Category Archives: Effects

Finding the Fuzzy Magic: Analog Man Mike Piera Mods and Demos our Fuzz Face

In the world of boutique fuzz pedal effects, Analog Man Mike Piera’s creations are among the most well-known and respected due to his attention to detail. His Sun Face fuzz is his most popular and based on the original Arbiter England Fuzz Face which was first introduced in 1966, but unlike the original which was built with a range of poorly matched components and haphazard quality control, Piera’s are built like finely tuned machines with every component being carefully measured and tested. Fuzz connoisseurs like Eric Johnson have reportedly gone through hundreds of Face Faces until finding just the right one.  In any fuzz based around germanium transistors, proper matching, leakage testing, and biasing are all critical in order to get the most musical and harmonically rich fuzz.

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Line6 Relay G10S Wireless Review

Wireless technology has come a long way over the past couple decades, and analog and digital units both are upping their game with improvements in sound quality, performance, and reduced latency. The Line6 G10S is the newest member of the Line6 Relay wireless family, which offers a broad range of wireless units for all applications and budgets.
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Boss Returns with Spatial Effects in Latest Waza Craft Dimension C Reborn!

In 1985, at the height of our world becoming ever more digital and complex, Boss bucked the trend and introduced its Dimension C DC-2 compact pedal, an analog spatial effect that was also surprisingly simple to use. With its four push-button modes, I remember at the time I scoffed at the simplicity and limited features being offered by Boss’ newest pedal.
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Ibanez Nutube Tube Screamer vs. original TS-808

In a market saturated with numerous different Tube Screamers in addition to various clones and modified units, Ibanez recently introduced a bold and unique entry with its latest Nutube Tube Screamer. The Nutube Tube Screamer most notably uses a Korg-designed Nutube module, which is said to work in a similar way to a traditional vacuum tube. However, as I’ll discuss later, this isn’t the feature that impressed me the most with the Nutube Tube Screamer, although the NuTube technology itself certainly will grab the most attention for prospective buyers.
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Analog Man Astro Tone Fuzz Review: The Fuzz to Win Over the Anti-Fuzz Player

Fuzz pedals are notoriously finicky. Not only can some fuzz boxes themselves sound different based on their own component variances and the environment or temperature they are used in, but they are always dependent on the gear that they are being used with as well. Case in point is the classic germanium Fuzz Face beloved by Hendrix. Sure, when it’s in front of a Marshall that is already overdriven, you’ll get some magic happening by adding those bits of germanium magic.  But…

…stick that same Fuzz Face in front of a Fender blackface amp and you’ll hear a whole different, and very ugly, side to the Fuzz Face. And turn on the bright switch on your old blackface and you’ll be pummeled with an even more horrid and brittle sound.
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Mike Fuller Obsesses Over a New Version of the Fulltone OCD Overdrive and Introduces the OCD V2

The Fulltone OCD, otherwise known as the Obsessive Compulsive Drive, is not only one of Mike Fuller’s best-selling overdrive/distortion units of all time, it has also been heralded and awarded accolades by the media since its introduction 12 years ago. Along the way, Mike has continued to make mild tweaks to the circuits and I remember playing through and trying each version myself. Mike continued to be obsessive about his OCD and I enjoyed listening to the results.

Now in 2017, Fulltone has launched what it is being dubbed as the “final” version of the OCD, the OCD V2. The OCD V2 packs a number of new updates and features, so we took a look to compare it to its predecessor, the OCD version 1.7.
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Talkboxes and Vocoders Reviewed From BOSS and TC HELICON

Guitar effect signal processing has become more advanced in the past several years as DSP engines have allowed musicians to obtain more specialized, advanced effects that are easy-to-use and available in smaller form factors. Today we’ll look at two effects for guitarists and vocalists that enable classic talkbox effects as well as vocoder synthesizer sounds in convenient small stomp box-sized packages.

These two units from BOSS (the VO-1 Vocoder, $249 street) and TC HELICON (Talkbox Synth, $249.99 street) offer similar overall sonic features, but they each take different approaches with how they are used in a guitarist or vocalist’s system and also in how the talkbox and vocoding effects are processed and applied.
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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.
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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.
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