Thursday, July 29, 2010

Somewhere Over, Above, and Beyond the Rainbow...

Yes the this site is called "Analog" War Cry, and yes we do focus on a lot of the amazing analog devices that surround us daily. This does not mean we aren't keen on or hip to many of the cool digital gadgets that are out there also making our tonal journey a dream and delight. I am not one of these analog nazis that only swears by analog gear, tube amps, and vintage gear. If it sounds good to my ears I let it into my circle of creativity. For those of you who have been following our site you may have seen our piece on the Electro Faustus EF101 Duel Oscillator, a sweet little gadget with a ton of possibilities. Electro Faustus has graced our ears with another of their slickly designed digital boxes of fun. This time we'll be entering the world of the theremin, an old but wonderful simple instrument. Electro Faustus has now brought us a new way to look at and experience this killer colorful tone tool. For those of you looking for some new weapons to throw into your arsenal, pay attention!


EF102 Photo Theremin


I don't know about ya'll, but I've had the pleasure of messing around with some of the coolest theremins out there. The theremin is an instrument that can take you just about anywhere! Throw some other effects into your signal and you have a world of colors to play with. The EF102 has made playing the theremin easier than ever, has made this instrument road friendly, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. The EF102 Photo Theremin consists of a light sensitive photocell that is controlled by blocking or letting in light to make it shift in pitch. The EF102 is capable of giving you some of the trippiest sound effects you will ever hear, hands down. Stack it up with some analog or digital delay and you're in psychedelia heaven! The EF102 is a very simple unit to use, it's very versatile, and it won't dent your pocket book something ugly. With all of the gimmick boxes out there today this little theremin is a breath of fresh air. Setting up and using this box is extremely easy, leaving more room for more creating and experimenting.

The last time I did an Electro Faustus feature I had an absolute blast! It was hands down one of the funnest gear demos I have ever rocked out on. Well, they've done it again!!! The EF102 has to be one of the coolest inventions to hit the market in a long long time. I found myself a slave to this box, hunched over and creating tons and tons of different sounds for hours and hours. All in all the EF102 was capable of many cool things and it worked quite well when introduced toother effects. The first thing I wanted to do was directly plug the EF102 into a nice sounding amplifier to get it's purest uncut sound. My choice of amp for the first wrangling with this box was my modified 4x10 Deville. This amp was perfect for setting up a sparkling clean tone to be manipulated. I carefully set the amp's volume, then set the tone knobs directly at noon, with the reverb at about 2-3. I turned the Ef102 on and WOOOOSH! A wall of wailing and howling came flying from my speakers. I waved my hand over the photocell eye and got exactly what I expected.... kickass bending/pitch shifting. The sound of this unit is really defined and clear but not super duper square waved like most digital units. The notes shift really smoothly and have zero kinks in them. Like a traditional theremin you can do all the pitch shifting you want, from low bellows to high squeaks. In fact I was really impressed at just how far the notes can climb and dive bomb. What this box does not offer is the vibrato that you can get from your second hand on a traditional theremin. But this is not a problem, cause I found a way to take care of that. Like I said, these Electro Faustus units get me thinking like no other. Here is what I did. I have this really cool ring mod pedal that sports an expression pedal input. What the expression pedal lets you do on this ring modulator is control the speed of what ever setting you have it set to. The pedal does these killer vibrato/tremolo effects that sounded great with the EF102. With this pedal an the EF102 I was able to do everything that a traditional theremin can do. With my hand I did all the pitch shifting and with my foot all of the vibrato. Pretty cool huh? Next I cranked the amp's reverb for some more dramatic spacey sounds. With a volume pedal I could create these weird long trailing beeps and squaks. My mind went racing into thoughts of ark Side of the Moon. Here is where I had to throw a delay pedal into the mix, first an analog delay, then a nice tight digital one. Both analog delay and digital worked wonders with the EF102 and brought me a new world of oddball shapes and sounds. The analog delay blended with the Ef102 to create a warmer, buttery sound effect, while the digi delay created some sharp in your face echoes. Adding in the magic of the volume pedal created some insanely cool swells and spaceship effects. If ever you've played with an analog delay's time control while a sound is going through it you know how awesome that can sound. With the EF102 theremin this is even cooler! I was able to create an endless amount of soundscapes and ambient noise by feeding the delay the theremin's sound and letting the delay pedal warp and mold it into mad world of psychedelic creativity. I'm telling you, the possibilities are endless. If your mind can dream it up I'm sure this little box can deliver. Electro Faustus has really perfected their skills at delivering affordable and great sounding products. I cannot say enough positive things about the EF102. If you're looking for something to shoot you into another level of creativity this is the route to go. The quality in the Ef102's sound is top notch, it's size makes it a perfect gigging companion, and delivery is second to none. I give these cats two thumbs up once again and hope ya'll take the time to check out their cool collection of tone tools.

For more info on Electro Faustus go to
We will be bringing more on this super hip company very shortly so make sure to stay tuned!

More Goodness from Way Huge!!!

Heh, heh, heh! Everytime I whip out a Way Huge pedal it makes me either smile, crack up, or just plainly want to rock and roll. If there is one big dog doing it and doing it well it is Way Huge Electronics. Every reissue released as of yet has been more than just your ordinary stompbox. This new generation of Way Huge pedals sports stellar tone, originality, killer looks, superb build quality, and a ton of hip mojo. I love it that Jeorge Tripps took the initiative to bring these awesome pedals back to the tone hungry world of pedal junkies.


Angry Troll
Linear Boost Amplifier

Volume: Brings the Pain
Anger: More, More, Lots More, and Much More
Quiet Relay True Bypass Footswitch
Non-Detachable Battery Door (9V)
+9VDC Power Jack w/AC Protection
Bright Blue LED for Blinding Sun or Devilish Dark Stages
Killer Construction
Top Notch Components


The beast of all boosters is alive and doing well. It's name is the Angry Troll, and it can be seen lurking and doing it's magic on many a pedalboard. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, "there is nothing more I love than a simple, easy to dial in, killer sounding piece of gear". The Angry Troll rounds up all of these qualities and many many more, making the Angry Troll one animal of a tone machine. Getting great tones out of this pedal couldn't be easier too. The pedal's control layout sports two knobs and a true bypass switch. The volume knob dishes out a mighty meaty healthy dose of powerful boost and tone. The anger knob controls just how aggressive you want the Troll to be. You can easily use this pedal to go from subtle hints of grainy grit to all out massive dirty richness. Other than it's LED and super duper tuff enclosure that's about all there is to the Angry Troll. The rest it handles on the dance floor, mosh pit, stadium, studio, bedroom, or rehearsal spot.

Putting it to the Test

It was pretty damn clear what this pedal was capable of right from the start. I'll say, getting an amp to growl, snarl, bark, and grunt has never been better. I pushed this pedal's endless amount of boost through a couple different amps, guitars, and blended it with some of my favorite overdrivers, distortions, and fuzz boxes. I found the Angry Troll worked beautifully through every size amplifier. From low itty bitty watt amps, mid level champs, to the booming beasts of this world. Before I started doing some tone experimenting I plugged in and played around with all of the Angry Troll's anger settings. I wanted to get familiar with all of the voicing's and power levels. One thing's for sure, having +50db of gain on tap in a little box can get you quite far.... and boy did it ever! The first amp to feel the Angry Troll's fury was my AC15 based clone. This amp also drops down to 7 watts, which was the first setting I ran it through. I cranked up the 7 watt setting as loud as possible without letting it break-up on it's own. I started with the anger knob at it's lowest setting, and with the volume control cranked pretty strong. First I paired the pedal up with a Les Paul, second a Strat, and last a Junior with a single Lollar P90. Their was most def a difference through all guitars. The Les Paul was able to control and shape the grit beautifully, simply with my pick attack. The Strat dished out a loose'n'spanky semi-clean tone. I was able to reproduce that Hendrix touch of dirt tone perfectly. The Junior's P90 walloped the hell out of the signal and created the perfect balance between the bucker and Strat single coil sound. Another great tone was setting up the amp to 15 watts, then dialing it up to a medium level natural overdrive tone. Through some nice tube amp saturation is where I believe the Angry Troll does it's best work. Matching the pedal's output to the amp and setting the angry fist to it's middle position produces some champion guitar tones. Again the pedal worked it's magic on each guitar, but my absolute favorite sound through this setup was playing slide and lap steel. The sound of the Angry Troll's overdrive being stretched across the fretboard sounded insane! I was able to get this extra creamy woman tone with much more bite and attitude. Then I began to push the pedal's volume and anger control to the limit and found out why the angry switch is called the angry switch. In the pedal largest fist setting the pedal was able to add this fuzzy type character to my signal that gave me an original and extremely unique sound. The more volume I introduced to the signal the more of this killer sound I got. This even worked through clean signal's and slightly clean signal's. I was able to get tones out of my Deville that I had previously hadn't been able to get. For only having two knobs and a footswitch the Angry Troll really is one hell of a versatile little stompbox. This pedal was able to deliver through all types of setups and applications, with both vintage and modern gear, for all kinds of music styles. This means only one thing.... great quality! If you're looking a something other than just a traditional booster this is your box.


For more info on Way Huge products go to Make sure to stay tuned for more killer gear, more Way Huge goodness coming your Way!!! May the tone force be with ya'll.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Effectrode: Effects Pedal Compitition

Check this out!!! One of the most talented and high class stompbox companies is going to be giving away one of their stunning creations. Effectrode will be giving away a Vibra Chorus to one lucky player. I will tell you guys from experience that this is hands down the cream of the crop when it comes to great sounding vibe and chorusing effects. This pedal works beautifully on both the stage and the studio, and will work with you to hand you a lifetime of amazing sounding tones. Check out the info below for your chance to win this one of a kind chorus pedal.


Effectrode Audiophile Pedals

Here's a fantastic opportunity to win an Effectrode Vibra Chorus pedal. The Vibra Chorus is the world's only all-tube chorus pedal and makes a perfect companion for vintage tape echo machines like the Watkins Copicat, Echoplex or Binson Echorec. To enter the competition simply complete the online entry form (on the Effectrode website), and click the 'Like' button on the Effectrode Facebook page or the one found on the website.


