Stompbox Gear Finds: Feb 2022
Need a new Stompbox? Find your next effect in this month's Gear Finds!
The H9 Max Harmonizer® effects pedal is full of Eventide’s iconic reverb, chorus, delay, modulation, pitch-shifting, and distortion effects. With the H9 Max, you can evoke the sonic landscape of legendary albums and open the doors to the creation of new sounds never heard before. The award-winning design of the H9 features a simple, one-knob user interface that allows easy effect editing and preset selection. Two onboard footswitches let you change presets, tap tempo, and bypass with your feet during live performance. The H9 offers studio-quality sound, stereo I/O, and full MIDI compatibility. With the free H9 Control app, you can create set lists, edit and manage presets wirelessly via Bluetooth.
To be called “legendary” is to have shaped music as we know it. From the Rolling Stones to the Raconteurs. From Pete Townshend to George Harrison and from Clapton to Frampton. They strived to coax the truest expression from their instruments - the sound they heard in their heads and their hearts. Their signature sound - so uniquely shaped by effects that it changed everything. It’s the Fuzz-Tone FZ-1 that fuels the groundbreaking riff in the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and the funky wah filter that anchors the “Theme from Shaft.” While the impact they had on the lineage of music is also unique, many have one thing in common—Maestro. So, while not everyone has heard of Maestro, everyone has heard Maestro.
Maestro, the “Founder of Effects,” is back with an all-new line of effect pedals - the Maestro Original Collection. Five new pedals, designed, voiced, and styled for the musician looking to shape their unique sound. A tribute to the sound and style of the brand’s much-beloved classic models of the 60s and 70s, with modern features, expanded versatility, and advanced tone-tweaking capabilities. Each function as an innovative “two-in-one” pedal, with a single toggle that switches between two distinct modes. Each features a straightforward three-knob setup, true bypass switching, and an ergonomic, pedalboard-friendly wedge profile.
It doesn’t matter what you play. As long as there are sounds being made, new legends will emerge. Maestro is back to help you SHAPE YOUR SOUND.
The EHX Intelligent Harmony Machine instantly creates matching harmonies to what you play. It’s like having one – or even two – guitarists jamming with you at the same time and always in perfect sync. The Intelligent Harmony Machine opens a door to the music of great multi-lead guitar bands and multi-part harmonized solos. Plus, its ability to apply harmonies ranging from simple to sophisticated will totally transform what you play. Of course, it also boasts EHX’s renowned impeccable tracking and genuine musical tone.
MESA® Drive Pedals are built by the same artisans that create the award-winning Mark Five™ and the legendary Dual and Triple Rectifier® amps. They stand ready to serve up all rock genres with cut and aggression while retaining much of the signature warmth and organic sonic quality found in our amplifiers. Ranging from high to lower gain applications, including classic rock or howling blues, we have a drive pedal that will help you achieve the sounds that so many artists have employed in our amps to create the world’s heaviest guitar tones!
Progressing along the gain spectrum, the transparent boost/overdrive CLEO™ is joined by the vintage-inspired, medium gain DYNAPLEX™ and the higher gain GOLD MINE™. The CLEO is a transparent boost/overdrive design focusing on vintage-inspired low to medium gain overdrive sounds packed with dynamic nuance, lively attack, and a wide variety of essential clip sounds. Moving on to medium gain, the DYNAPLEX is all about the “British Crunch” style with classic mid punch, chirping harmonics, and the chime players desire for classic rock sounds and beyond. Progressing to the higher end of the gain spectrum, the GOLD MINE is focused on mid to high gain sounds, classic heavy chunk, and rich gain with harmonic complexity, soaring single note sounds, and the liquid gain and girth that gain lovers expect from MESA.
Like every MESA product, our pedals are built using the same quality components, craftsmanship, and inspiring performance as our custom amplifiers...all hand-built in Petaluma, California, USA!
