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A Fool Mounts A Power Supply

Cables Don't Really Matter—well, not all that much but what do I know?

Bounty Hunter -
Show Dates and Times

2016 Savannah St. Patrick's Celebration

March 17th, Thursday -- 2:30PM - 5:30PM
March 19th, Saturday -- 1:30PM - 3:30PM

Downtown City Market, Savannah, Georgia.

Event Stage:
The Yuengling Stage on Jefferson Street.

Savannah St. Patrick's Celebration Control Zone Map

Redbreast Tournament

May 21st
Stoke's Bluff
Clio, South Carolina

Bounty Hunter to perform 8PM - 11PM
Outdoor Stage

Info on Bounty Hunter's band web site.

Hope to see you there. Always a blast!


Related Links:

Bilco Amplification

Bill Nance made my modded Marshall Valvestate sustainability revolution amp, maintains my tube amps, builds stuff I need such as true bypass strips and modded amp channel footswitches. He advised me on my stereo amp / pedalboard rig build as seen in this website and on stages in the very near future. Thanks Bill !

Thanks Michael Davis at Ye Olde Music Shop, Hanahan, South Carolina, for carrying great music gear in your store and for your assistance in helping me to acquire exactly what I need at competitive prices.

Stompbox Power Considerations

Pedal Current Draw List:

Measuring Pedal Current Draw:

TC Electronic's fun and useful TonePrint Editor software for PC or Mac:

Guitar Amps and Accessories in this build

Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube

Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube 20th Anniversary

RocknRoller Multi-Cart R10 (Get the Carpeted Deck Platform and the Flex Straps for these carts and you'll love 'em.)

The PedalSnake System

The Pedalboards

George Ls solderless cable system

UtiliTech #0292685 Mounting Pads "for Outdoor" usage (40 LB. Strength) good for mounting wire zip ties to pedalboards; Black 1x1 inch pads in 10-count bags available at Lowe's building supply stores. We can trim them down to fit. Model #SGY-CT11.

Pedaltrain Classic 2 w/tour case

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power MONDO

Pedaltrain Voodoo Labs Mounting Bracket

Mooer Graphic G

Keeley Engineering 30ms Double Tracker

Dunlop CBM95 Cry Baby Mini Wah

Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar Synthesizer Guitar Effects Pedal

Electro-Harmonix Lester G Deluxe Rotary Speaker

TC Electronic Polytune

TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb

TC Electronic Flashback x4 Delay Modeler

TC Electronic Vortex Flanger

TC Electronic Corona Chorus

Boss FV-50L Stereo Volume Pedal

Switchcraft 236 plug

Other Stuff That Helps

Pyle-Pro PCT40 12 Plug Pro Audio Cable Tester

Hosa Cable STP201RR Insert Cable Right Angle

JBL VP (Venue Performance) Series

About the Background Image

This is a color rendering of a photograph I took of a simple pedal layout.

Looking at it further inspired me to think of it as a cross-section of some sort of science-fiction hive world. Painting over logos and other wording made more of an abstraction out of the work. That's a cool artistic message.

Jimmy Polston plays guitar in the South Carolina rock band Bounty Hunter. Accomplishments: touring hired guns, four-year road warrior survivor band, contracted five-month house band for the late Mr. Leonard Skinner's venue chain in Jacksonville, Florida, numerous charity events in support of American Military Veterans (including opening act for Gary Sinise's Lt. Dan Band during LDW3), annual appearances at Savannah Georgia's St. Patrick's Celebration, "unusual band marketing courage", and a popular opening act for national acts during Bounty Hunter's thirty-four-year history. Jimmy's work with Bounty Hunter has helped to cement the band as rock regional legends.

He has also played in other bands and jams in Atlanta, New Orleans, and in his hometown since 2003 of North Charleston, South Carolina.

Jimmy's last booking in the greater New Orleans music market was the Louisiana Governor's Mansion Southern Nights 2003 a mere two weeks before he was to relocate to North Charleston, South Carolina to attend Trident Technical College to further his studies in Visual Arts and Commercial Graphics.

Since then, he has made a name for himself in the greater Charleston, South Carolina music scene as lead guitarist for former groups, heavy metal band Railgun 526 —where he incorporated nine different guitar tunings for their repertoire— and classic rock band Second Hand Rose.

