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Hi guys, Jason here invading the blog - this has just come up on Facebook from a customer so I thought I would invade Max's blog to address it properly!
This has been a hot topic for us for several years now - I am painfully aware of this issue as being the person responsible for every international dealer outside of North America. A lot of "my" dealers around the globe are constantly fighting the proliferation of forged pedals. The issue is simple, they (the forgers) see a great product, they take the circuit from a well known forum and produce it as cheaply as possible and then sell it for their own profit.
Before we get into this properly... in the face of the inevitable question - this is not "yeah, but it's just a tube screamer, what's so special about your Clarksdale when I can etc etc". When we build a circuit that is inspired by another, we take the basic premise of that circuit and Brian explodes it - makes it his own, new EQ stack, clearer gain stages... So, yes - the Clarksdale is a "tubescreamer" but it's a new take on the classic circuit (after all, there are only so many ways you can clip a circuit and make it sound good).
So, when a company copies your design, puts your name on it and sells it as an original, there is a problem!
Let's take the Triple Wreck - a much loved pedal in the Far East, it would appear that High Gain is something their market thrives on...
Here is a site that sells a forgery.
As you can see, the products are extremely different - just on atheistics alone they are easy to spot. Wrong fonts, cheap components (check out the input/output jacks) and the lack of consideration of the labelling of the knobs/stomps.
Remember, we build and design our pedals to a specification, not a budget. We offer a 5 year fully transferable guarantee on ALL pedals and make them with pride and passion in America. All of the above would be impossible with a sale price of $68.80 including free international shipping!
If you are in doubt look at the obvious points. If it is too cheap, therefore too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. If it looks like it's been made poorly and rushed, it has been. If it's on a site where you can't contact the "dealer", then they don't want to be contacted... If you are concerned, contact us, we can confirm quickly. However, a quick look at the product will show how authentic it is!
This week I actually kicked off the show with my "radio guy voice" kind of cheesy - but it made people laugh so that's something... "From land of snow and tacos". If you don't know what I'm talking about - it's worth at least a listen for the first 2 minutes.
So right out of the gate! Speaker Positioning On Stage. Amp stand or right on the stage? Would you rather put your amp on an amp stand or directly on the stage? Well in our small assembly we had 1 for the amp stand - and 2 against. Brian hates when the speakers of his amp are pointed right at his leg because he can't get a good tonal reference between his guitar, pedals, amp, and speaker sounds. Travis and I aren't a fan of amp stands and would rather have our amps directly on the stage. We both in agreement that we weren't a fan of having our amp's speaker blasted right in our ears. (that's what the front row is for right?) I actually use a long cable and walk out in the audience - before the show- to get a good reference to what my amp sounds like.
Boosting an Overdriven Amp: So what is the perfect way to boost an already overdriven amp? Well - we have to ask ourselves - what is perfect? Other than tacos and Travis' hair of course. According to Brian though - there are about 3 general ways you can boost an already overdriven amp. 1.) A complete full frequency boost. (like our Decibel plus). 2.)Top End Boosts. Which are going to take off some bottom end. 3.)Midrange Boosts. (My personal favorite.) Think a tube screamer.
Stay tuned for this Thursday's show Tone Chasers!
Ok, ok – something other than the podcast for a minute. For those of you who know me personally, and for those of you who don’t – I am a huge Beatles freak! My office is plastered with tons of Beatles memorabilia! While each Beatle contributed unique harmonies or multi-musical instruments to their song arrangements – the youngest Beatle, George Harrison has always stood out as (to quote co-worker Jason Wilding) “the secret singer and master of harmony - both vocally and musically.”
Today would have been George’s 72nd Birthday!
So here is a tip of that hat to you George! Thank you for your contributions to the musical world!
A couple of new things going on lately...
Recently one of our video guys created a documentary on our company for entry into a film festival. We've uploaded it for you to check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83vgNURkS5w
Also, we are releasing the new Plexidrive Deluxe this Friday - check out the new video demo we just posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf_Kv3b5qVI
We are having a drawing for a free Plextortion Pedal this week - make sure you enter by going here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d81ba8e34/?
Also, make sure you check out our newest podcasts here: http://www.wamplerpedals.com/podcast
(TV show recap voice) This week on Chasing Tone....
Tips for making your rig sound better: Eric Swanson writes, “3 tips from everyone ‘even Max’ on how to make your rig sound better." Travis takes the lead on this one and quotes a great slogan from Brian, “Less eBay or more Mel Bay”. Practice up! Nothing will make your rig sound as good as practice will. So study a style, a genre, your favorite artist, knowledge is power – and your tone and ability will reflect that.
