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Watch them all, since you'll never afford the pedals
February 5, 2014 7:08 PM   Subscribe

From the Electro-Harmonix Effectology series, in which the amazingly well crafted pro grade guitar pedals of Electro-Harmonix are used to ends that blur the line between guitar and synthesis. The original 1963 theme for Doctor Who recreated from scratch using only guitar and Electro-Harmonix pedals.
posted by mediocre (73 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another impressive moment from the Effectology series is this recreation of a church organ sound.
posted by mediocre at 7:26 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


As someone who covets EHX pedals (and owns none) I'm surprised this isn't common knowledge. Then I realize how Otaku I am about it.
posted by nutate at 7:36 PM on February 5


Surprised the Doctor Who video isn't common knowledge? It's been out a long time, I was surprised it hadn't shown up on Metafilter before. Only when I realized it hadn't did I decide to post it.
posted by mediocre at 7:39 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


amazingly well crafted pro grade guitar pedals of Electro-Harmonix

This is sarcasm, right? I knew it.
posted by bongo_x at 7:43 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]


There are plenty of more truly well crafted pedals from dwarfcraft, devi-ever, zvex, but EHX sort of straddles the divide between digitech/boss/line6 and those more handmade products. One could argue dunlop/MXR fits in that divide too, but they don't innovate like EHX has. Zvex is pushing in that direction too and their recent NAMM offerings with (gasp) midi tempo sync, are freaking awesome.

In terms of 'pro' grade there really isn't such a thing since any guitar player could become pro as soon as someone hands them cash in exchange for playing. Then you see all sorts of pedals from various manufacturers on the floor in front of band X.

For a great example of what counts as professional: http://otherbandsstuff.com/
posted by nutate at 8:04 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Or, you could just buy a decent used synth and use the money saved from not buying EH pedals to buy a stack.
posted by Ardiril at 8:06 PM on February 5


Nice to see some bitter guitar nerdery here

UGH THEIR 6V6s ARE SO MICROPHONIC WHEN OPERATED AS TETRODES
posted by Teakettle at 8:10 PM on February 5 [11 favorites]


nutate: For a great example of what counts as professional:

Haha, after the first couple of posts on that site I said to myself "I wonder if they have Tera Melos on here yet?" and sure enough. Although I wouldn't really classify their stuff as "professional" since it appears Nick mostly uses a lot of old stuff he's randomly picked up or been given, or stuff that is falling apart in a cool way.
posted by gucci mane at 8:18 PM on February 5


Zvex is pushing in that direction too and their recent NAMM offerings with (gasp) midi tempo sync, are freaking awesome.

And inexcusably exorbitant. If you're paying an extra $200 for handpainting on a stompbox, um, hey, could you spare me a hundred for a cup of coffee?

(Compare, for example, the EHX 8-Step Program, which appears to be the sort of thing those Zvex pedals are based on. Syncs to midi and sends CV; plug that into the Moog MF Ring -- or any other effect with an expression input -- and bam, discount Zvex Super Whatever.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:19 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I have one of their pedals and like it, but this post is a bit Pepsi for me, to be honest.
posted by uosuaq at 8:21 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


yeah that 8-step CV sequencer looks pretty badass.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:38 PM on February 5


Ardiril: Or, you could just buy a decent used synth and use the money saved from not buying EH pedals to buy a stack.

Lol this hasn't been true since you could still work in a coffee shop and rent a studio apartment in san francisco.

Seriously, go look on craigslist, ebay, or even worse used instrument shops. Even a formerly cheap mid-quality synth like a DX7 that has a fairly narrow range of possible sounds, and is FM and not analog commands dumb prices now.

Yea, pedals(especially vintage pedals) have gotten expensive too, but you could still buy 3 or 4 for the price of even a basically decent synth like a juno-60 or something.

I bought a couple basic analog synths in highschool, for maybe $300 total. My storage unit flooded a couple years back and destroyed them. I'm still fighting the insurance on it, but the actual replacement cost of them nowadays is probably north of $1000, and they weren't even that rare/nice/etc.

