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Bell Bottom Blues: Five Modern Effect Pedals That Recreate Groovy '70s Sounds

Bell Bottom Blues: Five Modern Effect Pedals That Recreate Groovy '70s Sounds

Bell bottoms? Check. Blacklight posters? Check. Glossy photo of Marcia Brady? Check.

Strap into the Wayback Machine, Sherman! Today we're heading back to that glorious decade known as the 1970s to take a look at five great effect pedals that will transport your rig back to a golden age of guitar.

From the overdriven sounds of Jimmy Page and Tony Iommi to the out-of-this-world prog tones of David Gilmour and Alex Lifeson, the '70s were pivotal in creating some of the guitar sounds that are still being ripped off by today's class of rock guitarists.

Whether you're putting together the ultimate Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin tribute band or just trying to add a bit of vintage flare to your modern-rock masterpiece, the pedals on this list are sure to help you recapture some of that groovy '70s magic.

This list was compiled by a group of Guitar World staffers including Gear Editor Paul Riario.

EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander

Although synths would take over the air waves completely in the next decade, they were still an inescapable part of the ever-evolving guitar landscape of the 1970s.

For its simple architecture and versatility, the Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander is our pick for the guitar synth you need in your arsenal. Handmade in Akron, Ohio, the Bit Commander proves a grittier alternative to the cleaner, slicker sounds of the Subdecay Octasynth or the POG.

In some ways, the Bit Commander is almost cheating in a list limited to five effects, as it doubles as a useful octave fuzz. The six control knobs — Sub, Down 1, Up 1, Filter, Level and Base — ensure a high degree of control and nearly endless potential for custom settings.

MSRP: $175 | Check out this pedal at


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