Too Small to Read

This week’s That Pedal show covered Octave-Fuzz pedals. Those are fuzz pedals that split the signal in two and double the frequency of one. That way you hear the note you played along with a second note one octave higher. It’s cool, but it was never my thing.

I always preferred the opposite. Split the signal an cut the frequency of one in half. That gives you the note you played plus a note one octave down. You knew that though because math, right?

Back in high school I had a pedal that did the octave down thing without adding in the fuzz. It was a DOD Octapluss. I was never a pedal guy, at least not until five or six years ago. I used to be set with an amp overdrive channel and a wah wah pedal. That’s all I needed. More often than not though I’d have the Octopluss too.

When I joined Lizardfish I wanted to use it but it had died on me somewhere along the way. I was sad, but somehow I’ve survived. I picked up a pitch shift pedal a while ago for times when we cover a song that has guitarmonies. I barely ever use it, but today I switched it on. It can do the same pitch shift my Octopluss did. It’s not the same though. It’s digital and it actually works too well. It’s not ratty and random like the old pedal. It actually makes me sad.

The new pedal is a super cheap knock off of a popular Electro Harmonix pedal (at least I think it is). Someday I’ll probably upgrade to the real thing. Why? The printing on the pedal is too small to read. Even with my glasses on. I just can’t see it. I have to take a picture with my phone and zoom in in order to know how to set it up. Crazy.

Fulltone Alternatives

I saw this posted on bookfayce today and thought I’d share it here. It’s alternatives to popular Fulltone pedals for folks like me who are turned off by racism.

He mentions a couple of JHS pedals but those don’t work for people like me who are turned off by homophobia, but there are still some interesting ideas here.

New Pedal Day

All the tone of a fulltone ocd with none of the racist bullshit.

This is the boutiquiest thing I’ve ever been a part of. Malaise Forever is a guy in Columbus (go Blue Jackets) who builds pedals. In this case, the order was placed before the pedal was built. Does that mean it was made to order? Probably not, but let’s pretend, yeah?

A piece of the profit from the sale of this pedal was given to organizations fighting for racial justice and to protect civil liberties.

Go buy something from this guy. If there ever was a pedal builder deserving support it’s Malaise Forever.

Three Leads

After recording vocals on five songs this morning, I put leads on three of them tonight. I could have done more, but I decided to quit while I was ahead.

So my thumb… I hurt it weeks ago. I don’t remember how, I just woke up one day and ouch. It wasn’t bad. It was annoying, but nothing to worry about. I figured in a day or two it would be history.

Instead, it’s gotten steadily worse over time. The last couple of days it’s been really bad. Like, bad enough that I’m thinking of breaking lock down to go get an x-ray or something. Clearly there’s a bigger issue than just a boo boo.

Tonight was the first time since it started being a major problem that I tried to play the guitar. How’d it go? Okay. There was some pain, but the motions my left hand needs to do to play are not those that really kick my ass. I feel like I’m lucky, but will it get worse? Who knows.

I used my full pedal board tonight so I’ve been getting goofy with all of the toys. I used a fuzz pedal tonight, and the uni-vibe pedal and a flanger and lots of wah wah. Goofy, but fun. Just feeling good about my hand not sabotaging me. Like, whew, am I right?

A Pedal Junkie’s First

There are guitar pedals that I covet that are no longer in production that cost a small fortune that I would love to get my mitts on, but given the cost I would never actually consider.

That’s a common occurance (looking at you, vintage EHX Electric Mistress, and Triangle Big Muff, and Klon Centaur, and a bunch more).

Today I put a new twist on this for the first time. I looked around for a certain pedal that I know is out of production, but the used market is not out of control at all. It’s a Keeley 1962, or a 1962x. I’ve got a hankering for that Blues Breaker style pedal and I still have a year or more to suffer through the Analogman King of Tone waiting list, and I was hoping to get something cheaper than a Wampler Pantheon, and I refuse to do business with JHS (Google it). I’ve seen Keeley 1962 pedals for less than the Pantheon, so I went looking today.

Nothing.

I found one for sale on ebay from a seller in Japan.

For the first time in my internet shopping pedal junkie existence… I have been denied.

Damn!

It’s All Here and it Works

304/365

Lunch time came and I finally couldn’t stand it anymore. I pulled a power cable off of another amplifier and took the new (used) Vox AC15 for a spin. Much to my surprise it actually works. Jen was still working so I didn’t test the volume, but I did play it clean with the master volume and the channel volume low, and I played it dirty with the master volume WAY down and the channel volume cranked. I can still smell the tubes cooking. Nice.

Fortunately, while I was noodling UPS came with the missing power cable. The amp was eight days late. The cable was nine. It’s here though. My ES-335 is feeling like it might need some new strings. Other than that I think I’m ready to record some guitar tonight.

I should note that I still haven’t actually plugged in the new power cable yet. Am I counting my chickens before they hatch? Probably. Oh well. I’m sick of this shit. It’s over. Let’s boogie.

The Amp is Here… Mostly

My new (used) amp was delivered today. It was eight days late, but it’s here…. sort of.

It’s hard to tell with a closed back cabinet, but it looks like the vacuum tubes survived the ordeal. Do they work? That’s the question.

Why is that still a question, you ask?

Because guitar center failed to include a power cable in the shipment.

There will probably be a post discussing the power cable situation but (spoiler) I need to calm down first.

iPhones are Helpful

I’m getting old. I’m out of shape. Bending down to see something that’s on the floor is no picnic these days. Also, I’m going blind. My eyesight is getting suckier by the day. Also, the printing on the Keeley D&M Drive pedal is really, really small, and the color scheme doesn’t help. The little sucker is hard to read.

Fortunately I have an iPhone. I can reach down and take a pic with the 2x lens, then zoom in on the image and magically I can read the labels on the knobs.

I love living in the future.

Except for the whole pandemic thing. That bites. The other stuff, the tech stuff, is cool.

I’ll Stop Bitching About UPS

  • June 22, 2020
    • Out for Delivery, estimate 6/22 by 9:00PM
  • June 23, 2020
    • Out for Delivery, estimate 6/23 by 9:00PM
  • June 24, 2020
    • In Transit to Chelmsford
    • Most recent activity: Delivery will be delayed by one business day.
    • Come back later for estimated delivery date.

In other words, they haven’t a clue where my package is. Okay. From now on I will reserve all of my bitching about this subject for phone calls to UPS customer service. You folks won’t have to listen to me anymore.

Denied… Again

I heard a sound outside. It sounded like a large vehicle. I looked out the window. There was a UPS truck driving away.

Oh happiness! My amplifier!

I went outside. There was a package. It was large. It weighted about five pounds. What? The amp weighs over 40 pounds.

Crud. It’s not my amp.