard solution instead of the rack. I searched the market for a while and ended up buying the the Empress Vintage Modified Superdelay, which in my opinion, is the best delay pedal around. It sounds awesome, has tons of configurations, and even the ability to save up to eight presets.
Empress Tape Delay together with the Empress Compressor and the Radial Tonebone placed in my new board – 2014
Some years ago, when I decided to go for a pedalboard solution instead of the rack setup that I’ve used for years, I searched the market for quite a while to find the right pedals for my new board. I ended up buying some really good, and unfortunately not cheap, pedals. The upside is that they are reliable and sound awesome, so now I don’t have to worry about purchasing ‘upgrades’ … or? 🙂
Why should I get a new pedalboard?
Well, last year I was invited to play in Canada this summer. When I got a little closer to my trip and started thinking about what to bring, I realized I had to cut down my current pedalboard, if I wanted to avoid spending a fortune on surcharges at the airports. What could I remove?? Actually, I loved my board as it was and didn’t want to lose anything, but I had to let something go. Some tough decisions had to be made, so I started browsing the internet again… and I inevitably ended up checking out what the brands I already used (on my main board) had to offer.
I’ve been using TC Electronics products for more than 25 years I guess. The first TC Electronic pedal I bought was the phaser, and after that I’ve had several of their products. For years especially the 2290 has been an important part of my setup, so when I heard about the TC Electronic Flashback delay, I thought it would be a natural part of my board.
Facts about the TC Electronic Flashback delay
The TC Electronic Flashback delay offers you 11 different delay types. In addition to the “normal” different delay types, you get the TonePrint function. TonePrint gives you your favorite guitar players custom presets, in one of the delay modes. This is downloaded to the pedal either by your computer and an usb-cable or by and app for your smartphone. All in all a lot of possibilities in a regular stomp box – super.
The loop function is cool and sounds great – and I have loop time enough for my need (40 seconds).
The TC Electronic Flashback delay in my pedalboard
Does it cover all my needs delay wise?
Overall the pedal sounds great. The different presets sound cool, and it covers about everything you can expect from a delay pedal, at least from a small stomp box.
When I decided to make myself a pedalboard, I spent hours … actually days or maybe even more correctly weeks researching effect pedals, but didn’t give the power supply much thought. My only concern in that direction was how much power the different models delivered, and if it would be enough power … I should be wiser.
I read about true bypass, I read about the latest releases of pedals and I saw tons of videos on youtube with dedicated people showing their boards. These enthusiastic pedal-lovers were playing the same pedals with different guitars thru different amps, sometimes even comparing different generations of the same pedal.
After some research on the internet, I knew what I wanted to check out myself and I started spending time in music stores with my guitars. After the first round of testing I brought a bounch of pedals to my studio and started trying them there. Normally only one at a time, but sometimes a few together. But not like “everything” together and I did all the testing on batteries … no power supply!!
I ended up with some very nice stuff I think – you can read more about my board here.
My board spring 2013
After some weeks I was ready – I had decided what board I wanted to mount everything at, and started doing that. I had bought some instrument cable that have been recommended by many people and a power supply that should be able to deliver all the power I needed.
When everything finally was connected and I turned the power on – I was disappointed. There was a hum … not very loud, but annoying.
This blogpost is the third in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups
In the first post in this series I wrote about the equipment I started out with and in the second post I told you about all the advantages I had from my rack-setup – today I’ll write about what I’m using at the moment and why I chosen as I’ve done.
Actually there wasn’t that many reasons for considering other solutions than my small rack-setup … but there was a few.
One was that I started to play more abroad. Often it was impossible to get the same setup I had back home – meaning that even if I brought my presets with me on a memory-card, it wouldn’t work. And in addition to that, it was very expensive to rent something like my normal rig – and really a waste of money, when I wasn’t able to use the presets I brought with me. I also got tired of trying to duplicate something from my normal setup, within the short time we had for soundcheck. Therefore I started to have smaller programmable boards with me every time I played outside Scandinavia.
My setup 2013 – a Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo, and a full packed board
This blogpost is the second in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups
This blogpost details my pro’s concerning pedalboards versus rack-setups. The other day I wrote about the equipment I started out with and why I moved from amps and a pedalboard to a rack-setup.
The rack setup I ended up using for years live and on tv – and still often use in the studio, was built around a Mesa Boogie preamp, Mesa Boogie poweramp and a TC2290.
At first I used the Quad preamp, but after a year or so Boogie introduced the Triaxis preamp – a programmable tube preamp with 99 presets – it was made for my kind of work.
For years I had rack-comp’s, noise suppressors, phasers and other fun stuff in the loops of the 2290. I also had a Lexicon reverb, 2 TC M5000 reverbs and an Intellefex chorus, delay and reverb unit – all hooked up as auxillary fx’s in a programmable Akai line mixer.
This blogpost is the first in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups
At the moment I normally use a single amp and a rather fully fullpacked pedalboard, when I’m playing live. My rack stuff is mostly used in the studio. This blogpost is about my thoughts thru these changes and my pro’s and con’s concerning pedalboards versus rack-setups.
When I started playing in a band I had an electric guitar and borrowed my big brothers amp and a fuzz-face type overdrive from him – this worked fine for a long time.
When I started playing in a band a borrowed my big brothers Gayatone Sustainer
When I started to become a little more serious about my music and gear, I bought my own amp and started flirting with pedals. But still I had a very simple setup compared to the 20 unit stereo rig I later on used for years while I did tv-shows and sessions as a hired gun.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my first appearance on the TV-show “Studio Jams”, episode #34. Today I’ll write about my second Studio Jams experience – episode #47.
As I wrote in my first post about Studio Jams I was very happy to be invited to participate – and being invited back was an even bigger pleasure. So when Producer Tom Emmi asked me if I wanted to do a Swedish show, I agreed instantly.
The line up for Studio Jams #47: Mattias Bylund, Jannik Jensen, Pontus Engborg, Tracy Silverman & Soren Reiff, outside Svenska Grammofon Studion, Gothenburg, Sweden
The musicians for Studio Jams #47
Tom told me that he would bring violin virtuoso Tracy Silverman, but wanted me to find the rest of the musicians. I hadn’t been living in Sweden for that long, so my network of Swedish musicians wasn’t that big. But I had connected to a Swedish drummer, Pontus Engborg on Myspace and Facebook. Pontus and I have a lot of friends in common from the L.A. scene.