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Pedal Spotlight - ZVEX Effects '59 Sound

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 9:24 AM

Pedal Spotlight - ZVEX Effects '59 Sound



After months of anticipation here at the shop, the ZVEX Effects ’59 Sound has arrived. Based on the Legendary 1959 Tweed Fender Bassman Amplifier, this pedal successfully captures spirit and sound of that incredible amplifier. This new effect was born from the iconic ZVEX Box of Rock and designed by ZVEX employee Tommy Rehbein, a local pedal fanatic, rock & roller, and all-around great guy. We were lucky enough to ask Thomas some questions about his quest for tone! 


How did you approach the build process for the '59 Sound? 

It should be fairly obvious the '59 Sound is a modified Box of Rock. I got the idea because the Box of Rock is based upon the Marshall JTM45, of which the Fender Bassman is progenitor. No offense to the JTM45 - a damn fine amp - but I've always been a Bassman guy; I quit trying to find my go-to amp after acquiring one and falling in love. However, it peels paint off the walls. Sound people are always like, "Turn down!" But if you turn it down too much, it loses the punch. So, I needed a pedal to act as an intermediary between my loud amp and angry sound engineers. I had to try it. I'm not an electrical engineer or formally trained; I like to tinker and my ears perk up when I hear something good. Of course, spending time around Zack and getting tips from KJ has helped me develop a skill set so I'm not just "poking something with a stick." Both gentlemen looked at the BOR schematic with me, as well as a Bassman schematic, and made suggestions. Then…

What materials did you have to work with when researching sounds for this effect? 

I rented a '59 Bassman, dissected a Box of Rock, and got to work. There were some caps I swapped out to compliment the Bassman schematic and I put trim pots in place of many many resistors. Everything was is sockets; the Box of Rock PCB looked like Frankenstein's monster on the operating table. For several days, I had a dimed Bassman, which I'd play, then make adjustments and tweaks to the trimmers and swap out socketed components. Once I got something that sounded right, I had Erik play it. He concurred and we had Zack play the pedal. It got the thumbs up. IMO the best setting is leaving the gain around 11 o'clock or Noon. It gives a clean-ish breakup that is responsive to your playing while still retaining clarity. It's a little more "Americana" while the original BOR is more of a banger. 

The Box of Rock is a go to pedal for so many, what is your go to ZVEX Pedal?

I never left the house w/out a SHO on the board. But now that I have a '59 Sound (which has the boost side) and my cats Audrey and Ramona painted on it, that's probably going to be my go-to Z.Vex pedal. I also think the Mastotron is an incredibly versatile pedal; I like using it on guitars, synths, and bass. 

Say you're stranded on a desert island, what gear would you NEED to have with you? 

Ric, Bassman, Juno. 

When can we expect another pedal out of you? 

Hard to say! If/when I come up w/ something cool and Zack digs it. It's really his company so I can't take too much credit: I did a cool mod to one of his designs and it got a good response. I have a lot of ideas but not everything is marketable, you know? There's a pretty niche group of people who want something that makes spaceship noises (my specialty!), etc. But we shall see! 


The 59' Sound is a rock & roll machine that brings all of the tone, and packs some serious punch. This first run of Vexter Series ’59 Sounds are extremely limited, so hurry in and grab yours now!!! 

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Staff Picks - Gibson L-00 Vintage

Thursday, July 6, 2017 11:03 AM

- Staff Picks -

- Gibson -

- L-00 Vintage - 

This week we look at the stunning Gibson L-00 Vintage with Paul, our Acoustic Specialist. For years the Gibson L-00 has amazed players, with its incredible dynamic range, and tight, punchy low end. The L-00 Vintage offers a mahogany neck, hand sanded to its final vintage style, "V" neck profile and fitted with larger, legend fret wire. This instrument has the feel and sound of a vintage guitar and the durability of a brand new Gibson instrument. 

Let’s see what Paul thinks of this beautiful guitar… 

 Without playing it, what about this guitar caught your eye? 

It's looks. I’ve been interested in getting a 30s or 40s L-OO for awhile and noticed this one on the wall next to a standard, and thought, “Hey, what’s that?"

Having had the opportunity to play a vintage L-00, How does the new Gibson L-00 Vintage compare?

The old ones are amazing, as you would expect them to be, being 70 or more years old. This new one is amazing too, Gibson has done a great job replicating their “golden era." It looks and plays so great, it makes me ponder vintage vs. new.