It doesn't surprise me that people are trying synthesis with pedals, it's a cheap way to get into it and try making some interesting sounds by twisting actual knobs on hardware, that aren't just on like one of these plugged into ableton operator or something.(not that there's anything wrong with that, and it is where the puck is going... but still)
posted by emptythought at 8:46 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


tangentially related to the topic at hand:

in case someone at this level of pedal nerdery doesn't yet read it... juan alderete (bassist of racer x, mars volta, deltron 3030, etc...) runs an amazingly detailed blog called pedals and effects and here's a post about nick from tera melos.

it's a great blog.
posted by raihan_ at 8:50 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Is this where we nerdily share our FX chains?

Telecaster / Jazzmaster / Hagstrom Viking / Gibson LP Special
v
Crybaby 95q wah
v
Boss TU3
v
Diamond Compressor
v
Tube Screamer
v
ProCo Rat
v
Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo
v
MXR Clean Boost
v
TC Flashback Delay
v
TC Ditto Looper
v
Fender Twin OR Egnater Tweaker
posted by sweet mister at 8:50 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Not gonna hate on this post, but the story of Electro-Harmonix is actually very interesting, and probably worthy of its own post. This is a company that was born is the US in the early '70's, died in the US in the early 80's (due to a variety of causes, but interestingly not due to poor sales), and was later reborn is Russia in the early '90's. (Official EHX version ; Wikipedia version) Along the way, they made some pioneering guitar effects and helped create what is now a very large and robust guitar and bass effects pedal industry.

That said, it doesn't take a whole lot of time on the various guitar discussion boards to see that that EFX is sort of the Ford or GM of effects pedals (big stable of effects, lots of effects at good price points, but not currently super innovative), while there are plenty of other companies that fill the roles of Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes -- innovative, sporty, cutting edge, etc. (Strymon, Moog, Catalinbread, Zvex, etc.)
posted by mosk at 8:54 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


pedal steel
v
amp
posted by Teakettle at 8:54 PM on February 5 [8 favorites]


Not gonna hate on this post, but the story of Electro-Harmonix is actually very interesting, and probably worthy of its own post.

I'm pretty sure it has. Or, at least the story of their Russian tube factories. Can't find it.

(Did find this though.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:56 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Upright bass
V
your ears
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:57 PM on February 5 [10 favorites]


I ain't gonna list them all due to embarrassment, but suffice it to say that if guitar effects were drugs I'd be a good candidate for an intervention. And amps! God, how I've come to love amplifiers! And speakers, too!
posted by mosk at 9:04 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


@raihan_ I gotchu halfway dawg!
posted by gucci mane at 9:20 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Seriously, go look on craigslist, ebay, or even worse used instrument shops. Even a formerly cheap mid-quality synth like a DX7 that has a fairly narrow range of possible sounds, and is FM and not analog commands dumb prices now.

I'm curious why this is the case.... Certain kinds of hardware are stupid cheap: I remember marvelling at the fact that my H2Zoom microphone put me back $100; something similar in (say) 2000 would have probably cost a grand, and not had anywhere near the feature set of the Zoom.

My guess with the synths is that they're mainly being replaced by an M-audio USB keyboard + software, meaning there's actually rather less demand for hardware synths than there was 10 years ago. (The m-audio controller goes for $150 on the cheap end, and would have been heaven for me if it had been around in the 90's.)
posted by kaibutsu at 9:37 PM on February 5


A DX7 goes for $300-350 on eBay right now, compared to its original list of $2k, so not dumb at all. Get a Volca for $149. Arturia has an analog step sequencer coming out in the spring for $99. The ever-moddable Monotron series (with the MS20 filter) goes for $49. Synths - real, analog synths - are cheap! And the last time a studio in SF was affordable on a coffee-shop wage was maybe 20 years ago.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:46 PM on February 5


I know nothing about gearsluttery except that I know nothing, but that wasn't a half-bad version of the Doctor Who theme.
posted by immlass at 10:11 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Strat
V
Behringer Tuner
V
Tube Screamer or Muff
V
Memory Man delay
V
Red F*cking Knob Fender Twin
posted by misterbee at 10:58 PM on February 5


Strymon is "cooler" than EHX but hardly more innovative. People hate on EHX because it's closer in size to Boss than to Bill Finnegan, which I guess is okay but stupid. Their products are built solidly, their prices are competitive with smaller shops, and they are innovating. In fact they're one of the few pedal companies that actually (1) innovates, and (2) is a reliable business, in an industry full of builders who take six months' worth of prepayments and then disappear.