Visit the following links for more info:

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Heart of your Tone

As long as there are builders like Johan Maertens around I believe I will always be excited about the stompbox world. Some cats take the pedals they come across and simply build their versions of them. Then there's the cats that take it a step further by taking the sounds that inspire them, those tones they've worked diligently to shape and mold from their favorite amps, then convert them into boxes for us to use. This is the main objective behind Valette FX and the wonderful pedals they produce. We can go onto any gear website and find a steady cluster of dirt pedals. At the end of the day, which of these pedals are the ones we end up bringing into our setups? This answer to this is easy. It is those few special designs that motivate and move us to create. Again this is where Johan ad his Valvette FX company come into play.


Valvette FX
Custom Drive

Features & Controls
* Power: 9-18 VDC power jack or 9V battery
* LED: on/off and battery status indicator
* Input & Output Jacks
* True Bypass Footswitch
* Gain: controls drive amount
* Volume: adjusts the effect output level
* Tone: controls drive circuit tone character
* Bright: extends high frequency range


Coming at us from the UK is another stellar creation of grit, grime, and soul. This black beauty had me sold within the first couple minutes I had it plugged in. I found the Custom Drive's control layout simple, familiar, and versatile. This pedal most definitely has a sound of it's own and is also capable of taking your tone into some of classic rock's most memorable overdrive sounds. The Custom Drive's gain control was capable of delivering anything from light gritty overdrives and distortions, to sustain soaked lead growls and squeals. This pedal's volume control has more than enough output to help your tubes sing with natural drive. The tone knob makes shaping a modern or classic dirt sound extremely easy. Like many of my personal favorite tube amps, the Custom Drive comes equipped with a bright switch for adding more sparkle and high-end definition to your tone. The Custom Drive sounded spectacular on it's own as well as with other boxes.

My gut told me that this pedal was going to sound great through whichever amp I threw it up against.... and I was right! It was quite clear from the beginning that it was going to be tuff to get a bad sound out of this pedal. I'll start with my AC15 clone and custom built Strat. As many of you way already know, getting a good sound out of a AC15, a decent axe, and guitar cable is not a hard thing to do. Using this as one of my starting points was an absolute blast! The Custom Drive was able to maintain my root tone's feel, while able to push and enhance everything that made the amp sound good. The end result was not just good, it was great. Starting with the amp in a hairy yet subtle overdrive tone really worked well when setting the Custom Drive to a mellow setting. I began with the pedal's tone knob at noon, volume at unity, gain at around 15%, and bright switch off. This worked beautifully for getting that little extra push that one needs from time to time. Something that really impressed me about this pedal was how well it adapted to each pickup setting. One might not think it but 5 different pickup configurations can be a lot. And I'm the type of player that likes to incorporate as many of them as possible. Next I pushed things slightly hotter by setting everything straight up the middle. Here I was able dial a killer universal dirt tone. The pedal responded really nicely to my guitar's volume and tone knobs, giving me enough ammo to gun down the blues, classic rock, hard rock, alt-rock, and everything in between. This is where the pedal's bright switch really came into play. I was able to roll off my guitar's tone knob to get warm and muddy dirt tones, and with the bright switch bring back a bit of the definition without affecting the targeted sound desired. Last I cranked the pedal's gain and volume to full blast. First starting with a medium gain setting and using the volume control to help push the amp. I really dug how the the Custom Drive's creamy analog feel sat inside the amp's warm tube tone, blending perfectly with the pedal's volume to help bring everything into an epic level. Then I began adding in more of the pedal's gain little by little. With every notch higher that I went I'd get a new level of sustain, dynamics, and harmonics. Giving the overdrive sweet undertones, overtones, and unpredictable accents. For those players who dig shaping and molding their distortion tones on the go this is the perfect pedal. When all was said and done it was the overdrive's character that really stood out to me. With some pedals you can crank them and can't hear what's there and what's not. Giving you a generic sound. None of that here! I also pushed the Custom Drive through my modified Hot Rod Deville, Twin, and my buddy's Super Lead. The end result with all these amps was same as the AC15's. Nothing but stunning, high quality, soul blooming tone. I found slamming the Custom Drive with clean boosters sounded awesome, as well as mixing it with fuzz boxes, modulation pedals, and a handful of other instruments. A couple other instruments I must share on were the lap steel, and playing slide guitar. Oh baby did I ever get that honking, rich, gooey, fat overdrive. I could literaly feel the Custom Drive's overdrive signal morph and change from note to note when sliding up and down the strings. The clarity and aggression was unbelievable. This is a great pedal for those of you looking for a single dirt box to do your work, as a pedal to help drive your amp even further, and as an overall killer gigging and recording tool. I found the Custom Drive pedal to be one of the most responsive and giving pedals I have every touched!


For more info on Valvette FX go to You can bet Analog War Cry will be on the look out for more from this killer company. Please make sure to check out the site and hunt down some Custom Drive videos on our Youtube search engine at the bottom of our site. Stay tuned and keep on rocking!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Guitars, Pickups, and Pedals oh my!!!

