I’ve started writing a review of my new Quilter 101 Mini Head. Hopefully, I’ll finish and publish it, but don’t wait up. It’s the holiday season. In the meantime, here’s a post of how I’m making this small amp head work for me. If you’ve seen any of my several posts preceding this one, it won’t be a surprise that I purchased a solid-state, powerful, class D, small amplifier head. (See Solid State Amp Heads For Jazz Guitar, Speakers For Solid State Guitar Amp Heads, Powerful and Small Combo Amps For Jazz Guitar). The surprising thing is that I have a pedalboard.
The Quilter Mini doesn’t have reverb. It is the first amp I’ve ever owned that did not have reverb built into the circuits. I purchased a TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini Reverb Pedal to overcome this deficiency in this amp’s design. I don’t use much reverb — just enough to open the sound, depending on the room. But I’d miss it if it wasn’t available. I’ve also got a TC Electronic Ditto Looper mini pedal. It was a present I thought I wanted. But I haven’t used it because connecting it is a pain, and maybe I’m not coordinated enough to control the pedal functions through the foot tap codes.
It seemed I needed a pedalboard to contain everything, including the Quilter Mini 101 Amp Head. The whole idea of a pedalboard goes against my concept of playing jazz (which I only try to do) or blues. I’ve only owned one pedal until recently. That was a Tube Screamer and I got rid of it. I don’t want a pedalboard — but it is going to make things easier. And maybe a pedal or two for blues won’t be so bad.
There’s also the Wife Approval Factor (WAF) to consider regarding no pedalboard vs. pedalboard. The sight of my amp and pedals sprawled across the den, connected together by snaking patch cables has low WAF. The pedalboard organizes everything and hides much of it out-of-sight beneath the board.
Another goal with the pedalboard is to minimize connections when moving equipment and setting up to play. I should be able to get connections down to three:
- Guitar to amp (or 1st effect)
- Amp to speaker
- Board to AC power
It should be noted that the amount of money spent on the pedalboard, pedal, and related items could have been spent on the Quilter Pro Block 200 amp head which includes reverb. Oh well.
I purchased a Temple Solo 18 pedalboard from Temple Audio (a Canadian company). I wanted the board to be about the same size as my new EarCandy 2×6 speaker cabinet. The Temple pedalboards have a clever mounting system and a lot of options to keep things neat. I’ve ordered their Quick Release Pedal Plates that stick on your pedals and then fit onto the board. They are held from under the board with a mounting nut. You can request custom sized boards from Temple as long as they are shorter than one of their stock boards. They charge you for the larger board. This might have made sense for me because I doubt I will ever have many pedals. But I went with their smallest stock board, no customization.
My goal was to mount the amp head to the pedalboard so it slanted up towards me instead of down in the direction of the board. I would then be able to see how the amp controls were set while standing.
Homemade Amp Brackets
I made angle brackets from one wide inch aluminum bar (1/8th inch thick). I may redo this with a 1.5-inch wide bar because the Small Quick Release plates (1.3-inches square) would fit on them.
Bending the aluminum bars took some planning, but the results for the pair look nearly identical — remarkable considering I sold most of my power tools before moving south. I drilled holes in the bars to attach them to the pedalboard. I bolted them in place with stainless steel nuts and bolts (wing nuts and knurled thumb-screw bolt for easy adjustments). Attaching the amp to the bars was more of a challenge. I had planned on removing the rubber amp feet and using the screws to connect the amp to the Aluminum. But the foot machine screws were too short and I feared the next size I could find would be too long. The Quick release plates might be used here too. For now, I’ve used zip ties (cable ties).
The Quilter 101 Mini mounted to the Temple Pedalboard
The amp is high enough to allow my foot activate the mini-pedals and my hand to adjust the pedal control knob(s). There’s room to the side for more pedals. The pedal power supply is underneath the board. Note: the image isn’t how or where I plan to place the pedals permanently. I’ve got the Temple Quick Release Plates on order and a Lava Tightrope cable kit to make nice connections.