Monday, March 30, 2009

Pink Pedals For A Great Cause.

Limited Edition Pink Luther Drive

Some of you may know him as GMD, or maybe Gearmandude, his Youtube channel has been providing us with some of the best effects pedal demos on the web. If you love pedals like I love pedals, and many of you do, chances are you've tuned into the Gearmandude Youtube Channel for a daily fix of stompbox fever. Another cool thing about GMD is not only does he demo stompboxes, he also builds them. An even cooler thing is he's building a limited run of pink Luther Drive pedals with part of the proceeds going to the Amercian Breast Cancer Foundtation. There will be a total of fifty pedals, they will run at $135.00 USA and $155 International, $20 from each sale will be donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation in an effort to help find a cure. The pedals will all be hand built, sport true bypass, and will be hand numbered and signed. You gotta love it, you get to help save the wonderful world of breasts, and add some rocking good tones to your setup. If you're interested in purchasing a Limited Edition Pink Luther Drive you can contact GMD at

Here is a demo of the Pink Luther Drive in action.

You can visit the Gearmandude Youtube Channel at
Look out for GMD pedal demos, articles, and reviews in future Analog War Cry posts.


Pedal Hunt Part: 3/Rothwell Switchblade

Rothwell Audio Products
Switchblade Distortion Pedal

Well well now, what do we have here? Solid build, killer tone, hand built, and high quality components. Another boutique distortion pedal you say? Well if you categorize "boutique" as the many thousands of pedals that are being mass produced around the world and using the term to gain some hype, well no. But if you remember what boutique pedals really are and what goes into them, the time, the skill, the passion, and the many hours of tweaking...then hell yes!

It's likely most of you cats have never come across a Rothwell effects pedal but I assure you this don't mean squat, I just happen to have the pedal junky bug borrowed deeper within. Coming across Andrew Rothwell's devices has been one of Analog War Cry's top finds, his line of intelligently crafted products are all extremely impressive to say the least. Other than effects pedals Rothwell also offers a handy collection Hi-Fi audio products which includes valve and passive pre-amps, in-line attenuators, power amps, and mucho more. When the Switchblade arrived we were delighted to hear it was most certainly not just another suped-up overdrive or clone, this design is all it's own and within it lies a signature sound belonging to Andrew Rothwell. The Switchblade features three stages of high quality distortion with skillfully tailored filtering before, between, and after each stage that gives one the ability to dial in a handful time traveling tones. It three knobs are Volume, Tone, and Gain, and with these three knobs the pedal is capable of dishing out anything from modern and heavy rock distortion to subtle overdrive, tube like grit, and clean boosts. It's overall EQ projection is astonishing, lows stay tight but boomy, highs slice through and don't shriek out, and mids are perfectly balanced out for great punch and rhythm guitar playing. The Switchblade also plays well with others which makes it a wondeful tool for boosting and shaping other stompboxes, I plugged a bunch of fuzz pedals behind it and got some sweet sounding classic rock lead tones. The pedal is true bypass, features low battery drainage, and is hand built with top quality components and chassis mounted knobs and sockets for long life and performance, it's build would definitely hold it's own in any situation. Let us now delve into the world of Rothwell Audio Products and welcome a new friend.

Pedal Hunt Podcast #3/Rothwell Switchblade

More Rothwell Audio Products to come and also look out for our interview with Andrew Rothwell in the near future. To visit and read up on more info on Rothwell products you can click the logo in our LINKS section or go to

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mellowtone Charity Auction/Building 10 Limited Edition Pedals

Limited Edition Wolf Computer
fuzz pedal

Eric Edvalson talented effects builder and owner of Mellowtone Custom Guitar Effects Pedals is building a special run of limited edition Wolf Computer fuzz pedals and is doing a string of charity auctions to help The Smile Train nonprofit organization. The Smile Train's mission is to provide free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in developing countries who would otherwise never receive it and to provide free cleft-related traning for doctors and medical professionals. Twenty percent of each auction will be going to The Smile Train. There will be ten special edition Wolf Computer fuzz pedals that will consist of a series of five white and five inverted black pedals. There will be one pedal listed each day starting at 1$ from 3/18 through 3/27, the color of each pedal will alternate each day. Eric's goal through these ten auctions is to hopefully fund at least one surgery or get as close as possible to in helping one boy or girl get their smile back, either way every bit of the charity portion will certainly help. How can you not dig that? For those of you who aren't familiar with the Wolf Computer or any of the Mellowtone effects pedals take it from a cat who lives to seek out killer sounding stompboxes, thet are some seriously unique, great sounding, and cleverly built effects pedals. Seek out some Youtube videos, Google some info, or go to for more info on them, you won't be disappointed. You can find more info in the auction, Eric's Ebay auctions link will be posted below where you'll be able to find each newly posted auction each day. Get with it and happy biddings everyone.

