I have been sitting on these photos for a while and really just haven't been able to find any more information than what I could in a couple of old forum posts, which sadly wasn't much at all...
Monday, December 4, 2023
Monday, November 20, 2023
But now with the endless amount of archived print media that exists there has yet to be a single ad or mention of the Big Muff before May of 1970 that anyone has been able to find; making that 1969 guess seem kinda wrong. And it's not just that the Big Muff didn't appear until that date, but that there are plenty of earlier EHX ads that show their full offering, minus the Muff.
Well, a few months ago I started buying up old copies of Crawdaddy, which was a bi-weekly Rock n' Roll newspaper out of New York that started in 1966 and ran through to 1979. And right there, on page 39, issue number 6, was the earliest ad I had seen showing a Big Muff!
Saturday, November 4, 2023
If you've followed this blog for a while you may have come across the first article I wrote on that very pedal shortly after figuring out what it was. (HERE'S THE LINK)
Well, after this discovery I sent it off to the incredibly talented pedal-builder Jerms, who traced and cloned it for me. (maybe some of you are lucky enough to own one of his copies?)
Later on we both decided to make his schematic public; so I went back and added Jerms' work to the end of my article. Shortly afterwards the diy pedal scene exploded with Fuzz-Stainer clones! And while I was initially surprised at the reaction, this is pretty typical for discoveries of any "new" circuits that have been hiding in almost complete obscurity for the past 30+ years.
Since then I only knew of one other original unit that existed, owned by Matt Wright of Wright Sounds. He had one for over a decade and ended up cloning it and releasing his version in 2010 as the Fuzz-Stang.
Well, after 12 long years of hunting, searching, and scouring, I have finally found a 3rd Sam Ash Fuzz-Stainer!
For a while I thought that my red pedal, since it was missing the original label, was most likely an updated version of the circuit; a "Mark III" possibly. And my main reasoning was based on the open holes in the pcb and the internal trimpot. It's easy to see this and conclude that there must have been an update to the circuit design at some point.
And if you look at my new Fuzz-Stainer, that conclusion seems even more plausible, as it's clearly the same pcb but with components in every slot and no trimpot in sight...
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
And one of the true gems of this era came in the form of a small rectangular desktop fuzz box, the Fuzz-A-Tort, designed by Sentry Manufacturing Company and released to the world January of 1968.
The first real introduction of the Fuzz-A-Tort was actually a month earlier, when Elementary Electronics magazine ran this teaser ad in their December 1967 issue; proclaiming that the new "way out" project will bring the reader "way in weird sounds"...
Thursday, October 19, 2023
I first came across The Effector Book on the Effeken Blog, who lends his collection and words to each issue. The covers were always super striking to me, and the fact that enough people cared about old guitar pedals to keep a print publication going this long, I knew they had to be good.
So after more than a decade I finally picked up the two issues I was most interested in, Japanese Fuzz and Upper Octave Fuzz. Being written completely in Japanese I knew I would need some assistance from my old friend Google Lens. And it seems to work pretty well!
Each issue has a main topic that is given a full deep dive and a good amount of dedicated pages. In addition to that they review newer pedals, have interviews, and generally nerd out on all things stompbox.
I highly recommend checking these out if you're a fan of this blog. Japan has a pedal legacy almost as long as the US, and depth of amazing circuits and brands that is unmatched.
And hey, if the Japanese can support such a venture, maybe we can too... 🤔
Thanks for reading,