With the latest incarnation of the Power Trio Project my setup now makes use of two amplifiers as well as two pedalboards.
The two-amp setup is simple — one for clean sound and one for not-clean sound. I’m using two LAB L3s (60w, 1X12) with identical settings on both. While LAB amps do yield excellent overdriven sound just by diming the channel volume and turning down the master, I run both clean. Since I rely on delay for ambiance in the trio setting I prefer not to distort the delay (which hinders clarity, I think) so I distort first then delay afterward.
The pedalboard in the bottom of the photo is for the not-clean side of things. The first pedal is a Mooer ABY switcher that enables me to select either the clean or not-clean amp. With the overdrive side selected the signal goes to a tried-and-true Arion Tubulator, then to the Option 5 Destination Overdrive II, followed by the BBE Two Timer. The drive is set low on the Tubulator and the volume is boosted slightly. This enables me to use it standalone, for just a bit of breakup, or use it to push the ODII. This gives me three different textures of overdrive but lets me retain the tonal characteristics of my sound (which is the idea). The BBE pedal provides a nice warm delay which I prefer when using any sort of distortion.
The top board is for the clean (non-distorted) side of my sound. First is the EHX Key 9, followed by the Tech 21 RotoChoir, a Mooer Looper and the Option 5 Destination Delay X2. I only use with the Tri-Glorious Chorus setting which is a fantastic shimmering effect that works as a sustainer for single notes and chords. The RotoChoir is my take on chorus for now. I became sick of the chimey chorusing that seem to pervade pop, rock and even jazz guitar sound through the 80s and 90s. (Jazz guitarists – myself included – used a chorus pedal as a substitute for stepping on a fuzz for solos.) Having used an actual Leslie in my early days I wanted to get my modulation sound closer to that. I don’t attempt to emulate the actual Leslie sound (though the pedal does that well) and use it mostly to add texture to chords. I recently added the looper as a special effect and haven’t attempted to incorporate it programmed loops. The digital delay is one of the best I’ve used, with two separate delays in one that can be cascaded together. I prefer the digital sound for clean tones — in fact, the pedal does have flutter-sort of control that adds a slight bit of tape-like warble if you so desire.
Recently, I’ve been putting a Boss volume pedal first in front of the A/B switcher without attaching it to a board. I’ve been a die-hard volume pedal user for decades now as both an effect (volume swells) and for controlling the overall volume of the guitar.
I used this setup at the PTP’s February concert at Elkins Station: