Sunday, December 27, 2009

DLS Effects... Ready for anything

What better way to enter into the New Year than with a top-notch delay unit, lord knows if there's one effect we cannot afford to skimp on it's delay. Whenever I think of the cream of the crop effects pedal companies DLS Effects is always one of the few that comes to mind. Think amazing quality, splendid sound, and endless features and you have DLS Effects. DLS's specialty is bridging the old with the new, what you get in the end is a pedal with a vintage vibe and modern features. These are stompboxes you can use in all applications, whether it be studio, live, practice, or experimental. Where I've been able to get the most use out of these pedals though is in live situations, this is where these pedals absolutely shine, when working them on the fly. If you're looking for a collection of effects pedals you can keep around forever, that will deliver what you want when you want them to, DLS is the way to go.

DLS Effects


* Echo 1 Delay Time: 16 Positions/50ms-3 seconds
* Echo 1 Volume: Controls Echo 1 volume
* Tap Tempo: Tap in from 30ms-3 seconds
* Tap Volume: Controls Tao Echo volume
* Echo Repeats: Sets number of repeats
* Echo Tone: Adjusts echo tone only
* Echo 1/Tap Tempo Footswitch: Switches between Echo 1 and Tap Echo
* On/Off Footswitch: Switches between On and Bypass


* Technology: Hi Quality Analog and 16 Bit electronics
* Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz, 256x oversample
* Power: +9vdc Input for 9-13.8vdc/works with any polarity


* Truebypass Switching
* Stereo In & Outs for number of options
* Analog instrument signal is maintained
* Steel Enclosure/Steel Pots/Steel Jacks
* Powder Coated Enclosure
* Designed and Built in the USA by engineer/musicans
* Every unit is tested
* Internal adjustment pots for Input and Output level


The first of the DLS Effects collection we will be looking at is the world famous EchoTap. When it comes to ultimate features, user friendliness, and a fantastic sound... the EchoTap takes on the job perfectly. The overall vibe of this pedal is quality, quality, quality. The EchoTap will take you everywhere from vintage analog unit warm tones, to sparkling clear digital repeats. As a delay pedal alone the EchoTap is a remarkable unit, the quality of the delays and the fact that this pedal leaves your root tone untainted has made this one of the top choices for many pros and everyday players. Where I've found this pedal to work best for me though is through my amp's Effects Loop. I don't know how many great sounding delay pedals I've ran through my Effects Loop only to find out they sound awful, too noisy, or down right muddy. For years I have been on the hunt for a delay unit I could use through my amp's Effects Loop, something that both works and sounds great. I'm happy to say that the EchoTap has beautifully taken over that job for my setup, and has been providing me with impeccable delay tones ever since. Before we get into some of the sounds I've been able to get out of this pedal let's first take a closer look at it's features. On the back of the unit you will find a Duel In & Outs and a +9VDC power input. The Ins and Outs can be used in a number of combinations which include stereo in/stereo out, mono in/stereo out, and of course mono in/mono out. This makes for a wide range of interesting delay sounds. The EchoTap's power jack will work with any polarity which makes it a dream for those of you who use 9V powered pedalboards or 9V power daisy chain supplies. The control panel consists of universal Echo Repeats and Echo Tone controls, Echo-1 Volume, Tap Echo Volume, Echo-1 Delay Time knob, Echo-1/Tap Echo switch, and On/Off switch. On the inside of the pedal you will find adjustment pots for Input and Output levels. All together this make for a seriously wide variety of sounds and options. The pedal let's you flip between a dialed-in preset delay and tap-tempo option. This means you can set your universal delay with the Echo-1 option and flip into the Tap Tempo mode when wanting to take the delay sound elsewhere. The Echo-1 option works as a preset delay that is controlled by the universal Repeats and Tone knobs, it's own Volume knob, and a 16-position Delay Time knob. The Tap Echo delay is also controlled with the universal Repeats and Tone knobs and has it's own volume, only the delay time is set with Echo Tap switch. Echo-1 offers 50ms-3 seconds of delay, and Tap Echo offers 30ms-3 seconds. With these two delay options you can dial in two entirely different sounds and toggle back & fourth without loosing your preset Echo-1 setting. The Tone knob is also really quite special and one of my favorite features on this pedal. With the EchoTap's Tone knob you can dial-in both perfect crystal clear or warm tape echo like delay sounds. Another great feature of the Tone knob is it only affects the delay repeats leaving the tone you've worked so hard to get intact. With the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise (in it's crystal clear setting) you can get just about infinite repeats, this makes for some wild-out space echo madness. The Tone all the way clockwise will produce a more vintage feel delay sound, less sharp and defined. For a pedal with so many options you'll find it's really quite easy to use. Now that we tapped into some of it's controls let's go on to some delay tone goodness.

Like I said before, the way I've been using this pedal is through my amp's Effects Loop, not that the EchoTap doesn't sound equally as good straight through the front of my amp, but this way I don't have to worry about where to place it on your board or how it's going to affect the other pedals. First up to bat was the Echo-1 mode, I used this to dial in a nice general delay sound I could use with all my playing. The pedal delivered a perfect universal delay sound that cut through the mix just right and trailed off just enough to not get in the way of my playing. I found the 350ms and 400ms delay times worked best for this application. I set the delay's tone slightly towards the warmer side so that it would project as subtle as possible, and set the volume just behind my amp's tone so that it wouldn't overpower it. The end delay result wasn't too strong or too weak, it was just enough to let you know it was there. To get a more aggressive delay tone all you do is simply flip the Repeat knob a bit longer and run the Tone knob counter-clockwise for more defined echo repeats. I also dialed-in a killer slapback echo that had my partner's jaw on the floor, he's a big time chickin' pickin' and rockabilly freak. Anything from 50ms-150ms sounded great for slapback sounds. Again because of the EchoTap's wide range of tonal options you can sit and work out as precise a slapback as you want. Once I had few good general delay settings worked out with the Echo-1 mode I switched into the Tap Echo option. One thing you'll dig about this pedal's tap switch is how spot-on it is, it's easy on the foot, smooth, and latch-free. This makes tapping in on the fly a pleasure and not a drag. Next I unplugged from my amp's Effects Loop and plugged into two amps using the stereo In & Outs. We ran two equally measured CoreX2 solderless cables into a Deville and Twin. I set the EchoTap's overall tone to a sweet balance between warm and bright, ran a high number of repeats to make things fun, and kicked into the higher delay times. We set both amps at equal volume only set one warmer than the other to make the ping-pong effect more dramatic. This produced a springy and spacey delay effect that filled the air with a wave psychedelic trails. Next I rolled the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise, set the repeats to 100%, and all of the madness you can imagine just broke loose throughout our entire studio. Each echo repeat came and went with perfect ease, fading smoothly without any sharp edges. The fun didn't end there though, no sir. Next we broke out a few of our favorite modulation pedals, overdrive pedals, and noise boxes. Then went to town dialing in a symphony beautifully odd delay sounds. I was able to get a great worn-in tape delay sound by adding a little bit of chorus and running the EchoTap's Tone knob warm. Running a hint of phaser also worked really nice to help with the flutter and warble effect. While in stereo mode we dialed in the most epic delay sound ever, U2's The Edge would've been proud. Before calling it quits I went back to my universal delay setting and added in some overdrive. This got me a beast of rhythm tone that accented my chords perfectly. The echo sound filled the atmosphere without getting out of control or getting in the way of my playing. With fuzz pedals and a long delay setting I was able to get some bugged out, out of this world sound effects. Everything I threw at this pedal sounded killer, oscillators, noise boxes, keyboards, you name it. Really I see no limit to what you can do with this pedal, it all depends on how wide your imagination is. If you're looking for that last delay unit you'll ever have to buy the EchoTap makes for a great candidate. If you're someone who uses more than one delay unit to get all their sounds this pedal will work wonders for you. The EchoTap takes care of it all, makes thigns easy, and frees you up from lots of unnecessary work. I am super stoked to bring you guys more from DLS Effects so please keep your eyes peeled, you'll be glad you did. The Echotap is a delay pedal built for one thing and one thing only... to serve you to the fullest. Go out and check one out!!!

For more info on DLS Effects go to or click the direct link in our sidebar. Make sure you keep an eye out on new releases coming soon from DLS and more features from this wonderful company here on Analog War Cry. Dig it!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

T-Rex Tonebug Overdrive Giveaway Winner!!

Tone Bug Overdrive/Gear Giveaway

Alright kids, here we go. First we want to say thanks for everyone for their support and please continue to keep checking in for more of these awesome giveaway's. The winner of our T-Rex Tonebug Overdrive has been posted below, the winner has been notified,and he has responded to Analog War Cry to claim his prize. Again thanks for participating and stay tuned for a bunch more killer gear this month, Dec is not over.

Evan Marder
Mar Vista, California
(Here is your prize friend)

In there beginning there was overdrive...
Not distortion, certainly not fuzz, but overdrive - that almost miraculously warm, saturated sound of one vintage tube amp pushing the next one just a little too hard. It's what the blues are made of, and it's what created rock and roll. In fact, it's the first foundation of just about every style of guitar playing out there. And now it's yours in the Tone Bug Overdrive.
- T.Rex Engineering

For more info on the Tonebug Overdrive or any of T-Rex's killer products go to Stay tuned for more awesome posts from T-Rex and make sure to keep a look out for more giveaway's here on AWC in the near future.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Splendid Ear Torture

Attention all you wicked visionaries, audio madmen, and fiendish tone hounds. Looking for a way to bring about all those sick and twisted sounds that hide inside the dark corners of your mind? Let us introduce you to Electro Faustus, a group of gifted madmen with a knack for designing some strangely beautiful and off-the-wall musical gadgets. Let's face it, in all of us there lives that hunger to create something unique and different. It's those odd little undertones that we incorporate into our music that gives our sound that something special. Sometimes we may shy away from noise boxes, oscillators, and other strange gizmos simply because they can be a pain to dial in or operate. The cats at Electro Faustus have put an end to this annoying ritual by coming up with a collection of straight forward, easy to use gear that not only sounds great, but covers a wide range of tonal possibilities. As a fan of cats like Zappa, Naked City, Fantomas, Pink Floyd, and Hawkwind, I found this gear to be quite exciting and dead on the road to psychedelic heaven. We will be taking a look at all of the Electro Faustus gear one gadget at a time, exploring their possibilities, and taking things to the next level. Let's proceed on this journey shall we?

(Duel Oscillator)

* Output: Feeds to amp, other effects, etc...
* On/Off Switch: Also works for machine gun effects
* Rate: Controls Speed of oscillation
* Frequency: Controls oscillation frequency
* Power: Runs on single 9V battery

There couldn't be a simpler, better sounding, easy to use oscillator out there. In the time it took me to pull this thing out of it's box and plug it in I was creating bugged out screams, screeches, and freakazoid squeals. You're instantly transformed into a musical mad scientist with this fantastic gadget. It seems lately more and more players have been in touch with their experimental side, me included, and gear like this is perfect for working out trippy background ambiance. Like I said, it didn't take much to get this going, simply plug in and let your imagination go. The first thing I did was plug it straight into my amp to see how it sounded on it's own. Once plugged in I realized it had lots of output, you definitely don't have to worry about having this baby heard when you gig with it. I ended up adding a volume pedal to control the output which gave me the ability to do swells and what not. The Rate knob will go everywhere from slow beeps, squeaks, and chirps, to laser gun effects, howls, and psychedelic space ship noise. The Frequency knob covers a huge range of tones that will let you dial the EF101 into whatever key your playing in, or just use it to go back fourth from high and low tones. Once I got a hang at getting what I wanted from it (which was faster than all hell) I broke out my guitar and mixed it into the EF101's sounds. First I dialed in a steady pulse to the tempo I was playing at, then matched the key I was in and that was that. It made the acoustic guitar and myself sound much more interesting and gave us an entire new vibe. This eventually gave me a bunch more idea's for killer sounding background noise and I was off to the races. I plugged in a phaser after it along with the volume pedal which totally worked beautifully. I set the phaser's depth at 100%, slowed the rate to an eerie wave, and controlled the overall sound with the volume pedal. The sound was unbelievable! More importantly that I was able to get that cool of a sound that quickly is what really impressed me. In fact I think I emailed Electro Faustus right after that to let them know how cool of a gadget the EF101 was. From here my mind started racing and I took the thing and went bananas. Next to go in the chain was a wah wah pedal, this combined with the phaser and EF101 got me some twisted sounding arpeggiator effects. All I did was set the beep of the EF101 to a medium tempo, matched the phasers rate to the tempo with the depth all the way up, through a bit of reverb on the amp, and rocked the wah back and fourth. The end result was freakin awesome! After this I found insane ways to use this thing with delay pedals, fuzz boxes, reverb units, tremolos, and even to trigger other effect units. One of my favorite ways to use the EF101 was with a delay and volume pedal. What I did was set the rate as far as it would go so that it becomes and endless tone, like the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sound your TV makes when you get the "This is a test of the american broadcast system...." announcement. With the delay and volume pedal you can slap in, swell it in, and crank out some of the most hellish sounds you'll ever hear. Every way I used this thing was pretty elementary, I'm sure there are much more complex and twisted ways to use an oscillator. This just goes to show how quickly and easily you can get great sounding usable sounds from it. A few days after the EF101 arrived I ended up using it in a solo acoustic gig I played. I set some marks to show me where the keys were for each song, brought a bunch of pedals to plug into it, and had it plugged in to the venue's PA system. It ended up being one of the coolest shows I'd ever played. I had everyone's attention, strangers, friends, other acts, and even the club promoter came up to compliment me on the sound. All I did was add in a little of the EF101's magic. Just goes to show how much a little noise can do for you. After that the EF101 quickly became a regular tool for my music, my band's, and our little recording studio's. There really are no limits with this simple little box, everyday I figure some cool way to add swirling layers, artistic noise, or splendid ear torture to my music. Behind your tunes as an accent tool is what makes this gadget so cool, and really where the EF101 shines and works it's best. I will be making some videos of the Ef101 in due time and once I do I will make sure to share them with you. I want you guys to see just how killer of a tone-tool this thing really is, you can't loose. For it's price ($39.95) you cannot beat this thing. It makes for a perfect gift to give your music buddies, and an affordable way to own a great sounding oscillator. Analog War Cry is going to make it their mission to go through all of the Electro Faustus gear and make sure to share the info back with all of ya'll. So make sure to check in with us in a few and until then make sure to check out the Electro Faustus video demos on Youtube and EF website. There are also some really really cool audio demos with graphics on of all the gadgets on the Ef website. I highly suggest you check out this gear, you will thank me for it. So to all of you screamers of the night, tone wizards, space rockers, and musical alchemists... Here is another way to get your rocks off.

For more info on Electro Faustus go to or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at more of this wonderful gear in the near future so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. We'll be back soon with some more EF fun.

Monday, December 21, 2009


If you've ever had the pleasure of plugging into a Fuchs amplifier you know just how much attention to detail goes into their sound, build, and design. Of gear that has landed on our doorsteps in the last decade or so I can honestly say the Fuchs Audio Tech is amongst the top 10 names available today. So who's responsible for this dream-tone building machine? The name's Andy Fuchs, and he ain't no ordinary tone chasing freak. This man is a true artist of the game, an audio archeologist, and a tone architect of our time. Andy's ability to design gear capable of reproducing yesterday's golden tones is mind-blowing! Within the Fuchs line you will also find a handful of gear with Andy's own touch, gear that many of today's heavyweight's choose to use in their setups. When I first discovered the Fuchs name I remember saying to myself "If only these cats had their own pedals..." So when the Plush FX line came rolling out of the gate a few years back you can only imagine how stoked I must have been. Just like the Fuchs amplifiers every pedal that comes from the Plush FX line is outstanding. All pedals are built from the highest quality components, and are capable of an array if tones that will keep you busy busy busy. We're gonna be taking a look at two of AWC's favorite Plush FX pedals, the Extreme Cream overdrive, and Good Verbrations reverb unit. If you guys aren't up on these killer pedals this is a great place to start. Dig it!


Extreme Cream

* Cast Aluminum Housing
* Industrial Powder Coat Finish
* Heat Cured Silk Screen Labeling
* Cliff 3PDT True Bypass
* Neutrik Connectors
* Metal Shaft Controls
* Mil Spec Circuit Board Construction
* 5 Year Warranty
* Made in the USA

I'll tell you one thing, they nailed the name of this pedal dead on the spot. When it comes to a smooth, lush, creamy overdrive, there's no better place to stop than this bad boy. The Extreme Cream is the overedriver for the player looking to get all his dirt tones from one box. The pedal offers two identical 3-knob channels that produce a handful of sweet sounding tones. The "Hot" channel is voiced more heavier overdrive, all-out distortion, and searing lead tones. The "Warm" channel projects more of a rhythm tone, giving you subtle to crunchy overdrive tones. The Extreme Cream's two channels when combined with your root tone will cover just about everything you'll need for the stage, recording studio, and band practice. Both channels sport Level, Tone, and Gain knobs. The LEDs are super for bright which make this a killer pedal for gigging outdoors or on dark stages. The Extreme Cream's circuit consists of high quality IC's and hand selected FET's, this gives the pedal it's organic tube-like tone and keeps the noise level at a minimum. The overall design is very sleek and intelligent, making east use of this pedal and handing you quick usable tones from one minute to the next.

Round #1:

Like all overdrive pedals that come through AWC there is one guitar's test they must pass, and that is my beloved Lady, my candy apple red custom Tele. The first amp tone we set up was a sparkling clean Hot Rod Deville sound, plugged into the low channel with everything at 7 except the bass knob between 4-5, and reverb level at 2. I set the Extreme Cream's Warm channel with it Level knob matching the amp's output, the Tone at about 10'o'clock, and Gain at 9'o'clock. The Hot channel was set a bit hairier, it's Level knob a touch above the amp's output, Tone at noon for more bite, and Gain at noon. We felt these two settings would be a perfect starting point for getting an taste of what the two different channel are capable of and an idea of how they work together. I started with some simple rock riffing with the pedal bypassed, the sound was crispy clean no sign of mean. Once engaged the Extreme Cream's Warm channel produced a buttery, semi-clean dirt tone, just like a tube amp on the verge of break-up. The sound could easily be tamed by lightening my strumming or rolling back a click of my guitar's volume knob. Adding in the Hot channel dished out an entire new flavor, everything became more intense, saturated, and compressed. The little extra output I dialed into the Hot channel along with it's more aggressive voicing made it sound huge. I had a spot-on classic rock tone, and with Lady's tone knob rolled back and neck humbucker switched on I was able to get a killer woman tone. Any pedal that's capable of giving you a woman tone through a Tele and Fender Deville is rockin in my book.

