Tone Spotlight: The Hall of Fame

As we continue to make progress capturing unique and desirable tones throughout the recorded history of the guitar, let’s take stock for a moment. In the stompbox bible, Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects, turn to chapter nine for a look at Analog Mike’s Hall of Fame. We thought we’d call out each effect here and provide a quick status on what’s available in AmpStamp. Though we’re nowhere near finished, we think we’ve covered quite a few classic stompboxes. If you’d like to help prioritize what we tackle next, let us know in the comments!


Uni-Vibe

Artists: Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Harvey Mandel

Debut: 1968

History: Designed by Fumio Mieda, originally part of the Psychedelic Machine distributed by Honey in Japan and first sold as the Vibra-Chorus. Inspired by filtering effects heard from short wave radio interference.

AmpStamp: PH100 Phaser


Fuzz Face

Artists: Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughn

Debut: 1966

History: Physical enclosure designed by Ivor Arbiter, influenced by the base of a microphone stand. The circuit may have also been based on Ivor’s suggestion to use a Schmidt Trigger to increase distortion.

AmpStamp: FZ102 Fuzz


TS-808 Tube Screamer

Artists: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kirk Hammett

Debut: 1979

History: Designed by S. Tamura for Maxon in Japan. This was an evolution of the Overdrive pedal intended to capture the dynamics of tube distortion.


Cry Baby

Artists: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and everyone else

Debut: 1968

History: Designed by Brad Plunkett with Del Casher, originally sold via partnership between Vox/JMI and Thomas Organ, debuting as the Clyde McCoy. Later renamed model V846 under Vox, and Cry Baby under Thomas Organ.

AmpStamp: WH100 Wah


Big Muff

Artists: Carlos Santana, Ernie Isley, David Gilmour, J. Mascis, Billy Corgan

Debut: 1970

History: Designed by Bob Meyer with Mike Matthews, based off of the Guild Foxey Lady. They iterated on the Axis Fuzz, then Muff Fuzz, finally landing on the four-transistor design with the Big Muff.

AmpStamp: FZ104A Fuzz


Phase 90 / Small Stone

Artists: Eddie Van Halen

Debut: 1974

History: The former was inspired by the Maestro Phase Shifter, the latter by the EMS Synthi Hi-Fli. Designed by Keith Barr and David Cockerell, respectively. Though each features a different topology, both effects sweep dual notches in the frequency spectrum creating their signature whooshing sound.


Mu-Tron III

Artists: Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins, Jerry Garcia, Flea

Debut: 1972

History: Designed by Mike Beigel originally for a synthesizer by Guild. When the deal fell through a new company and product was born.


Boss CE-1

Artists: Herbie Hancock, Andy Summers, John Frusciante

Debut: 1976

History: The first chorus effect in pedal form, and the first effect for Boss. Also incorporated into the JC-120 amplifier produced by Roland. This was the first effect to feature stereo outputs.


A/DA Flanger

Artists: ?

Debut: 1977

History: Designed by David Tarnowski, this is the flanger. With a wider range than its competitors, gating threshold, built-in compressor, and tuned feedback, it has a sound all to its own. Additionally, the effect featured an external control pedal that could be used to sweep the flanger.


Dallas Rangemaster

Artists: Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher

Debut: 1965

History: A product of Dallas Music Ltd., production was short lived as the company eventually merged with Arbiter, forming Dallas-Arbiter of Fuzz Face fame.

AmpStamp: EQ100 Treble Boost


Ross Compressor

Artists: ?

Debut: 1977

History: Not just a clone of the MXR Dynacomp, this pedal was actually an improvement, maintaining the same qualities as the original script-logo MXR version while also providing a warmer sound and better stability.


Orange Squeezer

Artists: Jay Graydon, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Mark Knopfler

Debut: ?

History: Designed by Dan Armstrong, this effect came in a small box meant to be plugged directly into the guitar’s output jack. Despite its hard to use form factor this effect became a must-have for LA session musicians during the 70’s.


This is quite a list! But remember, as important as it is to have inspiring effects, you’ll also need an inspiring amp. Make sure to check out our Gear Shop to see everything that AmpStamp currently has to offer. And don’t forget to leave a comment if there’s something you’d like to see next!

AmpStamp 1.5 Presets

Welcome to AmpStamp 1.5! From proto punk and college rock, to rockabilly and psychedelia, we think you’re going to find endless inspiration from playing and tinkering. Here are some new and revised presets, with better accuracy, and more control over your tone.

