What was once only achievable via complicated mechanical means whose history is composed of magnetic tape, magnetic drums and electrolytic oil, was forged in the fire of parts developed for telephony. One of the finest examples of solid-state delay is the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man, the pinnacle of bucket-brigade stompbox tech.
Ask a casual pedal fan to name 25 pedal companies and Mu-Tron probably won’t be in the list. But the brains behind the operation, Mike Beigel, brought a huge degree of metamorphosis to the industry and crafted a pedal line that stripped some of the unitaskery and gimmickry from pedals and turned them into intuitive performance tools.
This leads me to today’s pedal, the Ultra Fuzz. Replete with superlative, the Ultra Fuzz looks like it came out in the mid-‘90s, but actually was released in 2001. In fact, when I pulled it from the Cabinet, a coworker asked me the date and I actually thought it was from 1995. But the Ultra Fuzz’s 2001 birthdate puts it squarely in the crosshairs of an ugly rumor which I will be happy to dispel in due time.
The Mr. Multi is quite simply a triumph, and I am happy to share it with you if you’ve never heard of it. All the way back in 1973, before the Phase 90 was a glimmer in anyone’s eye, just six years after the first wah pedal was released, the Mr. Multi delivered both with an amazing twist.
While the cabinet has many of what we consider to be the finest iteration of certain effects types, we also have a cache of things recognized for their canonical significance. One such device is the original Seamoon Funk Machine.
In other words, while the Pocket Series may have been marketed towards new parents with cranky babies, it was a low-cost rock machine; just add instrument. This whole series started with two units: the MA-1 Mascot Amplifier and its preamp, the FA-1 FET Preamp. It ended with the same two units.
There was a time in the early to mid ‘70s when germanium was banished to the outer realms. Much like the period in time when digital gear dethroned analog and exiled it from the gear kingdom, silicon discretes pushed germanium to the sidelines.
Boss created the “first” of a variety of effects, and was certainly the first to offer many types in compact boxes. However, one such pedal is a stone-cold all-time classic despite never being offered in Boss’s trademark compact enclosure. That pedal is the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble.