Friday, November 7, 2008

It Followed Me Home! Honest!

Today, I met with my headhunter, who gave me all the stuff I left in the cubicle and bought me lunch. Since I was a mere seven miles from where all the good music stores are, rather than the 60 miles I usually am, I took advantage of this fact and shopped.

Shopped for what?

A tremolo pedal.

I fell in love with the glories of tremolo years ago, listening to Richard Thompson's "Shoot Out The Lights". If I could have a Twin Reverb with built-in trem, I'd do it. (Remember, Fender-speak for tremolo is "vibrato" and vice versa. Tremolo is variations in volume, vibrato is variations in pitch. What you do if you gently put pressure on your tremolo bar is apply vibrato, and what you do if you turn on the vibrato circuit of your Fender amp is apply tremolo. Leo, being an engineer and not a musician, got the technology way right and the terminology bass-ackwards.)

Anyway, I stopped in one store (we shall call it GC) and tried out two of their pedals. First pedal I checked was the Electro-Harmonics Stereo Pulsar. It was a neat pedal, but 1) I couldn't dial in the good Fender amp tremolo that, in my mind, is the reason you want the thing, 2) At some settings, it just turned off, and 3) at $80, it was above the price point I had in mind.

Then I tried the Boss TR2 Tremolo pedal. This was pretty much the sound I had in my head for a trem, which, as I said, is the Fender amp sound. Also, at $100, it was much more than what I was hoping to spend.

So I tried another store, which we will call SA. There they had the Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo. It was $40, and while I'm sure there's sonic differences that might make me think that the Boss was worth the extra $60, I don't know what they would be, as I found the nice Fender sound quickly, and a few nice stuttering sounds that I might have to pull out Oz Noy style.

The Cool Cat is sitting on my desk in front of me, waiting for me to get home and plug it in.

And I got a replacement coricidin bottle for slide. Since it's flat on the sides, Patrick, I can use it with the pedal steels, which I can't do with the bottleneck you gave me. Thanks again for that, though.


MJK said...

"It Followed Me Home! Honest!"

This has happened to me, but I was on eBay when the next thing I know, I was a WINNER. As a matter of fact, it has happened twice in the past two months. It feels good to be a winner.

Kevin said...

Gotta love tremolo. My amp substitute is the baby brother of the box that produced the crazy tremolo on Audioslave's "Like A Stone." (It does subtle, too, and in that direction, as you note, "Shoot Out The Lights" is amazing.) This effect that I'd never really given much thought to before is now the one I keep going back to and exploring the dusty corners of. Enjoy!

Dave Jacoby said...

Kevin, my amp substitute also has trem, but I sometimes want trem when I plug straight into my Frontman 25R, or I'd like to switch on and off the tremolo and keep the same setting.

Yeah, I got it so I could get that subtle slower trem, but the fast, hard on-off sound is something I could see going back to.

MJK, I don't really do Ebay. I'd like to do that more.

Patrick said...

There's only so much you can do with a bottle of two-buck Chuck. The slide I gave you is really best suited for diddley-bow or cigar box, and might be useable for a regular guitar with a fingerboard radius, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to be long enough or flat enough to use on lap or pedal steel.
I took the neck off a bottle of flavored syrup a while back. It is flatter and also thicker. I haven't yet found time or reason to grind down the sharp edges, though.

Me said...

Found this via Google Reader's homepage. It's hard to resist Danelectro stuff, it just looks so cool :-) I still regret not buying a Dano guitar a long time ago when my local music shop used to carry them. They seem hard to find anymore.

Dave Jacoby said...

I know. When I get a dedicated slide machine, I'm planning on a Les Paul, but I could easily see myself sliding on a Dano like Pagey.