This guitar has a Thermally Aged solid Adirondack Red Spruce top. What are your thoughts on this new trend of torrefaction? 

I have owned new, and vintage guitars with Adirondack tops, and I am sold on the magic of Adirondack. This is the first guitar I’ve played with a thermally aged top, but it seems to me to have dramatically improved the tone of this new top. 

Say you're stranded on a desert island, is this a guitar you could see yourself being stuck with?

Yes, it would be more than adequate.

Is this an instrument you’d recommend to any customer, given the higher price tag? 

Sonically and visually this is as good as a mass produced guitar gets. I would absolutely recommend this guitar. It’s worth the price. It’s a “keeper."

Let's talk specs…

Tonewood: A select Thermally Aged Adirondack red spruce top produces the essence of a vintage L-00

Historic Build Techniques: Traditional hot hide glue is used to better transfer the resonance of the guitar producing a more vintage sound

Tuners: Relic style strap tuners offer a vintage vibe on the new L-00 Vintage

Saddle: A hand shaped bone saddle provide vintage-inspired details to the L-00 Vintage

Finish: Our World Famous Vintage Sunburst is hand sprayed for a true one-of-a-kind look

String Spacing: The wider string space offers the fingerstyle player a more comfortable playing surface

Pickguard: A traditional firestripe pickguard adds a signature vintage detail

Logo: A vintage inspire white script logo decal crowns the headstock

Bridge Pins: Historical inspired black bridge pins finish off the new L-00 Vintage

Neck Profile: The wider 1.75'' nut width combined with a "V" neck profile instantly make this instrument feel like a vintage piece

“Our proprietary Thermally Aged wood best recreates the vintage tone and performance of our iconic models.” - Gibson

Check out our entire Gibson Catalog here...

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Staff Picks - Hohner Toy Accordion

Thursday, June 8, 2017 12:21 PM



- BLUE - 

Bjorn has been acting really weird ever since he crashed his bike on his way to work last week, the crash didn't stop him, He proceeded to clock in, and get to work. With blood dripping from his brow and scrapes all over his hands and knees, we were pretty concerned. We offered to call an ambulance, but Bjorn said he didn't need a doctor to tell him he had a concussion

It's been a week since the incident, and we're pretty sure he's doing better... 


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Staff Picks - Korg Arp Odyssey

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:44 AM

-Staff Picks-

-Korg Arp Odyssey-

-Duophonic Synthysizer-

The ARP Odyssey was an analog synthesizer originally produced in 1972 by the American manufacturer ARP Instruments, Inc. that quickly garnered a faithful following among musicians. Well respected for its high value, ease to play and portability, the ARP Odyssey had undergone several improvements during its history and continued to be a long-seller until manufacturing stopped in 1981 due to economic hardships and the digital surge. Loved by a wide range of musicians as a historical classic, its sound can be heard on numerous classic songs.

Let’s check in with James to see what he thinks about this incredible synth…

Q: What features do you look for in a synthesizer?

A: If I can capture the sounds of John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Goblin, or Lucio Fulci I’m all in.

Q: What do you like about the Korg Arp Odyssey? 

A: It’s a classic and it’s left its mark on numerous genres or music since its introduction in the 70’s. It can be used to create soundscapes vast and unworldly to smooth and subtle. 

Q: Could you see yourself playing this synth?

A: I could see myself playing this synth everyday…in that youtube video… ;)

Let’s dive into the Korg Arp Odyssey, and check out the features…

  • 2VCO. The duophonic design allows two different pitches to sound when you play two notes. 
  • Pitch modulation and pulse width modulation can be controlled.
  • Oscillator sync provides sharp, great-sounding overtones extending into a high range.
  • Noise generator provides two noise types: white and pink.
  • Powerful LFO can be used as a modulation source for the oscillator or filter, or as a trigger source for sample & hold.
  • Ring modulator generates metallic sounds with rich overtones.
  • A new function, the DRIVE switch generates extreme and aggressive sounds. 
  • Envelope generator with two types: ADSR and AR. This can be used not only for the VCA but also to modulate the filter or oscillator.
  • VCA GAIN slider leaves the note sustaining. Ideal for sound design.

“Forty years later, a complete revival. 

The legendary analog synthesizer that transformed its age.”

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