| # jan/10|
Bem povo, não sei se vocês conhecem estes artigos que a Gibson manda pelo newsletter... são artigos com dicas relacionadas à timbragem de guitarra. Aí vai o 39º artigo da série, em inglês mesmo porque não estou com paciência pra traduzir. Não sei onde achar os 38 anteriores no site da Gibson, se alguém achar dá um toque aí.
Plenty of guitarists are hyped on effects units that were developed at the very dawn of the technology in the '50s and '60s, and interviews of major players in guitar magazines are often filled with worship of the vintage effects that they have rediscovered and used in their recordings—a phenomenon that leads plenty of us mere mortal players to chase similar tones. There were indeed some great sounds made in the golden-age of rock, and the tools used to make them often had less of a mass-produced sound, and feel, than much of what's on the market today. People attribute the supposed tonal superiority of such units to a number of factors: analog technology, the tubes used in some types, the use of better-sounding and higher-quality components that were more readily available in the day, or the care taken with the design and assembly processes. Part of the continued appeal of vintage effects pedals, as with vintage guitars and amps, can also be attributed to pure nostalgia, and our desire to get our hands on the same gear that guitarists making the legendary sounds of the '50s, '60s and '70s might have used. There's a flip side to this, though, and as great as many vintage effects might sound, they are often more expensive to acquire than newer units with similar functions, they occasionally require expensive maintenance that often involves obtaining hard-to-find replacement parts, and even when working can frequently be noisier than modern units. That said, they can be a lot of fun to explore, if you get the opportunity.
Some of the more prized vintage effects units were with us even before effects "pedals", as we know them today, were invented. Many players still swear by the rich, juicy echo sounds produced by old units such as the US-made Maestro Echoplex, UK-made Watkins/WEM Copicat, and Italian-made Binson Echorec. All of these were tube-powered echo units that originated in the late '50s to early '60s, which used cycling tape loops to produce variable echo repeats. Their scarcity makes good, working original examples expensive today, and their electromechanical nature, which requires several moving parts, necessitates regular servicing, too. Among contemporary makers seeking to capture this sound, Fulltone's Tube Tape Echo is particularly well regarded, but it is also quite an expensive unit. Early examples of the Univox Uni-Vibe of the late '60s, as used by Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower, tend to be priced in the same region as some early tape echoes, but many players swear you can't get that thick, liquid, phasey sound from anything else, thanks to the vintage photoresistors used in the original units. Still, plenty of players, both professional and amateur, get great service out of contemporary renditions from Fulltone, Roger Mayer, Voodoo Lab, and others.
Simpler and more compact than these, the seminal fuzz boxes from the mid to late '60s are also highly prized, as are wah-wah pedals of the same era. Players gush over the germanium transistors used in the early Maestro Fuzz-Tone, Arbiter Fuzz Face, and Sola Sound/Colorsound Tone Bender (and similar pedals), which were made legendary by Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck respectively. The germanium transistors responsible for these lush fuzz sounds were also extremely inconsistent, however, and two vintage pedals rarely sound quite the same. Contemporary makers doing the best job of creating germanium-based fuzzes do so by carefully selecting and matching the best transistors, a process undertaken by Roger Mayer, Fulltone, ZVex, and a few others. In vintage wah-wahs, the little coil-like inductors that shape their sound are credited with these expressive pedals' magical tonal properties, and original Vox Wah-Wah and Thomas Organ Cry Baby pedals each have their followers according to the characteristic tones they produce. You'll hear players rave about the "Fasel" or "halo" inductors in these units, and the sweet way they shape a vintage wah's frequency response. Open up either of these legendary pedals, though, and you'll see that they really are remarkably simple devices: only a dozen or so components, in addition to that hallowed inductor, comprises the circuit that creates all that radical tone. Plenty of contemporary manufacturers are now boasting of newer renditions of vintage inductors in their creations, and others offer kits that enable you to "mod" your pedal to more vintage specs. And if you really want to talk simplicity vs. bucks ratios, check out the iconic Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster. Used by Eric Clapton and others back in the day to tip their Marshalls into overdrive, this simple basic booster uses only 10 components in the circuit, including 9V battery and potentiometer, and of course the Mullard OC-44 germanium transistors, yet original examples can bring in four figures on the collector's market.
Enjoy your vintage-effects explorations — there's some fascinating history behind these devices, and getting your hands on the genuine articles can sometimes be quite thrilling — but beware of laying down vast sums of cash for units that are untested, might have been modified or poorly repaired over the years, and could be ready to break down at any moment. It's always wise to try a wide range of contemporary offerings available on the market, too, and to go in with your eyes and ears wide open.