Sunday, December 29, 2013

Exhumed from the depths of Fuzz Past...

Way back in May of this year we did a post on the G.M. Fuzz Up FD3-A enclosure that I had recently acquired.  In that post we discussed the fact that I have never personally heard what the G.M. Fuzz Up sounds like, nor do I know any of the history...

Well, it looks like that little post was enough to draw the attention of our friend Scott N.  who contacted me last week to say that not only does he have a G.M. Fuzz Up, but he has a version I had never seen or heard of before; the FD3-B!
He was kind enough to send a few photos (sorry guys, no gut shots), and even took the time to record a nice youtube demo.

What an awesome dude///

Scott seems to recall purchasing the pedal around 1967 in Detroit, MI. Which, not surprisingly, is where G.M. originates. The paint on the enclosure has an almost fuzzy texture to it, which would predate the fOXX Tone Machine by a few years... If you look at the photo of the inside, you can see that they just painted over the enclosure of the FD3-A's, as it has that same burgundy red finish. Scott also pointed out that the knobs were different on both pedals.

Ok, a HUGE thank you! goes out to our friend Scott N. for helping us crack the mystery of the G.M. Fuzz Up, and also for taking the time to record this demo.

stay tuned, for hopefully more in depth details on the G.M. Fuzz UP FD3 saga///

thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Bushwhackin' Thanksgiving!

Thankful for...
About a year or so ago this crazy looking effect I had never seen before showed up on ebay, called the Bushwhacker.
In addition to its amazing name, it is probably the rarest out of an already rare line of pedals from Jennings Electronics (which lasted from the late 60's to the early 70's). I'm still not 100% sure of what it actually does, as I unfortunately lost the auction. But I can only assume it's some sort of fuzz/wah/leslie hybrid type-thing?

I'm betting that it sounds insane and amazing; but that's about all the info I have on this one...
maybe you have some more?
let me know in the comments, or send me a friendly email!

now, go eat till you pass out///

thanks for reading!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

cool cool old school, fuzz demo.

Check out this sweet demo of the badass Monacor Fuzzder (late 60's, early 70's fuzz)...

light it up///

big thanks to Waveclipper for the video!

thanks for watching.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sola Sound Tone Bender MKII - so perfect!

This has to be one of the best sounding pedals demo'd on youtube, ever.

(big thanks to Philip for his awesome FX demos)
thanks for watching!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jordan Bosstone (1968)

The story continues.--.
A while back we talked about the birth and initial incarnation of the original junior fuzz, the Jordan Bosstone, from 1967. That earliest version was something of an oddity when compared to the later ones, with it's low output and controlled buzzing fuzztone. But then in 1968 Jordan decided (thankfully) to switch it up, and go for the more aggressive tone that was growing in popularity at that time; with pedals like the Shin-Ei Companion Fuzz, Vox Tone Bender, and Mosrite Fuzzrite leading the way. Taking most of its cues from the Fuzzrite, this new raunchy little beast ultimately helped catapult the 'Legend of the Jordan Bosstone' into stompbox history...

Still located in Alhambra, CA at this point, Jordan made a big improvement with it's 2nd version of the Bosstone in 1968; One that proved to be a wise decision, as orders for this new little fuzzy toy came pouring in! Although the actual numbers are lost to history, the production of the V2 "Alhambra" Bosstone was in the thousands. Reported to be the tone for Robby Krieger on some of the Doors records (not verified), the little plugin fuzz with a huge splattering sound became very hip in the late 60's. And in fact, in 1970 John McLaughlin recorded with Miles Davis for the Jack Johnson album and used the Alhambra Bosstone in all it's grimey glory to close out the track "Right Off".

(go to 25:31 - 26:44)

With more and more musicians picking up on the Bosstone, especially in studio recording sessions, it became somewhat of an underground smash, despite being a small and delicate plugin fuzz.
The tone of the V2 Bosstone can be most closely associate with the Mosrite Fuzzrite, as stated above. It's just a messy sounding fuzz with the right amount of sizzle and scramble thrown in. At full Gain it's so fuzzy that you almost get, what I call, the Phantom Octave. Which sounds like an upper octave you would hear from a Univox Super Fuzz, but if you listen closely it's not actually there! You're totally f*cking with my brain Jordan/  For a good idea of what one of these dudes sounds like, check out this post we did a while back. It compares 3 different versions of the Bosstone, the first being this one: Jordan Bosstone (3 Versions)
Well, that about wraps up this little review of one of my favorite fuzz tones. This version, although not the one we usually associate with the "Bosstone Sound", is definitely badass and should be given a shot if you happen to run across one. They seem to show up a decent amount on ebay and other online places that sell pedals. So check her out!!! ok, I'll see y'all next time///

thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Some real deal pedal magic...

