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Staff Picks - Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter

Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:23 PM

Staff Picks - Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter

Earthquaker Devices • Data Corrupter 

This week we’re talking with Ronnie about The newest pedal from Earthquaker Devices, corrupted data, and his newest “hobby” of collecting floppy discs.

We all know the fine folks at Earthquaker make some of the most insane effects in the biz, is this their craziest one yet? I think they reached a certain level of delightfully crazy a while ago, and they've thankfully been able to maintain it!

Could you see yourself taming this wild beast, and making room on your pedalboard for it? Definitely. Octave fuzz is one of my favorite effects, and octave fuzz is just one of the things this pedal does very well. The harmonies it's capable of being inspiring, and even without the fuzz (which on its own is a total monster), you can get some fantastic layers of sounds out of it. Who doesn't want their 1 guitar/synth/drum machine to sound like 2 or 3 playing at the same time?

We’ve all lost some seriously important files to the hands of data corruption. What is the worst experience you’ve had with data corruption?  My portfolio, once tall and robust like a skyscraper, now lies sparking and sizzling in a small puddle of brown on my kitchen table. Stocks, bonds, investments, all up in flames. Sunny mornings before work used to be spent in the yard on a lawn chair, dreaming of the beaches I'd retire on someday. Those sunny mornings are now long gone. I've since gotten a lid for my coffee thermos.

Why floppy discs?


...Noted...Let’s Talk about the Controls, shall we…(with the help of its creators, Earthquaker Devices), and yes it’s a lot of info to take in, but the tonal pay off is huge! 

Master Oscillator: The Master Oscillator takes it’s input from one of three sources: Unison, one octave down and two octaves down. Some frequencies are too high for the Master Oscillator to divide, therefore, shifting them down one or two octaves brings them back into the proper range (it also happens to sound super cool). These sources are referred to as “Root” and can be selected via a three-position switch. The Root is then fed into the PLL and multiplied to create one of eight different intervals over three octaves that are selected by the rotary switch to create your harmony! This harmony can then be manipulated via the Frequency Modulator section.

Frequency Modulator: The Frequency Modulator has two modes, Glide and Vibrato. In Glide mode, the pitch will glide from note to note and the speed of the glide can be adjusted by the Rate control. At faster settings, this takes on a very cool phase shifting effect. In Vibrato mode, the pitch varies up and down to create a laser-like effect. The Frequency Modulator only affects the Master Oscillator, unless the Subharmonic Root switch is in the Oscillator position.

Subharmonic: The Subharmonic section of the Data Corrupter creates a sub octave of the Root and then divides it up into eight intervals over three octaves which are selected by the rotary switch to create your subharmonic harmony. The Root comes from one of two sources, Unison or the Master Oscillator. When Unison is selected, the Subharmonic will be a division of the square wave fuzz tone and the Frequency Modulator will have no effect. When Oscillator is selected, the Subharmonic will be a division of the Master Oscillator and the Frequency Modulator will be applied to the Subharmonic harmony.

Voice Mixer and Level: The Master Oscillator, Subharmonic and Square wave fuzz tone all have volume controls under the voice mixer section. Use these to blend the three voices together to taste. The Level is a master volume and determines the overall output level of the effect.

Tracking: This pedal should be placed close to front of your signal chain and before any delay, reverb or modulation effect. While it will work with most bridge pickups, the neck pickup will provide the best tracking results. Precise picking and single notes will track quickly and cleanly. Chords and sloppy playing will result in chaos. There is no control over the amount of gain because it really needs to be fine-tuned to properly track. Weak signals (like backing off on the guitar volume) will lead to poor tracking and gating. 

Like most Earthquaker pedals, you can use the Data Corrupter on a multitude of instruments, so don't be afraid to pair it with bass, keys, trumpet…311? Why not? 

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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

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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