Category Archives: Effects Features

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

Klon Centaur vs. Klon KTR

KlonCentaurKTR2When the original Klon Centaur professional overdrive was released in 1994, it was one of the very first boutique overdrive pedals on the market created for the player interested in fine-tuning their tone. Boutique in every sense of the word and hand built by its creator Bill Finnegan, each Klon Centaur was carefully crafted with premium and carefully selected parts. As other boutique pedal makers developed products throughout the decade and focused on expansion with other models, Finnegan stuck with the Klon Centaur as his sole focus.
Continue reading

Last Boutique Builder Standing: Richard Coibion of Monsterpiece Fuzz

Richard Coibion was hit by the effects building bug back in 2001. With a background Monstervariousand education in electronics engineering and having a steady career in IT, Coibion dabbled in modifying fuzz circuits and tuned them to his liking. He hadn’t ever considered making a career out of building effects however.
Continue reading

Reverb Pedal Buying Guide for Various Applications

Deciding which effects pedals are right for you can get pretty tough. There are a lot of great options out there, and, let’s face it, it’s hard not to feel like you want them all. Unfortunately, our rockstar aspirations rarely jive with our less-than-rockstar budgets. So we’re forced to choose between various pedals. If you are currently trying to decide on the right reverb pedal for your board, we’ve got some advice to help out. Today we’ll be looking at a few fantastic reverb pedals and discussing which applications each of them is best suited for.
Continue reading

Fuzz Feast Part 2 – An Assortment of Today’s Fuzzes

In part one, we spent some time with some vintage fuzz classics. Now let’s move forward in time and take a look at some Fuzzes that are currently on the market (with the exception of one which we’ll get to).

Fuzz, more than any other effect, really comes down to personal preferences. As a result, there is no judgment here with regards to what is the “better” fuzz unit – Just sonic descriptions and details that can help you make some choices depending on the direction that you’d like to go with your fuzz tones.

Continue reading

Fuzz Feast Part 1 – An Examination of Vintage Fuzz Boxes

I have a confession. As a guitarist for well over 25 years, I had always been an “anti-fuzz” person. In fact, I can honestly say I hated and despised the sound of fuzzes that I had heard. I couldn’t understand the point of purposefully making a guitar sound as atrocious and “lo-fi” as possible in mind. A fuzz tone after all, sounded nothing like an electric guitar should.

During this period of time, my search for the epitome of rock tone had to do with capturing rock guitar tones from the likes of players like Angus Young of AC/DC and of course Edward Van Halen. In my mind, any tone that deviated from those was simply bad tone, or at best, “sub-par.”
Continue reading

What Kind of Delay Pedal Should I Buy?

When shopping for delay boxes, it seems that there are many more different options today than ever before. The vintage market is still booming, and prices of basic analog delay boxes reflect this trend with skyrocketing prices. But are the old analog delays worth the hype? Counter that trend with digital delays, the very cool must-have tools back in the ‘80s. Nowadays, digital delays in the used market can be found at true bargain prices. But what about this talk about them being sterile and lifeless?
Continue reading

A/DA Flanger

I loved the sound of the flanger from the first time I heard it used on recordings. I thought the jet-sweeping flanging sound used on recorded drums was simply awesome. Then I listened to Eddie Van Halen’s guitar on “Unchained” and thought it was cool having the up and down sweeps of the flanger move along in time with the dropped D pedal tone riff. After hearing that, I just had to have one for myself.
Continue reading

Can the Ibanez TS808 Reissue be Modded for Exact Vintage TS808 Tone?

In our recent TS808HW feature, we compared the limited handwired unit along with the standard reissue TS808, the Maxon OD808, and an original TS808 from 1980. The results from the test overall were clear: while the TS808HW is a fantastic pedal, the vintage TS808 had the most dynamics, the longest sustain, and was judged the most transparent from ts808ribottom end to top end. This surprised us (because some of us felt that vintage Tube Screamers were mostly unwarranted hype), but it also set in motion a question that drove our curiosity further. Could one of us get the reissue TS808 to sound and feel like the original TS808 – a pedal that as of this writing in late 2008 regularly sells for between $400-$600 USD?
Continue reading