EHX rocks and I'm okay with a maybe too-Pepsi-ish FPP about them. It's a hell of a lot better than the vast majority of "ra ra Democrats!" FPPs that we get around here, precisely zero of which are flagged or deleted. Fuck the DNC. Buy a HOG.

The Effectology series is a blog, basically, that does deserve FPP-ing for any guitarists or effects-users in the community. There is some really creative stuff in those videos, either to cop outright or to be inspired by. And sure, they're motivated by marketing, but they are also published with full knowledge that you don't actually need EHX gear to replicate the sounds.
posted by cribcage at 12:22 AM on February 6


I'd not heard the theme before. It's damned charming.
The into being 1/3 clip is annoying, but I learnt what a Big Muff was.

(Now to investigate its connection to Fuzzbox)
posted by Mezentian at 2:45 AM on February 6


Can I talk about the Dr Who video?

Amazed to see how much more advanced it is than the modern version. It looks like the quality of actual data you might receive from cutting edge electronics (as that is exactly what it was). I have watched my share of documentaries on real scientists taking real images of real atoms, real quasars, real magnetic fields, etc., and this would not be out of place. Even the two scientists - old guy, young woman, just watching, not running around screaming and joking - seem realistic.

A real TARDIS, if it was really pushing the envelope of what is possible, would have an occupant and digital read outs just like this. It has been replaced by a pantomime version, with brightly coloured visual effects and ironic joking during breathless running around.

Dr Who was originally designed to be educational. I wonder if the original Dr Who could work today? The scientist of the unknown, not the clown who knows everything?
posted by EnterTheStory at 2:49 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Seriously, go look on craigslist, ebay, or even worse used instrument shops.

it's a strange time in the market - you can get used run of the mill guitar pedals for good to really cheap these days - multi-fx pedals tend to be heavily discounted - true, they have their weaknesses, but there's generally a couple of things they do well

dx7s are pretty much regarded as a classic synth these days, which is why they cost a little more than the average digital based synths, which are a bargain these days, because they're out of fashion

used analogs are overpriced and over hyped - for the price of a couple of those, you can get a pile of late 80s to 2000 digital synths, throw in another pile of rack fx from that time period, get a volca and still have money left over for guitar pedals - at least, that's what i did

there's a lot that can be done with that kind of set up

i think ehx pedals are a little pricey, but i do have a ring thing, which is an amazing ring modulating, pitch shifting box - i used to want a hog, but then discovered i had other ways to get those sounds
posted by pyramid termite at 3:00 AM on February 6


Can I talk about the Dr Who video?

Sure...

A real TARDIS, if it was really pushing the envelope of what is possible, would have an occupant and digital read outs just like this. It has been replaced by a pantomime version, with brightly coloured visual effects and ironic joking during breathless running around.

... but I really don't think this is the correct place.
The TARDIS is magic. It is what it is. Sometimes its a C64, sometimes clockwork, sometimes scrap.
The GUI doesn't affect the workings.
posted by Mezentian at 3:01 AM on February 6


The Doctor Who theme was composed by Ron Grainer and performed and recorded by BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Delia Derbyshire.

Delia Derbyshire was a composer and performer of electronic music — delia-derbyshire.org, a website about Derbyshire, has a great deal more information.

She was a member of experimental electronic music group White Noise and wrote what I think is a particularly oustanding track, "Love without Sound" (Soundcloud link, also on YouTube, Vimeo), from 1969's An Electric Storm.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:31 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


I used to have an old Clone Theory that didn't work.
I wanted that thing to work so baaaad.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 3:55 AM on February 6


I owned half a dozen EH pedals and boxes as a kid at least. Too bad they're long gone.
posted by spitbull at 4:08 AM on February 6


Warwick Streamer LX 5
V
Korg Tuner
V
Digtech Whammy WH-1 (the old one)
V
EHX Big Muff pi
V
MXR Blue Box
V
T21 SansAmp BassDriver
V
Boss Digital Delay
V
Boss Loop Station
V
(The venue's amp)
posted by jet_manifesto at 4:14 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


dwarfcraft, devi-ever

You're repeating yourself.
posted by drezdn at 4:28 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