"What most scenesters failed to recognize with Railgun 526 was the the fact that we were a heavy metal vocal group singing and playing a smart repertoire with three-part vocal harmonies and a unison-vocal drummer. It wasn't all musicianship, light show & marketing savvy."

He is the creative force behind the infamous Moist Executive pop group. His The Ebolans Experimental Forbidden Dance Project will rise again.

Jimmy single-handedly produced and published the entertainment magazine Lowcountry Underground.

He is presently concentrating all of his energies on Bounty Hunter. "From the very beginning, those guys stood up for me when others did not, and they still do to this day. I don't have to politically be something that I'm not, which is the opposite of what most would think about an Asian-descent guy in a Southern Rock band."

"Thanks for visiting my site."—Jimmy The Mad Jap Polston

The Mad Jap's Stereo Scary-O
St. Patrick's Guitar Rig, March 2016
Part 1

Tags: stereo guitar rig; stereo pedalboard; guitar; dual amplifiers; master-slave amp rig; high-current digital effects pedals; tube amps; solid-state amps; relic; papa rock; environmental sustainability; don't inject the pot; Bounty Hunter; The Mad Jap.

I wanted to do something really special this year for a series of upcoming shows with our band in this year's St. Patrick's Celebration in downtown Savannah, Georgia. This is my band's fifth invitation. That's one heck of an achievement considering the fact that a band of long-haired rockers with tour jackets scared the heck out of some folks back in the day.

This is the largest guitar pedalboard rig I've ever assembled. It may not look like much unless you're in the pilot's seat. I must admit up-front that some readers won't find much here in the way of shiny "guitar porn", though a couple of stompboxes relatively new to the marketplace have found their way into my guitar rig (and more are on the way as I type this interwebs letter to you). It's been too long since I had a new stage rig with new capabilities.

Rebuttal to the Counter Argument

"But you don't need all that."

Sure, man. I don't. A good amp and a properly outfitted guitar doesn't even need an overdrive pedal to rock hard and kick ass, though these can expand the tonal palette a great deal.

A smattering of music theory and great sense of song arrangement awareness can go a very long way in making a song into something even more special—which can be done on a "fearless"-ly minimalist electric guitar rig. I feel that I've succeeded in doing that over the past few years with Southern Hard Rock band Bounty Hunter, and with Experimental Forbidden Dance Rock Concept Project The Ebolans.

That said, audiences expect a pay-off for taking the time to attend, listen, and hopefully enjoy. The music calls for it. They deserve it. I'm answering the privilege of providing it for them within a band by not repeating myself.

Besides, having the sounds in your head at your disposal is a lot of fun. If I just turned everything on and left it there, I'd agree with you. But you probably like to listen to more than just one song, don't you?

Back to The Laboratory…

I rely upon good people to help me with what I do so that audiences can enjoy it more. This writing is as much a celebration of masterful techs and awe-inspiring musical tools as it is damn the torpedoes rock and roll. I have efforted to leave as much satire out as possible until next time. Some of the info here is about details requiring a bit of digging around to find and digest.

While some guitarists are in a constant state of gear-trading flux, I tend to know what I need or will need over the years to get the sounds I'm hearing in my head. As the guitar gear market evolves, so do my plans.

I'm not quite yet hitting on early Tangerine Dream guitar rig schematics. But alas, this rig is more practical. <sigh> I plan to fix that as time goes on. All the while, I've been injecting the pot. I don't recommend injecting the pot. Never inject the pot. Not even once. Ahem.

Before I begin our tour of the work-in-progress, I'd like to say one more thing.

A specific band situation may call for us to evolve in new and exciting ways. That's great! The last thing that we may want is to be generic from one band to the next, become stuck as a one-trick-pony, etc. etc. etc. Embrace that calling!

Getting back to the subject of guitar rigs… I'm working on a budget. Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple) advised us at one of his guitar seminars, "Don't get yourself into debt if you want a career in music, and get a good job so that you can afford to do this." [Or, make some real money by investing.] I am not rich. I'd saved a little bit of moolah and a few bits here and there with future guitar rig changes in mind.

My two amps for this rig haven't seen a stage in about a decade. After having Bill Nance at Bilco Amps give them his expert tech engineering, time finally came for me to do this. It may not be much, but hey: it's mine and they're paid for.

