Magazine article Guitar Player

Vintage Stompbox Alternatives. (Pawnshop Prize)

Magazine article Guitar Player

Vintage Stompbox Alternatives. (Pawnshop Prize)

Article excerpt

It's easy to get sucked into thinking that the only worthwhile vintage pedals are the cool-looking ones from the '60s and '70s that now sell for ridiculous bucks. Fortunately, you can still find plenty of less-glitzy boxes from the '80s and early '90s that offer sounds and styling guaranteed to set you apart from all those proud owners of Boss CE-1s, Mu-Tron IIIs, and Tycobrahe Octavias. Here's a small sampling of pedals from the eras between high-drama hair and flannel outer wear.

LEL TZ3 Digital Delay

From Russia with love comes this exotic, multi-talented delay. Painted to blend in with your Alesis MidiVerb, the TZ3 features delay, depth, level, modulation, and sensitivity knobs, as well as a switch that toggles between xop (chorus) and pebep (reverb). Powered by two 9-volt batteries and filled with weird-looking parts, the TZ3 produces clean slapback echoes and ambient delays with oodles of repeats. The modulation control is insane--cracking it a little yields a whiff of chorusing, but as you turn it up and start adding delay and feedback, you get strange, roller coaster effects that are as violently pitch-shifted as a pre-Sputnik space launch. Price: $150.

Guyatone Chorus Box

This stereo chorus sounds warm and inviting at low settings, but becomes very metallic when you turn up the intensity. The battery-powered, analog circuit doesn't offer any signal boost, but you're guaranteed a clean response courtesy of the handy input-level control and clip LED. Price: $125. …

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