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Feels good to be back writing! The last couple weeks are such a blur for everyone here at Wampler HQ! Between SXSW (South by South West), the Guitar Pedal Expo 2015 in LA, and moving in to a new building - we have been more than a little busy to say the least.
During the Guitar Pedal Expo our good friend Sean Pierce hosted a "Pedal Guru" (a panel of 6 current pedal builders) and picked their brain for an hour. Check out the discussion and go give Sean's youtube page/ social media and give it a like!
You may have noticed that some of our more recent releases (Clarksdale and Plexi Drive Deluxe) have had top mounted jacks. We are now starting to morph some of the range over to this, along with relay switches - it's part of our "constant improvement" programme, so if your new pedal has top mounted jacks and softer feeling relay switches, your pedal is legit!! :)
All new top jacks and soft switching!
Greetings Tone Chasers! This Thursday's podcast we covered 2 topics that I thought were most excellent!
Consistent Sound With Multiple Guitars: So if you're using a Les Paul, a Strat, and a Telecaster through one amp - and want to get consistent tone - how can you achieve such a feat? If you are just looking for changes in volume - Brian suggests a volume pedal. You can change it on the fly and is a super easy fix. You can also create consistent tones form guitar to guitar by using an EQ pedal. Billy Gibbons' guitar tech, Elwood Francis, actually has a big EQ rack set up that has lots of different presets - for Billy's guitars for more homogenous guitar tones. Premier Guitar has an excellent Rig-Rundown that shows it in action. Check it out!
Hand-wound vs Machine-wound pickups: We also discussed the difference between Hand-wound pickups and machine wound pickups - whats the difference and does it matter? Well depends I suppose. You can program a machine to count a certain number of winds on a pickup bobbin - or it can be programmed to scatter wind -or even programmed to create a very specific impedance output. When you "hand-wind" pickups you are manually controlling the speed on how fast the pickup bobbin is moving around an axis - and also manually controlling the copper spool of wire as it goes around the bobbin. Hand wound pickups aren't always as consistent from pickup to pickup. With that said - master craft - men and women (like Seymour Duncan, Jason Lollar, Abigail Ybarra- just to name a few) have turned it in to an art form and get pretty awesome results! So which one is better? That's totally up to the player. Let your ears your be your guide!
Until Monday Tone Chasers!
Are you subscribed to our newsletter? Mike Rutledge is, so he enters our regular pedal giveaways that are just for newsletter members... Here he is with the brand new Plextortion he won last week! Later this year we have the biggest competition we've ever been part of coming... Subscribe here to make sure you find out about it first!
This week on Chasing Tone! Highlight real!
Amp in the Box (AIAB) pedals and the importance of cab simulators: Ok, ok - getting right to it. (AIAB) type pedals do typically, or should, sound very close to the actual amp they are trying to mimic. When played through a tube amp - AIAB's (especially ours - insert shameless plug here) help replicate the recreated amps tone and with the help of your guitar's amp and speakers - and do a pretty darn good job of it. However when you use a AIAB straight in to a PA/ mixer - you lose the help of your amp's speaker cab. Don't fret too much though! With a cabinet simulator like a Radial, Two Notes, etc - you can help recreate those speaker tones that your PA/ mixer is lacking.
How to get a fuzz pedal to cut through the mix in a live setting?: The easiest thing - is to turn up your fuzz. Sounds simple - but if you crank up your fuzz and not blast everybody out - DO IT! If you want to use your existing fuzz - use a drive pedal (like a tube screamer) before or after your fuzz to tighten it up and help it cut through the mix. Travis likes to run his drive before his fuzz to help boost it and Brian likes to run his drive pedal after the Fuzz to help shape it's EQ. Play around with your order and let your ears be your guide! See ya Monday Tone Chasers!
Hi guys, Jason here invading the blog - this has just come up on Facebook from a customer so I thought I would invade Max's blog to address it properly!
This has been a hot topic for us for several years now - I am painfully aware of this issue as being the person responsible for every international dealer outside of North America. A lot of "my" dealers around the globe are constantly fighting the proliferation of forged pedals. The issue is simple, they (the forgers) see a great product, they take the circuit from a well known forum and produce it as cheaply as possible and then sell it for their own profit.
Before we get into this properly... in the face of the inevitable question - this is not "yeah, but it's just a tube screamer, what's so special about your Clarksdale when I can etc etc". When we build a circuit that is inspired by another, we take the basic premise of that circuit and Brian explodes it - makes it his own, new EQ stack, clearer gain stages... So, yes - the Clarksdale is a "tubescreamer" but it's a new take on the classic circuit (after all, there are only so many ways you can clip a circuit and make it sound good).
So, when a company copies your design, puts your name on it and sells it as an original, there is a problem!
Let's take the Triple Wreck - a much loved pedal in the Far East, it would appear that High Gain is something their market thrives on...
Here is a site that sells a forgery.
As you can see, the products are extremely different - just on atheistics alone they are easy to spot. Wrong fonts, cheap components (check out the input/output jacks) and the lack of consideration of the labelling of the knobs/stomps.
Remember, we build and design our pedals to a specification, not a budget. We offer a 5 year fully transferable guarantee on ALL pedals and make them with pride and passion in America. All of the above would be impossible with a sale price of $68.80 including free international shipping!
If you are in doubt look at the obvious points. If it is too cheap, therefore too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. If it looks like it's been made poorly and rushed, it has been. If it's on a site where you can't contact the "dealer", then they don't want to be contacted... If you are concerned, contact us, we can confirm quickly. However, a quick look at the product will show how authentic it is!
This week I actually kicked off the show with my "radio guy voice" kind of cheesy - but it made people laugh so that's something... "From land of snow and tacos". If you don't know what I'm talking about - it's worth at least a listen for the first 2 minutes.
So right out of the gate! Speaker Positioning On Stage. Amp stand or right on the stage? Would you rather put your amp on an amp stand or directly on the stage? Well in our small assembly we had 1 for the amp stand - and 2 against. Brian hates when the speakers of his amp are pointed right at his leg because he can't get a good tonal reference between his guitar, pedals, amp, and speaker sounds. Travis and I aren't a fan of amp stands and would rather have our amps directly on the stage. We both in agreement that we weren't a fan of having our amp's speaker blasted right in our ears. (that's what the front row is for right?) I actually use a long cable and walk out in the audience - before the show- to get a good reference to what my amp sounds like.
Boosting an Overdriven Amp: So what is the perfect way to boost an already overdriven amp? Well - we have to ask ourselves - what is perfect? Other than tacos and Travis' hair of course. According to Brian though - there are about 3 general ways you can boost an already overdriven amp. 1.) A complete full frequency boost. (like our Decibel plus). 2.)Top End Boosts. Which are going to take off some bottom end. 3.)Midrange Boosts. (My personal favorite.) Think a tube screamer.
Stay tuned for this Thursday's show Tone Chasers!
Ok, ok – something other than the podcast for a minute. For those of you who know me personally, and for those of you who don’t – I am a huge Beatles freak! My office is plastered with tons of Beatles memorabilia! While each Beatle contributed unique harmonies or multi-musical instruments to their song arrangements – the youngest Beatle, George Harrison has always stood out as (to quote co-worker Jason Wilding) “the secret singer and master of harmony - both vocally and musically.”
Today would have been George’s 72nd Birthday!
So here is a tip of that hat to you George! Thank you for your contributions to the musical world!