Every so often, I come across a stompbox I never even knew existed and — more often than not — surprises me in how good it sounds. Majik Box’s Krush Distortion is the signature pedal of James “Munky” Shaffer, guitarist from renowned nu-metal band Korn, and is the kind of pedal that provokes a wicked grin in the kind of distortion it dishes out.
I have an insatiable soft spot for handmade pedals that offer a point of difference as well as killer sound. That combination is incredibly hard to resist, especially when it’s topped off by cosmetics that include glitter, a happy vibe and customer service that completes the package.
Riding the coattails of its new Crying Tone wah pedal, Electro-Harmonix has introduced the Talking Pedal. The pedal uses the proprietary design of EHX’s Next Step Effects and is the second pedal to be released in the line.
The Crying Tone resembles a slim, contoured brick with an angular bottom that allows you to rock the wah back and forth on the floor. It features input and output jacks, a calibration button (important for adjusting its sweep depending upon the slope of the surface), and operates with a 9V battery or optional power supply.
I find that the Speaker Cranker is an essential stompbox if you use a single-ended amplifier, such as the Marshall JCM 800, or a two-channel amp with a rhythm and lead channel to deliver much-needed gain for harmonics and solos. The pedal does color your sound, but in a good way, slightly darkening the tone to take out any high-end harshness.