My wife always asks me why I buy
so much gear but hardly ever sell
anything. I had never really thought
about it, but she certainly raises a
valid point, to which I don’t have an
answer. Perhaps it is a side effect
related to G.A.S, or perhaps I’m your
typical gearhead pack rat! Regardless,
there is no cure for either, as you
know. Kind of like swimming against
Michael Phelps, you know you are
going to get your ass kicked, you can
only hope to contain the damage.
I suppose I never sell anything
because in the back of my mind I
think I can use it someday. If for nothing else, I can rob a knob off of an
old Tube Screamer, steal an input jack off an old Princeton, or perhaps
a Grover off an old broken headstock. Gear is sentimental stuff that
carries a story with it—a time and place in your life that validated the
acquisition in the first place. Who doesn’t cherish their first pawn shop
prize? I’ll bet most of you still have yours tucked away in an attic or
obscure closet somewhere and when you occasionally pull it out for a
dust off, you realize that it means something to you.
My first pawn shop prize was a small Kingston Amp with Tremolo,
Volume, Tone, Speed and Depth with an eight inch speaker. I was ten
and paid 20 bucks for it. I mowed a lot of yards for that 20 bucks! I’ve
still got it and I won’t ever sell it—don’t even ask. It means something
As we proudly celebrate our first effects-themed issue, it strikes me that
acquiring pedals is one of the worst sub-maladies in the G.A.S. family
of diseases—P.A.S! Perhaps this is because they are less expensive and
easier to hide from the spousal unit—but don’t kid yourself, it’s just as
lethal. I have 50+ pedals in my collection, including early script-logo
models, Tube Screamers, Cry Babies—even an early Echoplex. Still got
‘em, won’t ever sell ‘em—don’t even ask! They mean something to me.
My first pedal was an Apollo fuzz wah (circa 1976) that will make any
amp sound like the speakers are blown with that over-the-top fuzz
tone, à la the Beatles’ “Revolution.” I got mine for Christmas when I
was 11. I had grown tired of playing through that Kingston and needed
some hair on my tone to play along with my Kiss Alive record. Which,
by the way, I still have on original vinyl, along with the Kiss “Original”
Box Set on vinyl, with original booklet and Kiss Army patch. Still
got ‘em, wont ever sell ‘em—don’t even ask! They mean something to me.
Modern day boutique pedal builders have certainly
contributed to our incurable P.A.S by building some
of the finest and most advanced pedals in history.
Many of today’s pedals are certainly based on
respected traditional vintage designs and concepts,
but utilize incredible advancements in modern day
circuit technology to push the performance levels to
incredible new sonic heights.
These days you can pack a ton of tone into a tiny
box. God bless ‘em! Those pedal builders serve
an important role in improving your tone.
And yes, I have invested in several boutique pedals over the past year.
Still got em—you know...
Whether they’re vintage, modern boutique or somewhere in between,
pedals are just frickin’ fun. I think everyone has a little (or a lot of) pedal
freak in them, so step out of the closet and fly your freak flag high.
Trent Salter, Publisher
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