Well, we’ve all had the fun of trying to mimic – even on the worst of nights – a Peter Frampton tune featuring the dreaded “talk box,” possibly even venturing into the dreaded Joe Walsh territory, and usually with lots of laughs and little success.
The reasons for our failure could be many, including a). the replacement gear sucks, b.) we suck (Get it?? it’s a visual joke… oh, never mind!), or c). the whole concept is so silly we start to laugh while vocalizing those dreaded notes while singing, “Do you feeeeeel.”
But get ready to warm up your vocal chops, folks, because the folks at Danelectro have revamped, yet again, another hoary device, and issued the Free Speech Talk Box, a free-standing box that promises to deliver.
Now did it? Lessee…
Cleverly evading the complex tangle of signal to plastic tube to michrophone, the engineers have come up with a lovely, if weighty, foot pedal signal processor with volume and growl controls, and a nifty little tube-plus-mic that can easily sit on your mic stand, bypassing the PA, and putting you right back where you wanna be – running through your own mighty fine amp.
The two miniature mics on the tube are sturdy, and padded, and the device is easy to use, fulfilling my idea of a good box. But how does it sound? Very cool, actually!
Through a ’50s tweed Fender Twin with an outboard reverb unit and no other effect (save for a wee bit of echo), this device rocked! A P-90-driven LP Junior sounded fat, sassy, and… wouldn’t you know, I somehow felt those apocryphal words emanating from me mouth… “Bap-Bap-Bap-bow-dooooh!” (to quote Joe Walsh). It was indeed, alright.
Danelectro Talk Box
Type of Effect: In-line talk box.
Features: Built-in mics eliminate need for external mic, heavy-duty metal housing, accurate, classic talk box effect, ease of use.
Contact: Danelectro, PO Box 73010 San Clemente, CA 92673, phone (949)498-9854, www.dan- electro.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.