When I started Analog War Cry my goal was to hunt down as much unique and innovative gear as humanly possible. The last couple years have not only been extremely educational, but they have shown me a vast evolution in musical gear, instruments, and how we go about achieving our sounds. Many of the companies stepping up to the plate and taking it to the next level are smaller independent businesses, sometimes even one-man operations working out of their living rooms and garages. I would say I've been around long enough to know a great piece of gear when I see one. I have also been told I have quite a talented eye and ear for spotting out unique sounding gear. One of the companies in the last couple years that has been swimming in my ears and eyes is a small outfit by the name of Harden Engineering, run by the talented Bill Harden. Now, if you've heard of this badass little company you know the slick and hip work they do. This is one small company that has truly floored me and shown the brilliance of creativity that lives within the gear building world. Bill's talents take him to designing some of the most amazing guitars, pickups, and pedals to ever see light. Oh what I wouldn't do for one of Bill's super hip looking guitars! Until that day comes I will rock one of his awesome pedals.

Harden Engineering
Chicago, IL
Builder: William Harden

The Swallow


Something tells me this Bill Harden character sports a healthy collection of body ink (tattoos). At least this is what the Swallow Overdrive instantly reminded me of. I guess us tattoo sporting hounds just know our own. Anyhow, again I have been blessed with a simple and great sounding pedal design. For me it is always "The simpler - The better." This is one of those overdrive pedals that works great through both dirty and clean tones, can turn any amp into a rich'n'warm dirt machine, and a pedal that will add some hip flavor to any pedalboard. The Swallow's controls are quite simple, boost/level control, and on/off switch. The character in this pedal's overdrive goes from a crunchy, throaty howl, to an all-out jaw dropping grime. Incorporating your guitar's volume and tone controls are great tools to use with this pedal, and it also plays well with others. Bill constructed this pedal from top notch components and parts, with true bypass switching, and an art layout that is too cool for school. The Swallow is assembled 100% by hand here in the good ol' USA. In our little studio the Swallow has been an instant hit with many of the bands that come through to record. It has also been one of my personal favorite gigging tools.

I ran the Swallow through two of our favorites, my AC 15 clone, and a Twin Reverb. Luckily we were also able to run the Swallow through a couple of other amps which were on loan to us for a recording session. These amps being a Matchless DC-30, 65' Deluxe Reverb, and a sweet sounding Bogner Shiva courtesy of a famous musician buddy which I will not name. The plan was simple, we wanted to run the pedal through as many different tones as possible, through as many guitars as possible. We will share with ya'll some of our favorites. I'll start with the neck bucker custom built Tele and Twin Reverb blend. When it comes to Blackface style amps it's simple, I just flip the knobs to 7, with the verb at around 2-3. The Tele and amp created what you would imagine to be the sweetest and warmest damn clean tone you've ever heard. I started with the Swallow's Drive knob at it's lowest and moved up to full blast. At mellow Drive levels the pedal delivered a nice semi-clean/crispy tone. The pedal's grit responded to my pick attack beautifully and taking the tone into a fully clean tone was easily done by rolling back a hint of my guitar's volume knob. Taking the pedal into it's medium range grit was probably my most favorite. Playing the Tele through it's neck humbucker with the tone knob slightly rolled off did me wonders. The bright/sweet sound of the amp, thick character of the Seth Lover bucker, and kickass tone of the Swallow worked together to create some of the illest vintage dirt tones. With the bride pickup I got some great blues tones, and baddest alt-rock sounds. Another combo which stood out was the DC-30 and my single P90 equipped Junior copy. I ran the Matchless to a medium overdrive and rolled the Junior's tone knob close to zero. The aggressive tone of the P90, natural grit from the amp, and Swallow did wonders! Finding the pedal's sweet spot was damn easy. I simply strummed a handful of mean sounding 5 chords while my partner rolled the pedal's knob back and fourth. Through overdriven amps I found the pedal worked best with it's Drive set at about 75%. I was able to get the smoothest lead tones, and able to work some rhythm tones by shaving off a bit of the guitar's volume. One of the ultimate tones though was playing this baby through some low watt amps and duel humbucker guitars. I rocked the Swallow through a 15 watter, 7 watter, and 5 watter. Through all of these amps I got the most gigantic sounding rock tones. Cranking these amps and introducing the pedal's grit into the signal did things to the overdrive sound that The Who would be proud of. I also dug the sound that my partner's Jazzmaster created when he set both the pedal and amps to low crunch. He dug into the guitar's strings like a madman and pulled what were some insanely cool overdrive/distortion tones. I was reminded of a Television, Sonic Youth type tone. It was actually pretty dam impressive just how many tones this pedal was capable of being that it only sported one knob. I also found the Swallow to work really well with other pedals, such as clean boosters, overdrives, distortion, fuzz, etc... Setting the Swallow straight up the middle through the Deluxe Reverb then using a clean booster to further push the signal also sounded spectacular. With some dirt pedals you get a mild to wild hiss when introducing more Db's to the signal. This pedal I am happy to say plays well with others. Last was the Bogner Shiva, and oh baby what a sound that amp and this pedal created. Through the amp's Clean channel the pedal did it's magic and created more stunning grade A dirt tones. The size of the Swallow's tone through a 4x12, with the Shiva booming like a madman was pure freaking rock and roll. The Swallow didn't eat away any of the amp's sweet tone or kill it's EQ (sign of a high quality pedal). Rocking this pedal though the amp's Gain channel was also a real treat. I first dialed in the best sounding overdriven sound I could get from the amp, then blended in the pedal's sound. Again the pedal did not take anything away form the amp's sound, nor did it mask any of it's character. Instead it accented everything that made the amp sound wonderful. The lows were boomier, highs had more jangle, and mids more honk. This pedal proved capable of delivering a handful a great tones, was able to enhance root tones, and blended with many different guitars and pickups to create a just about any dirt tone needed. It is quite clear Bill Harden owns a talent like no other, I can only imagine what his guitars are capable of. If you're on the hunt for something different hit up Harden Engineering.