I love the effectology series, thanks for posting it here. EHX has been doing some really interesting stuff with the likes of the 8 Step and their really expensive looper. The one frustrating thing is that they've started selling their takes on other companies' pedals. For example: the east river drive is definitely based off a tube screamer (I haven't seen the schematic yet, so I don't know if it's a straight clone) and the Soul Food even mentions in the marketing copy what pedal it's supposed to sound like.
posted by drezdn at 4:36 AM on February 6


I really dig the Telstar one

(Re: EHX cloning... I'm not against cloning pedals per se, it just seems like EHX should be above that sort of thing. Then again, many boutique builders have made big money off slightly tweaked clones of the EHX Big Muff)
posted by drezdn at 4:51 AM on February 6


SX short-scale fretless bass
V
Guitar Rig 5
V
maybe some other VST plugins
posted by Foosnark at 5:16 AM on February 6


Oh, right!

LiveWire A/B/Y
V
Korg PitchBlack Tuner
V
Guyatone Bass EQ
V
Boss CS-3
V
MXR Distortion+
V
BBE MindBender
V
Strymon El Capistan
V
Boss DD-7
V
Orange Tiny Terror
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:27 AM on February 6


I love my Stereo Memory Man With Hazarai, which is a great EHX pedal in the sense of all great EHX pedals in that there is nothing else remotely capable of doing what it does on the market. I modified mine with a jack for a footswitch to manage the tap/loop function because I don't run it on the floor like a guitarist (playing the knobs is where the magical squishy wonderness happens). Of course, like my other EHX, the also-distinct Freeze, you can't run the damn thing on a power supply chain because HUMMMMMMMMM, which is annoying, because my rig needs to fit on a motorcycle and not be encrusted with malignant electrical polyps.

Complaints aside, the thing I love about EHX is that they don't seem to always work from the marketing backwards—they just throw out the occasional idea with the notion that the people who get their hands on it will figure out what it's meant to do, and the Effectology series is a nice way of giving case studies to inspire people to reach for new sounds by coming up with insane ways of creating old ones.

As a resolute unguitarist, I always sort of envy wild pedalboards, even though I think it's dumb that they're on the floor with the knobs so far away, but unfortunately I made a savvy musical buying decision more than a decade ago that ruined my potential for colorful clunky fun—I bought myself a handful Nord Micro Modulars, and there is not now, nor will there ever be, any pedal or collection of pedals short of a roomful that can do what one little red box can do, discounting long delay effects. It is truly a little red Tardis full of stars.

Keith McMillen QuNexus + 2X Doepfer Pocket Control + iPod Touch/TouchOSC
\M/ \M/
[MIDI MERGE 2X2]
\M/ M>Nord
iPod Touch [Animoog, DXi, Bebot, NanoStudio] + Mic > preamp
v v
[SUBMIXER]
v
Korg Pandora PX3
v \other musician's feed/
Boss RC-3
v v \M from MERGE/
Nord Micro Modular [miniaturized room full of Moog modules]
v v
[Lexicon Vortex, depending on the gig]
v v
EHX Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai
v v
TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb
v v
MIX + Zoom H2 + [occasionally Alesis Wedge]
v v
PA

posted by sonascope at 5:42 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


And since now this is Gearslutz:

Elektron SidStation (1999)
Elektron MachineDrum SPS1-MkII
Ace Tone Top-1 -> Vox Pathfinder 15R
Casio SK-1 (un-modded)
Moog Etherwave Theremin (black)
Korg Monotron
Korg Volca Keys
Yamaha Motif ES7 (mostly for live gigs, is a MIDI controller in the studio)
Eventide H3500D/FX
EHX V256*
Voodoo Labs PedalPower Pro (best investment ever!)

