[review] Danelectro Cool Cat CV-1 Vibe (by LordRiffenstein)

Danelectro

What can we say about Danelectro? Let’s put it this way, if you don’t know this company, you shouldn’t be reading this review! ;-)

Coolcat Vibe

The CoolCat series of pedals was released many moons ago and had some very interesting pedals. The look isn’t for everybody but I like this old-school fifties look and feel.

Like it says on the box, this is a vibe pedal. Amazing wobbly tones can be had from it. It is different than most vibe pedals and I think it is a simulation of an actual vibe, there is no lightbulb inside it as fas as I know. Speed and intensity controls are typical for vibe pedals, the mix control certainly isn't and this is what I really like about this pedal. Great work Danelectro!!

[review] Klon KTR (by LordRiffenstein)

Klon

Klon is not a name from some science fiction novel. Klon is the brainchild of Bill Finnegan. He basically changed the pedal-world and maybe made the 1st real bouteek pedal ever.

KTR

The KTR is the successor of the much-respected Centaur pedal. The Centaur was being built by hand, Bill wanted to outsource the production so he wanted to get the same tone in an easier to manufacture pedal. The Centaur, as I’m sure you know, is one of the most sought-after pedals. An original is fetching prices that can buy you a great high-end guitar. Klones have come and gone but the real one has kept its foot in the door.

The pedal has volume, gain and treble control. Unlike the original Centaur, it has a switchable buffer. You can switch it on/off with a little slider on the side of the pedal. I agree that the buffer on is almost always better, so I leave it on.

[review] Danelectro Cool Cat CTO-1 Transparent Overdrive (by LordRiffenstein)

Danelectro

What can we say about Danelectro? Let’s put it this way, if you don’t know this company, you shouldn’t be reading this review! ;-)

Cool Cat CTO-1 Transparent Overdrive

The CoolCat series of pedals was released many moons ago and had some very interesting pedals. The look isn’t for everybody but I like this old-school fifties look and feel.

You have gain and volume controls at your disposal as you would expect. And then there’s the dual pot for treble and bass. They aren’t the easiest to adjust and you will often find turning both when you actually only want to change 1. You’ll get used to it OR, like me, you will find the perfect set-n-forget setting.

The pedal feels solid, switch is good so build quality is fine!

[review] Rockett Pedals Josh Smith Dual Trem (by LordRiffenstein)

Rockett Pedals

Rockett pedals was started in 2006 by Chris Van Tassel and Jay Rocket. Both were long time session musicians and they were not totally satisfied with what the pedal-market had to offer. So they started to design their own pedals, hoping that they would catch on. Their unique custom enclosures are eye-catchers!

Josh Smith Dual Trem

Josh Smith is an upcoming blues guitar player who has been working the road for many years. He has released several great albums and also works as a gun-for-hire doing high profile gigs.

The Josh Smith Dual Trem offers you 2 trem settings. Left and right side have the same controls. Both sides share a volume control. The pedal has 5 LEDs. Each side has a LED that visualizes the rate setting, it pulses to the rate/speed and each side has a LED to show you which side is on. Then there is the overall LED to show you that the pedal is on. Build quality is top notch and I love the unique enclosure!!

[review] Smallsound/Bigsound Fuck Overdrive (by LievenDV)

Brian Hamilton from Philadelphia was fed up with the numerous and quasi identical overdrives that got thrown at his head. Under his brandname Smallsound/Bigsound he introduced the Fuck Overdrive to the world. An overdrive with something else, something unique? Perhaps it is, as this pedal aims to be an overdrive pedal with a hint of breakup, a nice dose of desintegration.

You could say that on the more powerful settings, the fuzzy side of the pedals starts to kick in.

[review] D*A*M FUZZrong (by LievenDV)

The Fuzzrong is a straightforward and stable fuzz for players that want a warm fuzz that doesn't sputter or makes you cringe of odd high frequencies. This fuzz will keep you warm all night and David & Linzi at D*A*M know this.

