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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

The Roland Space Echo

Perfect Slap-Back
 
Roland Space Echo

When Brian Setzer kickstarted the Stray Cats into action in 1979, his gear lineup was a hodgepodge of orthodox rockabilly ware along with the bizarre. His ’59 Gretsch 6120 and his pomade were the real deal. But he played through a Vox AC50 Royal Guardsman because the band was first recording in England. To get […]

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Jordan Boss Tone

Little Fuzz with the Big Buzz
 
JORDAN BOSS TONE

In the august and revered Hall of Fame of Fuzz, the Jordan Boss Tone deserves a prominent pedestal. Perhaps it should be in a cabinet of cute curiosities. Or maybe it’s as a memento mori, an example of a dead end in the search for overdriven guitar tone bliss. Either way, there should be a […]

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Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X

Get Tha Funk Out
 

The Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X Price: $369.63 Contact: www.mu-fx.com. Think funk. Think Bootsy Collins’ wacked-out Parliament Funkadelic Space Bass lines. Think Stevie Wonder’s wah’d Clavinet on his ’73 hit “Higher Ground.” Think Mu-Tron III. The secret mastermind behind that sound was engineer Mike Beigel, creator of the (more…)

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Heil Talk Box

 
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When Peter Frampton began using the Heil Talk Box in 1974, he remembers it being viewed with skepticism as an “alien effect.” Similar contraptions had been around since 1939, but few people recognized them or their otherworldly capabilities. Frampton had yet to record with it, so when he used it onstage, it caused a furor. […]

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The Carr Skylark

Desert-Island Amp
 
Carr Skylark

The Carr Skylark Price: $2,390 (list) Contact: www.carramps.com If you could own only a single guitar amp – horror of horrors! – Steve Carr’s new Skylark just might be the one. When it comes to building modern boutique amps inspired by classic vintage designs, few people (more…)

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Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
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Beyond being crowned “Album of the Century” by Time magazine, Marley and the Wailers’ 1977 LP Exodus is a wah-wah masterpiece thanks to Junior Marvin and his Thomas Organ Cry Baby. Others – from Earl Hooker to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa to Sly Stone – made their mark with the pedal, but never has (more…)

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Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
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Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, (more…)

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Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling
 
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All but forgotten today, with his low-slung guitar, stylish rhythm licks, and tasty leads, Lowman Pauling was one of the great guitar heroes of the ’50s. Guitarist for the R&B doo-wop band the 5 Royales, not only did Pauling pick melody lines and play leads, (more…)

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Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Elemental Fuzz
 
Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals Price: $189 to $199 Contact: www.maxonfx.com Classic fuzz pedals are some of the fine wines of the vintage guitar world. Guitarists talk like Frenchified sommeliers when discussing Fuzztones, Tonebenders, and Tube Screamers as if they were hundred-year-old bottles of (more…)

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Tom Feldmann

No Need to Sell Your Soul
 
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“And the Oscar goes to…” If they gave out Academy Awards for the best guitar instructional film, Tom Feldmann’s latest on Robert Johnson would be a shoe-in. We rarely review instructional videos, but this one is something special. And it’s more than just a how-to guide: it’s an in-depth, (more…)

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