Round #2

For some more extreme settings I pulled out the Les Paul and Stratocatser, I wanted to hear the differences between both of the guitar's characters. I used a couple of classic reissue amps with each guitar, a Bluesbreaker and Princeton Reverb (thanks to my buddy's awesome studio). The first setup was the Les Paul through the Princeton, with the amp set to a low volume super clean tone. The Extreme Cream was set hotter for these runs, the Warm channel with it's Level at around 2'o'clock (to push the amp a bit), Tone at 10'o'clock, and Gain at 2'o'clock. I played some bluesy lead runs with the pedal bypassed first, picking lightly and smoothly to get as clean a tone as possible. I kicked in the Warm channel and BOOM! Everything jumped out and bit like a angry rattle snake. The pedal broke my amp into a Brown Sugar Stones tone, my chords rumbled with perfect balance and clarity. What's really sweet about this pedal is that it responds to your pick attack just like a tube amp does. All of the little undertones and overtones you can get from a overdriven amp as possible with the Extreme Cream. Next I stepped on the channel switch and engaged the Hot channel. The Hot channel was was set exactly the same only the Gain was set between 3-4. The second I switched it in all of my frequencies bloomed into fat'n'saturated lead tone. Each note was extremely pronounced and velvety. The amount of control I was able to get from the overdrive sound was unbelievable. I was able to manipulate every little nuance, bit of feedback, and vibration. How the hell Andy pulled this off is beyond me, I would absolutely kill to apprentice under this man. Next up to bat was the Strat through the Princeton, same amp and pedal settings. Now there was a difference in the sound of course, but the attitude and character of the pedal's tone was still there 100%. With the single coils there was much more of an bounce and edge to the overdrive. Through the Warm channel it reminded me of a jazzy Stevie Ray Vaughn tone. The sound was warm, round, gritty, and grimy, a very clever sound for pulling off a bunch of different music genres. With the Hot channel thrown into the mix it is was Hendrix city all the way. I added in my wah and had the drive screeching and wailing, every rock of my foot sizzled the Extreme Cream's tone higher and angrier. I added in more amp volume to make things even louder and to my delight the pedal stayed quiet and kept. By this point I was stunned at cool of a pedal this is. Last I would just have to say I see no way to wrong here, I found no bad tone out of this monster. Everything I threw at this pedal and every application I put it up against worked out beautifully. I would imagine all of the Plush FX overdrive and distortion units sound this killer. I would love to hear what else Andy has up his sleeve, or hear what his delay units sound like. This is no hype friends, these are pro-to-the-fessional sounding stompboxes. We will be looking at more of these awesome pedals in the near future so please stay tuned. The Extreme Cream has officially been chosen to appear on our next record too, we will share that with you once we get some takes recorded. Can you dig it!!?

For more info on Fuchs Audio Technology or Plush FX go to Whether it be amp or pedal, you will find something remarkable on this website. I am saving up for a Fuchs amp I'll tell you that much. Peace friends.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side


San Diego, California
Builder/Designer: David Loo
Years in the Game: 5
Influence: The Dark Side of Man

I'd like to introduce you to the new kid on the block. New on the scene this company may be but that means nothing, this little outfit is producing some of the most innovative and awesome sounding pedals we've seen all year. David Loo the creator and man in charge of SD Pedal Company has one mission to accomplish... to bring the pedal world a refreshing and exciting collection of stompboxes. The first run of pedals from this company is based around the 7 Deadly Sins, a collection of unforgivably freakish, stunningly different stompboxes with some sounds only God could forgive. What better theme for a line of pedals, with today's world I say it's a perfect source of inspiration. David has already taken care of Wrath, Lust, and Envy, and will be knocking out the rest of the Sins in due time, just be patient and commit one sin at a time. With everything that came out of left field this year this is by far some of the best gear to hit our studio. I can only imagine what David will come up with next, and what will come once he's done with his 7 Deadly Sins collection. Like my man Lou Reed says, "Take a walk on the wild side."


* Mosfet Overdrive
* Tight switch = creamy OD
* Loose switch for growling dist
* Bass Boost switch for single coil stack compensation
* Handmade w/quality components
* Individually biased and tesed

Wrath, the most brutal of all the sins. A rush of anger is an emotion that can drive any man to go from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. Now it may not be the smartest of emotions to jump in to if you want to keep yourself out of trouble, but when it comes to your guitar's tone there's nothing better than being able to quickly go from subtle to all-out mayhem. The San Diego Pedal Co. Wrath overdrive/distortion is the perfect tool for driving your amp from Jekyll to Hyde, Ying to Yang, or Day to Night. The reason for the Wrath's wide range of tonal option is it's slick layout of controls. The knobs consist of a Volume-Mids-Treble-Drive, and toggle switches are Tight/Loose, and Bass Boost. The Wrath can be powered by 9V battery or 9VDC adapter. Finally the pedal is topped off with high quality parts/components, a bright red LED, an army ready enclosure, and sick art graphics. This combined with the pedal's tonal abilities makes this a very desirable stompbox.

