GALLERY: Vintage Electro-Harmonix Pedals

Russian Big Muff Pi Bubble Font circa 1995

Photo by Kit Rae

A selection of vintage EHX pedals that still inspire today.

Travel back in time to see the crazy colors that Mike Matthews and his N.Y.C.-based crew have concocted the last 40-plus years.


1969/1970 Original Big Muff Pi

Photo by Kit Rae

Late-'70s Echo Flanger

Photo by Tom Hughes

1973 Big Muff Pi Version 2, Ram's Head

Photo by Kit Rae

Mike Matthews Soul Kiss

Photos by Tom Hughes

An early-90s Mike Matthews-branded Soul Kiss wah-type effect. It features a plastic case with a strap clip and is controlled with the mouthpiece coiled next to it.

Original Memory Man

Photo by Bart, effectsdatabase.com

Late '70s Muff Fuzz

Photo by Tom Hughes

NYC Big Muff Pi

Photo by Tom Hughes

1970s Little Big Muff

Photo courtesy stillnovo.com

Late '70s Polyphase

Photo by Tom Hughes

Late '70s Deluxe Electric Mistress

Photo by Tom Hughes

Small Stone Family

Photo courtesy pedalarea.com

The top row of this Small Stone collection shows left to right) a mid-'70s model with minimalist graphics, a late-'70s version with large orange lettering, early-'80s and mid-'90s models with blocky black-and-orange graphics, and a recent Small Stone Nano, while the bottom row features three Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek co-branded units built in Russia and a US-made late-'70s Bad Stone.

1975 Little Muff Pi

Photo courtesy stillnovo.com

[Updated 11/22/21]

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.

$149

TC Electronic SCF Gold
tcelectronic.com

4.5
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4.5
5

When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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