Vintage King has been evolving our line of guitar gear
by culling together the most unique and essential brands out in the market today. As the face of our Guitar Sales team, Scotty I. knows a thing or two about pedals. OK... maybe not just a thing or two, more like thousands. Scotty's jam room is literally a mountain of pedals, as documented by his Instagram account, @VKGuitar
For the first feature in our Staff Picks Series, Scotty talks about five pedals that go beyond basic distortion, fuzz or delay. Way beyond! The mind-bending gear that makes up Scotty's Top Five Weirdo Pedals often take sounds out of the guitar realm and firmly plants them in a different stratosphere. Check out Scotty's list and hit the Vintage King site to see/hear more from all of these amazing pedals.
1. Earthquaker Devices - Rainbow Machine
I know you have seen this pink, two button pedal around and thought, “What the heck is that thing with the funny name?” Let me try to describe it without using too many LSD references. The Rainbow Machine gives you control over space, time and dimension. It's a delay pedal at heart, but every repeat will move up or down a little in pitch depending on where you have the pitch control. At 12 O’Clock, the pedal almost acts like a slapback delay.
Using the Rainbow Machine is a neat way to make a change in a song more intense. I’ll kick on the "Magic" button and let it build up, and just when it sounds like your amp is about to blow up... Kick it off to change to the chorus or next part. It leaves people feeling like they just got a deep tissue brain massage, releasing alllllll of the toxins.
2. Chase Bliss Audio - Warped Vinyl
Now the moment I saw this pedal, I was in love. It’s covered in controls. It looks like the control panel for the Starship Enterprise or some sort of quack medicine device. When you flip it over, there are nearly 16 dip switches on the bottom. Did I lose you yet? If you are still with me, this pedal might be for you!
It's a Vibrato/Chorus that is fully tweakable and can go from subtle to nauseating and everything in between. You can add a lo-fi effect, pull up two presets, plug in an expression pedal, change multiple parameters with one knob and on and on... I would say it’s easier to tell you what it can’t do but it might be safe to say it can do everything. The Warped Vinyl is Chase Bliss Audio’s first pedal and they pulled out all the stops. Keep an eye on Joel Korte and his company, as they will change the pedal world as we know it.
3: The Electro Harmonix - B9
Mind you, I have not played this pedal yet, but after hearing the Bill Rupert demo, I have Velcro cut and have already cleared a space for it on the board! There are nine presets and within them you’ll find the unmistakable tones of "Green Onions," "Incense and Peppermints," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Space Truckin," "96 Tears" - You get the idea. It even has a cool tremolo function that can give you some Who vibe!
If you have ever seen my Instagram, you know that I have a Hammond, Farfisa and Wurly at arm's length from my desk. The bummer part is I am awful at playing them. This pedal will be my solution for both live and adding textures in the studio. No more lugging organs up the stairs! This pedal is coming to Vintage King very soon. Stay tuned!
4. Caroline - Vintage King Edition Cannonball
Philip at Caroline somehow knows exactly what I want before I even knew I wanted it. He first introduced us to the Wave Cannon, which blew minds away, and then it’s crazy brother, the Cannonball, came along. This thing is insane! Right off the bat it's a killer overdrive with unique voicing; lush, creamy, fat and full.
What makes the Cannonball different from the Wave Cannon is the Havoc button. The Havoc button is a momentary button and has two modes, Kill and Havoc. The Kill mode is super cool and handy. You can use it as a clean-cut to make vocals shine or use it as a tremolo or stutter by just tapping, stepping and releasing. Pretty straight forward.
Havoc mode is a complete different story. Put your foot on the button and the overdrive tone is instantly hacked. It’s like a cheat code to unlock unlimited ammo. Not only do all the pedal knobs become hyperactive, somehow your guitar knobs become an extension of the pedal controls. By turning your guitars volume and tone knobs with the Havoc button in pressed you can get some CRAZY subsonic rumble, hi-frequency oscillation and beyond. This pedal is a killer overdrive with a totally secret weapon built in.
5. Electro Harmonix - Super Ego Synth Engine
The Super Ego is similar to the Electro Harmonix Freeze. It will take a small fragment of the note and repeat it seamlessly, while providing infinite sustain. As long as you are holding it, it will ring. What sets the Super Ego apart is that it can slide up or down between frozen notes like the portamento function on a vintage synth or that old Yamaha Portasound you keep around in your jam room. It can also be triggered by attack, so you can turn it on peck away at different notes and the sound will just be stretching and blending all over the place.
What makes it even cooler is it has an effects loop. In the effects loop, you can put your EHX B9 or POG and start passing around the collection plate. My favorite pedal to put in there is the Earthquaker Arpanoid. It's an arpeggiator effect that combined with the Super Ego is unstoppable and is guaranteed to always turns heads. If this was my top six weird pedals, the Arpanoid would be number six.