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Cornish Effects Pedal Board
General Specs
Features: Pedal Board Input - Unity Gain

Emergency Automatic Mechanical Bypass to Output #1 in case of Power Failure

Send / Return to Spare FX #1 with Bypass Switch

Roger Meyer Voodoo Fuzz - Removed in January 1996 - Replaced by Amp Lead switch for 2 off Fender Tonemaster

MXR Phase 90 with Bypass Switch

Yamaha CH-10Mk II Chorus with Bypass Switch

Send / Return to Spare FX #2 with Bypass Switch

Boss CE-2 Chorus with Bypass Switch

Jen Cry-Baby Wah with Bypass Switch

Digitech WH-1 Whammy + Pete Cornish Linear Boost 0/+20dB with Bypass Switch

Send / Return to Echoplex EP-3 (modified by Pete Cornish) with Adjustable Gain and Bypass Switch

Linear Boost all Outputs 0/+20dB with Bypass Switch

Master Volume

Local and Remote Mute All Outputs

3 off Outputs to Amps - Output #4 added January 1995

115V Output to Echoplex
Serial Number: #257
Years in use: October 1993-Present
Website: http://www.petecornish.co.uk/ 
Jimmy Page began implementing a system to organize his effects pedals as early as 1977, with a simple piece of plywood, painted black, with the VOX 'Cry Baby' Wah and MXR M-101 Phase 90 attached to it. On stage, in The Firm/Outrider days, Page accumulated additional pedals.

In late 1993, Jimmy Page had Pete & Lynda Cornish create an effects pedal board. Cornish had previously built a Tube Pre-Amp for Page in 1985.

After extensive testing and comparisons of various effects pedals and amplifiers by Jimmy and his technician we were asked to build an effects system that would operate with equal efficiency in every country in the world and incorporate all Jimmy's chosen effects and route the signal to several amplifiers.

Most of the effects had so called "true bypass" foot switches and we decided to investigate whether we could use this system with the entire collection of effects and amps as so many manufacturers offer the "true bypass" as the ultimate type of switching.


Our findings were that the "true bypass" did NOT create unified signal level or tone from the guitar for the following reason:

Take for instance a 5m guitar cable linked to six pedals, each linked by a 1m cable, and then on to the amp by say a 15m cable. If all pedals have "true bypass", and are off, then the total cable length hanging on the guitar output will be 25m. This will cause a huge loss of tone and signal level particularly if the guitar is a vintage type with low output. The amp volume is then turned up and the treble control increased to compensate for the losses. The inherent background noise now increases by the amount of the gain and treble increase and is usually, in my experience, too bad for serious work. If one of the pedals is now switched on, then it's high input impedance (and usually low output impedance) will buffer the output cables from the guitar; the signal level and treble content will rise due to the removal of some of the load on the pickups (i.e. 6m instead of 25m of cable). If that pedal was for example a chorus or delay, devices which are usually unity gain, then the overall signal level and tone will vary each time an effect is added...not a very good idea.

The "Pete Cornish System", which we devised in the early 70's, is to feed the guitar into a fixed high impedance load, which is identical to the amp input, and then distribute the signal to the various effects and amps by low impedance buffered feeds. This gives a constant signal level and tonal characteristics from the guitar, which do not change at all when effects are added. The proof that this works are in the recordings of our clients: Roxy Music; The Police; Queen; Pink Floyd; Bryan Adams; Lou Reed; Dire Straits; Paul McCartney; Sting; Judas Priest; Black Sabbath....

For Jimmy's stage system, we fitted additional high impedance pre-amps between each effect to further isolate each one from the next in line. We also provided two send/return circuits so that new effects could be added at a later date and another send/return to Jimmy's Echoplex. The four isolated outputs to the stage amplifiers each had a line driver fitted to overcome the very long across-stage cables (total length 64m).

To ensure that the sound of the guitar and effects would remain constant at each venue across the world we designed "super regulated" dc power supplies to suit both the effects and the audio frequency pre-amps. Each effect and pre-amp had it's own isolated dc feed which we know helps to prevent cross-leakage of effect signals: for example upper harmonic distortion products can leak into clean chorus circuits through a common power supply if this precaution is not taken.

Jimmy was very pleased with his "Pete Cornish Guitar/Effects/Amps System" and it has proved most reliable and convenient to set up, as all the effects and routing are permanently in the correct order and it is so simple to "just plug in and play..."

Updates
1995 - Guitar Selector/Line Driver
1998 - AC Distribution Unit
2002 - AC Power Wah
2007 - 4 Channel Amp routing Loom/Junction Box
2007 - Remote Mute/Echoplex Routing Loom

Photos

Pete Cornish Effects Pedal Board
Jimmy Page, ca. 2008, It Might Get Loud, Warner Brothers Burbank Studios, Burbank, California
Pete Cornish Effects Pedal Board
Pete Cornish Effects Pedal Board
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