We ran the Wrath through a few different guitars but the pickup setup the pedal absolutely dug the most were a duel humbucker combination. Through single coils the pedal worked fantastically and sounded great, but it was the character of a great set of buckers that were able to really pull the most out of this pedal. We set up the low wattage 15/7 watt head through a 2x12 cab, dialed it in for a semi-clean tone, and flipped it in the 15 watt option. The Wrath was set up straight up the middle except for the Drive knob which we set at a quarter of the way up, the Bass Boost off, and set in the Tight setting. This setting produced a sparkling, gritty, 50/50 tone, with lots of clarity and spank. This setting didn't take much to clean it up either, all I did was roll the volume knob back about 25%. When rolled down to a clean tone the pedal maintained all of the amp's warmth and brightness. I kicked the Drive knob up to 50% and this is where the pedal started showing me the beginning of it's attitude. This point in the Drive knob is where the pedal really starts to saturate, and where the tone starts going from overdrive to distortion. The way I always test tube-like characteristic in a pedal is by lightly palm muting whole chords, harmonics, bends, and double stops. These are always the little tricks that produce the most undertones and overtones. The Wrath sounded great through all these applications and definitely passed with flying colors. By snapping in the Loose and Bass Boost settings I was able to get an entire new sound out of the same knob settings. The two mini toggle switches are the real genius of this pedal, they have the ability to give the pedal a bunch of different pedal characters. With the Drive knob from 75-100% you get nothing but an all-out Rock to the Roll tone. I was able to dial in a perfect Angus Young distortion with the Treble rolled back to 9'o'clock, the Mids at 3'o'clock, Bass boost on, and Loose switch engaged. With the Drive all the way up you get a perfect combo of distortion rhythm and lead tones. With the Drive maxed you can also get a pretty mean classic heavy metal tone, just roll the Mids almost to zero and Treble almost 100%. The Wrath will dish out everything from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Motorhead metal sounds, very cool stuff. To drive the pedal into a more modern metal tone I threw a booster in front of it, this drove all of the pedals frequencies into a slammin' distortion of anger and fury. Last I brought the Drive knob back down to a minimum, set the EQ and volume to noon, and set the amp to 7 watts. Now this got us some wickedly compressed tones. Being able to crank the amp all the way into a healthy overdrive and pushing the Wrath through it really created some off-the-wall overdrive and distortion sounds. With a flip of my guitar's volume I was able to go from overdrive, to semi-clean, and all the way back into a sickening distortion. Overall the Wrath sounded great through a low watt amp.

Now it was time for some high gain fun. For this we broke out the Super Lead, of course, and set it pretty damn dirty. I bumped every knob on the amp as far as I could go without it sounding too extreme. I swapped guitars into a triple mini-humbucker guitar and reset the Wrath for a mild overdrive. I set the Volume just a tad above the amp's, Mids at about 2'o'clock, Treble at noon, Drive at 3'o'clock, Bass Boost engaged, and Loose switch on. With the amp already overdriven the pedal got us one of the most insane distortion tones we've ever heard. The sound was so freakin rich'n'creamy it made it hard to stop playing. I got so excited I actually threw the pedal into my gigging board to see how well it work with all my pedals. It worked great! The comp I use is always on and sometimes I get overdrive pedals that don't sound good through a bit of compression, this was not an issue with this pedal. The Wrath with a bit of compression through it gave the sound a more focused and clear sound, this made the overdrive and distortion that came out of it even more fantastic. Everything I fed through it or put after it sounded huge, especially my overdrive and clean boosters. A really awesome combination I discovered was running the compressor, a BB Preamp, and the Wrath all at the same time. Talk about rock and roll heaven. This gave us a tone with lots chug, ooompf, and mucho howl. A perfect tone for laying doen some mean rhythm guitar tracks with. One thing I had to do while I had this tone dialed in was snap the wah in to see how well it work it. The Wrath handled the wah beautifully, and I don't setup my wah in the traditional position in the chain, I actually use my wah last. When you use a wah last in an effects chain everything you put through it comes off extremely powerful. If your sound isn't on point it will show and show loudly. To get more great tones from the Wrath all I had to do was play with it's Drive knob and flip the toggle switches. Through the Super Lead we got everything from blues tones, heavy lead tones, classic rock tones, heavy metal sounds, and even some authentic Eddie Van Halen distortion. If you sit down with this pedal long enough you can get every dirt tone you'd ever need for a gig. In the end this is just a overdrive/distortion beast, there is literally no way to get a bad sound from this pedal. Each knob responds really well and the sweep of the drive is huge. The pedal being able to work great with your guitar's volume alone is enough to make this a keeper. Throw in everything else and a bit of imagination and you have one super hip stompbox. For a cat who's only been at it for about 5 years David is highly talented, but more important he has a great ear and is very imaginative. A good ear and creativity will get you far in this game. It's builders like these that always produce the most memorable gear, the most usable gear, and the gear you see in people's rigs. It's really cool David will be working all 7 Deadly Sins into effects pedals, it makes them a bit of a collectors edition and gives everyone who owns one of his pedals something to look forward to. We will be looking at more of these killer stompboxes and will be keeping track of San Diego Pedal Co's progress. As a matter of fact the Envy envelope fuzz pedal is now available for order and will ship asap. In the next few months David will also give light to the Greed pedal, which is a germanium transistor based fuzz pedal with a voltage starve option. We will welcome all of these bad to the bone pedals with open arms and make sure to report back to you to the fullest. Keep your eyes peeled these next few weeks for another of these amazing creations, and remember to support the artists of our scene. These are the cats giving us the ability to sound original. I proud to have such a killer pedal company here in Southern Cali. Check'em out!

For more info on San Diego Pedal Company go to or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at another of these pedal in the near future so stay tuned. See ya then kids.



Friday, December 18, 2009

J.S. Moore Pickups / The Road to Great Tone

J.S. Moore Pickups, the answer for anyone looking for a set of killer custom handwound guitar pickups. Need buckers? No problem. A set of Tele or Strat pups? You got it. How about some P90's? Coming right up. What about mini-buckers?.... you get the picture. Jon Moore the mastermind and man in charge at J.S. Moore Pickups has one thing on mind, to build you the best possible set of pickups man can offer. I had a chance to not one, but three different sets of Jon's pickups, and I have to tell you each model blew my mind! The keen ear for good tone Jon has is something that comes across clearly through each of his pickups. I wanted you guys to some really cool gear to check out this month so that going into the new year you would be armed and ready for the masses. J.S. Moore Pickups are a great place to start and a great way to have your axe sounding it's best. The quality, look, build, and sound of these pickups all lead up to one place... the road to great sounding music.