Import All 4 New PresetsImport All 4 New Presets

Import All 2 Revised PresetsImport All 2 Revised Presets


Raw Power

Proto punks. The godfathers of punk. The Stooges. We stumbled upon James Williamson’s lacerating tone from Raw Power, and we think you’ll agree, this tone cuts like a knife. Harnessing the unique sound of mixing elements of Vox and Marshall gear, Williamson found the perfect match to Iggy’s intense delivery. The only requirement is that you play it loud.

Import Raw PowerImport Raw Power


Monster

By the time R.E.M. recorded their album Monster, they were looking for a new sound. Something harder, rockier, and faster paced. Guitarist Peter Buck found that in a small 2×12 combo known for its grit and particular voicing for guitar. Armed with only that amplifier, Buck would record instant classics, making use of the raw tone of the amplifier at full volume, as well as the novel vibrato channel.

Import MonsterImport Monster


Slapback

Take a second to play this slapback tape delay and relive some of the finest moments recorded at Sun Studio. From Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis, to Johnny Cash, there’s a reason why musicians were clamoring for this new sound. Take what you can from it, and reinvent rock n’ roll once again.

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Sunshine

While recording their album Disraeli Gears, Cream, and specifically Eric Clapton, would truly push what a guitar could do in pop music. Taking cues from seasoned blues players, Clapton effortlessly weaved inspired lead lines into simple song structures that served as platforms for improvisation during their live shows. But what was even more interesting was that sound he was putting to tape. A guitar had never quite sounded like that, and hasn’t since, until now.

Import SunshineImport Sunshine


Nellcôte II

Locked away from the rest of the world, living in hiding, living in excess. This was life for one of the most popular rock bands in history. Though the days may have blended into nights, interrupted by breakfast boats on the Italian Riviera, music happened. It needed to happen. It had to happen. And with a simple amplifier, a modest 2×12 combo, good times were rolling. Updated with speaker Color controls, for a darker, rounder tone, and Early Reflections to capture the sound of the studio.

Import Nellcôte IIImport Nellcôte II


Woodstock IV

Updated with a different amplifier and cabinet, and an improved, more accurate PH100 Phaser algorithm. As soon as you strike the first three notes of the Anthem, we think you’ll find that it can’t get any closer unless you happen to have the exact guitar that Hendrix used during performance. For the moment, this is one of rock’s all time greatest tones now available anywhere, anytime. Enjoy!

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AmpStamp 1.5 – The Color of Tone

With the release of AmpStamp 1.5, we’ve added an entirely new category of products–Ambience effects, expanded the tonal capabilities of all cabinets, and added a new 2×12 combo that has been a missing link at the heart of countless classic tones. As we continue to iterate, the number of unique tones that you can achieve with AmpStamp is ever-increasing. With more accuracy, and amazing levels of touch sensitivity, we think you’re going to find endless inspiration in your playing. Let’s take a quick look at what’s new!

Color and Offset

Color and OffsetWe have updated all cabinets with Color and Offset controls. Color transitions between the unique sound of miking a speaker at its center (Bright) versus all the way out at the very edge (Dark). Offset places a second angled microphone near the edge, simulating a common technique used to tame a bright top end.

This makes the unique tonal combinations with just one cabinet very deep, not to mention when blending two cabinets together. The possibilities are wide and varied, and we encourage lots of experimentation with these new controls!

Ambience

AMB400 Plate ReverbWe’re also excited to announce the addition of Ambience effects to AmpStamp! Once you have the right amplifier, cabinet, and effects, that will get you extremely close to your favorite records. But that last mile of the signal chain, for instance adding something like a plate reverb, really puts a finishing touch on your tone.

Expensive, hard to find, and hard to maintain, the legendary sound of plate reverb is now at your fingertips with the AMB400 Plate Reverb. We’ve also added a few conveniences like high and low pass filters, as well as pre-delay, elements commonly used in the studio to shape the final guitar sound.

AMB100 Early ReflectionsAnd for close-in, tight room sounds, we’ve added something more basic. Check out AMB100 Early Reflections. This effect captures a series of reflections in three dimensions, similar to how an acoustically treated studio might sound. But of course, you can exaggerate the effect, with a bigger, longer echo, or get closer and more claustrophobic, like an isolated booth typically used when driving amplifiers at full volume.

With this new category of effects you can now get that much closer to the recorded guitars on your favorite records. So keep exploring!

