Tone Report Weekly 188 - Page 25

While it is true that the classics never die, they do sometimes get a little past their prime and begin to smell funny. When that happens, it’s time to freshen things up and blow the dust off. This is a truism that can be applied to many areas in life, including one’s pedalboard. Most of us have at least one classic stompbox on our boards, something that was probably invented in the ‘60s or ‘70s, made its mark on a bunch of genre-defining recordings, and has rested comfortably on its legendary laurels ever since. These are pedals that many guitar players recognize instantly, both by sight and by ear, and for many of us they define what an electric guitar should sound like. In many instances they haven’t changed much, or at all, since the day of their release. Some classics are so perfect that they just don’t need to change, but this is rarely true in the world of guitar effects. The music gear landscape has changed so much since many of these pedals were invented that they must adapt or be outshined by newcomers. Electronic components have become more reliable and consistent, power requirements have been standardized, and ears and tastes have morphed in dramatic ways. In general, guitarists also have way more pedals than they used to, so any product not designed to live comfortably in the confines of an expansive pedalboard rig is doomed to failure. Competition is also much greater, and the old standbys often find themselves in direct competition with new pedals that are little more than clones with a few modern updates. The time for resting on laurels has come to an end. The old-guard manufacturers have recognized the need to change and adapt or die a slow death. Recently we have seen a flurry of releases from the pioneering companies in our industry that take the classic sounds and circuits and revamp them in ways that make them useful and inspiring for modern guitarists. Here are a few of our favorite reimagined reissues of classic guitar effects. 25