Today will be our first edition of Fat Tone Guitars’ Beyond The Bench interview series. In this new video chat series, our Service Manager Chase Paul will talk with the who’s who of guitar effect pedal gear and find out what’s what. Beyond The Bench will attempt to do exactly what that title implies–uncover all kinds of fun and exciting facts from top effect pedal makers and find out what makes them do what they do.
Our series will also offer fan involvement. For those of you on Google+, you can actually participate in the interview by logging onto Google+ and joining our Hangout.
For those not on Google+ or otherwise indisposed at 1pm central time, you can submit a question which we’ll then ask our esteemed guest. Twitter us at #beyondthebench or email it to us at email@example.com.
Today’s guest is Henretta Engineering’s Kevin Henretta.
Henretta Engineering Crimson Tremolo
Below is our first attempt at a Hangout. Overall, not bad. We’ve been troubleshooting and we’ve learned some things. The only way to go is up from here.
Our next Hangout is Thursday, September 6th at 1pm central time. Check us out on Google+ and you can participate, or just watch from our website.
Please join us on Wednesday at 1pm central time as we demo our “Average Joe” pedalboard. This pedalboard isn’t average in tone, it’s stocked with some fantastic stompboxes. We’re calling it average in that it addresses the most common sounds, and with some popular effect pedals.
How are we going to demo this? We’ll be using Google Hangouts On Air which is part of Google+. Not on Google+ yet? Well you should consider it, if only for the ability to join a Hangout.
On Wednesday, we’ll launch our Hangout at 1pm central. It’s easy to join in if you are on Google + and part of Fat Tone Guitars’ circles.
Here is our Google+ Page.
The pedals we’ll be featuring in our demo are: Vox V847 Wah, Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, Fulltone OCD, MXR Analog Chorus and MXR Carbon Copy Delay.
We hope you can tune in.
Fat Tone Guitars is an online seller of guitar effect pedals. Our customers are worldwide and we have become quite familiar with shipping our wares overseas. When our shop opened 5 years ago, we had no idea where our customers would hail from. I figured we’d have some international customers, but no many.
Because I like lists, I decided to break out the geographical location of our international friends over the last 3 months. Here’s what I found.
- Australia is the top international destination with 18%
- Japan at 16.9%
- Brazil at 14%
- France at 7%
- Canada and Argentina tied at 5.6%
Over the same time period, our customers hail from:
- Honk Kong
- Germany Spain
Our latest installment in the nearly ubiquitous pedal giveaway fad. This time, we’re giving away a brand new Field Effects Manifold Drive Overdrive pedal.
The Manifold Drive is a pedal that captures the subtle nuance of high quality tube amp overdrive and so much more. Field Effects is the pedal making division of Resonant Electronic Design out of Minnesota.
How can you win this pedal?
First visit Fat Tone Guitars’ Facebook Page and become a fan (or “Like” Fat Tone Guitars). Next, visit Field Effects Facebook Page (part of Resonant Electronic Design) and become a fan (or “Like” Field Effects). Then, post a comment, or upload a picture or share our page. Whatever you do, make it clever. Make it poignant. Last day to post is Friday August 24, 2012. The weekend of August 25, the Fat Tone staff will choose a winner from all the posts/uploads/shares. So remember to make ’em count.
Here’s how we count entries. If you “Like” our page, you get 1 entry. If you make a comment or share, you get 2 entries. If you upload a photo or video, you get 3 entries. From there, the random number generator takes over.
Fat Tone Guitars’ Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/fattoneguitars
Field Effects’ Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/resonantelectronicdesign
To sum it up, here’s how you enter the contest:
- Go to Fat Tone’s Facebook Page
- Go to Field Effects’ Facebook Page
- “Like” both Fat Tone Guitars and SolidGold FX (If you are already a fan or already ‘Like” us, proceed to the next step)
- Post a comment/upload/share on guitars or amps or effects
- Wait for us to choose a winner from our Facebook Fans
- You must post/share/like something on both pages to be eligible to win
Most guitar players have that special tone that they love, either from a favorite artist or record, or that they’ve heard performed live. And we all know how important amps are to a guitarists’ tone. Lately, we’ve seen quite a few effect pedals that are described as an “Amp In A Box”. You’ve all seen them—this pedal will make your rig sound just like a ’59 Bassman, etc.
Fender ’59 Bassman
Now I love the sound of a ’59 Bassman, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I’ve heard a bonafide ’59 Bassman with 4 10s played with a Strat and it sounded nice indeed. So as pedalmakers create their stompboxes and go after the tones that they are aiming for, you can’t fault them for trying to bottle up that classic tone. But what are they really doing?
Pop open the back of most overdrive pedals and you’ll most likely see a printed circuit board (PCB), resisters, capacitors, transistors, LEDs and more. You might find a pile of goop in some of them. What you won’t see is a ’59 Bassman circuit.
What we do have are pedalmakers doing what they do to get great tone. After listen to iconic gear from the past like Fender or Marshall or Vox, they then work to match the tonal characteristics via their pedal creations. Characteristics like:
- amount of gain
- low, mid and high frequencies
- drop offs
- more and more and more…
There are some fantastic pedals out there that really do a good job of recreating the tones of classic amps, and/or artists. And depending on your current gear and rig, and how you play, chances are you’ll find the right pedal(s) that will get you there. Two things to keep in mind here…
- Your mileage may vary
- The search is the fun part
Fat Tone Guitars is tweaking its focus. From here on out, we’ll now be known as the authority on guitar effect pedals. This is what we are about:
Fat Tone’s Goal:
- To provide musicians with the best possible solution for their tone oriented wants and needs.
Step One — Knowing Our Philosophy:
- Between the endless amount of information available online (via forums, videos, and reviews) and good old fashioned word of mouth, there’s bound to be a little confusion when it comes to effect pedals and what they do. Since effect pedals are so unique by design, categorizing them is not an exact science. Many pedals fall into more than one category, which makes finding the right effect a difficult process.
- We understand that classifying effects by type helps narrow the search, but by using simplified labels like “dirt” pedals (rather than “overdrive”, “distortion”, or “fuzz”) we can keep our recommendations open to solutions outside the norm. By getting too specific too fast, the perfect pedal can often be overlooked.
- The end result of finding your ideal tone/sound is more important to us than just finding you the latest version of an overdrive or chorus pedal.
Step Two — Getting Acquainted:
- We’re here to help you find your ideal tone and voice for your instrument. In order to achieve that, we have to know a few things about you and your setup.
- What kind of sounds are you looking to create or modify? Are you on the hunt for a new lead guitar sound with smooth violin-like sustain and a hint of echo? Or are you looking to fortify your clean and tight chicken pickin’ tone with a touch of silky reverb? Is there a current artist or band that has a tone similar to what you’re seeking? The more specific examples you can provide, the better the result will be. It may sound elementary, but this is often an overlooked step in the everyday process of choosing new effect pedals.
- We’d also like to know about your current setup. What does your go-to rig typically look like from your pickups all the way to the speaker in your amp? Do you like the clean tone you have, but can’t quite dial in the right dirty sound? Again–the more we know, the better we can help.
Step Three — Plug In and Play:
- Once we’ve had a chance to get to know your personal style and preferences, we can recommend the most accurate solution. Not only do we stock an incredible variety of effect pedals, but we have strong knowledge and hands on experience with every item found in our inventory. And thanks to our ever changing stock of used gear, our knowledge base stretches far beyond our current selection of pedals. If we’ve seen it, we’ve played it.