Guitar Rig Rundown – Pedals & Gear

  • Written By 
  • Jordan Holt
  • May 1st, 2018

Let’s talk gear.

Jordan Holt has picked up a few tips and tricks while playing on the road with artists such as Kari Jobe and Matt Redman. Especially in the area of gear.

So in order to save you time researching and buying gear you may regret, today we are giving you the complete run down of Jordan’s guitar rig!

Part 1 covers all things about his pedalboard. But Part 2, dives in even deeper and gives you an inside look to his speakers, in ears, strings, recording gear, guitar cases, picks and more!

Just click the link below to get your free PDF download and an exclusive sneak peak into Jordan’s set up.

Click here to get Part 2!

Let’s talk pedals.

Pedals are simply just tools that can be used many different ways in various combinations. So today I will give you more of the theory behind how and why I do certain things rather than just telling you what I have.

My hope is that anyone who reads this does not take it as doctrine for approaching playing “worship guitar” but rather finds a few things that inspires them to play more creatively.  

I tend to change things up from time to time just to push or inspire myself a bit. But for the most part, the thought process behind how I approach each piece in this rundown has generally been the same. 

Main Pedalboard 


Guitar Rig Rundown Jordan Holt

Here’s the current chain:

Diamond Comp JR -> Dunlop Mini Wah -> Strymon Sunset -> Bondi Del Mar -> ProCo Vintage Rat -> EH Small Stone -> Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300 ->  EH POG2 -> Boss CE-2 -> Redwitch Empress Chorus/Vibrato -> Boss BF-3 -> Strymon Timeline -> Empress Reverb -> TA Solutions TA Link

Powered by: Voodoo Lab PP2+ and a 4×4

Not in chain: The Bright Switch, Disaster Area DMC-8

A couple notes about the order:

I like running my tuner after my drives so I can quickly silence any noise coming from them. When tuning I will usually turn my drives off, as well as switch to the neck pickup, to make it more accurate.

I like running TS style drive into a flat drive into distortion. It just works for me and compresses right to my ears.

I run my pitch shifters after drives because I think it gives it more character. I do not like it super clean sounding.

I would like to experiment with some modulation before drives but have not put much time into it.

Diamond Comp JR

Some people hate compression…I absolutely love it! I have many different compressors and I seem to default this one. It is very unique as it is optical and has a low ratio, which makes it a great transparent always on pedal.

Most guitar compressors are high ratio limiters that have a hard feel to them, which I also love. At times I have had 2 compressors on my board before just for different options. I will adjust the EQ on the Diamond depending on the guitar I am using since the brightness of the guitars I use can vary greatly. I owned the larger normal version and could not hear a difference when a/bing, so JR it is.

Dunlop Mini Wah

Wah, like many other modulation effects, can sound cheesy real quick, but if you find the right part it can add so much vibe. I love using this as a filter, or for more pop-style projects I will play on. Regarding the size, after getting used to it I do not miss having a larger pedal. Normal wah pedals are so heavy and take up too much space. This is perfect.

Strymon Sunset

For many years I have used a Maxon OD820, which I still have and love, but I have recently swapped the Sunset in. So far it has been great and very flexible. Some will be hesitant since it’s part digital but I can not find anything about it that feels unnatural. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

I have been drawn to the Klon (GE) setting for a subtle mid range boost and the 2-Stage setting on the B side for an option with more low end.

In this first gain stage I have usually preferred a Tube Screamer type drive and set it to a medium gain setting. I think it sounds best to run TS types into other drives rather than the other way around.

For those who don’t know, TS drives have more of an emphasis on the higher midrange frequencies (~ 1 kHz) while something like a Klon is a slightly lower midrange focus. People love them for those “colorations”. Most drives are really just clones of a few basic types (like the various options in the Sunset) and offer different variations of compression and EQ.

Don’t get caught up in hyped pedals. Just find what feels right and EQ it to the way you want to hear it.

Bondi Del Mar

For my 2nd drive, I have usually had a more flat eq’d drive like a Timmy. I guess people call that transparent. Right now I am using a Del Mar, which is also pretty flat in the Bluesbreaker position.

Many times I will set this 2nd stage drive brighter w/ less lows or flat and will play it with more neck pickup stuff. I usually do not prefer TS type drives with the neck pickup because it gets a little muddy for some reason.

Occasionally I will stack this and my first drive, probably more for convenience than anything. I go back and forth on stacking and not stacking all the time. Usually I like drives by themselves, but sometimes they sound good together depending on the amps I am using.

ProCo Vintage Rat

This is one of the first pedals I had ever got as a kid. I had it modded by Keeley a decade ago when the switch went out. I use it for “bigger” parts because I like how it is more compressed and has more low end than other drives without sounding flabby.

I will use this on songs such as Forever. It is great for thickening up thinner guitars like a Strat. With the drive turned up it will get into fuzz territory, which I also do all the time. I will rarely stack other drives with it because it’s already so compressed. I like Rat style pedals because I run my amps really clean and the added harmonics of a really clipped drive add some character to them.

Electro Harmonix Small Stone

This is just a fun basic phaser. I love using it on palm muting parts or funk riffs with the tone rolled off to give them a little something special. It’s more subtle to me than a Phase 90, which I prefer. I bought it last year on tour because I was bored but now I will use it in the studio a lot.

Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300

I will argue that a tuner is probably the most important pedal in your chain. This one is easily the best tuner I have tried. It is the most accurate tuner on the market as far as I know, small, not crazy expensive, and great for using to setup intonation. I think some people get a little weirded out by strobe tuners, but I feel like I can tune way faster with them than standard displays.

