Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheap pedals

I've been using Danelectro pedals for 3 or 4 years now. They're inexpensive and sound really good for the money. My favorite is the Cool Cat Transparent Overdrive (version 1) and the even less expensive Tuna Melt tremolo.

All the Cool Cat pedals are in metal cases and are fairly rugged. The smaller pedals, like the Tuna Melt, are in plastic cases with very small plastic knobs that can break off easily if you're not careful.

The Transparent Overdrive isn't as transparent as I'd like it to be, it does color your sound slightly, but it doesn't give you that midrange boost that most overdrive pedals have. It also works well as a clean boost, with little or no distortion added.

The Tuna Melt pedal (and yes, it's named after a sandwich as are all the pedals in this series), has a nice swampy tremolo with depth and speed knobs plus a small switch to give a hard or soft sound.

I paid less than $25 for the Transparent Overdrive and $11 for the Tuna Melt, used. Not bad.

Here's my YouTube review of the Transparent Overdrive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flea market finds

This past weekend my son and I went to a local flea market (he's 9). This flea market has existed on Earth for about as long as there have been people, or so it seems. The buildings are well worn, the tables are barely standing, and the same could be said for all those who were selling or buying there.

There were a couple of farms selling produce: corn, summer squash, carrots and tomatoes were in abundance. But I was there for the junk.

On this particular Sunday, there was plenty of junk. Table after table had cheap alarm clocks from the 80's, headless Barbie dolls, used hot wheels, reproductions of antique signs and army jackets once owned by an uncle who served in West Germany in the 1960's. Remember when there was a West Germany?

This was not lost on my son, who was noticing how "vintage" everything looked.

After walking around for only a few minutes and viewing the "treasures," he announced to me that he had had enough.

"I want to go home," he whined, "these haunted souls are destroying my spirit.  No one gets out of here with their dignity intact!" he exclaimed. My wife later suggested that many had probably arrived at the flea market that way.

We did leave eventually, but not after buying some corn for the evening's dinner. 

You might ask, what does this have to do with guitars? I was hoping to find a guitarist's treasure, an old tube amp or maybe a guitar that the owner didn't think was valuable. Instead I found seven ears of corn and a son who has a gift of expression.