With the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd's psychedelic debut comes a resurging interest in Syd Barrett's equipment and techniques, along with a new generation of commercial entities seeking to profit from all the excitement. What has remained a constant force over the years of discussion has been a handful of rumors and myths that, when repeated often enough by seemingly authoritative figures, almost become fact. With this small piece of writing, I'll be challenging some of the allegations about Syd Barrett's effects pedal habits with facts in the hope that it will help guitarists to make informed decisions about their spending, as well as potentially ease some new historical evidence out of the woodwork. Discussing and criticizing makes for a healthy and knowledgeable community.
Syd Barrett's alleged use of the Selmer's Buzz Tone and (Fuzz-)Wah is one of the stories perpetuated by the Internet that seems to originate from Julian Palacios' biography, 'Lost in the Woods'. We know the band was using Selmer amplifiers early on, so it's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that they experimented with the pedals too, or that Selmer may have simply put the group's name in advertising for the pedals that are yet to be digitized in the modern age.
The classic riff from 'Interstellar Overdrive' sounds incendiary when coupled with a Selmer Buzz Tone (or any fuzzbox for that matter), but the following video shows that the sound from the album can be nailed with just the Selmer Treble 'n' Bass amplifier.
I'm satisfied with my original Selmer Buzz Tone (and I'll be happier if it ever comes back from being repaired) but I would very much like to see the proof that this model is even remotely connected to the band. At the moment there is nothing tying the two together.