(Below a handful of different Swallow versions)

For more info on Harden Engineering go to Harden Engineering also builds custom guitars, custom pickups, and will work with you to create your dream tone machine. Stay tuned for more from this one of a kind company.



A Lifetime of Stunning Tone

We artists of the tone are a rare breed of musician. The ability we tone hunters hone to pair up our ears and instinct to create rare and unique sounds is second to none. It is through our long careers in the studio, our contributions to the gigging scene, or from lots'n'lots tweaking and experimenting that we create our talent for what's beautiful. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, there are only two factors that make up a stunning guitar, bass, or amp tone.... Our hands and our gear. I am not one to ever pass anything by, and at the same time am not hypnotized by the "hype" that comes with certain products. The only way I've ever hunted down great tones is through getting my hands dirty. Lord knows that when we get in the zone we can go for hours and hours trying to mold and shape a specific guitar sound. We try anything and everything. Then every once and when comes along something so simple and direct that it absolutely blows out minds! Discovering KTS was exactly this type of experience. KTS has shown me that sometimes it is the little that make the biggest differences. If you're a sucker for top notch tone lay back and read on. Class is in session.


Tone Resonant Titanium

Some benefits of titanium components

Longer Sustain
Clearer Note Separation
String to String Definition
Improved Harmonic Response
Beautifully Touch Sensitive
Greater Tuning Stability
Weight Relief much (lighter than steel)
Less String Breakage
Wider Range of Dynamics
Lasts and Lasts
And Much Much More!!!


Vintage ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bride Saddle

Designed to match Gibson®'s original bridge, “BR-010”. As with the original parts, the string groove is not filed. After applying saddle to bridge base, trim it to match strings pitch. You can use regular file for trimming but we recommend using a diamond file.

4/40 thread

I will start with the KTS PR-02 saddles, which by the way live in my Hagstrom Viking and will live there forever more. These stunning vintage style ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic saddles are unlike anything I've ever heard or used before. KTS has definitely created a saddle with a sound of it's own. Along with these saddles I have also worked out a handful of other great tweaks and mods for my Viking which have helped me achieve a unique and original sound. When hot-rodding my guitar the goal was carve out a sound that lived somewhere between the rich, dark, and beautiful sound of yesteryear, mixed with the clarity, response, and aggression of today. Getting the first of these two sounds was actually not too tuff. I threw in a pair of vintage voiced buckers, true to the old school PAF design that rocks so well, a pair of Grey Tiger replica caps, CTS pots, Switchcraft switch and jack, and that took care of the round and warm side of things. Next came pulling out as clear a tone as possible, something that would give me great string articulation, lots of range, and great response. The first thing I did was pop in a graphite nut, but the magic didn't start until the installment of the KTS PR-02 saddles. Swapping in these saddles was like removing a dull, flat blanket from my tone! It gave my sound a slight boost in all the sweet spot frequencies of my EQ, brought everything to the surface, and blended perfectly with the rest of my components to give me exactly what I wanted. Without even plugging the guitar in I could hear a difference. I can remember when I first installed the saddles strumming the guitar and thinking how powerful and present the sound was. The first test I ran the saddles through was just plugging directly into my amp without any other gear in-line. The PR-02's made my root tone much more focused and balanced. This created the perfect starting point for building on top of. I was actually able to pull out tones from my amplifier that previously had not been possible. It didn't end with the amp either. Because the saddles had my root tone sounding better it made anything else I through in the mix work beautiful. I was able to add a little life to just about everything I stacked them up with. They especially sounded great with my pedals, and being that I rely on my boxes for most of my dirt tones when gigging this was fantastic. Overall the KTS saddles just worked great and gave me an entirely new sound to work with. Installing them and setting them up was as easy as any other saddle, but unlike most saddles these babies will probably last forever. I found these to be a great component for balancing out the perfect blend of warm and defined.


Block Type Titanium Saddles

This block type titanium saddle can be used on most Strat type guitar bridges including the current American Standard, PRS, Gotoh GTC101 and many others.