* I love, love, love the V256. There isn't another vocoder on the market with that form factor and its feature set (MIDI in, parallel carrier / modulator I/O, built-in internal synth, sweepable bandwidth, phantom power). EHX hyped its "reflex tune" capabilities at launch in a hilariously creepy video which was, IMHO, a mis-step since that feature is the least interesting part of the box.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:08 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


amazingly well crafted pro grade guitar pedals of Electro-Harmonix

That tweeked me as well. EHX effects are some of the noisiest and poorest made gizmos out there. But then I saw that the Dr. Who demo was proudly using the Big Muff Pi as a white noise source. That's playing to your weakness as strength.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:11 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Custom-built strat with vintage noiseless pickups and a mid boost circuit
V
Dunlop volume pedal > korg pitch black tuner
V
Vox V847 wah
V
MXR super comp
V
Boss Flanger
V
Boss Super Chorus
V
Fulltone Mini-Déjà-Vibe 3
V
Modded Boss Super overdrive
V
Another modded Boss Super overdrive
V
Fender Eighty-five Amp
posted by wabbittwax at 7:20 AM on February 6


I don't think they actually accurately recreated the original Who theme at all. The original is pretty stark and quiet, while the recreation had a ton of white noise (and other fx) layered over it, which I don't hear in the original.

It was pretty cool for what it was, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:53 AM on February 6


This is fun.

'72 Telecaster Custom Reissue
V
TC Polytune
V
Barber Tone Press
V
Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Classic
V
Barber Direct Drive
V
Blackout Effectors Musket
V
EHX Ring Thing
V
EHX Deluxe Memory Boy
V
1976 Ampeg VT-40


I like EHX because they make weird, interesting pedals. I initially thought I was going to use the Ring Thing for all kinds of crazy ring mod bleeps and boops. Instead it's become my tremolo, my Leslie simulator, my chorus, and my Whammy substitute.

On the other hand, I just could not get the sound I wanted out of either the NYC Big Muff or the Big Muff with Tone Wicker. But the Musket, which is a more-tweakable Muff clone, gets me there.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 7:58 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


TELLURIDE SUPERMAGNETIC ULTRACOPPER STRINGS, 12-60
V
ORIGINAL PAISLEY STRAT WITH "GIOTTO FLAKE" CLEAR COAT
V
LACE SENSOR "CRAB JUICE" DOUBLE REVERSED POLE PIECE PICKUPS
V
8 WAY SWITCH SALVAGED FROM RUSSIAN NUCLEAR TARGETING COMPUTER
V
ALPS "VISCONTI" POTENTIOMETER
V
NASA TUBE SCREAMER
V
NAGRA ANALOG IIR FILTER PARAMETRIC EQUALIZER
V
WAVAC 200B WITH WESTERN ELECTRIC 300B TUBES IMPEDENCE MATCHING STAGE
V
BEN & JERRY"S "FUZZY HUBBY" CHROMATIC NOISE INJECTOR
V
3COM NETWORK INTERFACE WHICH FEEDS MY SIGNAL TO PHIL SPECTOR'S HOUSE AND BACK
V
CRATE 1x10
posted by Teakettle at 8:17 AM on February 6 [6 favorites]


This telecaster isn't shell pink. It's the exact color of a patch of skin where Richard Lloyd had left a bruise and Tom Verlaine had left a hickey before they got another guitar tech. Pantone# PMS 177.
posted by Teakettle at 8:30 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


AB/Y box. Two amps at once. The best!
posted by Zerowensboring at 8:50 AM on February 6


I can't resist.

Telecaster
v
TC Polytune
v
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
v
Boss CS-2 Compressor
v
Crowther Hot Cake
v
BYOC Mighty Mouse
v
Boss GE-7 EQ
v
BYOC Phase Royale
v
Marshall Vibratrem
v
BYOC Analogue Chorus
v
Boss DD-6 Delay
v
Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay
v
Egnater Tweaker

The BYOCs (Build Your Own Clone) are particularly fun as they are kits for clones or improvements on classic analogue pedals that you solder together yourself ... a great way to learn how they work.
posted by drnick at 9:05 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


So so many batteries, wallwarts, and patch cords!


A guitar
V
hex p/up
V
a bit of advanced planning
V
Roland VG-88*# (aka 'The Steath Doormat')
V
Roland AC-60 acoustic guitar amp (or DI)

---------------------------------------------
*optional Alesis Quadraverb GT, if I really need a ring modulator
#optional Danelctro Free Speech talk-box


In a box in the basement: posted by Herodios at 9:25 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I'll just say that TheGearPage.net has ruined me for guitar pedals and effects. RUINED ME, lol! I used to be a "straight into the amp" guy. Now? You know you've crossed some sort of Rubicon when you are able to discern (and care about) the difference between regular and high gain versions of the same germanium transistor. Standard gain "white dot" NKT-275 4 LIFE, bitchez!
posted by mosk at 9:59 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


EHX effects are some of the noisiest and poorest made gizmos out there.