There's room for everyone to do his or her thing.

Thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you!

Stereo Scary-O Part 1: In The Air

The amps involved in this sonic debauchery are a pair of older Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube 12AX7 / EL84 20-watt 1x12 Celestion combos (one is an Edition Tube 20th Anniversary). After giving these amps a good going over, Bill replaced the EL84 valves with matched pairs of JJ tubes, then biased them as any tech able to sleep well at night does.

These aren't Fender amps; these German amps sound darker and do not require being pushed by a dirt box to enter tube saturation bliss. Some folks complain about their lack of headroom on the Clean Channel. Well, upgrade the speaker a bit, and use an EQ pedal in the effects loop and you'll have your Vox-ish tone. On the Lead Channel side, you're looking at Marshall grind without a dirt box.

The Beast

Above photo: an amp that has had entirely too much fun. It has "character" and an upgraded Celestion GT-85 speaker. I dare not tell you it's real name. Let's just call it "The Beast" for now. The Beast has pre-hurricane Katrina guitar mercenary blood on its handles after numerous failed auditions in the greater New Orleans music scene. No; I was not the guitar player for Bag o' Donuts. But I did book a show at the Louisiana Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge. Let me tell you about the importance of business cards and nice shoes while pressing the flesh.

20th Ann

Above photo: clean examples actually do exist in the wild. This Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube 20th Anniversary model is running its factory-stock Celestion GT-75 speaker.

These amps could be elevated on stage by a pair of On Stage Stands amp stands that I've had forever just waiting for the day. But then again…

One popular trick in the New Orleans French Quarter gig scene was to bungee your solid-state Crate amp and your matching spare Crate amp to a hand truck and leave them mounted to the hand truck. The reason why is that these gigs have an insanely quick load-in / load-out turn-around time limit. And these musicians hustle from one set at a venue to the next venue all day and all night long. Crate solid-state amps apparently can handle the rough ride of cobblestone streets. (Try that with a tube amp? I don't think so.)

Hmmm. I'm not anticipating any cobblestone streets.

2 Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube amps on RocknRoller Multi-Cart R10

A Carpeted Deck Platform added to a RocknRoller Multi-Cart R10 would do the trick in a horizontal fashion (much better for stereo imaging) while lifting the amps off the stage by about one foot in elevation. Add some Flex Straps and everything will remain stable. These are on order for my multi-cart as I write this.

Learning From The Pros: It's Not Always About Us

I'm also drawing up the Stage Plot for this entire rig so that Stage Managers and Stage Techs will have all the answers handy for any questions that may arise—in advance. These can be done by hand with paper and pen then photocopied and distributed to stage techs, etc. It's just as simple for me to draw one up in Adobe Illustrator.

I learned this pro approach by hanging out with guitar tech Mike Fisher of Slidell, Louisiana while we were working on getting my old worn-out goldtop Les Paul Deluxe revitalized. While I was there, Mike received a phone call and a then fax of a stage plot from guitarist Brian Stoltz (The Funky Meters) for an upcoming big benefit concert to be held at the iconic Tipitina's in New Orleans.

I asked if I could help out.

"We always need stage hands," Mike replied.

"Put my name on the roadie list. I'm there."

"Will you show up?"


After one of the shows of my lifetime, 4AM Load-Out came. When we were done, I was exhausted though feeling good about doing something for others.

I still had not had the chance to take a breath and fully appreciate what I had just witnessed—and was a part of. As Stage Left Leslie 147 cabinets roadie (yes, two) for Dr. John behind the Hammond B3, one of my duties involved one of the Leslies that had a cracked socket that needed constant TLC and protection from the throng of side-stage celebrities and supporters.

Access Badge, HEP-C Charity Concert, Tipitina's, New Orleans, 2002

Here's my access badge for the show, where I keep it for good vibes in one of my guitar rig tool boxes. I had not intended on photographing it, but instead was taking a photo of my new Ravish sitar pedal. Then I saw that luck was offering me a very nice composition through the viewfinder with my open toolbox next to the Ravish.

After I snapped the photo on my Nikon, I made a quick little visual communication implying our doing the right thing and not expecting anything in return for it. I most definitely won in the deal. That's what we do when we can.

