Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Vintage Guitar Pedal Print Media


For about as long as I have been collecting pedals, I've also been collecting pedal related media; catalogs, ads, books, brochures, warranty cards, magazines, etc.

They were always just cool to look at and experience a small taste of what it was like when these were originally being released.

But it wasn't until this past year when I started writing again that I realized how much I actually relied on this old media to help tell the stories of when and where many of these pedals came from.

The further you go back, the harder it is to determine exact dates with any of this stuff. And even some of the most important fx of all time, like the Big Muff, still have their true release dates shrouded in mystery. 

Which is exactly why I began to properly catalog all the media I have lying around; by date, publication, brand, and model. The stories of these pedals have been told and retold thousands of times over the years, and many of them are inaccurate at best, but oftentimes the most repeated pedal lore is a complete fabrication. So having an accurate database of images that show the Big Muff was available to buy in April of 1970, for instance, helps a lot in narrowing down what is true vs. what is not.

I assume that if you're reading this that you have a similar interest in the history of guitar effects pedals. And while there aren't too many of us out here digging for that history and making it freely available on the internet, we wouldn't be able to tell these stories accurately without this forgotten media.

So my ask for you all, is if you have any physical or digital copies of catalogs, trade journals, order forms, brochures, magazine articles, ads, warranty cards, etc., and would like to contribute to this site (and eventually a fully public database), please contact me via Email or Instagram.

I keep Tone Machines completely sponsor/ad free and make no money from doing this. It's purely a passion project. And while I love tracking this stuff down myself, I feel as though I have hit the end of what is currently available online. So any new scans or photos could be the missing key that helps unlock the true history of guitar pedals.

Thanks for reading,

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