I get this, sorta, in that you want your gear to be clean and reliable, but on the other hand, "noisiest and poorest made" applies to virtually every analogue synthesizer ever made, some of the very, very best effects, and everything else from great cars to amazing restaurants.

The TC reverb I use is clean and gorgeously well-finished, as is any Boss device I've ever owned, but it's the warty, hairy, foul-smelling, grimy, fucked-up little boxes that contain multitudes.

The Lexicon Vortex, for instance, is a bizarre thing, built at the height of the morphing fad in film, that runs a stack of two different programmable (with difficulty) effects in slots A/B, with the setup that you can trigger a morph between the two states with a switch, set to change over a time, or you can use a CV pedal (or source) to crossfade. It's great for boilerplate things like Leslie sims, but when you set up really incompatible slots and then use the CV to just explore the 13-dimensional spaces in between A and B, it blows up and freaks out and runs wild in ugly, horrific ways and...somewhere in the gaps, becomes freaking celestial. It didn't sell well because it takes years to figure it out and most people didn't bother, but oy vey, the things that wretched little thing can do.

Mind you, they're terrible and you don't want one and I've got dibs on all of 'em on Ebay.

The Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai is the same sort of thing. Peculiar, good as boilerplate, but when you screw around with it, there are sounds in there where you just scratch your head and wonder "where the hell did that come from?" That's the strength of EHX. For the basics, you're better with indestructible, clean Boss and TC and whatever, but if you don't mind occasional screeching blow-ups on stage or lots of figuring things out, the best built or best engineered isn't always the ne plus ultra.
posted by sonascope at 11:23 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Acoustic/Electric
V
Morley AB/Y Switch Box
V V
Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer Boss TU-2 Tuner
V
Boss AD-3 Acoustic Multi-function (Chorus, Reverb, Anti-Feedback)
V
Maxon OD808 Overdrive
V
Line6 DL4 Loop/Delay
V
LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI Box
V
House
posted by hootenatty at 11:25 AM on February 6


I'd totally forgotten about the Effectology series (totally bookmarked now, tho), and that Dr. Who vid was fantastic, so thanks for posting, mediocre.

For some more entertaining videos, if you poke around the EHX website you can find some demos hosted by Mike Matthews (founder of EH) himself which can be . . . . . . unique . . . . .

Seconding mosk that the long and varied story of EH is totally fascinating. IIRC, Matthews' interest in importing vacuum tubes from former Soviet-bloc countries, and his later investment in the factories themselves was pretty important in keeping tubes available in the West during the 90's.

That tweeked me as well. EHX effects are some of the noisiest and poorest made gizmos out there.

Kinda depends on the era, IMO, but I see your point. On the other hand, for some people that's more feature than bug, or at least part of the charm.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:34 AM on February 6


Oh yeah, and when I was actively playing gigs:

80's MIJ Squier Tele w/ Bartolini Strat pickup in the neck & SD Hot Tele in the bridge
V
TubeWorks 901 Real Tube Overdrive
V
DOD FX10 Bi-Fet Preamp as a boost
V
Blackface Fender Dual Showman
V
Sunn 4 x 10 open back cabinet & Laney closed back 4 x 10


I now somehow own more guitars & pedals (working, non, & in-between) & amps than I can shake a stick at. I swear they must be breeding while I'm not looking.

Somehow no EH pedals, though, but that new Soul Food pedal looks tempting . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 11:47 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: the warty, hairy, foul-smelling, grimy, fucked-up little boxes that contain multitudes.
posted by tspae at 12:43 PM on February 6


Jaguar/Rickenbacker 320/Strat
|
Boss Tuner
|
Electroharmonix Metal Muff
|
Vox Wah
|
Vintage analog delay
|
Boss Super Chorus
|
Boss Super Tremolo
|
Boss phaser
|
Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive Overdrive

(sometimes Boss Loop Station)
|
Vox AC 30


The only thing missing is the talent.
posted by Random Person at 12:57 PM on February 6


