Monthly Archives: May 2010

My Pedalboard

Here at Fat Tone Guitars, we get lots of questions regarding guitar effect pedals and pedalboards.

Questions like:

  • What is the best order for pedals on a board?
  • What’s true bypass?
  • How do I eliminate noise from my pedalboard?
  • How can I arrange my pedalboard for optimum tone?

These are all great questions.  What’s important to know however is that there are really no correct answers to these questions.   The arrangement of a pedalboard is a subjective activity and resides amongst a sliding scale of gray.  Sure there are rules of thumb, but like any good rock and roller knows, rules are meant to be broken.

big pedalboard

Big Pedalboard

Fat Tone Guitars offers some consultative services designed for the guitarist bent on obtaining the most from his or her pedalboard.  Services like:

  • Pedalboard layout
  • Rewiring and powersupply usage
  • Noise elimination

In addition, we’ll be rolling out a new website within the next 4-8 weeks that will provide the guitar and effect pedal community with tools and commentary to help you get the most from your pedals.  Be on the lookout for…

We’ll give you a heads up when we launch.


Zap Machine

Fat Tone Guitars has a unique product created especially for us by Jamie Stillman, the brains behind Earthquaker Devices.  For those unaware, Earthquaker Devices is a boutique guitar effect pedal manufacturer out of Ohio that is currently putting out some of the coolest sounds to grace a guitarist’s pedalboard.

The Zap Machine, according to Jamie is

“I wanted to create a fuzz using old school parts that has a more modern sound. Additionally, I want to make a touch sensitive fuzz, something I haven’t come across yet. When the fuzz control is at zero, it has just a hint of hair and can be used as a booster of sorts. From about 9-3 O’Clock there are a wide range of Overdrive/Distortion tones that are reactive to picking dynamics with a lot of clarity and definition. After 3 O’clock it becomes more of an overloaded fuzz tone. The Tone control adds  low end without cutting highs as you turn it up, also useful  for the dynamics and the whole fuzz/Distortion/OD separation range. It’s a silicon/germanium hybrid, uses carbon composition resistors and high voltage caps usually found in old amps, true bypass and runs off 9v battery or standard power supply. The name is inspired by the old hornsby-skewes zonk machine and the circuit it’s self has a very faint resemblance to the hornsby skewes shatterbox but it’s not a clone and the shatterbox wasn’t even used as a reference. Once I drew the schematic out I realized it looked very similar (except the shatterbox sounds like absolute garbage!).”

Earthquaker Devices Zap Machine

Inside of the EQD Zap Machine

Earthquaker has only made a limited number of Zap Machines and they are only available at Fat Tone Guitars.  Get one while they last.