The old TU-2’s that everyone has used are only accurate to 3 cents. What that means is that if your A string is 3 cents flat and the D string is 3 cents sharp the pedal will say they are both in tune even though they are 6 cents out of tune from each other. That’s a large difference for what the average human ear can detect.

I used to use volume pedals to mute and tune, but they would break all the time, and I am not too fond of swells, so it is gone.

Electro Harmonix POG2

There is a reason everyone uses POG’s. They just work.

I don’t really ever use this for a single octave up, but mainly use an octave down blended in slightly lower than my dry signal to thicken up leads or add vibe to palm muting parts. The POG2 has a swell function which I have used to make my guitar sound more like a synth. I used that sound in Kari’s cover of In The Name of Love when we did the Spotify Sessions.

Boss CE-2

This is an early 80’s model I bought in mint condition for a steal. Maybe the best purchase I have ever made.

I will use this sparingly depending on the part. Sometimes with a fast rate and sometimes slower. The main hook to Zeal from The Belonging record has this on with a faster rate setting and lower depth.

Redwitch Empress Chorus/Vibrato

I use this pedal a lot, really only in one setting. I set it to vibrato (which is 100% wet chorus) with a fast rate and a good amount of depth.

It’s a little bit of a wackier sound than a typical chorus, but I love it for that reason. It is kind of my go-to “make things interesting” pedal right now. It has a little bit of noise, from the bright switch, but it’s a good feature I like leaving on. I like that it’s stereo, but it only sends the wet to one side, which means only 1 half of the room will hear the effect live…so mono it is.

Boss BF-3

I bought this on a whim because I wanted the challenge of making a traditionally black sheep of a pedal sound cool. Honestly, it is super fun.

It does not work for everything, but on a subtle setting it makes things wide and makes the midrange interesting. It has a stereo panning mode that gets pretty wild as well. I will use this mainly on more creative projects, but I have been sneaking it in to verse 2 of Forever lately for a palm muting part.

Strymon Timeline

There’s a reason why you will see this on most boards. It is easy to use, sounds good and has presets/midi.

People ask me a lot about delay settings but there are really only 3 main settings I go back and forth on.

Dotted 8th notes tend to instantly make one sound like specific artists and can get a little messy, so I tend to stick to normal 8th note delays.

I use a low mix/low feedback setting for more upbeat songs, a mid mix/mix feedback setting for most songs, and a more experimental high mix/high feedback setting with heavy modulation when I want to get creative.

I add a little bit of modulation to all presets just for stereo width in my ears. I always use the Digital mode because the filter is so flexible. I will adjust the filter to be brighter if I want the delays to be more audible.

I think it’s important to pay attention to the darkness of the repeats and find what you like for different situations. I always try to program presets with exact tempos for each song, but sometimes I will play with an artist where there is not enough time to set that up and I will just use global tap tempo settings.

Empress Reverb

I love this pedal! It is very inspiring and creative.

I am probably paying more attention to reverb sounds than I am delay most of the time. I am constantly switching reverb presets and probably use 10 or more sounds overall.

I have 4 main levels of reverb – a subtle room that’s always on, a medium hall, a large hall, and a very wet heavily modulated ambient setting.

Besides that there are all sorts of creative sounds that I will use for specific songs. I have a favorite setting that is a large reverse reverb that I will use for a pad-like sound.

TA Solutions TA Link

This is one of the best investments any guitarist can make. You can send your signal up to 300 ft away while preserving your tone, mount it underneath your pedalboard, and run it off of your pedal power supply.

This is perfect if you play in a church where stage volume is an issue. I will run my amps far off stage to make things easier for front of house. Go buy one and make everyone happy.

The Bright Switch

Our lighting guy tends to black out the stage a lot. I got tired of not being able to see the setlist or my board in those moments and bought this. It runs off of a normal pedal power supply. Cool.

Disaster Area DMC-8

This controls my Timeline and Reverb.

I program 4 presets per song plus a favorite setting that is always available (reverse reverb).

I got tired of all the tap dancing I was doing banking up and down on my Reverb and this was a compact way to solve that. It is kind of a pain to program and name presets but it works. When I am not on the road playing consistent songs, I will unplug the Timeline and just use it to control Reverb presets because I’m mainly using 1 delay setting per song anyways.

Voodoo Lab PP2+ and 4×4

I have these linked together via the courtesy outlet on the PP2+. If one fails I can always daisy chain from the other to get me through a night. This combination gives me 16 outputs which is more than most other configurations. I have used Voodoo Lab power supplies as long as I can remember.

Fly Pedalboard


Guitar Rig Rundown Fly Pedalboard

Recently I have built a pedalboard using a Pedaltrain Nano + to give me a compact solution for flying. I get asked about what the bare minimums are for a pedalboard and for me to be really comfortable, and this is it. The Nova sounds great so far and has 9 presets I can cycle through, but I will most likely only use 3 and tap tempo it. I have a Favorite Switch for the Sunset to give me one more gain stage option.

Here’s the chain:

Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300 -> Strymon Sunset -> TC Electronics Nova Delay -> Empress Reverb -> TA Solutions TA Link

Powered by: Strymon Zuma R300

That wraps up my current pedalboards! Again, my approach is just simply what works for me. I love when I find someone who does something different than me or a little unconventional.

I believe we represent God well when we put time and creativity into how we approach things like gear. Go change things up, make something new, and inspire the world.

And if you haven’t already, click the link below to receive Part 2 and we will email you a FREE PDF of a ton more of my gear including:

  • Speakers
  • In Ears
  • Strings
  • Microphones
  • Recording Gear
  • Guitars Cases
  • And more!

Click here to get Part 2!

We want to hear from you!

If there is anything you would like to see in Part 3 of this series coming later this month, or if you guys have any questions or comments about Part 1 and 2, please let us know in the comments below! We look forward to hearing from you. 

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