Dual engine pitch shifting with nearly endless possibilities and expansive control options! The EHX Pitch Fork®+ features two independent pitch shifting engines with full control over each. Both will transpose your pitch up or down over a +/- three octave range and detune +/-99 cents. With rock solid tracking, an organic, musical tone and extensive control, it’s your ultimate harmonizer.
Pedal Pad pedalboards are hand-built for YOU in Coatesville, Pennsylvania! Our boards feature an ALL-IN-ONE solution where the board is also the case. Just pop the top and PLAY! Our ordering interface allows you to configure any board with a plethora of options. More options or requests? Just email or call and we'll make it happen! Most custom orders ship within 2-3 weeks!
EHX took the Big Muff Pi circuit and simply shrunk it without changing its rich, creamy, violin-like sustain and sound. The EHX Nano Big Muff Pi works and sounds identical in every way to our classic NYC Big Muff Pi. Get a piece of the pi for yourself!
Implementing the HD digital modeling technology accumulated throughout years of the Valeton team's diligent efforts, the GP-200 delivers hundreds of re-editions of tones from world-classic amplifiers and stompboxes with a comprehensive upgraded algorithm. Combining 140 legendary amplifiers and cabinets simulations and 100 renowned stompbox effect pedals, plus 20 factory cab IR slots, the GP-200 will guarantee your consistently great sound on stage.
Transform your electric guitar into a sitar! Very few instruments offer as much harmonic and dynamic flexibility as a sitar. Electro-Harmonix has streamlined the essence of the sitar into a compact enclosure that offers a polyphonic lead voice and tunable sympathetic string drones that dynamically react to your playing. With the EHX Ravish Sitar Emulator, you can create your own custom scales for the sympathetic strings while you set the decay time for the lead voice.
Two expression pedal inputs allow you to bend the pitch of the lead voice and control the volume of the sympathetic strings simultaneously. These unique controls offer the player the ability to program the Ravish to become a totally unique and organic instrument unto itself.
The Ravish is truly a design with the flexibility to be a crossover tonal wonder.
Iconic amp sounds for your pedalboard. The Valvenergy series valve distortion pedals offer the warmth and harmonics of amp distortion in a compact pedal format. The all-analog signal path and Nutube allow for genuine overdrive and distortion tones with the feel of a real tube amp, while internally boosted voltage gives greater headroom and dynamics. Three output modes allow you to use this as a standard pedal, a line-level preamp, and a direct amp-sim using the built-in analog cabinet simulator.
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The F#%k Face is a triple gain stage fuzz with thick and meaty sustain that sounds huge in front of a slightly cranked tube amp. Baseball card collectors from the late 80’s will immediately recognize the infamous ‘error card’ graphics of the same name. The circuit is based on the legendary Fuzz with a different Face, but with an additional silicon transistor gain stage and voiced to retain more useable and dynamic fuzz tones all along the sweep of the two controls. In the front of your pedal chain, the F#%k Face will add dynamic interactivity to the volume controls on your guitar which enable a sweep from slight grit to full ripping-velcro breakup.
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Brought to you by Blackstar’s R&D division responsible for blue-sky innovation and design, Dept. 10 are the most advanced valve pedals in the world. Meticulously designed and engineered by a team of musicians for musicians. At the heart of each Dept. 10 pedal is an ECC83 triode valve, running at more than 200V internally like a valve amp, which allows them to deliver organic tone, dynamics and break up. Dual Drive and Dual Distortion include Cab Rig, our next-generation DSP speaker simulator that reproduces the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Deep-dive using our free software and capture the incredible tones via low latency USB, XLR D.I. out or headphones. Choose from Boost, Dual Drive or Dual Distortion to help you craft your perfect tone.
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The ODR-mini delivers creamy, natural overdrive – Everything from pushed clean amp tones to gain filled stacks! It has the same tones as its legendary brother – the ODR-1. You‘ll love the warm mid-gain tones for rock and blues, and the screaming hard rock sounds from the ODR-1 Mini. Plus the mini features true-bypass switching, the SPECTRUM pot with mid-click, fluorescent pointers on the “GitD“ – knobs (Glow-in-the-Dark). Guaranteed to be a BIG part of your sound while a small part of your pedal board.
