I’m kind of obsessed with stompboxes….

BoardBetter than plywood.


Echo. echo. echo

  • Boss DD-3—Adequate.
  • Digitech PDS-8000—Fun to play with but fragile. I have no idea how Bill Frisell toured with them.
  • Digitech RDS-8000—It came with a rack. Not weird enough.
  • Echoplex EP-2—Great sound. Should have kept it….
  • Echoplex EP-3—Disappointing after the EP-2. Nice as a boost with slight delay ala EVH, though.
  • Electro-Harmonix Grand Canyon—More options than the Hazarai. Used on “Other Analogues”.
  • Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy DeluxeInspired weirdness.
  • Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe ReissueThe best all-around delay pedal. I like these better than most of the vintage models.
  • Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (Vintage)—Tons of character. Sometimes too much.
  • Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with HazaraiDoes almost everything. My album Analogues of Infinity was just an excuse to mess with this pedal.
  • Guyatone MD-3—Nice sounding digital delay. Especially good for slapback or with distortion.
  • Maxon AD-900The one pedal that’s always on. Great clean and simple analog delay.
  • Roland Space Echo—An Echoplex for surrealists.
  • Ampex Tape Echo—Built out of an of Ampex portable recorder. It was dead, so I didn’t destroy a classic.
  • T.C. Electronic Repeater—Bought for the 2290 setting. Sold when I bought a 2290.


Like a chainsaw wrapped in velvet.

  • Boss DS-1 (Made in Japan)—Sounded like a DS-1 but I like my Korean-made one a bit more.
  • Boss DS-1 (Made in Korea)—Classic. Sounds great run into a dirty amp, sounds incredibly cheesy on its own. You have to try a bunch to find one with the right voicing.
  • Boss DS-1 (Keeley Mod)—Warmer and less noisy than stock, but brightness and noise are my favorite parts of the DS-1 experience. I have nicer pedals for pleasant distortion.
  • Boss DS-1 (Analog Man Mod)—Changes the DS-1 into a much smoother and more versatile pedal—you can even run it into a clean amp! Compares well to “boutique” distortions but it still feels kind of silly to put this much polish on a $30 pedal.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi (Triangle)—The missing link between fuzz and distortion. Must be played loud.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi (Ram’s Head)— Sounds like the triangle version, but it has a slightly different mid scoop. Perfect for later Pink Floyd.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi (Green Russian)— More mids, less bass but still a Big Muff. Plays well with smaller amps.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi (Black Russian)—Very early model. Thicker sounding than even the green model, it’s like a Big Muff on steroids.
  • Marshall Guv’nor—Kind of a Marshall in a box, killer rhythm tones.
  • MXR Distortion+ (Script Logo)—For when I play Crazy Train.
  • Suhr RiotReminds me of the Marshall Guv’nor, but it has a vintage setting (to the left) that feels like a higher gain Fuzz Face into a 2204. Awesome.
  • T-Rex Mudhoney (Made in Denmark)—Killer RAT sound with a low gain mode and buffer. I use it whenever I need smooth lead tones ala Allan Holdsworth or Eric Johnson.



  • Danelectro French Toast—A truly cheap and wonderfully dirty octave fuzz. Nels Cline sounded great with his so I had to have one too. I sounded less great but had a good time smashing its cheap plastic case into splinters during a show.
  • Fulltone 69 Fuzz—I loved it but sold it to buy a vintage fuzz face but the Fulltone was much better for gigging. I really want to try the new Mk. II.
  • Fulltone 70 Fuzz—Very nice, but the 69 is more my style.
  • Fuzz Face (Vintage Germanium)—Amazing when it wants to be but inconsistent. A couple of degrees change in temperature kills its tone.
  • Fuzz Face (Germanium Reissue)—Selected from a dozen or so, it sounds like the original.
  • Fuzz Face (Silicon Reissue)—More stable than germanium, but harsher and less Fuzz-Face-y.
  • Voodoo Lab Proctavia—Great sounding octave fuzz.
  • Z-Vex Fuzz Factory—Covers everything from vintage to unstable freak outs.
  • Z-Vex Fuzz Probe—Covers everything from vintage to unstable freak outs and HAS A THEREMIN.



  • Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress ReissueThe only modulation pedal I really need. I tweak the bias to warm it up, other than that it’s stock.
  • Electro-Harmonix Small Clone—Not a bad chorus.
  • Electro-Harmonix Small Stone—Nothing else sounds like it. I went through a phase (ahem) of collecting these.
  • Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Reissue—Good, but it’s weird playing a Small Stone that doesn’t reek of cigarette smoke and mold.
  • Boss CE-3—I owned it. That’s all I remember.
  • Boss CE-5—It’s usually used for normal sounds, but I like it for oddities. Start by setting the low range to max and the high to minimum. No other chorus does that sound, maybe for good reasons….
  • Danelectro Cool Cat—Possibly the best deal in chorus until it breaks.
  • Maxon PT999—My go-to for subtle phase.
  • T-Rex Tremster—I bought it because Louis Calvin and I decided we needed trem pedals. I prefer tube-based amp tremolo.
  • Voodoo Lab Analog ChorusMy favorite chorus. Usually used in place of the Electric Mistress for road work.


Lesser distortions.

  • Fairburn Modded Sparkle Drive—I made it smoother. Wrong move, since the raspy mids are what makes the original work so well live.
  • Ibanez TS-808—The pedal that started a revolution. Boxy mids, weird bass, but in front of a 60s fender it’s magic.
  • Ibanez TS-9—A bit different, but still a Tubescreamer.
  • Ibanez TS-9 Reissue (Modded)—Smoother and more versatile. A Tubescreamer in a tuxedo.
  • Klon Centaur—The legend. I loved it with the right amp, but I like Sparkle Drive-style pedals a bit better.
  • Maxon OD-820—Like a Sparkle Drive but more polite.
  • Maxon VOP9—An OD-820 in a smaller package.
  • Hermida Zendrive—Smooth as butter. Makes me want to wear a polyester suit, though.
  • Voodoo Lab Sparkle DriveA million shades of clean boost and overdrive. A bit much with a bedroom rig, but shines with a band.

Pitch Shifters, Vocoders, Synths

The sound of the 80s.

  • Boss PS-5—Mainly used with tin whistle. Because.
  • Digitech Whammy—Everyone owned one of these in the 90s.
  • Digitech Whammy II—For people who liked the original Whammy but wished it was harder to use.
  • Electro-Harmonix Ring ThingRing modulator, whammy, pitch shifter, detune, tremolo. I use this way too much but I can’t stop.
  • Electro-Harmonix Voicebox—Does terrible things to drum machines. Also, can make me sound like a cylon.


Hit one button instead of six.

  • Boss LS-2—Most versatile pedal award winner. It switches, it mixes, it even makes juilienne fries!
  • Fairburn Bypass 8—8 loops. Approximately 12 feet of extra cables. It was overkill and was dropped in favor of running everything in line.
  • Lehle D-Loop—It was nice while it lasted.


Louder, quieter.

  • Ernie Ball 6160— The first pedal I bought. It still works and it’s still awesome.
  • Ernie Ball 6166Every bit as good as the 6160 but the top mounted jacks work better with the routing on my MPS Pedal Pad.


For all your Eddie McCoy moments.

  • Dunlop Crybaby 535Q 18V—Tons of features but I could never quite find the perfect tone.
  • Dunlop Crybaby 535Q 9V—All the versatility of the original and the fasel-inductor blurs the mids into a perfect milkshake of wah goodness.
  • Teese RMC2—Bought as smooth-toned compliment to the 18V 535Q, it was retired after the 9V 535Q went on the board.
  • Vox “Picture” Wah—I’ve had a few over the years and I’m not a fan of vintage wahs.