I only give a shit about PRECISELY ONE THING about Doctor Who -- but luckily it's the original music, which is awesome. And this is likewise awesome. Thanks!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:29 PM on February 6


I think this is like the golden age of guitar effects gadgets. I envy us, really.
posted by thelonius at 2:10 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


'80s MIJ Squier Strat (w/MIM Fender pickups) | '80 Gibson "The Paul" | '65 Harmony archtop
V
Boss FZ-3 Fuzz
V
Crybaby wah
V
Dingotone Big Sky Drive
V
EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress
V
Digitech delay
V
Thorcraft Mustang amp
posted by arto at 7:46 PM on February 6


When bitten with the pedal bug, something I try to keep in mind; Angus Young's signals path:

Gibson SG
v
Marshall
posted by drnick at 7:52 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Angus Young's signals path

Same for Sonny Sharrock, except with a Les Paul. Which I find kind of amazing given the range of tones and noises he was able to wring out of it.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:06 PM on February 7


today's recording had the following signal paths

squier ssh bullet strat
v
behringer reverb pedal
v
behringer echo machine pedal
v
ehx hot tubes nano
v
line 6 x3 pod, supro amp

squier ssh bullet strat
v
behringer reverb pedal
v
behringer echo machine pedal
v
behringer ultra shifter harmonist
v
line 6 x3 pod, supro amp

the behringer pedals are cheap copy cats of boss pedals that aren't quite right and can be pushed to do wrong things, especially if you push them by putting the signal chain ass-backwards from what guitar tradition dictates - the reverb causes instability in overdrive and distortion pedals, as does the echo machine (and the digital delay) and the ultra shifter harmonist does weird things when you play chords into it, especially if reverb or delay comes first - much more than a boss super shifter will

i have a beta aivin multi fx pedal whose pitch harmony setting NEVER does things right - a couple of days ago, i fed that, with its delay, into the ultra shifter to a battery operated orange micro crush miked by an old electrovoice mike - i reamped it through amplitube 3 with digital delay

total wrongness - angus young would probably try to have me arrested

i do have better pedals - and a boss gt-8 and other mutlifx that do things right when that's what i want

but cheap pedals often do things that you just don't expect
posted by pyramid termite at 6:10 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I got a guitar a few months ago, and I've managed to hold myself to buying a volume pedal. Oh and a used Roland Cube amp, which has some effects in it. This discipline will not last, I can tell. It's a little scary, on the precipice: a man could clearly very easily destroy his financial prospects for many years, if he follows the way of the 9 volt battery. That Crazy Horse pedal is only $200, hmm. Oh and I need a stereo reverb. You can see why there are so many divorced guitar guys.
posted by thelonius at 7:49 PM on February 7


This discipline will not last, I can tell. It's a little scary, on the precipice: a man could clearly very easily destroy his financial prospects

You've got GAS, Thelonius.

We're here with you, son. We'll ride it out together.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:20 PM on February 7


Angus Young's signals path

Same for Sonny Sharrock, except with a Les Paul. Which I find kind of amazing given the range of tones and noises he was able to wring out of it.


Which ought to tell you all you need to know about signal paths. Angus Young through a million stomp-boxes would still be a one-trick pony.

You're going to sound like who you are.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:30 PM on February 7


I got some sort of telecaster knockoff (it's called an Orlando) and a "Regal Musical Instrument Co." tube amp that looks like it's from the 40's or something (model number 100, serial number 5648). It has a "Rola" speaker in it and the model number for it is too smudged to read. I got them as a deal from a thrift store. I've seen differing stuff about the Orlando, and nothing about the Regal. I don't want to derail the thread but if anyone here knows anything about this amp (imgur album) let me know!

Anyway, I also have a Kustom KGA16 that I've been playing for 10 years. It's one of my favorite amps and even though it's solid state it has a really really mean distortion channel. I love it a ton. I don't have many pedal right now, so for me it's the Orlando into a Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb into the Kustom amp. Sometimes I'll throw my friend's Boss RC-3 Loop Pedal in there for fun.

I really need to update what I have to play music with :/
posted by gucci mane at 9:48 PM on February 7


the behringer pedals are cheap copy cats of boss pedals

Most are copies of discontinued Boss pedals, but your Echo Machine (list price $59, street $49, which I also own) is a copy of the Line 6 Echo Park (list $279, street $150).

