Artistic Pedalboard Photo, Half-Profile Plugs plugged into a Boss ES-8 Guitar Pedal


As a company that sets up pedalboards professionally, we get the same question all of the time. “Why would I need to pay someone to set up my pedalboard when I could just do it myself?” For some, the answer to that question is “You are right, you don’t need us to do it!” But in many situations, there is a whole world of tonal possibilities that is entirely cut off due to a poor setup and subpar components. Today we are going to walk you through the three main reasons why getting your board setup may be the right decision for you.

  1.    Reliability

Runway Audio was brought into existence because co-founder Austin Woodruff’s board kept cutting out during his weekly church gig and he wanted something he knew he and all other guitar players could rely on. Taking boards out for rehearsals, gigs, flights, and tours takes its toll on a board rather quickly. Constantly taking the board in and out of its case and throwing it around from one place to another puts it at a high risk of causing any number of issues. Cables shorting out, power dying, and pedals shifting around. By having a professional hand-measure and solder all of your cables, clean up the bottom of your board, and organize your signal routing, you substantially reduce the risk of your board failing you.

  1.    Fidelity

One of the most common misconceptions we hear is that the quality of the cabling on a pedalboard doesn’t actually affect the tone because they are only patch cables. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Tone suck is measured by analyzing a cables capacitance (how freely signal flows through a cable), which is measured in picofarads per foot (pF/ft). The lower the number of pF/ft, the smoother the signal flows through the cable. Because this number is analyzed per foot, things add up quickly. For example, if you have 8 pedals all connected with 6” standard house-brand cabling, measured at 100 pF/ft, that is 350 picofarads on your board alone. By using professional grade cabling (Runway Audio’s is measured at 20 pF/ft) you are decreasing that number substantially. With Runway Audio’s cabling your board is brought down 70 picofarads across the entire board, which is a little more than a single 6” house-brand patch cable! Additionally, getting your board set up means that all cables are measured to length, ensuring the minimal length of cabling, reducing the number of picofarads even further.

  1.    Expertise

        While getting a pedalboard up and running may seem as simple as plugging one pedal into the next, there is much more at play then simply getting the signal from your input to your output. By hiring a professional company like Runway Audio to set up your board, you are essentially hiring a consultant to optimize your pedalboard tone. Most companies will walk through the entire process with you, making recommendations on signal chain, layout, and ensuring you have proper amounts of power running to every pedal on your board. By doing this, they are making sure you are getting the absolute best tone out of your rig. As an added bonus, the people at these companies have created a job out of working on pedalboards. Most employees and builders have played through thousands of pedals and are typically more than happy to give recommendations as to what types of additions to your board may best suit your tone!

To get a free quote on your setup from Runway Audio, fill out our “Request a Quote” form!


February 01, 2019 — Chris Dunkley

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