Once I started playing around with all of the effects I'd collected through the years, I began to realize that there was still something missing. Yes I'd amassed many of the effects that David Gilmour had used through the years, but my tone still wasn't where I wanted it to be. I had volume drops, tone sucking from all of the pedals connected at once and a serious problem with signal strength from my guitar to the amp. I had the sounds, but not the tone! This process that I am about to explain is not something that happens over night. It can take quite a while from the begining talk to the board making its way to your door step.
Here's where Pete Cornish comes in the picture. I had talked to Mr. Cornish extensively about the sound that I wanted, which led me to purchase the SS-2 and the P-2 pedals. Though these pedals helped me get closer to the tone I wanted, there was still the problem with the various power source plugs, patch cables and the like, not to mention that the entire pedal set up was enormous. Mr. Cornish takes this very seriously, as effects are a reflection of a guitarists personality, these boards are a reflection of Pete's work ethic and his years of knowledge.
First Pete walks you through what you might want in the board. You tell him what effects are going into it. He then will make suggestions as to what you should get, should have, and shouldn't use for the board. Remember that he's been in business for over 30 years and has the knowledge as to what works well together. For my board I decided on the following effects: Boss CS-2 Compressor, Cornish P-2, Cornish SS-2, Chandler Tube Driver, EH Electric Mistress Flanger, Boss CE-2 Chorus, Cornish Tape Echo Simulator/Delay, Boss GE-7, Cornish linear boost, Mute, and 2 send returns. The board is tremendously versatile for any type of tone that I might want to get. Another thing to mention is that the board I chose was the solid state FX board as opposed to the All Tube Board, primarily due to 1) price and 2) no need. Remember if you decide to go ahead and have Mr. Cornish make a board, try to go in informed.
Next Pete comes up with a detailed in scale blueprint of your effects board (what it will look like) and sends it to you. Word of warning: Here is where you say your final piece on the layout of effects. If you want to change something after the construction has begun it becomes time consuming and difficult. Once the blue print is agreed upon, what ever arrangements you've made with Mr. Cornish are continued. The board then starts!
Yes all of the Cornish boards begin with wood! My board is on the top row to the right. The casing is made of solid wood. It is sturdy and will withstand anything that you could possibly do to it. From the wood frame, Pete then carves the holes for the effects knobs, the inputs and outputs etc. His custom doughnut rings are also added at this point. Everything is exact, and well calculated for the construction of these boards.
The next step for the board is placing the boards and wiring in place to ensure that everything fits snuggly and where it belongs. There are many things to consider at this point, from matching the power supplies, to ensuring that the effects are compatible and will work together in harmony. Mr. Cornish painstakingly ensures each effect is well seated and secure in its new home. The circuit boards (PCBs) are fixed in place before the screening paint is applied to ensure that everything will fit and there is enough room for the associated wiring/power supplies etc.
Next the board is ready for
the special paint that Pete has concocted through the years. The paint is non
reflective, and durable. Most, if not all of his boards are made in a flat black
finish, his trade mark. When everything has been fitted, all parts are then
removed and the paint applied - three coats with sanding between coats!
At this point the board is ready for final assembly. Each effect is screwed down in its final resting place, and the wiring looms are installed, and the board is put together as a whole for the final time.
Once the board is completed, Mr. Cornish sends you a mail or calls to let you know. At this point final payment is required. The board is then shipped via FedEx and was on my doorstep in a day or so.
Now the board is fairly large, but it very cool to see it at your feet while playing. Each effect has a LED above the footswitch to allow you to see if it is engaged or not. In the dark it is very cool.
Each process is different for each individual board. To find out more visit http://petecornish.co.uk and check out the effects board page!