How to Chain Your Effect Pedals – A Basic Primer

We’d like to introduce and welcome a guest blog from Natalie over at MusicalAdvisors.com. She has some tips to offer for those interested in using guitar effects. Consider these a good starting point for readers looking for introductory advice – DS

Guitar effect pedals are an excellent way to take your music to the next level by adding texture, volume, resonance, or modulation effects. The best guitarists in history, such as Hendrix and Van Halen, have made effect pedals a staple for all rock styles of music. As a musician myself, I’ve learned the ideal way to organize my pedals on a pedalboard through years of trial and error. If you’re looking to create a pedal chain to make your music more complex, there are a few basic principles you can follow to optimize your sound.
Continue reading

When Newer IS Better – Fender Innovates with New Mustang GT Amps and Tone App

Guitarists (myself included) tend to live in an unusually backward-technology world. Meaning, what was made back then was generally always considered better and more valuable than what is being made now. The proof is in our love of all things vintage, whether we’re talking tube amps, guitars, or effects.

While there is certainly some validity to the argument of certain aspects of “older is better” being true (I would argue that this is true if we are speaking about vacuum tube production, wood availability in guitars, etc.) compared with what’s currently available now, continuing to make the claim of “older is always better” when discussed as an ENTIRE category of guitar gear I would say is false. And I still love vintage gear, but let’s explore this a bit and really think about it and remove our blinders for a moment.
Continue reading

Modified Classic Overdrive/Distortion Units Reborn from Analogman, Keeley, and TWA

Not every overdrive or distortion pedal has a pedigree that begins with the influence from a Tube Screamer. Many of today’s designers look to other classics to either modify or create their own variations. Today we’ll spend time with the Analogman DS-1 Pro Mod with midrange control, Keeley’s Super Phat Mod Full Range Overdrive and the Totally Wycked Audio (TWA) Hot Sake. Each has its own unique story and tone so join us as we explore them further.
Continue reading

George Lynch’s 1973 EP-3 Echoplex Tape Echo Previously Owned by Eddie Van Halen

frontevhechoplexI wanted to share an interesting story and historical piece for you, our dear readers. First some background on the Echoplex tape echo. If you haven’t played through an Echoplex, they are truly legendary tape echo units and should be experienced. In the 1960s and 1970s, when you wanted echo, tape echo was the way to do it. When smaller solid state echo pedals emerged during the mid ‘70s using Bucket Brigade Device (BBD) technology, they were convenient, but lacked the ability to produce long repeat times versus what a tape delay could offer (most analog solid state delay pedals were limited to just 300ms. of delay time). They also sounded different.
Continue reading

The Keeley Dark Side Workstation: Fuzz, Phaser, Univibe, Rotary, Flanger Multi-head tape delay

dark-side-workstation-fuzz-delay-face-keeley-no-trs-1000x1000The new addition to the Keeley line is an homage to the mid-70s David Gilmour sound, resting comfortably in the classic Dark Side to Animals (even The Wall) period of the Pink Floyd guitarist’s work. As with Keeley’s recent Jimi Hendrix-inspired Monterey pedal, the Dark Side sports beautiful workmanship, low noise, a great layout and a cornucopia of features. There’s a lot to cover, so I’ll plug in a stock early 70s Strat (I had to for this pedal!) to a clean Fender-style amp and put the Dark Side into play.
Continue reading

Boss DM-2w Waza Craft Delay vs. Vintage Boss DM-2 and DM-3 Delays

delay-group2The Boss DM-2w Delay from the Waza Craft series is an all-analog and re-imagined pedal that is inspired from the original and highly-coveted Boss DM-2 Delay released in 1981. Unlike the vintage DM-2, the DM-2w Delay adds stereo output and has a custom switch which extends the delay time from the previous limit of 300 ms. to 800 ms.
Continue reading

Education=Tone

davewliveAt LegendaryTones we certainly love discussing gear, but make no mistake, the gear is only part of the equation when it comes to tone and being a better player. A great player, with excellent technique and one who has the knowledge to apply musical principles, will not only be more enjoyable to listen to, but also have better overall tone. There certainly is truth to the adage, at least to some degree that “tone is in the fingers.”

One such musician who has spent years honing his craft is Dave Weiner (www.daveweiner.com). Dave runs GUITOPIA, on online guitar education website that is packed full of resources designed to make you a better player. Dave’s philosophy is to to teach in ways that focus on effectiveness and efficiency to maximize results. He focuses on creativity and opening up ways for players to develop their own styles. He does not, however, rely on tricks or gimmicks stating that players will become experienced, pro-level guitarists in a short period of time. At the end of the day, it still takes work and practice and what you get out of it is what you put into it.
Continue reading

Boss CE-2w Review: A Legend Reborn

vintnewIn the 1980’s, Boss pedals were regarded as best-in-class when looked at from any number of perspectives.  From the company’s well-deserved reputation for innovation and creativity, to it also having the most robust and virtually bullet proof effects available for touring musicians. Indeed, I was a loyal player of Boss pedals during my teens and proudly used an all-Boss pedal board for years. Let’s not forget that many great professional musicians also used those brightly-colored Boss boxes as well.

Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Boss developed a number of classic designs, and the CE-2 Chorus is arguably among the best and most famous of pedals Boss had ever produced. It was also the industry’s very first compact chorus unit (the earlier CE-1 was a larger AC-powered effect). The CE-2 was then upgraded in the mid-80s with a new cousin, the CE-3 Chorus, a model which added stereo output capability along with a fancy sparkling blue paint job. But for some reason, the CE-3 just didn’t have the same warmth in its chorus effect that the CE-2 had. In fact, for many years, both the CE-2 and CE-3 were available and sold at the same time and many players still preferred and purchased the CE-2.
Continue reading

Finding Your Distortion Tone (Hint: Mids)

1976MarshallheadftIf only things were so easy that we could buy the guitar we felt comfortable with, plug into an amp, maybe add a pedal or two, and then be done. Tone Nirvana. It usually doesn’t happen this way however. The problem is that there are numerous choices for gear and, and even more options for putting together the whole rig, to create an effective system that is optimized. And just how we use the equipment (whether for live use or studio recording) also makes a difference in finding what works for guitarists.

We recently wrote about the challenges with the Internet and its opinions. You can find as many people who will love or hate any particular piece of gear. This can become frustrating when trying to dial in a tone you’re interested in capturing.
Continue reading