Mono/Stereo: Mono In, Mono Out
Control: Drive, Tone, Level
Bypass Modus: True Bypass
9-18 Volt, center negative
Consumption 25 mA
Dimensions (WxLxH / mm): 42 x 93 x 50
Weight: 175 gr
Country of origin: China
Solid metal housing
Low current consumption
Requires stabilized power supply 9-18 Volt DC, with min 100 mA, 2.1 mm plug, center negative, (not included)
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Versatility, empowerment, limitless options, and ever-demanding tools at the disposal of every musician and composer are today on demand. A call for inventive devices continues to make musicians more inspired, clever and connected. The Alpha·Omega Photon combines Darkglass' signature Alpha·Omega parallel distortion with the versatile format of the Aggressively Distorting Advanced Machine. In addition to powerful distortion and studio-quality compression, the Alpha·Omega Photon is capable as an audio interface via USB-C or an amp replacement using cab sim IRs and XLR DI output.
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Enhance the tone and clarity of your pedalboard with award winning sound.
The George L’s effects kit.
The kit comes with 10’ of cable, 10 right angle plugs and 10 stress relief jackets.
Available in black, vintage red and purple.
As easy as 1, 2, 3 no soldering!
Cut, poke and screw your way to 47 years of sound excellence.
The Holy Grail of guitar reverb effects, the Fender®-style spring reverb, has been finally revisited with modern features!
Try it and discover why most surf guitarists and the truly reverb addicted are turning to SurfyBear.
★ exclusive SurfyPan type-4 spring reverb pan by Accutronics® and Surfy Industries
★ aluminium body with removable feet on the bottom side for better positioning on pedalboards
★ clean boost to adjust the volume when the effect is on
★ innovative dual-LED on/off button
★ true bypass functionality to keep your signal intact when the effect is off
★ external footswitch possibility though the dedicated 1/4" jack (footswitch not included)
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Blues-rock guitarist and gearhead Greg Koch steps into Rhett and Zach's virtual studio to talk all things tone, including part of his personal amp journey—from solid-state to the Fender Super Reverb—the makeup of his current rig, and the power of the Strat middle pickup.
Dipped in Gristle with Greg Koch
Thanks to Sweetwater for sponsoring this episode. Head to sweetwater.com/dippedintone today!
Rig Rundown: Greg Koch
The king of gristle shares the signature gear he uses to unleash waves of unabashed sonic mayhem.
Remembering the art and life of one of the world’s greatest and most innovative instrumentalists, who died on Tuesday, January 10, at age 78.
Legends are immortal, but not human beings. And so, Jeff Beck, an immortal of the electric guitar, died from bacterial meningitis on Tuesday in a hospital near his sprawling county estate, Riverhall, in Wadhurst, England, at age 78.
To call Beck a giant of the instrument nearly diminishes his monumental and singular accomplishments. He established his own supremely influential language of the guitar and spoke it fluently for more than six decades. Although he never sang on his recordings, in his hands the 6-string was vocal—fluid, melismatic, melodic, and most important, full of heart. Attending a Jeff Beck concert was to witness inspiration at its most wild and relentless. And to bask in a tone so large and purposeful that it could seemingly be heard around the planet.
Which it was. Beck was known and revered across the globe—an instrumentalist who made albums for the first two decades of his career, (starting with the Jeff Beck Group’s still stunning and innovative 1968 debut, Truth) that routinely made the top 20. Those include his groundbreaking duo of mid-’70s recordings, Blow by Blow and Wired, that transformed fusion into part of the soundtrack of popular culture. But Beck was not a jazz or rock guitarist. He was an omnivore, who digested every style—country, rockabilly, swing, Tin Pan Alley, punk, skronk—to both put his seal on them and twist them to his own ends, turning the Beatles’ “She’s a Woman” into a reggae playground and transforming an idea taken from a theme by composer Maurice Ravel and turning it into the epic, soaring, and harmonically supercharged “Beck’s Bolero.”