Strat® Single Coil Pickups

*Wound to mid 1960's specs
*Approx. 5.8k w/plain enamel wire
*60's Stagger Alnico 5 rod magnets
*Also available-
in a Duece set
w/Alnico 2 magnets
and w/RWRP middle pickup

In the last couple years since I've taken up the job to do my own guitar mods the one area I can never get bored of experimenting with is pickup swapping. The reason for this new found love is pickup builders like Jonathan Moore. The passion and hard work that goes into building a pickup like this can really be heard instantly, and will do for your overall tone what you wouldn't imagine. I put the set of Monterey pickup into my guitar players Strat without telling him and it didn't take 2 minutes for him to figure out that I had done something to his guitar, he was absolutely stoked. In fact now that I think about it those pickups are still in his guitar! We did some serious demoing of these pickups and put them through just about every amp, pedal, and setting we could manage. I wanted to go for a straight-up dirty blues tone first so I setup a Tubescreamer through a Blackface (Twin Rev) and got to stepping. I plugged into the Twin's Normal channel, set it Bright, and rolled every knob to 7. The amp was pretty loud, at the point just where the speakers start to hand you grit'n'rumble. The first thing that stood out to me about these pickups was how accurate the picking response was, every chuck, strum, dig, and brush of my guitar pick came through evenly and balanced. All of the natural woody tone from the guitar came through much clearer and stronger. There's nothing more I love than a set of pickups that can bring out your guitar's acoustical sound. The overdrive I was getting from just the amp and Monterey's was smokin! To clean up the tone 100% all I had to do was roll the guitar's volume knob back about 3-4 clicks, I did this and didn't loose any of the Monterey's character nor did any of the amp's size change. Next I threw in the TS-808 set straight up the middle, and next thing you know a mountain of rich'n'thick grit came screaming out from my amp, a sound Stevie Ray would've been proud to rock out to. Each string growled evenly and beautifully, the low strings delivered a world of tight lows and mid-range honk, and the high strings sounded off glassy and piano-like. I stacked the TS-808 with a distortion pedal to see how well the pickups would handle higher distortion levels, and just like I imagined they would they came through like champs. My lead runs were smooth yet aggressive, picking was bright'n'balanced, and both simple and complex chords came through strong'n'clear. With the Monterey's you get all of the punch, bounce, and pop you would expect from a great set of Strat pickups. Before swapping in the J.S. Moore's the guitar's tone was much darker and a bit dull to be quite honest, definitely no match for these pro quality, custom wound monsters. We figured Jon named these pickups Monterey's for a good reason, so we busted out the Super Lead, my wah, and one of my favorite fuzz boxes. I set the Marshall's tone pretty strong, having it deliver a tight, warm tube overdrive, and used the fuzz box to drive it into madness. Without the fuzz the pickups latched on the amp's tone perfectly, giving me a pure 100% authentic classic rock tone. I could hear the likes of Zeppelin, Sabbath, The Who, Deep Purple, Santana, and the man himself Jimi coming through clearly from my amp. I was able to get and control all the sustain I wanted, and create a mountain of feedback so evil it was scary! I didn't think the sound would get any better and then I added in the wah and fuzz pedal. The pickups howled, wailed, and soared the air like a wicked ball of energy and vibration. Every push of the tremolo bar was razor sharp, and each dive bomb felt like it gulped the air around down with it. We got so excited while demoing these pickups that it ended up turning into a jam session. I jumped on the drums, yes I play the drums too, and my buddy turned up the guitar. We got lost in a psychedelic trip of wild noise and splendid melodies. What else can I say about these bad boys? The Monterey's combined with the new pots and rewire job I did on my buddy's guitar was like plugging into a new guitar, a new guitar with the voice of a vintage favorite. Now to try and get those pickups back from my buddy!



*Wound from 59' Double White PAF Specs
*Neck/8.3k - Bridge/7.8k or 7.6k
*Unpotted for more air and dymanics
*Also available in
Double White
Double Black

What the PAF pickup has done and continues to do for our music is absolutely stunning! This is the pickups I think of when someone says Rock and Roll. It is the life blood of many of the most famous guitar licks, and a tool used by just about every rock icon out there. If you've ever had a chance to rock out to a vintage, authentic, proper set of PAF's you know there's nothing like it. The sound they produce has an earthy tone that only they can produce. They can make any level of player sound like a Rock God, and have you dreaming of the rock and roll lifestyle. In the last few years there have been more and more pickup builders taking their shot at this classic rock tool. There are a few cats out there that have been able to get pretty damn close to the original PAF sound, and then there's those few that take it there and beyond. With the V-59's you don't get pretty close, you get spot-on. J.S. Moore has his hand in the future of rock and roll with these awesome pickups. From the moment you plug them in you feel what tone is really about. When I was a kid I was lucky and blessed to have Jackson Browne as my mentor and good friend, oh the gear I got to see and play. Many times he'd lend me guitars, amps, or set me up with recording time in his amazing studio. On many occasions Jackson would invite me to his studio to get some lessons on how music was formed, this isn't what he said he was having me over for but looking back it's all so clear. It was back then and in those sessions that I got to hear the first classic Les Paul's, along with an arsenal of other killer gear of course. I will never forget what that old school PAF sound would do for a session, it was remarkable. The V-59's were able to take me back to those awesome memories and bring back a taste of yesterday's good ol' rock and roll. The first thing I thought of when I swapped the V-59's into my guitar was "Wow! I've got to lay down some tracks." When doing a rhythm track there is no better pickup for the job, and these pickups proved that to a T. With humbuckers there is no room for mistakes, they are the one pickup that lets it all hang out whether playing soft or hard, clean or through distortion. The voice of the PAF is one of the if not the strongest of all the pickups, I've played buckers so powerful before they've been able to drive fuzz out of an amp on their own. It's obvious these J.S. Moore pickups come from one place and one place only... the love of tone. You don't create a pair of pickups this killer sounding unless you got the passion and the drive to do so. Like I said earlier, every set/model of Jon's pickups that I tried sounded stunning. The first test drive with the V-59's that I took was through a low watt amp. Once I plugged in it didn't take much to have these amp grunting and a snorting. To get the fattest sound possible without having to use a pedal I plugged into my 15/7 watt amp head and 2x10 cab. First I set the amp for it's full 15 watts and slammed every knob just a few clicks before full blast. Oh it was just beautiful. Think Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, and Santana playing an SG. Everything I could've wanted from these pickups was right there coming from my hands. I had a perfect amount dirt, a solid level, and balanced eq. With the amp's mids rolled up all the way, bass at noon, and highs at noon I got some killer punk rock tones that filled the air with careless attitude. I started rocking out my favorite Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Minor Threat riffs. It brought me right back to my early punk days, it was even able to pull some of my old forgotten punk songs out from me. It doesn't end there though, the great thing about these pickups is that they can do a subtle overdrive tone as well, it's all about where you place your guitar's volume and how much gain you have pumping through your amp. The lighter I would touch the strings the less grit that pickups produced. The V-59's respond and play well with your guitar's tone knob too, some pickups will get muddy right away if you even go near the tone pot, not here. You can lay back on the tone and get some sweet woman tones in an instant. With the combination of the guitar's volume and tone knobs alone I was able to dial-in an army of different classic rock tones. The neck pickup did just about every style of rhythm sound I wanted it to, and the bridge hit every accent in my lead riffs. Next I flipped the amp head into 7 watts and boy did the golden tones come'a knockin. It was lovely the low volume rock tones I was able to get, once mic'd you would never be able to tell the sounds were coming from such a low powered amp. The V-59's compressed and pushed the amp like it had never been pushed before, I could feel the speakers loving every chord strummed and lick struck. Before I knew it hours had gone by, I was stucj in one of those vortex's that only a great piece of gear can do to you. These pickups are really something special, everything from quality on down to the design. For those of you on a replica building mission or anyone on the hunt for an upgrade these are the pickups for the job. It almost makes me want to hunt down a project guitar and build myself a 50's style Les Paul. Oh and before I forget Les Paul's aren't the only guitars these pickups sound great in, no sir. I spent an entire day rewiring and swapping the V-59's into a semi hollow body guitar. If you've ever had to do a semi hollow body pickup job you know how much of a pain it can, but the prize I got in the end was well worth the work. While I was rocking out to the Studio Les Paul I had first put the pickups into I was imagining how great they would sound in my Dot. Really it was more of the same only a different flavor of it. The semi hollow body produced more airy, woofy tones with the V-59's, but they were usable, gig worthy, and recording friendly tones nontheless. I set the same amount of overdrive for this guitar to hear the difference, and the chords sounded just as immaculate as they did through a solid body. Last I took out some of my fuzz boxes, plugged in, and next thing you know another hour went by. I was stuck in an amazing collection of classic and modern fuzz tones. The louder I would turn up a box the more control the pickups would hand me, usually this is the opposite when playing at loud levels but for some reason that wasn't an issue here. This tells me one thing, attention to detail. Jon is by far one of the most talented pickups builders I have ever come across. Each one of the pickups he builds oozes with character and life. I see no way you can go wrong with J.S. Moore's. Can you dig that?