Pedal Hunt Podcast Part: 2/ Pigtronix Polysaturator

Pigtronix F.A.T 
Our next find in this months pedal hunt is one of many faces, a pedal capable of speaking tones from classic rock to all out metal mayhem and beyond. Our goal on this hunt is to introduce to you some fantastic sounding pedals you may have missed, not heard of, or have been curious to listen to. If you're familiar with Pigtronix effects pedals you know they don't build the traditional run of the mill designs, the effects behind their pedals may be traditional but you can be sure David Koltai is always gonna find some way to take it to the limit. 

The Polysaturator is no exception in David's impressionable line of effects pedals, at first look it may seem like just another distortion box but plugging into it you'll quickly notice it's tonal range surpasses most anyone's expectations. One major factor when hunting for overdrive and distortion stompboxes is that they're able to 1. match your tone and amp, and 2. that they deliver on as many fronts as possible. I found myself able to dial in mountains of overdrive and distortion tones with the Polysaturator, everything from subtle grit, classic rock, and punk, to modern rock tones, heavy metal, and extreme fuzz sounds, all of them useful and all of them flexible within their realm. The really cool thing about this pedal is it's capability to knock out some damn good treble booster and tweed deluxe tones, which isn't something we regularly see in a distortion box as powerful as this. The Polysaturator's design was spawned from the overdrive section found in the Pigtronix Disnortion pedal, they took it's layout and hot-rodded it adding a Class A J-FET booster stage, JRC4558D powered EQ circuits, and re-voiced the gain structure for an all out array of tones choose from. The outcome? A multi-stage distortion/overdrive pedal with an adjustable, active EQ which can provide up to 12db of cut or boost in the 180Hz, 420Hz, and 1KHz frequencies, perfect for booming out sweet harmonics and spot-on picking dynamics. The pedal is armed with a row of extremely responsive black little knobs, sports a big'n'bright blue LED, and is housed in a small heavy duty enclosure perfect for saving much needed space on those pedalboards of ours. The Input/Output jacks may seem to placed in an awkward position falling both on the right side of the pedal, but placed in the correct spot on your board you will see how handy they can be to your setup. It comes with it's own 15VDC power supply for attaining maximum performance but will also work with standard 9V power adapter. Oh, and before I forget, the box these pedals come in are very very cool, not something you're gonna want to throw away, the pedal itself painted in a hip retro style design that will add some color to your rig. So whether you fly with the classic rockers or are of the hardcore shredders, play single coil or humbucker guitars, this pedal will deliver and deliver quite nicely. We were very stoked to have come across this pedal and excited to get the chance to share it with you. Now let's listen in and see just what this little puppy can do.

Pedal Hunt Podcast #2/Pigtronix Polysaturator

 You can check out more info on the Polysaturator and all the rest of the Pigtronix line at

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Welcome To Tone

The TonePros
T3BT Tune-O-Matic
replacement bridge

I can honestly say I've been playing guitar long enough to have payed my dues, played my fair share of trashy bars, shysty joints, college parties, and "pay to plays". Back in those days I was happy just as long as my guitar had six strings, the amps worked, and I had a decent overdrive pedal to step on when the hooks and solos came. These days things are a little different, throughout the years I've learned a trick or two about upgrading my tone by doing things like swapping tubes, playing true bypass stompboxes and rocking a nice set of pickups, which are all a great way to achieve some killer tones. The simple things like tuning pegs and hardware never passed into my thinking, I just always thought a bridge was a bridge and that was that...... boy was I wrong! For those of you who haven't discovered the magic of TonePros bridges I say to you, do yourself the favor....period!