The Missing Link

VG302E AmplifierIt was surprising to find out just how many artists have used this amplifier in its various incarnations. Once we plugged into the VG302E Amplifier, it became obvious why. This amp is awesome! With relatively low power, an absence of negative feedback, and a now-classic top boost tone circuit, there is a lot that contributes to this amp’s unique sound.

But don’t bother listening to us, just plug in and play. We think you’ll instantly fall in love with this classic. And make sure to try various cabinets, as even today, modern versions will sell with two very different speaker options.

Same Subscription, More Great Products

As always, we think you’ll find that AmpStamp has endless variations of tone to satisfy guitarists in any genre of music. If you’re already a subscriber then thank you! If you haven’t subscribed yet, then hurry up! You’re missing out! Check out the Gear Shop and stay tuned for new products.

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AmpStamp 1.4 Presets

With the release of AmpStamp V1.4 we’d like to highlight a few sounds that combine some of the latest gear now available in the shop. We’ve added a classic tweed combo, another legendary 4×12 cabinet, one of the baddest fuzz effects, and the ultimate phaser. Let’s dig in!

Import All 4 PresetsImport All 4 Presets


Immodium

What’s left to say about such a classic fuzz? We provided three of the most desired variations and in this preset are running the pedal through a hybrid combo for best tone. But the whole point is to find your own sound and I think it won’t be hard with this effect. Make sure to tweak the Miller capacitance setting under the More Control section.

Import this preset – ImmodiumImport this preset – Immodium


Two Speed

This phaser has turned up on more recordings than you would expect. From classic recordings in the 70’s considered cutting edge at the time to grunge rock artists in the 90’s probably looking to revisit the sounds they grew up hearing, it’s an endlessly fun pedal due mostly to its complexity of control. Stacking two phasers seems like a simple task but once you start experimenting you’ll see it’s easy to get lost in the details. Best advice is to forget about the signal path and focus on what sounds good to your ear.

Import this preset – Two SpeedImport this preset – Two Speed


Larryland

When Mr. 335 came to this particular session it was just like any other. He grabbed his guitar, grabbed his amp, and headed over. What was not clear was that the combination of his signature “sweet” tone would explode when collided with the songwriting capabilities of the members of Steely Dan. Not to mention his ability to craft amazing lead lines over some of rock’s most complex progressions, it’s safe to say this classic studio tone is still in demand.

Import this preset – LarrylandImport this preset – Larryland


Lady

The mid-70’s… disco, electronic art music, “middle of the road,” acoustic jazz, it was an interesting decade. The “Me” decade. If musicians learned one thing from this time period it was that the fuzz goes after the phaser, but that wouldn’t be so for Ernie Isley. Wanting to take advantage of some of the latest effects technology for guitarists he would have to learn this lesson for himself. And with a top ten single we all got to experience this amalgamation. Considered a classic today, it’s now yours to avoid at all cost and secretly cherish at the same time.

Import this preset – LadyImport this preset – Lady

AmpStamp 1.4 – Legendary Tone

We think you’re going to love this next revision of AmpStamp, version 1.4. It’s vintage gear done right so you can sound closer to recorded tones, more than ever before. There are so many sounds packed into this release we didn’t know where to begin so lets just start by giving an overview of what’s new. Stay tuned for more detail about how to achieve some seriously legendary tones with our Classic Sounds Series.

Classic Combo

VG207A AmplifierWe’re sure by now that you’ve heard of the mojo tweed amplifiers can add to your playing. Loaded with an upgraded speaker (VG 1X12C 15W ’68 Cabinet), this amp will place you in one of several places… a hot studio in Miami recording some assorted love songs, the studio scene in LA circa 1976/77, or amidst the second guitar revolution that was launched in 1978. Regardless of the year, the tone is unmistakable so make sure to check out the VG207A Amplifier, you won’t be disappointed.

Another 100W Cabinet?

VG 4X12B 100W '73 CabinetYou heard us right, we have another 100W cabinet. This time capturing classic tone from 1973. This cabinet barks and howls at exactly the right moments bringing you instantly into it’s sonic temple. From quiet finger-picked passages to blistering leads and everything in between, make sure to check out the VG4X12B100W73 Cabinet.

Heavy Fuzz

FZ104A FuzzSpeaking of blistering leads, get ready for some serious fuzz with the FZ104A Fuzz. What’s most impressive is how different this pedal sounds depending on which amplifier it’s being run through. We encourage experimentation and think you’ll find some really interesting tones. Turning the tone down will add more bass helping to overdrive small combos while turning it up will yield a high end sizzle ready to cut through any mix.