Here are some amazing photos provided to us by friend of the blog, Raphael, of his mint and beautifully original Dallas Rangemaster.

just take it all in, slowly///

thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

M3 Emthree Mini Synthy

What a cool octave pedal this is!

It's the M3 Emthree Mini Synthy, from the late 70's.
I'm not sure where this was made, but it sounds badass.

check it out///

a big Thanks! goes out to our good friend Ema, for the demo.

for more info on this little guy, make sure to check out the ToneHome website's awesome write-up:
ToneHome - M3 Emthree

so that's it for now,
(and yes, I am looking for one of these...)
thanks for watching!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Playmaster Fuz Box (1967)

(originally written up on this site)

So in my search for something completely different, I came across this crazy looking fuzz from Australia in the late 60's. Seems like it was a kit that came with the paperwork below.

So check it out!///

(if you have any additional info about this little oddity, let me know.)
thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hohner Tri Dirty Booster (1977)

All Hail...
In the guitar effects world some pedals have grown to an almost mythical stature; consistent and great reviews by the lucky few combined with a real lack of historical details, and just plain old rarity all add to the legend...

This week we delve deep into, what I consider, THE BEST Big Muff variant/clone of all time, the Hohner Tri Dirty Booster.

In the mid/late 70's Hohner, longtime maker of accordions and harmonicas, decided to get into the guitar effects game with the Hohner Sound Modifier Series.  The line carried a variety of treadle effects, a plugin fuzz and the Tri Dirty Booster. The current belief is that Hohner did not make these in-house, rather they were manufactured through a third party. Who this mystery pedal maker was is unknown, but as pointed out by Kit Rae's amazing Big Muff page, there are striking similarities between the enclosure of the TDB and the rare Rogue Fuzz.  So we can at least assume the same person made these...? right?

I can't say exactly why, but of all the fuzz variations out there the Big Muff has been like my version of the "Devil's Tower" from Close Encounters, calling in the night and causing me to collect and hoard all I can. The good news is, I feel that I am at a serene place with Muffs now, where I'm content with what I have but still hungry for more; only purchasing old, rare and foreign clones when they pop up. A huge part of this satisfaction comes from finally getting hold of a Tri Dirty Booster.

Most likely copied from an original Triangle Big Muff and then slightly tweaked, the TDB is pure perfection. It combines the best parts of my favorite Muffs; the raw character of an original Triangle Muff, the singing solos of the Ram's Head and the beef and big bottom end of the Civil War. The TDB has it all!!!

To break it down further, let's discuss the magic going on here. The Tri Dirty Booster is one of those rare fuzzes that can perform really any way you would like it to. If you are the lead player in your Metal, Doom, Stoner, 90's Alt Rock, Classic Rock or even fuzzed out Blues band then you can get down with this pedal. It's hard to describe in words, but the solos from the TDB are like nothing else I have heard. The only other pedal I have that comes close is the Guyatone FS-6, which we reviewed a few months back. The notes seem to bloom out from one another, creating this very fluid and seamless tone. The harmonics are extremely apparent too, which gives you a little wobble on some note combinations. It's all extremely cool and a big part of why the TDB is so special.

Being that it's a "copy" of an original Triangle Muff, if you are familiar with that sound, the TDB lends itself really well to rhythm playing and chords too.  With a thick crunch that you can almost take a bite out of, it was like a wet dream when I first plugged it in!  It's so hard to find a Muff-based pedal that doesn't flub out or get too muddy when drop tuning, but somehow the TDB keeps that big juicy low end without losing any tonal character.

Finally, on that note, the Tri Dirty Booster also acts very much like a Civil War Muff, with its bigger-than-life low end.  What I love about the Civil War/TDB is that there seems to be this hovering round, mammoth sized bubble engulfing each note.  It really cuts back on any harshness you may have at higher Tone knob settings, and instead produces these pure milky notes.

Compared to other 1970's Big Muff copies that I have come across, i.e. The Jordan Creator, The Sekova Big Muff, and the Maxon OD801, none of them come close to the overall BadAssity of the Tri Dirty Booster. Don't get me wrong, I actually love all of those pedals, and they are amazing for what they do. But one might be great on leads but terrible for chords, one might be amazing for chords and leads but doesn't have enough gain on tap, etc. I guess the big thing for me was searching for a Muff variant that really had all of the qualities I loved about the various models, and this is the only pedal that has ever come close, real close.

It is unknown how many of these were produced, but I can tell you that they are pretty damn rare. They come up much less often than the above mentioned pedals, but there are enough out there that other people have made a good case for them in the past. I think I can safely say that the consensus between the few known/lucky owners is that the Tri Dirty Booster sounds exceptionally good!

be on the hunt for one of these if you're in any way a fan of Big Muffs.
And I promise you won't be disappointed if you grab it!

and now for your yum yums///

thanks for reading!