Luckily, musicians in search of quality signature gear — from guitars to amps to effects to pickups — don't have to worry about that nonsense. Generally, gear manufacturers work closely with their signature artists, in some cases, right down to the tiniest of details (Some artists repeatedly send back the prototypes until they're perfect).
Of all the early fuzz-pedal circuits, the Fuzz Face is by far the sweetest sounding, with smooth and even sustain, harmonic overtones that complement the base note and chords (instead of fighting them), and compressed attack that provides violin-like tones.
Many guitar players — at some point — can't help but fall under the spell of the sounds found on classic rock albums of the mid- to late '60s. Players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Robby Krieger were synonymous with wah, fuzz, univibe and/or tremolo. Throw George Harrison and Brian Jones into the mix and you get sitars and other sound- (and mind-) altering effects. They were always experimenting, changing things up, trying to top each other.
Originally intended to mimic the sound of a muted trumpet, it didn't take long for guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa to make that sweet, sweeping "wah-wah" sound an integral part of the rock and roll lexicon.
From bank-breaking record advances and extravagant arena tours to non-stop parties and girls dancing on cars, a guitarist's gear in the '80s had to be just as over-the-top as his look, whether he was sporting spandex or a nail-spiked armband.
Effects are like jellybeans. You can’t have just one — and is there really a flavor you don’t like? They’re all good. But since I must, I have to give you a list of the best flavors of effects this year. Keep in mind, if I could, I’d give you a top 20 list of my favorite stomp boxes of 2012, but I’ll limit it to five because I need to hold your attention and honestly, I’d be splitting hairs with some because there were so many good ones to pick from.
Jim Dunlop is celebrating Jimi Hendrix's 70th birthday (November 27) by releasing a limited-edition series of pedals, the Jimi Hendrix 70th Anniversary Tribute Series. It includes four effects that were a major part of Hendrix’s signal chain: the Fuzz Face, Cry Baby, Octavio and Univibe.
As part of its September Cry Baby appreciation giveaway, Dunlop will be giving away four wah-wah pedals in four weeks. Each week in September, one winner will get a custom, special or otherwise hard-to-find Cry Baby pedal.
Ask any guitarist to describe Eric Johnson in one word, and you'll likely get one response: “Tone." Johnson took the music world by storm with the release of his 1986 album Tones and the subsequent Ah Via Musicom from 1990. Since that time, he's released a successful DVD, appeared on several G3 and Experience Hendrix tours -- and he's even won a Grammy.