20 Sounds Of The Most Expensive Guitar Effects
I’ve been getting interested in some classic effects recently as I start building a few kits. Some of the early classics that are now some of the most expensive guitar effects are well known, but I realised that I wasn’t aware of some of the sounds they actually produce. Based on that I went hunting for clips of these great pedals in action. The list is based on which pedals are commanding the highest prices on the second hand market, as well as a few classics that may not be as expensive but are just as highly regarded. The good news is that there are many replicas available either as a completed pedal or as a kit that you can try and build yourself. Please feel free to contribute any others!
1. 1966-’67 Vox Clyde McCoy Wah-Wah Pedal (up to $2,500)
Named for muting effect for which trumpeter Clyde McCoy was briefly famous, this wah is considered the most expressive of all wahs.
2. 1966 Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster (up to $3,500)
From Eric Clapton to Tommy Iommi, the Rangemaster has been used in so many classic rock tracks it’s impossible to list. Originals command crazy prices – can you put a price on this tone?
3. 1976-’77 Tycobrahe Octavia (up to $1,300)
Based on the original but uncopyrighted design of Roger Mayer (he built a few from people like Hendrix), Tycobrahe commercialised the design in the 70s.
4. Late-’60s/early-’70s Univox Uni-Vibe (up to $2,800)
Anything Hendrix played automatically moves into legendary status, and the Uni-Vibe is no exception. It was originally built as a rotary speaker simulator for organ players, and is basically a four-stage phaser.
5. 1971-’73 Maestro Rover Rotating Speaker RO-1 (up to $1,500)
A weird rotating speaker set-up using a little 6” speaker. Doesn’t sound like much but it is kinda cool.
6. 1976-’77 Tycobrahe Parapedal (up to $1,250)
This is like a more advanced wah that adds something that sounds like a sweeping phaser with a unique voice.
7. 1960s Binson EchoRec (up to $3,500)
The sound behind Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, this unit used a magnetic drum recorder instead of tape.
8. Late-’60s Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face (up to $2,500)
One of the classic Jimi Hendrix pedal – it’s similar to the Dallas Rangemaster, but the germanium transistors really take it to another place!
9. Late ‘70s Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer (up to $1,000)
A Stevie Ray Vaughan classic, the 808 was considered a bit smoother than the later (and equally famous) TS-9.
…and a great clip comparing it to an early TS9
10. 1994-’99 Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive (gold case) (up to $3,200)
A more modern classic,the Centaur is more than a basic overdrive pedal. It adds a tone-thickening booster
11. 1961-’66 Fender Reverb Unit (up to $4,600)
The sound of surf music in a box! Fender’s reverb unit defined a genre.
12. 1974-’77 Mu-Tron Bi-Phase (with optical pedal) (up to $1,800)
A classic phaser that had the ability to be controlled by an external pedal or used “automatically”.
13. 1971-’74 Maestro Bass Brassmaster BB-1 (up to $2,500)
This fuzz pedal was original designed for the bassists, but guitarists loved the extra controls for fuzz and instrument sensitivity, and switches for tone and harmonics.
14. ’60s Maestro Echoplex (tube model) (up to $1,500)
The ultimate tape-echo unit that nailed slap-back and atmospheric echoes as well as adding a thickening boost.
15. 1976-’77 Tycobrahe Pedalflanger (up to $1,300)
This one is effectively a flanger, but with the ability to created phasing, chorus, and vibe sounds!
16. 1958-’59 EccoFonic echo unit (up to $1,100)
This one was very rare and was sold by Fender in 1958-’59. It takes the signal from amp to speaker and injects three user-selectable delay times.
This one isn’t a guitar demo – but pretty cool as it’s the original thing!
Not sure on the age of this one but pretty cool!
17. ’77 Mu-Tron Flanger (up to $1,250)
The ultimate flanger, this “bucket-brigade” device offered extensive control of effect parameters.
18. ’70s MXR Phase 90 Flanger (up to $500)
This one-knob phaser was the first pedal sold by MXR and helped launch the company!
19. ’70s Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble (up to $900)
The first proper Boss foot pedal effect was the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, and is still considered one of the best chorus pedals ever.
20. 1966 Sola Sound Tone Bender MK1.5 (up to $7500)
The MK1 Bender was a three transistor circuit based on the Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone. The MK1.5 was a two transistor model that became the basis for the Fuzz Face.
This clip is of the MKI but let’s you see where it all started!