On this page and the others in the series I have briefly summarise Guitar Effect Pedals Explained and the Different Types of Stomp Box FX that you can buy either online or in music stores. A guitar effect pedal, or stomp box as they are also known, is an electronic or digital device that alters the input audio signal from the guitar pick ups based on a style of circuitry or algorithm that is built into the guitar pedal circuitry. The modified guitar signal is then output from the pedal and can be either used as an input to another guitar pedal to be modified further, sent to a mixing desk using a DI or just into the guitar amplifier.
Guitar Effect Pedals Explained – Early Beginnings
Most modern guitar effect pedals use solid-state electronics eg computer chips however the original, now called vintage pedals, used mechanical components like a spring reverb and vacuum tubes. Some early effects were mounted in units too big to be on the floor like the Fender tube reverb unit or the Copy Cat Tape Echo. One of the earliest floor guitar pedals appeared in the 50s and these were just a very basic treble booster that were used to drive the input of a valve guitar amplifier harder creating a overdriven and brighter sound. This tone was picked up by early Blues and Rock guitar players and was taken to new levels in the 70s. Some famous guitarists have built a full career just using this simple set up of booster pedal and valve amp. For instance Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath used a treble booster and Laney valve amps for his signature rock tone. And Brian May uses a treble booster driving three separate VOX AC30 combo amps. The earliest guitar effect pedals involved very simple and unreliable circuitry and in most instances they did not function very well. The game changer was the creation of solid state technology involving silicone chips, diodes and integrated circuits.
Guitar Effect Pedals Explained – New Technology
With the mass production of solid state components in the 70s it meant that manufacturers to design smaller and more reliable guitar gear. Some changes were an improvement, some were a loss. For instance the market was flooded with lots of cheaply made solid state guitar amplifiers signaling the death of the trusty valve guitar amplifier. Luckily, guitarists have now realised that such a big portion of their tone is the guitar amplifier and valve guitar amps are making a comeback. In the case of guitar effects it was a step forward, pedals could be smaller, more reliable and included interesting circuitry. These modern guitar effects are made into two different styles, either small pedals used on the floor eg “stompboxes” that have a switch and a set of limited controls on the body and large full rack mounted electronic effects units that can be taken on the road or used in studios during recording.
Guitar Effect Pedals Explained – The Rise of the Stomp Box
Today the market for guitar stomp boxes is massive with manufactures and suppliers all over the World. The are many makes of guitar pedal to consider. You can choose from a cheap mass produced Chinese guitar pedal that will set you back around £15 or $25. These are functional, give you a general start in the world of guitar effects but you will soon realise their short comings in terms of noise and circuit limitation. Then there are many Companies with a good reputation for making quality pedals that can be used on pedal boards and with touring bands. Companies like Maxon pedals and Boss pedals have stood the test of time and are to trusted go to pedals for many famous guitar players. And finally, we have the boutique guitar pedal manufacturers. These are typically a one man operation that starts out modifying other makes of pedal. Once they have built up a local reputation, or got a famous player on board, they will expand there operation into making their own unique guitar pedals with extra features not found on standard pedals. Companies like Keeley pedals and JHS pedals of the USA are typical examples. Boutique guitar pedals are not cheap, they are built with higher spec components and for reliability.
Today the choice for a guitar player exploring his guitar tone are unlimited. Check out the pages on this web site and start building your own guitar pedal board and develop your sound using a wide range of guitar effect pedal designs.
Read the next page in this series – Guitar Effect Pedals Explained, Types of Stomp Box FX.
More Guitar Effect Pedals and Stomp Boxes
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Here are our latest posts.
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Our other guitar pedal review website at www.yumagold.co.uk has been created for guitarists and other musicians to review and buy all types of guitar and musical instrument gear, at the best prices currently on offer from various suppliers around the world. By accessing different online retail stores and collecting the prices together on one page it is possible to generate a list that shows the biggest savings on guitar pedals. You will be surprised when you see the range of prices available but also the top quality guitar brands that are selling gear at prices up to 50% off. There are lots of guitar related products including amplifiers, stomp boxes, speaker cabinets, technical guides, and lots more. All of the products are displayed in a way to allow you to select the most suitable for your guitar rig set up.