For more info on J.S. Moore Pickups you can go to or click the direct link in our sidebar. I am on a hunt to bring you guys more from this awesome pickup company so please keep your eyes peeled. Rock lives!!!! J.S. Moore Pickups!!!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Step into the Barbershop my son...

There was one mission at hand this month here at Analog War Cry, and that was to bring you cats as much killer gear as we could get our hands on. Well strap in to your chair, grab your reading glasses, and get ready for a class in Tone 101. The top notch gear continues here with the good people at Fairfield Circuitry, and if you haven't heard of this company I highly suggest you pay attention. Fairfield Circuitry is the brainchild of one Guillaume Fairfield, a highly talented cat with slick ear for producing great sounding pedals. It was about a year ago that I had came across the Fairfield Circuitry website, instantly I was impressed. There was a vibe to their gear/website that automatically drew me in and had me hooked, even before I got my hands on one of their pedals. It was the simplicity and straight forward design of their pedals that said to me, "These cats are all business and no gimmicks." It would be a while before I would actually land a Fairfield Circuitry pedal in my studio, until that day came I had to get my Fairfield fix from Youtube demos, reviews, and online audio bites. As I continued to do more research on Fairfield Circuitry I discovered that there were more pedal designs in the works, designs that were beginning to sound like real winners. I also noticed their first pedal the Barbershop overdrive was beginning to build quite a reputation for itself, everywhere I looked someone had something remarkable to say about this pedal. It was time for me to put the "pedal to the metal" and get my hands on one of these bad boys. So after a long but worth while wait we here at Analog War Cry are proud to present to you the super hip, fantastic sounding, and always classy Barbershop overdrive. What this pedal has been able to do for me in the short time I've had it is absolutely stunning... STUNNING I TELL YOU!!!

The Barbershop


*Drive: Sets the interstage gain of the amplifiers. More gain means more distortion. The wide operating range allows you to go from an almost clean gain to a tasty rich overdrive.

*SAG: The Sag control reduces the voltage to the amplifiers as you turn it counter clockwise, giving additional control over the character and feel of the saturation. The lower the Sag, the browner the sound. Full voltage is applied when the control is set fully clockwise. It is at this setting that the pedal has the potential to be it's cleanest and loudest.

*Volume: Controls the output volume of the pedal while keeping the effect unchanged. This is where you have plenty of room to boost.

*Power: The Barbershop Overdrive can be powered by either a 9V battery or a typical 9V AC/DC adapter (9Vdc / center negative)

Tech Specs

Input Impedance
1 MΩ

Output Impedance
5 kΩ

Power Consumption
Engaged 5 mA
Bypassed mA

Frequency Response
45 Hz - 45 kHz +/- dB


So here it is, the pedal I have been dying to feature on our site ever since I first discovered it, The Fairfield Circuitry Barbershop Overdrive. From the second I plugged into this pedal I knew this was no ordinary overdriver, the sound, flexibility, and most important the feel was unlike anything I have ever heard from a stomopbox. I felt it in my hands, literally felt the amount of control I had over my tone in my fingertips. This is nothing but a true, honest to god, tone sculpting power house of a stompbox. For those of us who spend the time giving our sound the attention of a lifetime, there is nothing better than discovering a gadget that can help us pull out the dream tones that live within our heads. I mean at the end of the day that's what it's all about, dialing in a kickass tone to rock the house with right? If you have ever sat there tweaking an amp to no end, switching guitars, pickups, and miking techniques just to find that perfect sound, you will absolutely appreciate a pedal like the Barbershop Overdrive. This is a pedal that works with your pickups, amps, and guitars, helping them sound-off to their fullest potential. The Barbershop latches onto everything that is good about your tone and blows it up into a wall of golden tone. It wraps itself around your guitar and let's you control where you want the sound to go. Niether inside nor outside will you find a magic switch or secret knob on this pedal, there is no ground breaking technology hype surrounding it, nor does it sport rows of blinking lights to distract you from what it's job is. The Barbershop is a straight up 100% original intelligently designed stompbox, built to stand and deliver, and that's that! At first look you wouldn't think this pedal was capable of so much, with only three knobs and a switch. But I'll tell you something, it's three little knobs can be quite astounding, quite deceiving, and very powerful. The Barbershop's layout consists of a Drive knob, Sag knob, and Volume knob, it runs off of either a 9V battery or 9Vdc center negative adapter, and it is housed in a heavy duty built for war enclosure. The knobs, enclosure finish, super bright LED, and engraved markings give it a look as if it came from the set of Mad Max, rugged and ready for battle. On the bottom of the pedal you will find an extra tuff slip proof pad that keeps the pedal in place, a nice touch if you ask me. Everything else about this pedal is what it can do, what it sounds like, and why you will fall in love with it. Ladies and gents, I introduce to you the Barbershop. Shall we?