My 2 cents on this subject was on gear. If I was trying to achieve an S.R.V. type tone – after I practiced the licks and got those down – I would start doing research on what type of gear he used – or what kind of gear can get me in the ballpark of those tones. Not everyone can afford a Dumble – but a Strat, tube screamer style pedal, and an amp that is 6L6 based will get you in the ballpark. Do some homework before you start buying gear and have an idea of the tone direction you want to go in – and you won’t be disappointed. Brian made an excellent addition that - if you are thinking about buying a pedal, from any manufacturer, give them a shout first. Explain your rig, and the tones you are after, and ask their opinion on if their pedal, or some other pedal - will help you achieve the tones you are after.
Picks: So the pick craze. Is some of it hype/ good marketing? Or is it part of the building block of good tone? Either way – pick materials can have a big effect on your tone. You can read a more in depth article about it here: http://wamplerpedals.com/blog/how-to-pick-your-pick/ Let us know what your favorite picks are and how they influence your tone!
Until Thursday Tone Chasers.
Pros and Cons of playing like your heroes: So the Cons first – you obviously get “pigeon-holed” as a clone/ copy of your heroes. To some people this is a bad thing – as just about every guitar wants to be original. While to other’s playing just like their favorite guitar player is exactly what they want/ what they are going for. I think just about every guitar player can honestly say that they have taken things from this player and that player and have made it their own on some level. In my case – I’m not shy in openly admitting I’ve taken this lick from this guy and another lick from that guy.
Brad Paisley’s Guitar Rig: For this one Travis and I kicked back and let Brian talk about some of the ends and outs of Brad’s rig…. First of all, Brad is a tone – tweaker. Mr. Paisley is also known to change his gear nightly; so it’s hard to consistently nail down his exact rig. Being a true gear nerd and tone junky – Brad also insists on being with/ adjusting/ and playing is rig at sound checks. (Unlike a lot of other artists, who have someone else play their rig while they are off doing interviews before the show.) Some of the pedals that Brian spotted on Brad's rig recently (other then various Wampler pedals) was the Zen Drive, a Dumbloid, Way Huge Aqua Puss delay, MXR Super Bass A$$ distortion, Green Rhino, and of course a TS-9)
Tech Tip of the week: (Soldering tips) Use smaller solder! I hate to admit it, but this is a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Small project = small solder. Also if you are having a hard time with pointed tipped soldering irons – check out a chisel tip – a total game changer in my book! Helped me gain way more control over my soldering iron.
That will do it for this week – stay tuned on Monday for a new episode of Chasing Tone!
It’s Monday again – which means another episode of Chasing Tone! Here are the short notes:
First up: Should you put your money on amps or pedals? So the big question is - do you 1.) buy nice pedals – but use a solid state digital amp? Or 2.) buy a nice tube amp and then get some pedals to compliment it? Travis hits the nail on the head with this one.
“It’s two different schools of thought – and you get what you pay for.”
Some of the solid-state amps that are coming out recently are just awesome! Quilter, Fractal, Axe effects, and Kemper (just to name a few) are producing some seriously awesome stuff! Looking at it from the other end, not all tube amps sound terrific. I won't mention any here by name specifically - but there are some tube amps out there that sound pretty terrible as well. So it really depends on the quality of your amp and your pedals and what sounds the best to you. Use your ears. If you like it, who cares what anybody else thinks!
Putting an EQ pedal in the effects loop of an amp. So here is quick tip from Brian that I thought was pretty cool. If you have an amp with an effects loop – try putting an EQ pedal through the effects loop to help shape your dirt channel. I tried this with my Fender Hot Rod Deville (2x12”) and had some pretty cool results. Totally changed the channel 2 (dirt channel) voicing of that amp!
Should Brian get a PRS (Paul Read Smith)? YES! Or at least something that is high quality with humbuckers. My vote is for a PRS Custom 22. That was THE locker guitar for me since high school. By locker guitar, I mean – in high school, some people had pictures of their high school sweethearts, or pictures of fancy cars, etc – I had a cut out a picture of a PRS custom 22. I even cut out a second picture, made it in to a magnet, and stuck it on my parent’s fridge as a long shot Christmas wish/ miracle… it is still on their fridge 10 years later and I still don’t have my PRS. If any is best friends with Paul and wants to make a dream come true… Lol. One day Max, one day….