Monday, August 15, 2022

FUZZY Pep Demo

Sometimes it can be almost impossible to find legit demos of pedals that fall into that "ultra rare" category, but lucky for us our good friend Rafmax has posted some of his insane collection over on his youtube channel

The one we're going to check out today is an awesome comparison video that features the unbelievably rare FUZZY vs. the WEM Rush Pep Box vs. the Maestro FZ-1 vs. the Maestro FZ-1A

Check it out:

Not sure how you all feel about that video, but after personally owning all of those pedals myself, I feel like the FUZZY sounds far and away better than both Maestro fuzzes; and it's so different from the WEM that it's hard to make a real comparison between the two. 

A couple of years ago I lucked myself into a FUZZY, that inevitably kicked open an entirely new door of speculation about the history and origin of this pedal... Is it German? Who designed it really? How many are actually out there??? 

So as always, if you happen to be a fellow owner of another FUZZY (with Pep) Fuzz, please shoot me a message either through email or instagram.

thanks for reading!


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Other SRS Pedal...

A little over 10 years ago I lucked into finding two pedals from a brand I had never heard of before, SRS; the now legendary EQ Exciter and the VCO Disco. These were being sold in two separate auctions and I actually won the VCO Disco first! After messaging a friend, Bart who runs the Effects Database website, about the pedals, he asked if I could possibly purchase the EQ Exciter for him since this was a US only auction. Neither of us had heard of "SRS" before, and being the pedal nerds we are that's more than enough excuse to acquire them. Well a week later they arrived and I plugged them in, only to be blown away by the grossly misnamed "EQ Exciter", which turned out to be an insanely HUGE sounding fuzz with a really unique tone control that had the kind of a sweep you'd typically find on a synthesizer! I knew at that moment I had to make my case to Bart that this pedal needed to stay here with me and that maybe we could do a trade for the VCO Disco instead. 😁 (I am still very grateful to him for his reluctant, but gracious acquiescence.)

So what about this other, much lesser known sister pedal, the VCO Disco...

Well, when it came to naming this one they were spot on! It's simply a fat and juicy envelope filter from the 70s with tons of character and all the funk anyone could possibly handle. I am personally much less familiar with this type of circuit but I have been told it is a modified version of the ehx Doctor Q. What I do know is that it sounded great compared to many of the other auto-wahs I've owned over the years.

So here are a couple photos I saved from that original auction. And just like I posted in our full writeup on the EQ Exciter fuzz, if you know anything about this brand or have a pedal yourself, please hit me up with a message! Because after 10 years, these are still the only two examples that have ever surfaced from SRS... 

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Fuzz and Feedback!

In May of 2021 I couldn't believe I was actually seeing an online auction for this pedal; one that I have been endlessly searching for, for just about 20 YEARS... This is the BM 104 Fuzz-Feedback, it is awesome, and it is finally mine. 

Long thought to be made by the other (and way more) famous B&M / Barnes and Mullins, it had otherwise been a bit of mystery as only a single photo of it existed on FXDB and no info. But now that I have it I'm not so sure who made it, what country it was made in, if the circuit is a modified version of something else, or exactly when it was made. So I have a bit of digging to do before I can write a full article.

But, I can say with a high amount of confidence that it does predate the BOSS DF-2 Super Feedbacker & Distortion by at least 5 years, and maybe more. It also functions a bit different than the BOSS, and sounds wayyyyyy better! Probably my favorite aspect of this is that the feedback is set to be triggered by that red momentary switch, so as long as you hold it down, you get feedback in the signal. But what makes this truly unique and special is that the feedback seems to not only stay in tune, but also starts off as a quiet oscillation and then builds in volume and intensity as you hold down the switch. Amazingly it somehow never gets too abrasive and stays musical even at its loudest!

So if any of you have additional info on the BM 104 Fuzz - Feedback please let me know! And if you happen to own one yourself, definitely reach out as I would love to compare the two and see if we can find any clues to its origin.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Disc Destroyer

Just found this demo for the super rare fOXX Power Machine plugin from the early 70s. What a cool sounding drive! 

The craziest thing about these, that you can't really see in this video, is the enclosure... It's like a small metal recycled flimsy snuff or coffee can disc with a bottom plate that was literally just a thin piece of plastic, or sometimes even cardboard, cut into a circle. 😂 The one I have is so fragile that it's amazing any of these survived!

It is unknown how many of these were made, but from what I can tell they came in Red, Blue, Black, and Purple. So there's at least 4 different units out there (but we're probably looking at somewhere between 15-100).

Check it out in all it's boosty and overdriven glory!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Box-o Tone

So lately I have been digging through some old photos and came across these; an amazing example of the super rare and legendary distortion pedal, Astro Amp's "Astrotone" (by Universal Amplifer Corp). Somehow this pedal survived all the way through the mid-60s and into the 2020's, where I assume it now resides in some other pedal nerd's collection...

Probably the most interesting thing about this is what we can read from the instruction manual and it's emphasis on the fact that it uses silicon transistors instead of germanium; Temperature Instability? NO MORE! I'm not sure how common this was for music gear in 1967, but it does seem like a legitimate selling point. I'm also into the final hyperbolic sales pitch that states the pedal "will last and sound better than any distortion generator you have heard before!".

 Thanks for reading!