Soft Clipping vs Hard Clipping – What is the Difference?

soft clipping vs hard clippingSoft clipping and hard clipping in pedal effects and how they affect your sound.

Many times in guitar shops, especially when talking about distortion or overdrive effects, we hear the terms hard clipping and soft clipping used to describe the different sound effects pedals create. It can be confusing if you don’t understand these terms or how they affect your sound. Continue reading “Soft Clipping vs Hard Clipping – What is the Difference?”

What Are the Best Budget Guitar Wah Pedals?

budget guitar wahShopping on a budget for a guitar wah pedal? This list features some surprisingly affordable choices.

The wah pedal is one of the best-known effects commonly found on a guitarist’s pedalboard. With its unique distortion capabilities, it is one of the few effects that is well known to even non-guitar players. It is expressive, giving the guitar an almost vocal-like quality, and guitarists such as Steve Vai have used the wah very successfully to simulate entire conversations. Continue reading “What Are the Best Budget Guitar Wah Pedals?”

Gain Boost Part 2 – Building the Pedal

gain boost part 2Now that we've reviewed the components in Part 1, we'll begin the process of actually building our gain boost pedal.

If you are a guitar player looking to create your own unique sound, one of the best ways to do that is to build your own equipment from scratch. A good portion of “Guitar Electronics” is just very simple circuits that can be built and modified at home. Continue reading “Gain Boost Part 2 – Building the Pedal”

Guitar Gain Boost Part 1 – Getting the Parts

guitar gain boost part 1Since Gain Boost is one of the most common processes in every pedal, we'll start with the parts that we'll need to build our great 'beginner' pedal.

In Guitar Gain Boost Part 1, we’ll take a look at the first actual pedal that we are going to create. It’s called the Piledriver, and it is a Gain Boost pedal that I got from modkitsdiy.com (https://www.modkitsdiy.com/pedal/piledriver). This is listed as a “beginner” pedal and that is one of the reasons why I chose it. Gain Boost is also one of the most common processes that take place in every pedal and understanding it will put you well on the road to building great sounding pedals.

Continue reading “Guitar Gain Boost Part 1 – Getting the Parts”

Germanium and Silicon in Fuzz – What’s the Difference?

germanium and siliconGermanium vs Silicon... this is often an intensely debated topic. Learn the difference between these two types of diodes and how they affect your fuzz pedal's tone.

Let’s talk about the difference between germanium and silicon transistors and what it means to guitar players and audio in general, especially fuzz.

The Fuzz Effect

Fuzz is a type of distortion that guitar players use. It is most often found in an effect pedal and it creates a buzzy tone that is associated with an overdriven amplifier or a torn speaker. Transistors play a vital part in the design of this effect and their germanium and silicon diodes can sound quite different in the final result.

Continue reading “Germanium and Silicon in Fuzz – What’s the Difference?”

How Does a Fuzz Pedal Work?

uzz pedalYou’ve heard of Fuzz pedals, and probably used one. But do you know how they work?

Fuzz

Fuzz is a type of distortion that was originally marketed in the early 1960s as a device that you can use to emulate the sound of Orchestra instruments such as the Trumpet, Cello, Bassoon, Saxophone, etc. It was a Saxophone sound that Keith Richards wanted for the beginning of “Satisfaction,” which prompted him to try out a Fuzz pedal. It was also during this time that the Kinks, Link Wray, and many other early Rock & Roll and Blues guitar players reportedly punched holes in their speakers to get a fuzzy sound. You can hear a torn speaker in “Rocket 88” (the first Rock & Roll song), by Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston. Other notable songs from that time that feature Fuzz are “You Really Got Me,” by The Kinks and “Rumble,” by Link Wray. The aggressive Fuzz tone of this song actually caused people to feel fearful, so it was banned from the radio.

Continue reading “How Does a Fuzz Pedal Work?”