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previous: Steve, again Yardbox & Fuzz used by J.Beck/Yardbirds -- 4/12/1998 4:00 AM View Thread

Fuzz in context

4/13/1998 1:43 PM
Mark Hammer
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Fuzz in context
Ladies and gentlemen,  
 
It's EXTREMELY important to remember that NONE of the recordings we admire, or the sounds we try to emulate, were made using JUST an effects box. They were made on the available instruments of the time, with the available strings of the time, with the available amps, speakers, and mikes of the time, on the available tape decks of the time, with the available recording tape of the time, and EQ'd/mixed-down to suit to suit the available playback technology of the time (generally a closable-lid record player with a crystal cartridge, volume/tone control and 4" speaker, or a transistor radio with a 3" speaker), using the available ears of the time (technology changes your sensibilities). There is no effect on earth, whose personality is so strong as to override the sum total of all these constraints. Conversely, just about any fuzz can be made to emulate any other fuzz if you do enough other things (e.g., a low-gain unit clips differently with a hi-gain pre-amp or EQ or volume-boosted compressor ahead of it, through 8" speakers).  
 
Granted, all devices DO have their own personality, but don't be the least bit surprised if the purchase and tweakification of a device fails to deliver on a desired "classic" sound. I've been beating up on these gadgets for 30 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how much you can produce the sounds you want through the unlikeliest and most counter-intuitive of means. That, coupled with the infamous component-tolerance variations in classic devices, makes the quest for a tonal holy grail via a few select paths pretty much a myopic effort.  
 
Two very well-used cents.  
 
Mark

 
Replies:
R.G. Excellent commentary. Try as we mig... -- 4/13/1998 3:40 PM
Bill Mark, I agree with you 100%. As I'v... -- 4/13/1998 8:39 PM
Steve A. Mark:   &nbs... -- 4/13/1998 9:57 PM