Material: Titanium Grade-2
Width: 10.5mm (.413")
Height: 4.5mm(.177")
Length: 19.0mm(.748")
E to E spacing: 52.5mm(2.067")


Now, if you're looking for the ultimate performance saddle, this is it! Everything about the KTS PR-17 screams the finest in high-end, class, and quality. Right from the get-go I was able to hear, feel, and see a difference in my guitar's performance. My overall sound was clearer, the sustain and response was much stronger, and I saw a lot less string breakage. These block style saddles are a perfect upgrade for your American Standard Strats, PRS, and many other "Strat" style setup guitars. I had been working on putting together my own "Strat" style guitar right around the same time these saddles had arrived. I was going to put together the ultimate gigging, golden toned, rock and roll machine I possibly could and therefore had been hunting down the finest in guitar components. In the end I turned up what ended up being probably the best sounding Strat I have ever heard, played, and owned. A huge part of that great tone I owe to these saddles. Before finally landing on the PR-17's I did try a handful of other saddles, from stock cheapo's to top quality pure steel saddles. Each different saddle I tried had it's own sound and character I liked about it, but it was the KTS PR-17 that finally made the cut. I was able to get a broader, clearer tone, while able to maintain all the things I love about a great vintage tone. Like the PR-02's (which we looked at above), I instantly heard a positive difference in my tone. We all love that classic signature tone that a great playing Strat can produce right? That snap and pop that is almost impossible to get from any other guitar. The PR-17's took this awesome sound and magnified it to an almost magical level. Through clean tones my guitar sang with immaculate richness and sparkle. Through overdriven tones my string separation was flawless. Then through screaming distortion tones I was able to dial in some of the most exciting lead tones I've ever put down. My guitar had all of the traditional playability, tone, and feel of a classic Strat only with much more of everything behind it's delivery. The string articulation, definition, and high/low balance was beautiful! I imagine it is the saddle's design and titanium construction which gives it mojo. Luckily I had a chance to A/B these saddles with some factory style zinc pot metal and copper nickel plated saddles. One wouldn't think there would be much of a difference but there is. This is me saying this, and I'm probably one the most tone crazy, tone conscience guitar players out there. When it comes to my tone it's always been about a few key points. I need something that I won't fight with, something gives and doesn't take, long lasting is important, and looks is always good too. I mean look at these saddles, the sheer look of the KTS PR-17's are enough to draw you in and make you want to play them. I highly highly recommend these saddles to you guitar builders, gigging cats, studio musicians, hot rodders, or anyone looking to upgrade their sound. This is hands down one of the easiest and quickest tone improvements I have ever experienced.


For more info on KTS products go to You'll find a handful of different style saddles perfect for any build or upgrade. We will continue bringing you guys more on this awesome company so make sure to stay tuned. Peace!!!



Thursday, July 8, 2010

News & Updates

DDyna Music announces new pedal

Our good friends at DDyna Music have done it again! This time coming at us with what looks to be a stunning beast of a bass pedal. They could not have timed it better, the bass playing world is in need of some top notch tone tools to get the job done. The new DDyna Music pedal is called theBass 10 and it sports an array of jaw dropping features. If this badboy is anything like the past DDyna Music builds you guys can bet it will be a champion. In fact, I do not doubt it one bit that this pedal will absolutely kick ass. You can bet AWC will be taking a close look at what makes this monster tick, what makes it scream, and what makes it that thing it does. Below is some info on the Bass 10 from our buddies at DDyna Music. Dig it!!!


DDyna Music announces the BASS10 Compressor pedal.

EQ, compression and switchable overdrive in a double wide die-cast box, the BASS10 packs in plenty of tone versatility for bass and guitar players alike. As the first effects pedal in our “GainShaper Series”, it features 4-Band, 18dB/octave crossover EQ filters, musically soothing, relaxed squeeze compressor with auto-return to 0dB sustain, plus a switchable 2 level limiter overdrive with depth control for dialing just the right amount of distortion. Of course, is pure analog and true bypass. Operates from 12-18VDC (adapter included).

Bass 10

Street Priced at $289
About DDyna Music Co
Located in Bothell Washington, DDyna Music provides tools and devices for music
creators with unique, handcrafted products. For more information and dealer
locations, visit



Monday, July 5, 2010

Super Tool

One thing I am absolutely greatful for these days is the number of amazing tools that is available to us players. Thinking back on when I first started playing music compared to how it is now sure is like day and night. Today we have a endless number of talented companies bringing us just about everything needed to make our music adventures sound and perform their best. Probes Pedals is definitely one of the companies that comes to mind when thinking of player friendly, no-frills, and straight-to-the-point gear. "Shut up and Play" is damn right! I could not have said it better myself. I had a chance to get down and dirty with one of the Probes Pedals 5-channel Super Loopers. Now, I've been playing for quite some time, have used lots and lots of different gear, and have tried everything under the sun to make my playing experience as comfortable as possible. Boy oh boy have I been missing out! Pay attention kids, this is a piece of gear you won't want to go without.


Probes Pedals
5-Channel Super Looper

* Keeps your signal path clean
* Makes switching in & out of effects a cinch
* Let's you setup easily switchable presets
* Runs on the standard 9V (-) power adapter
* 100% passive audio path (power used for LED's)
* Enclosure constructed from 12 gauge aluminum
* Built with high quality components
* Available in standard or raw aluminum finish
* Choose from 5-8 channel versions


You go out and hunt down the mother of all dirt boxes, only to discover that some of it's mojo goes down the drain when linked up to your pedalboard. Or maybe there's a couple of different pedals you use to get one sound, soon finding out that it's not so easy to switch in & out of them when on the fly. Then there's the handful of tone-sucking pedals in your collection that do what they do so damn well, but just affect your root tone a bit too much. Or maybe you're just looking for a simple, neat, and player friendly way to setup your pedals. Any of this sound familiar? The Probes Pedals Super Looper combines 5-8 true bypass channels to create one of the coolest tone tools you will ever plug in to. Besides the obvious, which is taking your buffered pedals out of your direct signal, this box is capable of a lot more. Pay attention.