I recently swapped my Hagstrom Viking's stock bridge for the TonePros T3BT tune-o-matic bridge, the outcome was like day and night, like I was hearing my guitar for the first time. Don't get me wrong with it's stock hardware my guitar sounded pretty damn good, I did plenty of recording sessions and gigs with it and it always did the job. If you've ever played a semi-hollowbody guitar you know how empty and drowned they can sound. The mids always get lost in the mix, the highs can be unstable, and the lows always just float away. There are a handful of things you can do to improve your sound, your tone, and the performance of your instrument. A very important lesson I've learned is that sometimes the most subtle of changes are the things that you will benefit from the most. After installing TonePros' bridge things became much more defined, balanced, and sonically enhanced. I was able to keep the original look of the guitar and all without any modifications to the body. The bridge lets your guitar strings sound the way they were supposed to be heard , the sustain and resonance become extremely clear , bright, and in your face. By keeping a steady balance of vibration along the saddles, chords are able swell and close much nicer, and guitar picking rings out more pronounced. It gives off an almost Compression/EQ punch effect, which sounds a bit dramatic or maybe like I'm exaggerating but until you hear it you won't know what I mean, it's beautiful. Without it my tone sounded like it was being choked, kind of like being on a leash, and it was something that never bothered me because I just never noticed it before. Dealing with the troubles of poor hardware can be something that quietly creeps into your standards until one day it becomes good enough for you. Well to hell with all that mess! Of all the mods, upgrades, and tweaks I've ever done to my tone this one easily delivered the quickest result, the difference was immediate. The other problem I've had with guitars throughout the years is unstable tuning and wacked out intonation. You all know how much this can suck, how much of a pain it can be when you're up on stage stomping your tuner and twisting the tuning pegs while your bandmates, audience, and venue owner stare at you with impatience. My intonation is spot on now, no more of the tuning problems that can come with mass produces factory bridges and hardware. Dialing in the intonation on my guitar has never been easier to do, I was able to setup my entire guitar in no time. The day after installing the TonePros bridge on my guitar I went to the studio to lay down some tracks, I said nothing of it to see if anyone would notice. I pulled out my guitar, tuned it up, worked out a nice gritty tone and got to going. As my parter was setting up mics he says to me, "You just get the Hagstrom setup?" I told him I hadn't. Until I did it myself this last time I had always counted on my local shop to have it done, which is fine and dandy when you have the money to spend it. We went on with the recording session and when it was his turn to lay down some tracks he says again, "Something is different, come on what did you do bro?" So I told him, I said it was the bridge, that I had put it in myself and setup it up at home. He absolutely dug it and was blown away by how much of a difference swapping a bridge could make. Since it's appearance is virtually the same as the old bridge no one will be able to tell you've done anything to your guitar. I love to keep my babies as close in appearance as the day they were born. When my partner went for his Les Paul I could tell he wanted to ask me, wanted to know if they made something to fit his guitar. I pulled another TonPros bridge from my bag and handed it to him, a beautiful, shiny brand new gold wrap around bridge. It was killer to see how stoked as he was. We'll be setting up the Les in the next few days and will for sure report it back to you asap. I'm telling you kids, TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TONE! This is the perfect place to start, even if you're just learning or have very little experience doing it. All in all I can say that if any of my guitars are able to sport a TonePros bridge they will, hit'em up and find out what your guitar's true voice sounds like.
For more info on TonePros Products go to - or click the Tonepros logo in our links section. Look for more TonePros product reviews in upcoming posts here on Analog War Cry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pedal Hunt Podcast Part: 1/ HipKitty Cream Distortion

Ok friends so we had posted earlier this month that we were gonna seek out the baddest, fattest, biggest sounding, sweetest voiced, cream of the crop Overdrive,Distortions, & Fuzz pedals we could find, well we found some real gems for you and we promise we won't disappoint. These next few articles will also be the debut of our podcasts and audio demos, we'll be dialing in, tweaking, and blasting all the pedals for your pedal junky needs. So set your stereos to STUN, grab a SICK pair of headphones, or CRANK your laptop as loud as it can go cause the next next few episodes and articles will feature a killer collection of stompboxes that will instantly add some character and life to your sound, songs, and amplifier. 

HipKitty Products
Cream Distortion
In Part 1 of our Pedal Hunt Podcasts we'll be talking about and demoing the Hipkitty Cream Distortion, a great classic rock voiced distortion pedal with tons of tube-like grit and crunch. This pedal even at it's lowest Drive setting sounds like a tube amp being pushed into velvety, smooth, and well...creamy overdrive, it's name suits it perfectly. Hipkitty's attention to detail both inside and out is an absolute work of art, literally, the pedals are all painted by hand and the outcome is stunning to say the least. Every setting on the Cream Distortion sounds like absolute heaven, my favorite is cranking the Drive knob and rolling back the guitar's volume. HipKitty Products hasn't been around as long as some of the other "boutique" pedal companies but that don't mean squat, the cats building their effects really have a talent for knocking out some timeless classics. Let's get this thing started and let's listen in shall we? 

Pedal Hunt Podcast #1 HipKitty Cream Distortion
(turn down your volume may be loud as hell!!!)

You can check out more info on HipKitty Products at or click their logo in our LINKS section for direct access to the HipKitty website.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Drive that Distortion into Fuzz and let'em know your name!