The controls are really simple and that saves you some time for playing. Don't go to their website for more info though. I kind of got lost seeing all kinds of look-alike pedals without spotting this exact Fuzzrong pedal. No big deal. The depth knobs seems to boost the lower frequencies to bring a more ballsy sound.

Charity news

Pedals With A Cause

Last week, the Pedals With A Cause managed to raise $3100 with their pedal auction for Walter Trout.

These companies supported the auction by offering pedals:

Soon there will also be charity auctions by Circuits to Cure Cancer, so make sure to like the page and keep an eye on it!

[review] Spaceman Sputnik (by Bieke)

Spaceman Effects

Spaceman is the pedal company based in Oregon, Portland, USA. Spaceman pedals are extraordinary pedals, mostly fuzzes, but there are also boosters and an overdrive. All Spaceman pedals are hand made in small batches, so there's a limited availability. In fact, the Sputnik I am about to review is currently out of stock. To keep up to date about the availability of this pedal, you should join the Spaceman e-mail list or regularly check Spaceman on Facebook.

Spaceman SputnikThe Looks

Pristine. I'm looking at a fiery red Sputnik pedal The Red Edition (limited to 69 units) featuring a special red/yellow engraved vinyl faceplate with Russian Cyrillic inscriptions and a red jewel light. It has a bit of a Cold War and Soviet theme going, all in good taste. In fact, the Sputnik is a germanium fuzz that uses vintage Soviet transistors.

So, it looks very cool on the outside, but beauty lies within the cast aluminum enclosure. The circuit boards inside the Sputnik are a work of art, really one of the most impressive builds I have ever seen. There are 3 unmarked transistors in there that look like miniature army green Soviet army helmets. The circuit boards -there are 2 separate PCB stacked inside- are decorated with little stars and sputniks and are packed with top quality components, military spec wiring, ultra clean wiring and soldering. Stunning job. There are also 2 trimpots inside, hmmm, something tells me these are best left alone.

True bypass switching. The Sputnik has input on the right, output and power jack on the left. It takes a regulated 9-12V DC adapter with negative center.

Controls are:

  • Signal: Output Volume
  • Range: Fuzz Gain
  • Calibrate: Tone
  • Scan: hard to describe, when switched in Drift mode, the Scan control interacts with the Range and Calibrate controls and yields the craziest fuzz sounds imaginable.
  • Sync/Drift (toggle switch): again, hard to describe, I'd say in Sync mode it acts like you would expect from a fuzz whereas Drift mode is a fuzz surprise, let the fuzz entertain you.
  • Filter (toggle switch): enables bass cut with mid-scoop filter

Overview of new pedals at Musikmesse 2014

It's that time of the year again: Frankfurt Musikmesse!

As every year I'll check out all the new pedals and add them to the site. You can find the list here:

Pretty short after NAMM (a month earlier than last year!), but I hope to see lots of new pedals anyway!

[interview] FYA Electronics: Miro Solkio

Here's FXDB's interview with Miro Solkio of FYA Electronics.

FYA Electronics is run by Miro Solkio in Turku, Finland. It is one man brand that's currently completely unincorporated.

How did FYA Electronics start?

I started to build by accident. I've been interested in pedals for a long time and at one point, something just snapped. At the time I was trying out a lot of big brand effects and wanted to try out one that I couldn't find here where I live. I found a kit for the circuit online and tried it out. I didn't have any background in electronics, so the kit was good to try out at first. After couple of successful kits, I just dived deeper and deeper into DIY. Suddenly I noticed I had built couple of hundred boxes. Mostly custom one-offs for people who were asking for them. Next I noticed I had couple of reasonably good sounding original designs on my hands. That's when I figured I needed a brand name. As ugly as it may sound, I'm keeping it.

When I was starting out, the biggest help came from a DIY guru known as |v|ark. He's the man who's still getting a pedal from every original batch I'll build to his mailbox before anyone else gets one. Most of the DIY community are very nice and helpful people. I've been in contact with many DIYers who really know their stuff. And the community that exists only on internet suits me perfectly.

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