Ghost Effects Silicon Pep Box
Aha! Finally I get to try out one of those yummy looking Ghost Effects pedals. The Silicon Pep Box. It's a faithful clone of one of those mega rare fuzzboxes from the sixties, the WEM Rush Pep Box.
Ghost Effects is based in Birmingham UK and was founded in 2004 by Ian Sherwen, a fine pedalbuilder who is really devoted to meticulously recreate all of those wonderful fuzz circuits from the roaring sixties.
OK, most fuzz addicts will agree that the first commercial available fuzzbox was the "made in USA" Maestro Fuzztone as early as 1962. The Maestro was not really a huge success in the beginning, it did not take off until 1965, when the Stones used it for the classic Satisfaction intro riff. All of a sudden, the fuzz sound became very popular, and since the Maestro fuzz pedals were not available in stores in the UK or Europe, people started making fuzz pedals over here as well. Hurrah!
The original Pep Box was inspired on the Maestro Fuzztone, encased in a similar wedge enclosure, but using 3 germanium transistors.
Around 1966, Pepe Rush licensed his design to WEM. Little is known about this transition. There is a picture of John Lennon toying with a silver wedge WEM Pep box during the Revolver studio session. This was in 1966. Circuitwise, it was more leaning towards a Fuzz Face then, using 2 germanium transistors.
Anyway, the silicon WEM Rush Pep Box, made by "Watkins London England" was released around the end of 1967. Later on, also a bass version of this pedal became available.
This WEM Rush Pep Box was a rectangular metal box (32 cm long, 8,7 cm wide, 4cm deep), painted in red with a black wooden top covered with black rubber and with bare metal trim, the controls – one for volume, the other for "pep" - were recessed into the top panel and both controls could be dialed to a maximum output of 8.
Also, the pedal did not have the familiar in- and outputs, but instead it was fitted with its own output cable. This WEM Rush Pep Box used two BC107 Silicon NPN transistors.
Ian Sherwen of Ghost Effects obtained a vintage WEM pedal and his version is faithfully modeled after an original WEM Rush Pep Box.