And, yeah, aside from the plastic build, the Behringer pedals are awesome, easily worth double their list price, and very welcome as far as I'm concerned, since the original discontinued pedals frankly just aren't worth the prices they fetch used. They're collectors' items. Like beanie babies.

For example, I also have the Ultra Tremolo/Pan -- cost me thirty bucks -- based on the Boss PN-2, which currently has several listings on eBay for five to ten times that. It's a tremolo pedal, folks! Not even a very good one. It's only got triangle and square waves. All it's got going for it is that it also pans, but there are dozens of much better pedals that do that and more for less than a used PN-2.

And the Boss Slow Gear is listed on eBay from $350 to six hundred damn dollars, and all it does is automatic volume swells, which you can do easily enough manually with your pinky and your guitar's volume knob--or if you've got some room on your pedal board, a volume pedal. The Behringer clone's $30. That seems about right.

There's also some great stuff (for the price) coming out of China these days (Joyo, Biyang). Cheapskates rejoice!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:16 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I think this is like the golden age of guitar effects gadgets.

Yup. Between the relatively high quality of the pedals coming out of Asia, and a lot of inventiveness on the part of the major manufacturers, and the number & inventiveness of smaller "boutique" companies (a lot of whom are selling their stuff for pretty average prices), a player's got an almost overwhelming array of options at all kinds of prices.

There's also some great stuff (for the price) coming out of China these days (Joyo, Biyang). Cheapskates rejoice!

So I've got a couple of "vintage" DOD flangers that I may or may not be able to get working again (they sounded great when they did work), and while I was monkeying around with them one day I thought, "I wonder what other flangers are out there?"

Found the Joyo for like $40 online, so what the hell. Plugged it in and went, "Well, that's okay . . . . . I wonder . . . . " So I took it apart, and sure enough each control also has a tiny internal trimpot, and with some judicious tweaking took the thing from "average flanger" to "WooHoo!! Spaceship noises !!!!" Good stuff.

the original discontinued pedals frankly just aren't worth the prices they fetch used. They're collectors' items.

Well but then you sell your old pedals that've been sitting in the closet to the collectors and use the dough to buy new (to you) stuff. Win-win.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:29 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


GAS, no doubt. But my gear money is encumbered. I just spent a bunch on the guitar and the Roland amp and a little Orange amp. One of the purposes of buying it was to learn how to set it up and do some work on it - it's a 10 year old Mexi Strat, if I break it, I'll get another and break that one too. So I spent more dough on tools and stuff, and I replaced the floating tremolo bridge dingus and the nut.

So that's stuff that has to be paid off....the next big thing, though, is restoring the 1981 Rickenbacker 4001 bass, which is going to cost a couple of hundred in parts. That's before I hit the wall with what I can do, and pay someone to refret it. I don't even think it's going to sound all that great when I'm done, but I have to do it. Then I can send one of the Rick-O-Sound outputs through the thing that makes your bass sound like a glockenspiel or a kazoo.
posted by thelonius at 1:17 AM on February 8


Definitely I am going with guitars etc for my mid-life crisis; it's a solid option and I'm not a car person.
posted by thelonius at 1:27 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]


And the Boss Slow Gear is listed on eBay from $350 to six hundred damn dollars

i saw an old boss vibrato pedal at my local guitar center for 445 - meanwhile, the behringer copy can be bought used for under 20 and if you find a boss gt8 for just under 200, which is not hard to do, you pretty much get it all - the vibrato, the slow gear, all the other cool pedals and a sitar simulator which sounds nothing like a sitar, but can do odd things to the timbre

but those aren't "real" fx to some people, which is why they're willing to pay 445 for an old pedal - the old stuff that's "in" costs an arm and a leg, but the stuff that's "out" can be gotten really cheap
posted by pyramid termite at 3:28 AM on February 8


since the original discontinued pedals frankly just aren't worth the prices they fetch used. They're collectors' items. Like beanie babies.

Or a Klon. (Current bid is $1,550.)
posted by cribcage at 9:05 AM on February 8


Which EH's new Soul Food is supposedly a klone of. . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 11:05 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


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