***Essential Pedals. What's yours?***


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Jun 13, 2010
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Across the World
Organizing my board tonight for jams this weekend had me thinking what I ultimately COULDN'T do without.

Following pedals are exclusive for my board in to ANY of my amps:

1.) Boss SD-1 - the absolute best pedal to tighten any amp solo or perfectly drive any other pedal in to perfection. Desert island pedal - never leave home without one...in your pocket.

2.) Wampler Tumnus - the next best thing to an SD-1..and boy do they compliment each other when running in tandem. It's the FATTEST, SWEETEST tone in to a clean amp ( preferably a Fender clean channel).

3.) RAT II - What's to say? The RAT is dirty and absolutely as gnarly as you want it. Do you think it's flat and loose driving your amp? We all did too, but put a clean boost ( Boss SD-1) before it and tighten it up!! Hidden gem duo.

4.) ISP Decimator - when running ODs and boosts, this pedal does such a FANTASTIC job at keeping your rhythm tones tight and focused. I feel like this pedal is completely underrated. Added noises or hiss, this pedal will be your best friend. I've run my board on a OneSpot for years and don't have that problem but the Decimator adds a promising secondary backup.

5.) TC Spark Mini - THIS magical pixie dust of a unit will add the most SUGARY boost to your ODs. This pedal might even make you feel guilty the minute you turn it off. It has the notion to make you feel like you're missing something the minute your turn it off.

6.) TC Nova Repeater - all the years of delays, verbs and chorus units have come and gone but this pedal has given me EXACTLY what I've been looking for in ONE pedal. TC has always been on my radar since their rack days. This pedal has been on my board for a good 12+ years and continues to hold it's own through ALL the the "top" units produced today. It runs flawlessly still!

Welp, there's my pick. You can feel free to share yours. Don't feel shy if it's even one pedal - I've been there! We've all started off from somewhere and built to here.

Happy Sharing!

Ken Ops

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Nov 11, 2020
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HX Effects (aka Helix without amp sims) with an expression pedal always plugged in.

Also running an SD-1 because I like it in front of the amp, but technically, could probably get away with just the HXFX.

Oh, and the best tuner money could buy, and the amp footswitch.


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Nov 8, 2021
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good guitar. guitarcable. low preampgain.
master atleast 2 on 2203/1959.

No gimmicks.

You'll get there one day eventually.

This Pedal gives best sound and is cheap
if you have all of the above things already.


Active Member
Feb 20, 2022
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Interesting thread!
Curious to see what you other guys do, and what thoughts have been had on this.
I've recently cut back on fx, and upgraded my amp. I could probably get by with just the JVM footswitch. I've kept my Boss CH-1, and recently bought a DD-8. I have plans to get a wah and a tuner, and maybe a gate.

I have owned an SD-1 4 separate times. I love them. I'll probably end up getting one again, but not right now. I'm doing this thing were i have an ESP MM-04 preamp/booster built into my guitar. It's a clone of a Jackson JE-1000 unit that was available on late 80's and 90's Jackson and Charvel higher end guitars.

The DD-8 is great, both in the loop but also up front when set to tape or analog mode for EVH style delay into distortion.
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Dec 7, 2009
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I forgot my pedalboard the last time I jammed with the band, I was pissed as hell brain is getting old, I ended up getting along fine without it, at the end of the night the boys said I sounded a little cleaner that was all, so nothing is really essential. :yesway:


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Nov 9, 2021
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Stripped down to basics?

If I'm using my marshall, a tubescreamer and a wah will get the job done.

Most of my other amps - a treble booster and a wah.

(This all assumes that tuners are exempt from this list)

I don't use a lot of time/space effects - but stripping down to basics would mean losing my fuzz and my fuzz/octave/Leslie thingies. That would be sad 😥


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Jun 16, 2020
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I would be inclined to say a TS9 as mine (which is a clone) ranges from clean boost to RAT territory when driven right. Though, as I have amps without reverb, I'd probably have to vote that way as I need a little 'moistening' of the sound here and there. Drive can be achieved with the amp. :shrug:

I would also be inclined to say 'the FC-100', but it's not worth much without the GP-8 behind it.


Well-Known Yinzer
Gold Supporting Member
Apr 7, 2020
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the Burgh
Some front end dirt options.
EQ, chorus, reverb in the loop, in that order.
Unless the amp has that already.
Not much of any of the above - let the amp have it's voice.
No huge pedal brand preference if they get the job done.
Same basic setup on every amp - including modeler configurations.


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Jul 25, 2015
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Floating around TN in Marshall Heaven
When I lived in Dallas I was a 75% low volume townhouse denizen. My required drive pedal was [and is] an Empress Heavy for that.


Really adds the low end girth/saturation to 1959/1987/2203 into a 1960B. And delay more as a reverby touch.

Right now I'm a 100% townhouse denizen since I moved to TN :facepalm:and the other side of the amp 'always on' is a Zilla Fat Baby clone 1x12 EVM12L. At low / lower volume it delivers more low end girth than a 1960B. I've also picked up an Ironman II to test drive and so far it's a keeper.



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Silver Supporting Member
May 5, 2020
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Since I built my JohnH M2 attenuator I don't use pedals much (except tuner) with my SV20. It sounds so good when I can crank it. Before the M2, a JRAD Archer and Boss BD-2 were my favourites, also stacked (in that order). A wah is of course fun, if I'm in that mood.

With my DSL20 a Boss SD-1 is almost permanently attached, it's just a perfect match (the black 40y anni version also visually).

I'm a home player, not gigging, recording, nor playing in a band.

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