Sometime in the Seventies, a man named Bert Lance brought the now-popular phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” into our lexicon.
While Lance wasn't talking about distortion pedals, his phrase rings true with Vick Audio's 73 Ram's Head pedal. Part of the company's Classic Reproduction Series, the 73 Ram's Head sets out to recreate the tones of the classic Big Muff Distortion.
It takes the already familiar three-knob design of Volume, Tone and Sustain and adds a three-way mid-scoop, boost and flat toggle switch. Other features include Neutrik input/output jack, a Boss-style 9-volt power jack and true-bypass switching. The Ram’s Head is hand-wired in the U.S.
Plugged in, my first impression was “sustain for days." We’re talking enough sustain to make Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel blush. A few improvements from its predecessor include a smaller footprint (the Ram’s Head measures approximately 4.25-by-2.25), a friendlier noise floor and a bold blue LED switch.
Let's hear the clips!
Clip 1, below, is a Strat lead tone with the toggle switch set to Flat. All other controls were set right around 12 o’clock.
Clip 2 is a Les Paul with the toggle switch set to Scooped. Here’s that sustain I was talking about. With the Sustain knob boosted to about 3 o’clock I easily got a cool 10 seconds' worth of sustain.
Clip 3 is a Tele on the bridge pickup. With the toggle on Boosted, it filled out a normally bright tone without cutting any of the highs.
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.