Attention all you grit, crunch, and sustain hungry tone addicts. Analog War Cry is doing an Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz hunt this month. We're going to be featuring some of the best sounding dirt boxes available today and what we found for you cats you are gonna go bananas over. Some you may not know, some are old time favorites, but all of them are gonna rock your amps into heavenly overdrive bliss. We all know how many of them are floating around out there today and how confusing it can get to to pick the right one for the job. Well the next few articles and reviews will help you get an idea of what's out there so you can get started on building that sound that has been swimming around inside your head since day one. These are the pedals we can't do without, the balls of our sound, and the most important in the bunch. For me this is the one effect pedal I can't get enough of, the one I can always make some room for on my pedalboard, and the one sound I use the most of when I'm recording in the studio. A good selection of OD, Dist, and Fuzz can make your sessions sound huge, give your tunes some meat, and bring your rhythm tracks to life. The backbone of a memorable rock tune always starts with some killer sounding overdrive, I layer anywhere from 4-5 sounds on a song and use as many as I can get my hands on throughout my records. But the mission isn't just to see how crazy and loud we can get our songs to sound, the goal is to create a solid foundation for the rest of the tones to lie in. Having a little patience and a good ear can get you your own signature voice, a sound you can carry throughout your entire career that'll be yours, and yours only. Just like Jimi's banshee fuzz tone, Gilmore's smooth'n'creamy solo distortion, Neil Young's famous gritty drive, Eric Johnson's beautiful violin like overdrive, or Jeff Beck's psychedelic bee buzz sound. The list of famous tones goes on and on, and these cats didn't just fall onto these tones by mistake, no sir. Those special tones comes from our hearts and souls, they are the blood that pumps through our guitars, the breathing of our amps. To have access to such gold we must be willing to pay some dues, do some major tweaking and experimenting, and most important have an open mind. We searched all corners of the earth so we could bring you the tip-top dogs on the scene, so stay tuned and make sure to get hands on some of these diamonds.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Green Clean/Red Shred

(Green Clean/Red Shred)

Boosters... they can be tricky at times, choose poorly and they're capable of sneaking in and stealing that special sound you've worked so hard to get. Some color your tone, some just get too muddy when you crank them high. A good booster on the other hand can make all the difference in the world, they polish up your chorus licks, let your solos scream, and help you standout in the mix when that sea of howling tones is flying wild up on the bandstand. Then there's the great ones, those special breed of boosters that are capable of pushing your amp into golden rock god territory. Meet the AnalogMP GCRS boost/distortion, a two channel little demon on a mission to be heard.  

The GCRS was loosely based on the Zvex Super Duper 2 in 1, the difference being the build/component improvement, and most importantly the price! It might not sport the fancy paint job but it's guts are sure as hell top notch. It has a custom made circuit board, improved supply voltage buffer, metal film resistors for less noise, audio grade caps, and of course is true bypass. The GCRS's duel class-A preamps are capable of boosting your signal up to 3600 times (that'll get your tubes a cookin), it's extremely high input-impedance (>5 ohm) refuses any current flow from your pickups which will give your tone crisp'n'clear definition, and just the like Super Duper offers up to four different volume stages. EXAMPLE: Stage 1. Your amps pure non-boosted tone. Stage 2. The right boost switch which is driven by the right gain knob alone. Stage 3. The left boost switch which is driven by the left gain knob and middle master volume. Stage 4. Both switches engaged, cascade channel 1 into channel 2 for some dirty dirty goodness. This is the perfect pedal for those of you who play single channel amps, or for those that only use their clean channels and rely on pedals for their overdrive and distortion. Combined with it's tone quality and size it can save much needed pedalboard space, and keep you from tap dancing, break dancing, and leg breaking. The GCRS is built to be powered by your choice of an internal 9v battery, standard 9v power supply, both, and for you "green friendly" players can be built with only the 9v power supply jack for a clean serene environment. Oh and just in case you didn't know, a 9v power plate for the original Super Duper costs $29. I tell you my friends, you can't go wrong with this little gem, I have one and I am well over satisfied. 

 AnalogMP also builds true bypass loopers of every number and size, single channel and mini-boosters, power supply boxes, and will even build you your own custom loopers upon request. Paul the captain of AnalogMP has been interested and involved with electronics in one way or another his entire life. He got started in the pedal building scene while attending electrical engineering school in Munich, his first product was a Keeley inspired single channel true bypass looper. His customers being impressed with his work began asking for custom builds, and soon he found himself building double loopers, triple loopers, boosters, and so on so on. Finding enclosures large enough for him to fit his designs became difficult and far too expensive to keep on building. Fortunately the pedal boom was right around the corner, products for the DIY scene began to catch up and so Paul continued on with his venture into tone tweaking. Paul recently built the world's largest true bypass looper, a monster of a pedal rocking 13 true bypass channels, a tuner out, and a master bypass switch. For more info on AnalogMP products click the AMP logo in our links or visit their blog at  Any questions can be sent directly to Paul at 

Here Paul's gigantonormous 13 channel true bypass looper.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We Need The Funk...Gotta Have The Funk!