Stereo Scary-O Part 2: On The Ground

I was also definitely looking for lighter-weight pedalboards with hardcase protection for my stompboxes. My two-tiered black felt -covered wood monstrosity is up for grabs.

The stompbox side of things features (2) Pedaltrain Classic 2 (4-rail) boards with tour cases.

Pedalboard #1 is for front-of-amp stomps and an amp channel switch.

Pedalboard #2 runs both amps' effects loops in a stereo Master / Slave amp configuration after massaging the preamped signal with modulation & time -based stereo effects.

And that is the basis behind the Stereo Scary-O gig rig.

A few of the pedals came out of my old pedalboard. Michael Davis at Ye Olde Music Shop in Hanahan, South Carolina took care of acquiring many of the other pedals, both pedalboards, power supply super-brick, and other doodads in the stompbox department. I ordered other components either direct from the manufacturer or through Amazon Prime.

Pedalboard #1: Tuning, Pitch, Wave-Form Effects, Mono Modulation

I can get away with using wall warts for the first board for the time being:

(Pedalboard #1 not shown.)

Pedalboard #2: Modulation & Time -based Effects in True Stereo

Stereo Scary-O: two new Pedaltrain Classic 2 pedalboards with Tour Cases; Keeley Electronics 30ms Double Tracker

New Pedalboard Day! How'd that Ditto get in there again? Sneaky git keeps trying to impersonate my mini 5-band graphic EQ.* No, you're not seeing things. There are two Pedaltrain tour cases in this photo. *

On Board:

I use TC Electronic's TonePrint Editor for custom TonePrints. This software is available as a free download in PC or Mac formats through TC Electronic's web site.

The way I chose to go about this also required me to have Bill Nance at Bilco build me a custom mono-in /stereo-out true bypass strip with switchable mono-in / stereo-out loops. As soon as we get this finished, I can wire this badboy!

Power from a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power MONDO high-current super brick happy-fies this slew of high-current digital stereo pedals. The brick will be held in place underneath the board by a Pedaltrain PT-VDL-MK Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mounting Kit—which I forgot to order and is now en route pronto via Amazon Prime. (1.5 days later and it's in my hands.) For the gory details on this fun excursion, go to super-brick-1.html

Pedal Risers

We all have that one itchy problem with a pedalboard. Not that one. The back row of pedals. It's nearly impossible to stomp a back-row pedal without hitting a knob or two on a front-row pedal with yer shoe. Not cool. Adding a length of 2x6 lumber works great, but the weight is ridiculous.

Pedal risers come in all varieties these days. But man, we're talking about more moolah--more than they seem to be worth. For the money, we can rightfully expect them to be perfect. They are not.

I was on the verge of pulling the trigger on about three different brands of pedal risers. Each one had a limitation that I was not going to spend at least another $40 on per board.

Then I remembered that I had one that I'd made some time ago. It's not too shabby. It's large enough for one Boss -type pedal. Two can be spaced out to support larger pedals. Having channels under your pedals is a handy design feature for larger pedals.

Reverb pedal on homemade pedal riser

These will raise the pedal high enough to make the stomp switch easier to get to. Any higher, and the lid on the case would start to be a concern. The gap in the front will also make for a neat little power cable channel if needed because the power brick is directly underneath. I can think of one improvement for them but that's outa my league. These will be just fine.

The cabling can be tidied up real nice with our customized zippy tie mounting plates or covered in velcro felt. I like the zippy tie idea because it hints at the hidden craftsmanship underneath this system.

A coat of flat black latex for a primer coat, sanded once, dusted and wiped clean, then a finish coat gets it done. Let dry, then velcro and we have pedal risers with little weight, reasonable cost, and tons of utility.

For $40, I can make about 20 of them. At any rate, a quart of flat black latex paint is a handy thing to have around anyway. For that matter, black gaffer tape trimmed to size would work in a very theatrical manner. I'm out of gaffer tape. Looks like I'm off to Lowe's again for some paint.

Heck. I'll buy a length of 3.5" wide 3/4" board there and pay them to cut it into 2-inch -long blocks while I'm there. Saws and I do not get on that well. At 2" size, I'll only have to paint the edges of the risers.


Coming Soon: Stereo Scary-O Stage Plot, Pedalboard Wiring, Testing, Logistics, and more… .