Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Friday, August 19, 2022
Over the last month I have been happily losing my mind digging through old photos (that go way back to 2002) of all the weird, unique, and super rare pedals I have come across on the net. This past week I made an interesting discovery when I realized that the rare D&M Co. Distorto clearly has a sister pedal, made by a company with a similar name, in the same town, and roughly at the same time; the D-B Industries Supertone!
When the Distorto came up for auction back in 2015, while I'm still pretty bummed I missed out on it, I was very pleased that it wound up in the hands of fellow pedal collector, Simon Murphy of Good Fuzzy Sounds. Which means we got some insight to it's character; he described it as, "a lot like the FZ-1... louder and slightly bassier". It's circuit is thought to be based on the Maestro FZ-1, it was probably built around 1966, and Simon even found a potential connection to the best Steppenwolf song:
Here's the text from a web chat in 2006 with guitarist Michael Monarch:
"Hey Michael, What type of fuzz box did you use on the song called "The Pusher" from the first album?"
"Hello Robert... I had an old prototype distortion box called "Distorto" which I may have used. It was a silver homemade looking box with a big red footswitch button and the word Distorto on it. I don't know where I got it or what happened to it."
So that's super cool, and almost certainly is referencing the same "Distorto" we are discussing here. But what about the mysterious "D-B Industries Supertone", which I can't find any information on at all. anywhere. in the entirety of the internet. And the only real evidence that it even existed are these four photos I've had since the early 2000s...
The minute you start comparing these two you begin to notice the obvious similarities; the enclosure for both is a classic folded metal project box, the circuits may have different components but otherwise look pretty damn close, and the biggest similarity has to be those manufacturer stamps on the bottom plates (which while they are different fonts, follow the same pattern of company name-city-model name-serial number, all within a rectangle), oh and both were manufactured in Santa Ana, CA!
So have a look and see what you think. And please leave a comment if anything jumps out at you that could possibly tie these two together (or completely destroy my theory) even more!
And a big thanks goes out to Simon for the all the details and the video demo of the Distorto (go check out Good Fuzzy Sounds now!), and thank you for reading.
Monday, August 15, 2022
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???
thanks for reading!
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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!