My friend Stef of Space Pony is an avid collector of italian musical instruments and devices.. hes been waiting for a Repeat Percussion forever.. and hes been lusting after a jen tonebender as of lately.
It’s been on my mind for a while to make a psychedelic toolbox pedal, ahah, with all that a 60es loving trippy musician would need.. but i have never made multi fx boxes.. i decided to box two effects in one for Stefano.
And it was working first off!
‘A metal slice of gruviere’ as the date called it..
I only had a small 1590… goddamit my hands are so big its always a pain to work with these boxes..
To the left: vox/jen germanium tonebender, using q1, ac183 and q2, ac181 npn germanium. Very nice ♥.
To the right, the repeat percussion.
I had a cute multi colour led that flashed when youd switch the repeat percussion on but it caused all manners of noises.. replaced it with a blue led.
IT IS PSYCHE IN A BOX.
So..on to the artwork.
I used two nos italian decals from the 60es.
Mosrite fuzzrite clone for garage band, Seuss.
After building three different fuzzes for them, the one who got boxed is this. It suits the garage sound better than the previously tested, germanium fuzzface and maestro fz1.
The artwork is nos vintage stuff too!
My mate Rev (he plays the Vox organ in Seuss) complained about the Vespa the guy is riding. He’s a Lambretta scooterist.
Oh gimme a break.
Dallas Rangemaster build in progress..
Around 1990, everybody was going crazy for multieffects, Zoom had imposed its name by means of their compact, digital multifx units. Portable, capable of dozens of effects, they basically sent the old, big, clunky and hissy analog pedals home… Apart from Boss’ obviously, ahaha.
I was 16 at the time: I was already busy with some bands, or some musical project of some kind.. I did not want one of those units but i was desperately looking for a dead cheap delay to explore the Barrett side of things..my money usually went to records but i popped at the local music store and the guy there asked me if i could be interested in a multi effect unit.. For cheap.
He snapped out this monster. A four pedals unit, with internal battery to store four combinations of pedals to recall by button: “programmable”. It must have been the first time i read “analog” on a pedal (on the analog delay). I always thought there was a battered old tape reel inside ahaha.
It was hissy, pots were scratchy and in general it was primitive but it did its job, and i also had effects i would never even think about owning there for the playing.
This multi fx has followed me everywhere since. Used it on vocals, guitar, bass, keys, you name it.
In around 2000 i stopped using it, i had much better pedals and gizmos to use.. The day before yesterday i took it out and gave it a good servicing. Also, for the first time i really took a look at whats inside.. SURPRISE!
Inside every pedal there was a nos, 9v battery, still in its plastic. Ah the japanese! I did not know i could use the pedals by themselves (well.. Not until recently ahaha), least of all they could be powered by internal battery! Yes, thats how thick i am.
Ok, some pics: the batteries leaked over time, so i had to give it a good clean to the enclosures.. With wine vinegar..
Needless to say, every effect works GREAT.
In 1989 i popped to the record shop, New Records here in Venezia. The only hip hop, funk, reggae outlet we had back in the days. Thats where i started buying stuff that was beyond rock in 1987. PE, Ice T, Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, the entire oeuvre of Run DMC, you name it. 1987-91 was basically RAP’s golden era, the coming of age of a genre that was just facing the Long Player format with enough chops and creativity, up until the massive uni directional boredom that gangsta brought along.
Well, i had already been caught by the sampledelic extravaganza that was De La Soul’s 3 ft High And Rising. But when i heard Pauls Boutique, it was much more crystallised, more real.. it was cool, it was a lifestyle of dusted records, parties and weirdness.. What a blow. Too funky, too trippy, too good.
I seriously think that ANYTHING that is good, and cool, musically and in terms of lifestyle nowadays is nothing other than the stream of influences that Beastie Boys/ Dust Bros record had on my generation.
I cannot think of a record thats funkier, freakier, younger and hungry and cool than Paul’s imaginary shop!
And then Grand Royale magazine came, to take our journey deeper and deeper. What a combo!
Started going crazy after a while (the led zappeling in time with the q1 whizzeling until it died screaming). Shame because it was a great build, sounded ace and COMPLETE: AC128 on q1, measured hfe of 30 (!!), some russian trannie on q2 measuring 138, another AC128, hfe 80ish.
Built from scratch again, same components, different trannies, 1n1307 on q1, hfe=136, and two AC128, 100ish, 80ish hfed.
Boxed in a rush to a recording session..
Video of my mate Alle playing his mean 1970 Ibanez thru a Laney valve amp and my mki pedal:
Still room for improvement as it was backing off sustain when Alle would play way up on the fretboard.