The Foo Fighters lead guitar player Chris Shiflett has shared details of his touring pedalboard, revealing the epic array of stompboxes that feed his dual guitar amps setup. And he's also posted a pics of Dave Grohl and Pat Smear's 'boards too.
Shifty's 'board has a number of his favourites on there. He's got a trio of Xotic Effects pedals, with an XW-1 wah pedal going into an SP Compressor and an EP Booster. Pedals come and pedals go, but for Shiflett, the small but mighty EP Booster has been a perennial for a number of years now.
Shiflett has previously described the EP Booster as his favourite pedal, and speaking to MusicRadar in 2019 he explained why it has stayed on his 'board over the years.
“If there’s one pedal I cannot live without, it’s the EP Boost. I think that’s everybody’s go-to boost pedal,“ he said. “I don’t always have it on, mostly for leads. I’ll just kick it in here and there where I need it, if I need a little extra. I also have it set somewhere around 12 o’clock.”
More oomph comes via a KTR another Shiflett regular, Klon KTR Professional overdrive pedal, which was launched in 2014 as a more affordable alternative to the Klon Centaur that was racking up crazy prices on the internet – and still does. It features a red enclosure and wry comment on the overheated second hand market for the original Centaur drives, with a new surface-mounted circuit, but now out of production, a KTR will set you back around £700 online.
But there are a few surprises, too, not least one a rare original design JHS VCR volume, chorus and reverb pedal. Launched as a signature pedal for Ryan Adams, JHS Pedals rebranded the VCR as the Space Commander in 2019 following sexual assault allegations against Adams – even offering existing customers the chance to have their original units replaced.
A pair of Strymon Timeline delay pedals dominate the 'board, with one being sent to his Friedman amplifier, the other to his Vox. As on previous rigs, Shiflett uses a Lehle Little Dual II for switching between the two. The Little Dual II is a max fidelity switcher with distinctive mushroom-shaped knobs for soft-switching.
The Strymon Timeline has heaps of features, but Shiflett likes to keep things straightforward. When they were on his 2019 rig, he only used the tape delay mode.
“I have a light 400ms, a heavy 400ms and a slapback,“ he said. “And that’s it. One of the 400ms settings is a couple of repeats, and the other is a lot of repeats. But it’s fun, we have a song where I kind of ape an Echoplex kind of feeding back thing. I just crank up the mix, and the repeats 100 per cent and then use the time to fuck with the pitch for a little bit. But for most of the set I have it on the slap, and that makes sense in this band.“
Shiflett's fuzz pedal of choice is the JHS Muffuletta, which with its multi-Muff circuit design is a popular choice on many a pro guitarist's pedalboard. Elsewhere, there are some reassuringly affordable choices, such as the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail reverb pedal, an EVH Phase 90 phaser, an MXR M117R Flanger and a Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus, which, for our money, is the best chorus pedal on the market.
For octave-shifting and pitch-shifting weirdness, there's the ever reliable EHX Micro POG – “I know they make the big fancier version with a lot more shit all over it, but I could never figure that out“ – and there's a TC Electronic PolyTune 3, which as guitar tuners go, is another MusicRadar favourite.
We might not have the resources to run a custom 'board such as Shiftlett's, with remote switches for most of the boxes – plus a Boss FS-5L latching footswitch – but there's plenty of inspiration to take from this, and it's always nice to see a guitar player from one of the biggest rock bands on the planet use gear that's within the budget of regular players.
But if you are looking to get in on Shiflett's favourite effects pedals, the flanger and phaser are essentials. ”[They're] probably my most go-to effects. They’re just classic rock-sounding to me.”
In his post Shiflett also revealed what looks like a blurred pic of Dave Grohl's pedalboard…
Note the word 'Aurora' labelled on one of the Boss DD-3 delays, a key song from third Foo Fighters album There Is Nothing Left To Lose.
Grohl's minimal onstage pedal setup has been pretty much unchanged for years with a good 'ol MXR Phase 90 you'll hear on Breakout and a second DD-3 used in songs including Rope.
Ad here's Pat Smear's pedalboard, as posted by Shiflett. Another relivately simple affair with a RJM LT Mastermind midi switcher, Boss BF-3 Flanger, Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone Chorus and an MXR Carbon Copy Analogue Delay.
All great choices but Shiflett is clearly the pedalhead of the band!