Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Electro Sound Co. Big Muff Sustainar - demo

Here's one from my "Must Find" list.
It's a mid-70's Japanese Big Muff copy called the Electro Sound Big Muff Sustainar.
They seem to be fairly available in Japan, but not too many have made it over the pond.

So check it out!///

thanks for watching!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

G.I.S. Distortion Volume, that's amore!

ciao a tutti -!-

OK, so I was doing some webnerding last night and found this demo of the Italian-made G.I.S. Distortion Volume pedal, which is actually a pretty raunchy 60's style fuzz.


thanks for watching!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunn o))) Buzz (1967)

Darkest (mini) Monolith...

With the rise in (re)popularity of Sunn Amplifiers over the last 10 years, these hard-to-find little fuzzy bastards have become somewhat of a legend all their own...

The Sunn Buzz plugin was first introduced in 1966 with a small run of "prototype" units (like the one pictured below). They were Sunn's take on the popular Maestro Fuzz Tone FZ-1a, with the biggest difference being that they used silicon transistors instead of germanium.

In 1967 the Sunn Buzz got a little overhaul and became the unit we're discussing today; Which switched up some component values, the transistor type, and the look slightly. These new units were to be Sunn's big break into the effects world with full brochure adverts showing off this new black beauty;

"The Sunn Buzz model SB-1G is a high performance distortion device, compactly designed and constructed of lightweight shock resistant plastic.
Housing a complete three-stage transistor circuit, the SB-1G plugs directly into the instrument. Convenient control placement permits a variety of tone and volume settings during a performance."

Although it is unknown exactly how long they made the Sunn o))) Buzz, we do know that it stopped popping up in catalogs around 1969. So with possibly only 3 years of production, and poor sales in what was becoming a heavily saturated market, it seemed like Sunn had bowed out of the effects business for good.

This was bad news for Sunn and its followers; but today all of this just adds to the lure and mystique surrounding this cool box.

So what are we waiting for! Let's talk about how this baby sounds:/:

Like was stated before, the Sunn Buzz takes its cues from the Maestro Fuzz Tone FZ-1a. It runs off of one AA battery, which is enough for an effect like this. The sound is pretty cool, but I will say though, before anything else, that there is one area the Sunn Buzz does lack in, and that's the bottom. There is just NO low end whatsoever! It was quite annoying at first, as I could tell there was a really cool fuzz-tone hiding somewhere in there. So I decided the best way to fix this was by simply running it through either an EQ or a booster pedal like the UMI Treble-Bass Booster. And once I got that right, it was on///

Although the Maestro is a good point of reference, the Sunn Buzz is quite a bit meaner sounding. The first characteristic that stood out from its predecessor was that the overall tone itself is more of a controlled chaos. Where the Maestro, and it's cousin the MKI Tonebender, sound like someone has plugged into an exploding atom, the Sunn Buzz has the typical FZ-1a splat and static but with a steady, thick underbelly. And when paired with a bass booster of some sort, this can go from raunchy 60's fuzz to a primitive all out DOOM machine of death!!! or something...

OK, so maybe it won't make you sound like a down-tuned master, but it is damn cool nonetheless!

The name "Buzz" does fit it pretty well, in my opinion. If you roll back the gain knob just a bit you can easily get what I would consider a buzzing, squarewave tone; which is cool for your Satisfaction covers at the bar.

Here is a nice audio demo recorded by our friend Charge from the D*A*M forum with this more buzzy setting on display:
Sunn Buzz Clip

Well, there's not really too much more to the Sunn Buzz so we will just leave it at that, for now.

I hope you all dug this newest review post, and remember to keep digging for those old boxes of gold!


thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Super Exciting Fuzz demo!

Check out this really badass demo of the Mirano Exciting Fuzz; which was an early 70's Japanese copy of the Big Muff.

rock the fuzz on!

thanks for watching!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

LS Harmonic Sound Synthesizer?

I just came across this weird looking pedal today...

I guess it's less weird looking than it is a weird name for what looks like just a booster pedal?
To be totally honest I know nothing about these, nor do I know at all what they sound like. But since I have never seen one and it looks fairly old, then why not post it up here?

So, if you happen to have any info on this at all, please leave a comment below or contact me via email. I would love to know what this LS Harmonic Sound Synthesizer is all about.

Thanks for reading!
(and thanks to Studio1525 for the pics)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Shave and a Haircut, two...


I just found this demo comparing the surprisingly similar Sears/Crazy Face Fuzz with one of my all time favorites, the Morely Power Wah Fuzz.


thanks for watching!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Steelphon Fuzz - part due

A while back we posted a cool demo of the shadowy and mysterious Steelphon Fuzz. From that video you can tell it has a 60's fuzzy crunch, most associated with the Italian Vox Tonebender, and also some added balls and fire going on.

I was able to find one of these babies recently and it does not disappoint!  We will do a thorough review in the future and get into all the heavy details, but today I just want to put out there (so maybe someone who knows will respond) some thoughts I have floating around in my head about it...

Steelphon was an Italian amplifier company out of Turin that started in the 60's and went all the way to the 80's. They also made synthesizers, a guitar or two in the late 60's, and this fuzz box sometime between 1967 and 1969 (totally a guess, but it seems reasonable?). I don't really know too much about the company and I especially don't know much about the fuzz. Hence, this post.

So if you happen to know any more details, or if you could point me to the right place I would greatly appreciate it!  

Things I am trying to find out are:
1. exactly when the fuzz was made
2. who designed/built it
3. how many were made, and
4. was the "Pep" control inspired by the Rush Pep fuzz, or was there some other more interesting reason?

oh yeah, check out what was hiding inside///

thanks for reading!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Perfboard Triangle Big Muff v1 (1970)

Much obliged...
OK, Ok, ok; so I have had these photos on my hard drive for a while of this 1970 perfboard Triangle Big Muff. They were plucked from an ebay auction (that I unfortunately did not win) in hopes that we could find a reason to post them here at some point. A great idea I thought, especially since there aren't that many detailed pics floating around of these earliest Muffs. Unfortunately I kept putting it off and putting it off for so long that I actually forgot I even had the photos...

That is until luck had me recently and I got to experience an actual unit, here in Nashville, a couple weeks back. So, now that I am armed with a pretty good assessment of the sound, the taste and the grime, I figured that's as good a reason as any, so here's our newest post!

A while back we put up a crazy demo of one of these monsters in action. And if you remember that video it was apparent that there's something special about this fuzz.

The words "Holy Grail" seem get thrown around a lot when it comes to vintage effects. But if I had to pick a top 3 that for me actually hold this title; I would have to say first is the MKI Tonebender, then the Maestro Fuzztone FZ-1, and lastly this, the perfboard Triangle Big Muff. The original Muff is the Godfather of so many amazing tones and stompboxes that came afterward, this coupled with the rarity of these machines and you have yourself a genuine White Whale!

Like I said earlier, I was lucky enough to get to hear one of these golden idols in action a few weeks back, and was totally blown away! It sounded exactly like I had hoped it would.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of playing the more common V2 Triangle Muff will understand when I say it has that very typical scooped, "Muffy" quality we have come to know and love, mixed with all of those really gritty and raw tones we associate with the classic mid-60s fuzzes like the Fuzzrite and Vox Tonebenders. There is just this slight unhinged aspect that makes those Muffs unique and vintage sounding. Well, these perfboard V1 Triangle Muffs take this hint of the 60s to a whole different level.

I once got the chance to play through an authentic 1965 Tonebender MKI that was just an amazing fuzz and truly unique. It sounded something like old electronics that were on the verge of catching fire at any moment, like if a rabid raccoon suddenly became a pedal, like if you could plug directly into your wall socket and sweet sweet fuzz tones came out the other end. And when I heard the perfboard Triangle Muff for the first time it reminded me of all of this! Which, to me, was the ultimate sound; a fat, beefy Muff with all the rude and raw textures of an MKI Tonebender.

There is a cool video that was posted by our good friend Jerms, where they compare his V1 Perfboard Muff with three other V2 Triangle Muffs. They all sound amazing, but you can hear in the video that there is a special low end grind with the perfboard that you don't get with the other units. It's also just a little less "hairy" and scooped sounding.

Primitive and Raw, the names of the game:

I hope you guys enjoyed today's journey into fuzz unknown...
There is way more info on these and every other Muff on Kit Rae's site, so check that out if you never have. Also I would love to hear from you in the comments section if you have an original unit, especially if you have ever compared it to any later ones.

---Thanks as always, now enjoy the rest of your meat:///

thanks for reading!