The Mastermind PBC/6X is our response to all of our customers who said “I like the PBC/10, but I want it smaller, less expensive, and I want to be able to change loop order on the fly!”
The PBC/6X allows you to connect 6 pedals and have complete flexibility in choosing which pedals are on at any time, as well as the order of those pedals in your signal chain. You can also control any MIDI compatible devices and switch channels on most amps that use 1/4-inch switching jacks.
The Mastermind PBC/6X features:
- 6 audio loops, 3 of which are stereo capable
- A buffered insert loop that can be used for a 7th pedal, or for special routing strategies like the “four cable method”
- Matrix switching that allows reordering of loops
- 2 function switches for amplifier channel control
- An integrated tuner
- A full-featured MIDI controller that can send any type of MIDI message
- 6 audio loops
- The last three loops are stereo capable using TRS jacks
- Matrix switching for maximum routing flexibility
- Flexible output that can be mono, stereo, or used as an A/B/Y switch
- Mono mixdown feature allows you to mix down your stereo output to mono when using with a single amp
- Two inputs, one with a switchable buffer
- 7 buttons, each with a multi-color LED indicator
- Buttons are user configurable – any button can be set to any function and LED color
- Easy to read backlit LCD display that can display preset and song names, plus other status
- Built in tuner
- MIDI connection, powered by the MIDI “brain” of our Mastermind GT controller. This MIDI port can be split into a MIDI input and output using a special Y cable
- USB device port for connection to a PC or Mac. This allows the Mastermind PBC to send MIDI commands to a computer, or to communicate with the Mastermind Editor software
- A 1/4-inch TRS jack that provides two function switches. These can be used to control the channel switching and other features on an amplifier, or for externally switchable features on certain pedals
- Expression pedal input that can be programmed to generate MIDI messages based on the position of the pedal
- External switch input allows two more switches to be added. These switches can be programmed to perform any function the internal buttons can
- Mac and PC editor software allows for faster and more comprehensive editing, including deep MIDI editing and changing button layouts
- 3 year limited warranty
- 768 presets
- 1000 songs, 64 setlists
- Can control up to 16 MIDI devices
- 20 MIDI messages can be assigned per button (PC, CC, Note, Sysex)
- Dimensions: 10.1 (w) x 4.4 (d) x 2.4 (h) inches (25.7 (w) x 11.1 (d) x 6.1 (h) cm)
- Weight: 2 lbs / 0.9 kg
- Power Requirements: 9VDC or 12VDC 220mA, Boss-type connector (center negative 5.5/2.1mm barrel connector).
Most amps that have one or two 1/4-inch footswitch or external switching jacks are compatible with the Mastermind PBC/6X. The exception to this is any amp that has a footswitch that has one 1/4-inch plug but more than two buttons. These footswitches use proprietary electronics and are not compatible with the Mastermind PBC/6X.
Compatible Amps (partial list)
- Friedman Amps (all models)
- Marshall DSL
- Mesa Lonestar
- Mesa Mark II and III
- Mesa Mark IV and V (partial functionality – use a Mini Amp Gizmo for better results)
- Mesa Mark V 25
- Mesa Mini Rectifier
- Mesa Rectoverb 25
- Mesa Dual and Triple Rectifier (partial functionality – use a Mini Amp Gizmo for better results)
- Orange Amps (all models)
- Peavey 5150 and 6505
- Splawn (all models)
- and many, many more (please contact us if you have questions!)
- Fender Hot Rod series (supported using Mini Amp Gizmo)
- Fender Super-Sonic
- Fender Twin w/ 4 button footswitch
- Marshall YJM
- Marshall Haze
- Marshall MG series w/ “Stompware” footswitch
NOTE: We’re now offering special Mastermind PBC cables for a select few amps that were not able to be supported in the past. You can find these cables in our web store
The “X” indicates that this is a matrix switcher, which means that you can change the order of loops. We wanted to differentiate the PBC/6X from the PBC/10, which is a relay switcher.
The two PBC models differ in a few areas:
- The PBC/6X is smaller, which allows it to fit on smaller pedalboards (or allows you to put more pedals on a big board!)
- The PBC/6X is less expensive
- The PBC/6X has the ability to change its loop order on the fly
- The PBC/10 has more: 10 audio loops (4 stereo), 2 insert points, 3 buffers, 4 function switches, 11 buttons
- The PBC/10 has an internal line mixer that allows you to use parallel effect routing
- The PBC/10 has individual left and right outputs, and the right output has an isolation transformer and phase switch
- The PBC/10’s layout has more space in between buttons and a larger LCD
- The PBC/10 uses relay switching which allows you to use it without any buffers. Matrix switching needs a buffer in front of it when used with a standard guitar.
In short, if small size, lower cost or loop reordering are a priority, the PBC/6X is probably a better choice. If you are planning a larger pedalboard with extensive use of stereo effects and parallel routing, then the PBC/10 is what you’re looking for.
The Mastermind PBC/6X has a lot of features that set it apart from the competition:
- 6 audio loops (3 stereo capable) plus an insert loop, all of which can be arranged in any order
- Integrated tuner
- Switchable inputs and A/B/Y switch on the output
- The ability to arrange your presets into songs and setlists
- Graphic LCD display shows loop status, preset and song names
- Extensive MIDI capability, more than most dedicated MIDI controllers
- 100% user configurable button layouts, you can customize buttons as you like, including the ability to set up multiple button pages, each of which can be set up to control diffferent devices or perform different functions
- Free, easy to use editor software for Mac and PC
The signal path is never converted to digital. The internal tuner uses a digitized signal, but that signal is split off from the buffer before being digitized and that digitized signal never makes it back to the signal path.
Yes, editor software is available for Mac and PC. The editor makes basic editing easier, and allows for much more detailed editing, including changing button layouts and accessing advanced MIDI features. You can download the editor for free from the links above. You don’t even need to have a Mastermind PBC for you to try the editor!
No, you’re not required to use the editor for basic tasks. You can program loop on/off state, loop order, preset, song and setlist names using the built in setup mode, as well as doing basic MIDI functionality such as setting up PC messages and configuring the expression pedal.
The primary goal was to have a smaller, less expensive PBC. Adding an internal line mixer would interfere with both of those goals. You can use our Mini Line Mixer in conjunction with the PBC/6X to get up to three loops in parallel. This will give you full time parallel routing for the loops connected to the mixer.
The PBC/6X will remove unused devices from your signal path, so it is definitely true bypass. The hardware it uses is much different than our other switchers. Our other switchers use relay switching, where the PBC/6X uses a matrix of transistors.
We did a lot of audio measurements during the course of development, and spent many extra months making sure the PBC/6X was as transparent as possible. The end result is that the PBC/6X’s audio performance is almost identical to the PBC/10. Because of the switching matrix, the PBC/6X needs the signal to be buffered, either with the internal buffer or an external buffer, to get optimal performance.