The First contender to go up against the Barbershop was Black Dog, my semi-hollow body, duel humbucker equipped, 335 style guitar. I plugged into my modified 4x10 Deville, set the amp clean, and plugged into a pair of Core One Bullet Cables. I set the Barbershop's Drive knob just a hair passed zero, turned the Sag knob all the way up to get full voltage, and set the Volume knob to push the amp just a tad bit louder. Bypassed the sound was bright, perfectly balanced, and squeaky clean. Then I stomped on the pedal and something sweet happened, something I didn't expect from this pedal. I noticed the Barbershop livened the amp's natural sound in a way that EQ and comp pedals do, and it did it without changing the amplifiers character. It's kind of hard to explain what it did exactly but it was as if it sharpened/polished up the edges, like a slightly out of focus picture that gets set clear. This is great for those amp's that just won't give it up. Just to see if the Barbershop would do this with one of my other amps I went ahead and pulled out one of my 2nd choice units. It took no less than a few minutes to get a usable, gig friendly, session friendly tone. As a matter of fact I went ahead and wrote down the setting for future use. As I rolled up the pedal's Volume knob I began to noticed just how powerful this pedal really was. This my friends is where the fun began, where the screaming and a howling came to life. I recently put new speakers in my Deville, two Jensen Jet Series Blackbird 100watt alnicos, and two Jensen Jet Series Tornado 100watt Neodymium speakers. The new speakers have given my amp an entire new world of possibilities, and along with the mod I had done to the tone circuit it has become my favorite amplifier for everything. One thing that was tuff when I first swapped in the speakers was re-dialing in my pedal settings to match the amp's new sound, you'd be surprised just how much of an affect a speaker swap can have on your pedal settings. With the Barbershop I had absolutely no problem finding what I wanted, it instantly attached itself to all of the amp's strengths and enhanced everything in just the right places. To darken up the sound all I had to do was turn the Sag down, this took the tone into a classic rock/brown sound that had my amp grinding like a mad man. Something I really dug about this pedal was the ability to use the volume knob to push your natural sound, and the Sag to dial in either a hint or a bunch of break-up. With the Barbershop's volume turned up all the way, the Sag at about noon, and the amp set just right, I was able to get a perfect classic Santana tone. My amp exploded with heavenly sustain, rich distortion, and grade A harmonics. It was beautiful! This was all before I even incorporated the Drive knob too, but before we get to the Drive knob I'd like to talk about another awesome use for this pedal. If ever there was a pedal that played well with others it would have to be the Barbershop. In my gigging pedalboard I use a couple of different boosters and overdrivers to get my boosts and grit tones. I threw the Barbershop into the mix along with one of my favorite distortion pedals and the out come was oh so lovely! So not only can this pedal work with your amps, pickups, and speakers, but it can also work to enhance and bring to life your other stompboxes. This was like having an entire new collection of overdrive and distortion pedals. Both before and after other pedals the Barbershop sounded splendid. With a simple booster set in front of it I was able to get a perfect tube melting rock tone, straight up 1960's rock tone all the way. Combined with another overdrivers I was able to get some hot-rodded, in your face, lead tones. The pedal is also wah friendly and works super when played along with compressors. It was time to hear what the Barbershop was capable of doing through single soils so I took Lady out of her case (my Custom Tele) and tuned her up. Now I mixed in the Drive knob, and combined with the many settings I was able to get with the Sag and Volume controls alone my tone choices were endless. First I set screaming lead tone and flipped into Lady's bridge pickup. The Sag was at about 50%, Drive at 75%, and Volume I rolled in until it matched my amp's overall level. I was now plugged into my 15/7 watt amp head and 2x12 cab. I believe the Barbershop may have even sounded better through a low watt amplifier. I chopped away at some lead runs and was stoked at how much control my picking had in the overall feel of the dirt. To me the best kind of dirt tones are the ones that you're able to manipulate with your playing, these are always the tones you can get the best performances from when recording or playing live gigs. This is the best way to define what kind of pedal the Barbershop is, how it works, and how it feels. This pedal produces sounds you can truly play and not sounds that play you. As I began to try different Drive levels I noticed I was beginning to fall in love with the Sag knob. You can literally set your drive just where you want it and with the Sag knob control whether you want your sound bright, dark, strong, or subtle. It also works the other way, you can dial in the amount of voltage you want with the Sag knob, and set the Drive to deliver as much or as little aggression as you want. One thing I must say about this pedal is that it was able to hand me a sound I have been hunting for ever since I learned what rock and roll was, the sound I imagined rocking out to when I first started playing the guitar. I've always been the type of player that goes for works best, and for me it has always been amps driven by boosters and overdrive pedals. Not to say I don't love the sound of a great overdriven amplifier, but for my playing and picking style I have always dug the sound of a pedal pushing a hot tube amp. I am super excited to have Fairfield Circuitry as part of the Analog War Cry family and proud to say that the Barbershop Overdrive now lives on my board and is a part of my overall root sound. I'm stoked to say that because if this pedal I have been able to cut down on two pedals from my pedalboard, this has left room for god knows what, maybe the new fuzz pedal that Fairfield Circuitry has in works. I'll tell you this much, I cannot wait to see what Guillaume's idea of a fuzz box sounds like, if it's as rockin' as the Barbershop (which I'm sure it will be) it is going to rock our worlds. Thanks for the wonderful tones Guillaume, and keep up the great work!

For more info on Fairfield Circuitry go to or click the direct link banner in our sidebar. Make sure to stay tuned for more from this awesome company and let'em we sent you if you decided to take them for a spin. Oh how the rock and roll rolls on!