Ultimate Phaser

PH102B PhaserLast but not least is this awesome pedal, the PH102B Phaser. There is a lot going on with this effect. Simply put, it’s two phasers in one. And you can run them in series or parallel, with the latter configuration giving its characteristic deep phasing effect. But that’s just where the fun begins, the second phaser can also be controlled by a second LFO. In this configuration setting different speeds for each LFO will provide endless variations on some very unpredictable rhythms. Then, each LFO can be toggled between sine and square waves for even more interesting effects. As if that weren’t enough we’ve also provided a twist that allows the first LFO to be modulated by the second LFO. Needless to say there are a lot of options. Oh and try adjusting LDR sensitivity for a brighter or more mellow sound.

Same Subscription, More Great Products

As always, we think you’ll find that AmpStamp has endless variations of tone to satisfy guitar players in any genre of music. If you’re already a subscriber then thank you! If you haven’t subscribed yet, then hurry up! You’re missing out! Check out our product page for more details and stay tuned for new products.

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Celebrate the Summer of Love

At The Musicology Group we’re constantly searching for vintage gear, listening to classic records, and reading various articles to build a picture of what artists were using in the studio when recording some of their most famous works. Whether trying to assemble a collection of different gear or taking one element and tweaking it to perfection, it has to sound good and it has to sound right.

With that kind of mission statement it’s no less than a miracle when we find the right piece of gear that not only sounds good but sounds right. This is the magic we have captured with the VG 4x12A 100W ’67 Cabinet. Plucked from the confines of a home lost to time, nearly invisible to passerby, it’s what makes for a great quest. We think you’ll agree we have captured the sound of the Summer of Love, the year 1967.

Along with the VG402B Amplifier, your tone will be unmistakably familiar. And you won’t hear it anywhere else as manufacturing techniques and circuit designs after this point went through dramatic change. The intent was to improve upon previous limitations but the result was to isolate a period of rock n’ roll history with a unique sound. Stay tuned as we continue to revisit a long list of classic tones for the electric guitar through our app for iOS, AmpStamp.

AmpStamp 1.3 Presets

With the release of AmpStamp V1.3 we’d like to highlight two sounds that combine some of the latest gear now available in the shop. We’ve added an earlier version of our classic non-master volume amplifier accompanied by its legendary cabinet, another classic 2×12 cabinet featured in several piggy back models of its era, a most recognizable tape echo, and our first foray into EQ effects. There is a lot to explore!

Import All 2 PresetsImport All 2 Presets


Sol

Summer, 1967. AKA the Summer of Love. San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, and the Monterey Pop Festival. The 100W amplifier had just been perfected and many were eager to get them on the stages of performing musicians. What took place was the union of music and technology, sealed in a moment in time as music and technology would forever change after that. Call it by any name, the holy grail, woody tone, legendary, this is the sound at the birth of an extremely creative period of rock n’ roll.

Import this preset – SolImport this preset – Sol


Nellcôte

Locked away from the rest of the world, living in hiding, living in excess. This was life for one of the most popular rock bands in history. Though the days may have blended into night, interrupted by breakfast boats on the Italian Riviera, music happened. It needed to happen. It had to happen. And with a simple amplifier, a modest 2×12 combo, and a little slapback echo, good times were rolling.

Import this preset – NellcôteImport this preset – Nellcôte

AmpStamp 1.3 – Find Your Sound

With this next revision of AmpStamp, version 1.3, we unveil some legendary speakers from the mid-1960’s, offer up one of the first tone shaping effects, and add a tape echo so classic, all delays that followed make reference to this seminal unit.

The Many Uses Of Tape Echo

EC101C Echo

From the first notes from Les Paul to the classic recordings made at Sun Studios in Memphis, treating the guitar with echo quickly became a new tool that all musicians had to learn how to wield. It started with a type of echo referred to as slapback, a short delay (longer than what’s used in chorus effects, but those hadn’t been invented yet) that sounds similar to shouting in a narrow alleyway between two buildings. Almost immediately many in the music technology field realized that with a loop of tape and possibly more than one tape machine, the record and playback heads could be used to add a repeat of what was played. This was at first reserved for studio recordings as most musicians did not carry tape machines for live use, let alone possess the technical skill or bring someone with them who could maintain and operate these units. But then in 1952 the EchoSonic was released, an amplifier with a built-in tape echo effect.