“Whenever I pick up a guitar, it will always be heavily blues influenced, but I try to push it further, because you have to expand your scales and melodic thinking.” —Jeff Beck
When I asked Beck about his approach, during the ’80s, he replied, “Whenever I pick up a guitar, it will always be heavily blues influenced, but I try to push it further, because you have to expand your scales and melodic thinking. But I’ll play a blues solo on a non-blues song, bending the notes into whatever the song takes. That’s my whole thing: trying to explore the blues to the maximum, really. It’s in the blood.”
Note that Beck said, “whatever a song takes,” not whatever it needs. The courage and will of his playing were consistent, impulsive, and limitless. Listen to “Morning Dew” from Truth. His guitar toys with themes, playing fragments of melodies, dropping patches of wah wah, howling, rather than weaving a defined rhythm or tune through the song. Then hear “Pull It,” from 2016’s Loud Hailer, an album cut with vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg of the English punk outfit Bones UK. Made nearly 50 years after Truth, that song is also telegraphy as music—dots, dashes, fuzzy blots of tone. And yet both performances not only work—they’re riveting.
Beck considered blues to be the core of his music but saw its opportunities for expansion as limitless.
Photo by Ross Halfin
Beck was born in Wallington, Surrey, England, on June 24, 1944. Les Paul was his first guitar hero, followed by Cliff Gallup, B.B. King, and Steve Cropper. He became friends with Jimmy Page when they were both teenagers, and, while attending Wimbledon College of Art, he fell in with David “Screaming Lord” Sutch, with whom he first recorded in 1962. But Beck really began his 60-years-plus of breaking rules in 1965, when he replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds. There, he pushed the group’s blues envelope with his inflammatory guitar on “Shape of Things” and the demented “Over Under Sideways Down,” where his hammer-ons, slides, and bends created the number’s sitar-influenced riff. Although Beck was unhappy in the Yardbirds, his 18-month membership earned him his first induction into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, followed by a second induction for his work as a leader and solo artist in 2009.
The inevitable formation of his own band, the Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart and future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, occurred in 1967, and with the next year’s Truth, he presaged Led Zeppelin’s recasting of blues as psychedelic manifesto. Beck’s playing on that album remains practically avant-garde at its least restrained, yet still directly speaks a dialect of the blues. But with the notable addition of pianist Nicky Hopkins, the Group tilted further into rock with its next release, 1969’s Beck-Ola. Two more albums, Rough and Ready and Jeff Beck Group, followed, with the latter including “Going Down.” Beck’s version of the Don Nix tune that Freddie King had made famous became an instant FM radio staple.
“I saw Beck use the whammy bar alone to play a slow, lovely feedback melody through his array of amps, and then point the guitar’s headstock straight down into the stage and push himself into the air by placing his hands on the rounded back end of the body. When he touched down, he tossed the guitar—still feeding back—into his arms, hit two notes that revealed where the tuning had drifted, and flawlessly picked up the melody he’d been playing before his acrobatic stunt.”
That band was followed by the short-lived Beck, Bogert & Appice, who released an album of the same name in 1973. The group was a trio, with vocalist/bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, from the Vanilla Fudge and Cactus. All along Beck had continued to maintain a studio career (which continued almost to the present) and had played on Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book the year before. Beck, Bogert & Appice’s rendition of Wonder’s “Superstition” was one of their album’s highlights, along with a beautiful slide-guitar-dappled reading of Curtis Mayfield’s “I’m So Proud.”
After this soul-music-influenced outing, Beck experienced a kind of rebirth. He was already a Gibson Les Paul player, but while recording in 1972 in Memphis he found a 1954 goldtop that was refinished in oxblood by its previous owner. That guitar is depicted in Beck’s hands on the cover of 1975’s all-instrumental Blow by Blow, which sold a million copies in the U.S. and reached number four on Billboard’s Hot 100 album chart. The epochal Blow by Blow alone is enough to ensure that Beck’s legendary status will endure. It’s full of monumental performances, including his emotional tribute to Roy Buchanan, “’Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers,” perhaps the greatest blues-inspired instrumental ever recorded.
