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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Hornby Skewes Zonk Machines

Fuzz Bonk
 
Hornby Skewes Zonk Machines

In 1965, fuzz was the “it” sound. Guitarists had recorded with fuzz before, of course, but after Keith Richards plugged into a Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” its sound was suddenly essential. In England, finding fuzz was an endeavor; the Maestro was expensive and difficult to track down. As a result, even […]

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Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker

Smart Box
 
Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker

Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker Price: $299 (list) Contact: www.strymon.net It’s scary, wielding a stompbox that’s smarter than you. Scary and thrilling. Strymon’s Deco pedal is designed to provide the analog tape effects of a vintage recording studio, without the tape. (more…)

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Sun Rises Again

 
Sun Rises Again

January, 1950: 27-year-old Sam Phillips opens Memphis Recording Service, soon to become famous as Sun Studio and launching rock and roll with the 1951 Jackie Brenston-Ike Turner ode to an Oldsmobile, “Rocket 88,” and Elvis Presley’s epochal 1954 tune “That’s All Right.” January, 2014: 27-year-old Matt Ross-Spang completes a six-year crusade restoring Sun to its […]

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Return of the Trashmen

Bird Is Still The Word
 
Return of the Trashmen

Surf’s up – again! Thanks to the prodding of guitarist/impresario Deke Dickerson, The Trashmen recently recorded their first album in 25 years. “I was an obsessed fan,” Dickerson says of the band, whose 1963 hit “Surfin’ Bird” vaulted it to near-legendary status. “They were doing rockabilly mixed with surf, and it was unique in that […]

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Whit Smith

Rhythmic Rendezvous and the Hot Club of Cowtown
 
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For its latest album, Rendezvous in Rhythm, the Hot Club of Cowtown has stepped back in time. Guitarist Whit Smith plays acoustic jazz echoing the work of his heroes including Allan Reuss and Django Reinhardt. The result is a sweetly swinging collection of vintage jazz with a modern twist. True to its cattle-punching moniker, the […]

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Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T

1964 All Over Again
 
Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T

Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T Price: $1,595 (Dual-Tone[LEFT]); $1,795 (Coronado) Contact: www.suprousa.com If there was a time machine handy to scoot us back to 1964, where we would naturally stock up on new guitars and amps, a blue-and-silver Supro would be at (more…)

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Arbiter Fuzz Face

 
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When Jimi Hendrix released his first album, 1967’s Are You Experienced, he launched a new level of guitar heroics as well as a sartorial fad for ruffled shirts and band jackets. He also fed a fashion for fuzz. One of Jimi’s main weapons was the Arbiter Fuzz (more…)

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Mike Beigel

Resurrection of the Mu-Tron III
 
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Mike Beigel is no guitarist. But that never held him back in crafting one of the most legendary of all guitar effects pedals, the famed Musitronics Mu-Tron III envelope filter. When players think “funk,” they recall Beigel’s masterpiece stompbox. Bootsy Collins plugged in his Space Bass to craft (more…)

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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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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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