Quite a bit later this was productized into a more portable unit that could be used in a variety of settings. One key improvement that the EchoSonic and its successors had was the ability to feed back the current echo for additional repeats. With a simple potentiometer, variable decay could be dialed in and with a small signal amplifier, the repeats could be sustained and even grow louder! This is usually referred to as runaway sustain or oscillation, as the original signal is reduced to noise it’s an unmistakeable sound.

But what else was it about tape echo that makes it so desirable? Of course, the imperfections. As you dig deeper with the EC101C Echo, we’ve captured several elements that truly make a tape echo sound the way it should. First and foremost, tape is not a perfect medium. When first recording to a new reel of tape any studio engineer will tell you, the tape machine needs to be calibrated. Both frequency and level are not consistent even between two batches of tape from the same manufacturer. Furthermore, after heavy use specifically associated with tape echo effects the constant erasing will degrade the performance of the tape. And so with Tape Quality you can adjust this from near perfect to very poor. Additionally, the motors that drive the reels of tape often suffered from performance issues as well. And so we’ve provided a Wow and Flutter control to help capture some of the more extreme variation that you might experience with an older unit needing some maintenance. Of course, you don’t have to worry about that now, the control is all at the tips of your fingers.

Another 100W Amplifier?

VG402B AmplifierYou heard us right, we have another amplifier that captures classic tone in transition from 1966-67. We think you’re going to love the VG402B Amplifier. It captures the sound of the first super amplifiers with all of the extra Bass and additional part variations that were so common in amplifiers built during this period.

VG 4x12A 100W '67 CabinetBut it would not be complete without the VG 4x12A 100W ’67 Cabinet. This cabinet gives you the legendary sound of near unobtainable speakers. This is the sound of rock n’ roll from the mid-to-late 1960’s. You won’t hear it anywhere else as manufacturing techniques and circuit designs after this point went through dramatic changes. The overall effort was to improve upon previous limitations but the result was to isolate a period of rock n’ roll history with a unique sound, nearly lost for the generations to come.

We have been working hard to bring you the sounds of rock n’ roll history and this is another milestone for us. We can’t wait for you to rock out with this new amplifier and cabinet combination, or for that matter any combination of our gear, with a product this flexible keep an ear out for some classic tones. More on this soon!

Tone Shaping Primer

EQ100 Treble BoostLast but not least, it was also important for us to being our investigation into EQ effects. Tone shaping is a key component to modern day signal chains and whether good or bad, it can have a drastic effect. So like most things at The Musicology Group, we decided to start at the beginning with the EQ100 Treble Boost. This unit is rumored to have been used on some genre-defining recordings, though never confirmed, we couldn’t help but try it for ourselves.

We also added an additional twist to make things interesting of course. Accessing the More Control section, you can flip the effect from a Treble Boost to a Bass Boost and adjust the tone anywhere in between. Boost your solos or just tweak your sound with this first offering, you just might find the tone you’re looking for.

Same Subscription, More Great Products

As always, we think you’ll find that AmpStamp has endless variations of tone to satisfy guitar players in any genre of music. If you are already a subscriber then thank you! If you haven’t subscribed yet, then hurry up! You’re missing out! Check out our product page for more details and stay tuned for new products.

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AmpStamp™

We are excited to announce a new update to our application for guitarists, AmpStamp version 1.2.1!

What’s In A Name, Again

You are probably wondering, another name change? This time we think we landed on the perfect name, something that represents why this application sounds so much better than the competition. And also we wanted to avoid any confusion with the popular TAP-TONE Delay Pedal (please note there are no tone controls on this unit).

Still Real Cabinets, Still Real Sound

After many hours of playing through AmpStamp, testing out different effects, and capturing some classic tones which we will share with you via presets, we realized that effects pedals are only going to sound as good as the amplifier you are playing through. Even further, in most cases, the amplifier is the last piece of the signal chain that imparts its sonic signature most identifiably on your tone. With our technology we are able to stamp your guitar signal with a near perfect representation of the recorded tones of the amplifiers and cabinets that we characterize. We always knew this was the case but the exciting fact that this plays a huge part in your ability to achieve great tone means more great tones are on the way!

Same Subscription, More Great Products

As always, we think you’ll find that AmpStamp has endless variations of tone to satisfy guitar players in any genre of music. If you are already a subscriber then thank you! If you haven’t subscribed yet, then hurry up! You’re missing out! Check out our product page for more details and stay tuned for new products.

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