Longtime friends Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton share the stage at the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival.
Photo by Chris Kies
And the die was cast. Although he went on to make albums and cut singles with exceptional vocalists—perhaps most notably a soulful 1985 version of the Mayfield gospel song “People Get Ready,” with Rod Stewart, that’s become a classic—from that point on Beck dedicated himself primarily to instrumental music.
The next year’s follow-up, Wired, built upon Blow by Blow’s success with performances of Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and Jan Hammer’s “Blue Wind” that also set radio afire. More important, though, was the arrival of the Fender Stratocaster on its cover. For the rest of his life, Beck and Stratocasters were mostly inseparable onstage and in the studio. And by using banks of amps and unsparing volume, he crafted a unique sound on the single-coil instrument, huge and compelling, with a horn-like fluidity and endless, sustained tone.
His technique on the Strat’s vibrato arm was extraordinary. It was as if it was grafted to his hand, or, at least, seemingly never left it. His subtle—and often radical—bending and pulling of notes with the bar made his playing even more voice-like, able to carefully craft and negotiate micro- or macro-tonal changes effortlessly. His intimacy with the Strat made for some truly uncanny performances.
In a ’90s concert at the Great Woods Amphitheater in Mansfield, Massachusetts, I saw Beck use the whammy bar alone to play a slow, lovely feedback melody through his array of amps, and then point the guitar’s headstock straight down into the stage and push himself into the air by placing his hands on the rounded back end of the body. When he touched down, he tossed the guitar—still feeding back—into his arms, hit two notes that revealed where the tuning had drifted, and flawlessly picked up the melody he’d been playing before his acrobatic stunt.
Beck’s romance with the Stratocaster caught fire during the recording of 1976’s Wired album.
Photo by Ken Settle
Beck continued to make excellent studio albums—most notably There and Back, Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop, Jeff, Emotion & Commotion, and Loud Hailer. He also racked up high-level session credits, recording with Roger Waters, Jon Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, and Tina Turner. And he accumulated eight Grammy Awards—seven for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. His most recent album was 18, a 2022 collaboration with Johnny Depp. Beck’s final public performance was touring behind that release, on November 12, in Reno, Nevada.
After Beck’s family announced his death on January 11, fellow guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson shared his thoughts on social media: “Hearing about Jeff Beck is a shock. He was one of the most original guitarists I ever heard. He never conformed to status quo guitar or conventional playing, always reaching for a new dimension, which he achieved multiple times. He was the most expressive lyrical storytelling guitarist there ever was and that’s why non-musicians loved him. He garnered more affection from audiences than other guitar heroes because he had such a musical poetry to his playing.
“I believe that he and Jimi Hendrix were the most inventive and original rock guitarists there ever was. I had the gift of being able to visit with Jeff a few times and that is a treasured memory in my life. The guitar world will go on, but it won’t be the same without the most inventive 6-string visionary we have been graced with on this planet. Joyous wishes to you, Jeff, as you soar on to your next magnificent adventure. Thank you for teaching me and inspiring me to want to play guitar.”
JEFF BECK LIVE Cause We've Ended As Lovers
You could be one of 25 winners of the brand-new Snark Air Tuner in this PG Perks exclusive giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win.
Snark Air Tuner
The Snark Air is one value-packed little tuner! Of course, it tunes guitars and basses, but you can also use it with ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, and more. Courtesy of its bright, colorful LED display, you’ll always know when your pitch is flat (magenta), sharp (orange), or on target (green). Placing the Snark Air behind your headstock and double tapping the airplane logo reorients the display, letting you discretely tune during gigs. You’ll never need to replace batteries either, thanks to the Snark Air’s micro-USB charging capabilities. Sweetwater guitarists are impressed by the Snark Air's many features, especially considering that its price is "airy" on your wallet.