Nice & Neat

We all know the neater our setup, the more we'll want to play it. And the more we want to play it, the more we get done! As so on and so fourth... One of the most helpful uses I found for the Super Looper was simply to make my pedal switching easier. I grabbed five of my favorite boxes, set them up through the Super Looper, and got to steppin'. The pedal order from first to last was compressor-overdrive-fuzz-vibe/chorus-delay. On the front end of the looper I plugged in my wah and tuner, then out to my guitar. The other end went straight to my amp. Having all the pedals' switches setup on the same strip not only made things easier, but it kept things nice and neat. Up until I brought the Super Looper out to a gig with me I didn't realize just how beneficial it was to have everything lined up right in front of you. If you've ever had to deal with multi-layers, multi-rows of pedals you know how tuff things can get. This is only the start.

Keep That Signal Clean

Here is where this box went from cool.... to awesome! Keeping my tone as untampered and clean as possible is probably the most important thing on my list. The root tone that our guitar, amp, and cable creates is something that we try and try to keep as pure as possible. Some cats may not hear the difference between one pedal to the next, unless you're into things as much as I am. for those of us who can hear the difference the Super Looper makes all the difference in the world. Just to hear the difference I tried a few experiments. I lined up all buffered pedals, true bypass pedals, combos of the two, etc... Then I A/B'd them. The difference between the two could definitely be heard. In all the applications the Super Looper was able to keep my signal path clean and serene. This brought out the true character of both my pickups and amplifier, which made my overall tone sound dy-na-mite! All you purists, tone junky, tone fiends, and tone hounds will absolutely dig this pedal to the max.

Tricks of the Trade

One thing I dig more than anything is the mixing and matching of different stompboxes. The combining of two or more pedals is something that can bring you your own signature and unique tones, give your pedals a wider tonal palette, and most important keeps things interesting. If ever you've tried to switch in & out of more than one pedal you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be. Forget about trying it live. With the Super Looper I was able to easily and quickly set up a handful of great sounding presets, then switch in & out with absolute ease. One switch had my crispy and clean compressed/chorus effect, another switch I setup with a wild fuzz and reverb pedal, and another with a wah pedal for preset cocked wah settings. Rocking my pedals the way I've always wanted to has never been easier. For live applications I cannot suggest a better tool. Now you can take those cool multi-pedal sound effects that you create in the studio and take them anywhere you want. Until you try it you will not know how freakin' cool it is to have this much control at your feet. If you're looking for an affordable, quick and easy way to work your pedals to the max this is it.

The Super Looper is easily one of Analog War Cry's best finds and one of the most helpful pieces of gear we have ever gigged with. I'm happy to say that there is also fuzz box on the way from our good friends at Probes Pedals. The pedal is called the Burly Buzz and we hope to get a shot at putting it through it's paces. For more info on this pedal check out the Probes Pedals website. Stay tunes for more kids.


For more info go to


Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Your Average Little Box

Ladies and gents, I would like to start this month off by introducing you to one of the most exquisite pedal building machines I have ever come across. The name is Eckermeister Effects, and their pedals are to-die-for! Eckermeister is the brainchild of one Carsten Eckermann from Cologne, Germany, and like many of the discoveries made here on Analog War Cry Eckermeister also falls upon the independent/one-man operation category. After my discovery of the Eckermeister website it didn't take long to get my G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) flowing into full force. There is passion behind the design of these stompboxes that screams a love for tone and musical gear. And it is exactly this type of passion that always wields something wonderful. Besides building high quality stompboxes Carsten also runs a backline rental service which offers some of the most desirable vintage gear known to man. What better way to build a fine-tuned ear for great tone right? Some of Eckermeister's clients include The Shins, Andrew Bird, I'm From Barcelona, Chuck Prophet, James McMurty, and the list goes on. If your thing is high quality, classy, great sounding, superbly built effect pedals this is your stop. Or if you or your band ever finds itself in Germany and is in need of some cream-of-the-crop gear for a gig or session, make sure to check out Eckermeister. It is quite obvious Carsten Eckermann breathes, bleeds, and lives knowledge for great sounding gear... his pedals were the proof in the pudding.


Carsten Overdrive


Supply voltage: 12VAC on barrel-type connector 5.5x2.1mm
Max. current: arr. 30mA
Input impedance: 1Megohm
Recommended load at output: 50 kOhm or greater
Gain: arr. 48 dB
Maximum output level: +10 dBm
Switching mode: true-bypass
Dimensions (without powersupply) : 147x106x70 mm


The sound of one's finely tuned tube amp taken to a naturally screaming dirt tone is something that can very seldom be compared to anything else. It is the tube amp that has been responsible for most of the signature rock tones that can be heard on most of our favorite records. It also the tube amp that we seek out when on the hunt for a killer overdriven or distortion tone, whether it be in the studio or on the stage. But it need not end here, there are certainly more options than this when it comes to rockin' good tone. More times than not these options come in the form of deliciously built stompboxes. It this reason why effect pedals have become such a crucial part of our root tones, rigs, and overall sound. Look on any level of player's setups and you'll be sure to find a rainbow of fantastic sounding boxes.

I found the Eckermeister Carsten Overdrive not only capable of recreating some of my favorite tube amp tones, but also capable of delivering some tones all it's own. This pedal's layout is simple, familiar, and straight to the point. This makes this a very desirable stompbox and a wonderful go-to tone tool for any application. The Carsten Overdrive consists of Volume-Honey-and Gain controls. Each one of these controls are extremely responsive and very very flexible. The Carsten Overdrive's volume control works beautifully to lightly push your amp into a subtle crunch, and also has enough output to send your amp into a soaring thick'n'creamy distortio. The honey control takes care of the pedal's overall character and feel. With the honey control I was able to match the pedal's character to just about every guitar and amp I ran it through. Last and not least, and probably my favorite control on this pedal, is the gain knob. The Carsten Overdrive's gain control was able to hand me proper tube-like feel in both it's lowest to it's highest dirt settings. The Carsten OD sports true bypass, is handwired, built with high class components and hand selected FET's, and is housed in a custom kickass enclosure. To both the eye and ear I found this pedal to be absolute high class all the way!

My buddy and I started by running the Carsten Overdrive through a couple different amps. We tried both tube and solid state amps, and wattage flavors of all sizes. We played the pedal through humbuckers, different types of single coils, and a couple of different basses. Through all of the setups we matched it up with we got top notch results. The first candidate (and one of the most memorable of the setups) was my partner's 22 watt 65 Deluxe setup sparkling clean, dry (no reverb), with it's tone controls at noon. Guitar of choice was my Hagstrom Viking semi hollow-body. The pedal's volume output was matched up with the amp, the honey control at noon, and gain at around 11'o'clock. This setting got us a perfect semi-clean, 50/50 tone that worked beautifully with all overall playing and picking dynamics. I didn't even need to roll off any of my guitar's volume control to get a spot-on clean tone. By laying off of my picking alone I was able to get the pedal to respond exactly as I wanted, just like a kickass tube amp. The humbuckers created a rich, round, and strong tone. Things got really interesting once we started pushing the Deluxe amp into a medium overdrive then pushing the pedal's huge tone through it. Instead of taking the amp's tone and reshaping it (which many dirt pedals do), the Carsten OD took the existing sound and enhanced it into a bigger, brighter, and all around lovelier tone. Even when I slammed the pedal's gain control into an epic lead I was still able to maintain the overall feel of the amp's cooked tubes. For you cats in the blues scene I cannot suggest a better overdrive pedal. I was able to dial in these great universal grit tones that sounded great with rhythms, leads, and riffing. By taking the gain to 100%, rolling off the honey control, and using the volume knob to help push my amp a little bit, I created one of the sweetest woman tones I have ever heard. The string articulation and definition of my notes could not have been better. Before we put the Deluxe away we pushed it to it's limits, getting a huge and great sounding natural tube grit. Then we rolling the amp back to a sparkling clean tone and ran the pedal's dirt signal through trying to match what the amp had created. Almost in an instant were we able to recreate the Deluxe's tube grit by setting up the Carsten OD just right. Then there was stacking up the Carsten Overdrive with other boosters and fuzz boxes which also sounded great. This I must say, is definitely a pedal that plays well with others. A clean booster before this pedal through a slightly overdriven amp worked wonders for a family of well rounded guitar tones. By leaving the Carsten on, using my picking dynamics and guitar's volume to mellow out my sound, and using the clean booster to push me into a screaming lead, I was able to get just about every guitar tone I wanted. For gigging there could be no better pedal! Next we paired up the Carsten OD with a high watt plexi style amp, switched to single coils, and through some fuzz boxes into mix. Here we were able to hit every flavor of classic rock madness, blues rock, and hard rock. Blended with light fuzz box setting dished out these crunchy, honking, fuzz/dist hybrid tone that were really interesting to play with. The single coil pickups created this snarling, barking overdrive tone that cut right through the mix. Now, if you know the sound of an overdriven plexi you know there aren't many tones that can compare to it. Now imagine being able to take that tone and magnifying it by ten fold. Again, matching the amp's overall character to the pedal's was easy. Just a flip of the honey control and I was in. The harmonic content, amount of sustain, and sweet compression that this pedal can deliver will make you want to play play play! For me it is those few pieces of gear that inspire me that push me to create, practice, and play. The Carsten Overdrive works wonders in this area. I was able to work it into studio applications, live situations, and able to pair it up with more than just guitars. Carsten Eckermann really went to town and created something special in this pedal. This is a professional quality stompbox, that produces no-frills, and works with you and your tone to create the best possible sound. I'll tell you what... I would love to see more creations from Eckermeister! For now we will be more than satisfied with the mighty mighty Carsten Overdrive. Go on and check one out!


For more info on Eckermeister go to You can read up on lots more info on the Carsten Overdrive, and the other services that Eckermeister has to offer. We will stay in touch with this cool company and keep you guys up to date if any new products come to the surface.