JHS Pedals has added 3 new Vintage Fuzz's to their Legends of Fuzz series! PLUS an ingenious power starvation controller. The Legends of Fuzz series is an inspiring and fascinating world of pedals. This series is a collection of the world's most historic, rare and sought after circuits. Each pedal has their own story and origin. Below we will present the 3 latest offerings, plus a bonus pedal. Time for some time traveling and hear what JHS has to say about each of these new releases!
In 1973, effects legend Craig Anderton and John Lang launched Seamoon Inc., releasing their flagship fuzz pedal the same year: the Fresh Fuzz. Initially, a fragile plastic enclosure design caused these Bakelite pedals to shatter when guitarists stomped on them, so Seamoon began recasing them in metal enclosures within a few months. Despite inaccurate reviews that the Fresh Fuzz was “thin sounding,” it gained popularity and has been used extensively by artists like Tom Scholz (Boston) and guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson. This is our tribute to the rarer single op amp 741 version (Version 1).
Kay Musical Instruments was founded by Henry “Kay” Kuhrmeyer on July 1, 1931. Although Henry quickly shifted production focus to all types of stringed instruments (including basses, violas and guitars), they didn’t enter the guitar pedal market until the late 1960s with a series of knobless, treadle-based delightfully odd plastic pedals. Each of these four units (the Fuzz Tone F1, Tremolo T1, Wah Wah W1 and Bass Boost B1) were housed in knobless, treadle-based enclosures allowing one parameter of each effect to be adjusted by foot. The Kay Fuzz Tone was most likely released in late 1968/early 1969. Initially designed as a low-cost-version of the Shin-ei/Univox Superfuzz, this fuzz is one of the Edge’s go-to pedals. Fifty-four years later, JHS is releasing our spin on the Kay Fuzz Tone: the Mary-K. We’ve even added knobs and an expression pedal output for those who want to use it as it was originally intended.
In the mid-’60s, the world’s first nuclear company, Victoreen Instruments, launched Jordan Electronics. They started out manufacturing transistorized guitar amps and debuted the first commercially successful U.S. based plug-in effect at the 1966 NAMM Show, the Boss Tone, though it didn’t hit the market until 1967. At the time, fuzz was still a new frontier for most guitarists, but nothing else on the market looked or sounded quite like the Boss Tone (a true testament to the ingenuity of Jordan Electronics’ owner, George Cole, and head engineer, Bob Garcia). The original unit is a small 1¾ by 2¼ inch molded plastic box that plugs directly into the guitar’s output jack. Unfortunately, plug-in effects never quite captured the practicality of a good old-fashioned stompbox, so we’ve created a floor-based pedal that features the same unique tone.
Since the fuzz effect was invented in the early sixties, guitar players have gone to great lengths to achieve the perfect fuzz tone. Legends say that Duane Allman placed his fuzz pedal in the freezer between sessions to cool down the transistors, and that Roger Mayer meticulously modified Hendrix’s Fuzz Faces beyond recognition in search of an elusive, magical fuzz experience. Fortunately, even apart from these mythological methods, there’s one trick that always works: use a dying battery. Inherently simple devices like fuzz circuits are extremely sensitive to the amount of voltage that they receive, thus any change in the voltage from your power supply will cause drastically different tones. Guitarists eventually caught on to this hack and began draining their batteries to try and find the sweet spot for their fuzz pedal. A good idea in theory, but who has time for that? Then, just a few years ago, a certain unnamed guitarist reached out to me for a practical solution for this technique– and the Volture was born.
The Volture is a modern day device for your vintage fuzz circuitry. Simply place it in between your power supply and your pedal, and you can precisely trim the input voltage and perfectly replicate the tone of a dying battery.
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