Groove Regulator
 *Handmade in the USA
 *100% Analog Circuit
 *True Bypass
 *Frequency Response that works on any instrument
 *Durable 2mm-thick aluminum enclosure
 *FX Loop return/send
 *9v DC Power
 *Battery life 15-20 hours
 *High quality powdercoat finish
 *Controls:   Sensitivity/Attack/Decay/Intensity/Feedback/Range/Sweep

Coming at you from "Rain City" Seattle, Washington is 3Leaf Audio and it's little funktified friend the Groove Regulator. This handmade 100% analog envelope filter is the work of art of skilled effects builder Spencer Doren. The Groove Regulator was spawned from the circuit of the now extinct and highly sought after Lovetone Meatball, taken and enhanced for all your psychedelia funked up needs. Plugging into this pedal will suck the lifeless soul out of you and drive you to play licks George Clinton would be proud of. I found myself digging and chuckin into my axe like a man possessed with funk fever, can I get an Amen!? One thing you'll notice right away about this pedal is it's wide frequency response and vocal sweep, this baby will shuck and jive with just about anything you plug into it, your guitars, keyboards, and bass will transform and transmogrify into the irresistibly unkown. It's perfect blend of switches and knobs keeps things easy to dial in so you can get out of it a sound that works best for you and your picking style. Add an effect into it's FX Loop and your tonal possibilities are without end. Not having much experience with this type of effect I decided I'd try and push this pedal to it's limits by combining it with just about every effect I could get my hands on. With overdrive, distortion, and fuzz it delivered a growling unforgiving howl that hit me in all the right places and was perfect for adding some spice to guitar solos and licks. Anyone with an experimentalist heart, plug some delay, flanger or phaser into the Groove Regulator and you'll find yourself in abstract heaven raining down tones of every shape, color and size. Blended with a bit of vibe, tremolo or chorus created a very velvety, warm, classic rock feel and sound, something Zappa would've used in his tunes. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're looking for some new ways to expand your sound this is a great tool for the job. Your amp will bleed every color of the rainbow.
For more info on 3Leaf Audio click the logo in our links or go to
Look for sound bites and video demos on the Groove Regulator later this month.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Analog War Cry News/Updates

Hey fellow fiends of the stomp, we have a killer month of heavenly dipped sonic madness coming your way, March is gonna be full of some unique and badass stompboxes. I did some major hunting last month, found some great support for the site, and we hope to have the video segments and podcasts up and running by the end of the week. We're also gonna start visiting some of our favorite guitar shops, bringing you footage of all the sweet gear they carry and demoing some rare finds as we come across them. We added a mailing list box to top right of the page, sign up so you can keep track of all new posts and group letters, I'd love to hear some feedback from you and if you have some ideas of your own please shoot'em my way. I'm also working on writing new tunes for my band The Black Crayons at the moment, I've been experimenting with some really strange sounds and textures. My goal is to keep the backbone of the music as pure as possible and still be able to add blends of psychedelic tones without making it sound unpleasant or non-traditional. I'm all about straight up rock and roll, psychedelic rock and roll to be exact. I've been working really hard at getting my core tones, setting as good a clean tone as I can get and finding different combos of boosters and overdrive pedals to create the perfect crunchy, gritty, old school Neil Youngish type tones. I'm thinking Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, those cats can dial in one hell of a tone. What's been working best for me so far is using my Fender Deville 4x10 on ultra clean ( I just got some new tubes from Eurotubes which sound amazing in that amp), an overdrive set at about 25-30 %, driving two boosts into each other, and adding just a taste of plate reverb. I know it sounds like that could get a little crazy but you'd be surprised what that combo can do for you. One pedal that I'm yet to get my hands on that everybody seems to be crazy about is the Klon Centaur overdrive, I hear that is the perfect pedal for subtle, defined break-up. If only people would shut up about them maybe the prices would go down, that's just a little too much to spend on an overdriver, at least for me it is. I will keep you guys up to date on our studios adventures once we start recording, maybe I'll throw in a little footage of the sessions as well. Anyhow, stay tuned and remember to subscribe!