Friday, April 26, 2024

The Randall FX Line (Late 70s)

For just about 3 years (1977-1979) Randall Amplifiers got into the effects game with a set of 5 pedals; the RP-1 Phase, RP-2 Phase, RP-4 Phase, Notch Generator, and the Envelope Generator

Randall RP-4 Notch Generator

Randall RP-1 Phase RP-2

So where did these come from and were they any good?

In late 1976 Seamoon engineer Jerry Pynckel decided to part ways with the brand, where he had developed a few of their best products; the Funk Machine II, the Controlled Tone Preamp, and the Studio Phase.

Seamoon Studio Phase

His first solo venture into the effects world was starting a brand where he could really flex his engineering skills. It was called Design Technology and featured an innovative roster of pedals; including the Flange Delay Line, the Notch Generator, the Phase Delay Line, and the VCO-VCA(*as of now it is unknown whether this came before or after Seamoon)

If you look at the photo below I'm guessing you'll notice that the Design Technology pedals look strikingly similar to the Randall line. And also, some are literally the same exact product; the Notch Generator, the Phase Delay Line (RP-4), and the VCO-VCA (Envelope Generator).

And you would be 100% correct in your observation! Because in late 1977 Pynckel landed a deal with Randall to build their pedals, and it was a fairly easy transition as he simply adapted the Design Technology effects to the Randall aesthetic (or more accurately, the other way-around). 

In fact, the Notch Generator was an even earlier design he utilized during his Seamoon days, as the Controlled Tone Preamp (albeit, the Notch Generator kicks out a much grittier and crunchier tone). And the RP-2 Phase is supposed to be an adaptation of the his design for Seamoon, the Studio Phase (which was later modded and rereleased as the Studio Flanger, which itself was further adapted by Analog Digital Associates and released as the famous A/DA Flanger... but that's another post entirely).

Both the Design Technology and the Randall pedals are pretty rare, and some of them I can't even find photos of. But I do have the Envelope Generator, which is a super fat sounding auto-wah, and the Randall Notch Generator, which sounds amazing! It's like a giant cookie monster sounding fuzz with a fairly unique tone control.

Randall Notch Generator

In addition to the elusive Design Technology pedals, one effect from the Randall line I have not been able to find even a photo of is the RP-4 Phase. So if you happen to have one please reach out via Email or Instagram, or comment below and let me know! I would love to document their existence beyond just a catalog image.

thanks as always for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment