EQ effects

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MESA/Boogie began in the late 1960s San Francisco with Randall Smith who developed a novel “cascading” tube preamp circuit housed in a compact high power combo amplifier (by modding Fender Princetons). Carlos Santana tried out this little high gain amp and concluded “This thing really Boogies!” - and so the amp was named. After modding 200 of these Princeton amps by 1971 Smith had to start making his own amps in his garage workshop to meet the growing demand for the Mark I Boogie model. In 1980 MESA introduced the Mark II Boogie - the first channel switching amplifier. 1986 saw the introduction of the Mark III with its clean, crunch and lead modes, and in 1989 the 85W Mark IV was released.


Loco Amplifiers and LocoBox Effects were Aria brand names. The pedals were handmade (from the late 1970s onwards) by a small team in Urawa, in Saitama, Japan who sold their pedals to Aria,  Although the main brand name was Locobox, they also produced identical pedals under different brand names including: Electra, Volz, Nadines, Cutec, Pearl, Gig, Powervoice, Studio Series and even a few Yamaha pedals.The company was then aquired by Aria who started producing Loco amplifiers as well.

Source: Loco and LocoBox catalogs 1981.

Source: Jaimie Muehlhausen's Unofficial LocoBox website (archived 2006)


Sanox was a brand name of the SSSound Company Ltd of Aichi, Japan. Sanox effects, guitars and basses were made from the late 1970s until the mid 1980s.

Source: Logabass by Sanox catalog, 1980s


JOYO TECHNOLOGY is a Chinese company specializing in R&D, manufacturing and marketing digital products for music education. There are two brands under JOYO TECH: JOYO and Dr. J. Their main products include: Effects Pedals, Guitar Amplifiers, Tube Amplifiers, Rock House, Metronomes, Tuners, EQ systems, Drum Practice Pads, Pedal Controllers, Synthesizers, E-Erhus, Wireless Systems, Audio Cables, and Portable Power Supplies.

Source: JOYO website (1 November 2017)


The Biyang brand was launched in 2003 as an affordable guitar effects range made in Shanxi province, China. In 2007 Biyang launched the Tone Fancier range - with mirror surfaced matching stainless steel control panels. The Biyang Baby Boom pedals were released in 2010 - these were miniature colorful pedals. In 2012 Biyang released the Classical Series, with pedals based on iconic designs of the past (e.g. the Biyang DS-12 is modelled on the 1980s RAT distortion pedal).  2015 saw the launch of the Biyang Live Master series -  a modular pedal board multifx system.

Source: Biyang website


Vestax was a Japanese musical instrument, turntable and audio equipment firm founded by Hidesato Shiino in 1977 as part of his Shiino Musical Instrument Corporation. Previously Shiino had used the Vesta brand name. Vestax was initially an electric guitar company but in the 1980s, they began to make multitracks recorders and later DJ mixers, professional turntables, compact disc players and signal processors. Financial problems lead to the company's bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

Source: Wikipedia Vestax

Source: Vestax website (archived 1996)

Barber Electronics

Barber Electronics was founded by David Barber to produce unique guitar effects rather than direct copies of older circuits. Barber are committed to musician friendly pricing and do not engage in extreme Boutique pricing, even though their products are hand made. The Barber client list over the years has included: Joe Satriani, Lee Roy Parnell, Nils Lofgren and Bruce Springsteen of the E Street Band, Jay Graydon, David Grissom, Richard Thompson, Eric Johnson, Christopher Cross, Dave Knudson, Rick Derringer, Lionle Loueke, Johnny Hiland and Jerry Cantrell.

Dan Armstrong

Dan Kent Armstrong was born on October 7, 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started playing the guitar at age 11, and moved to New York in the early 1960s in order to work as a studio musician and guitar repairman. In 1965 he opened his own guitar repair shop, 'Dan Armstrong's Guitar Service', on West 48th Street. The building was razed in 1968 to make room for 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and Armstrong relocated his shop, renamed 'Dan Armstrong Guitars', to Laguardia Place in Greenwich Village.


Akai Professional entered the electronic music industry in 1984, since then, Akai Professional have developed a range of products for modern musicians both in studio and on stage. Although best known for their digital sampling technology, they also make guitar effects and even developed a short lived range of guitars and basses in the late 1990s.


JOHN HORNBY SKEWES & Company Limited is a UK musical instrument distributor. It was founded in the 1960s by John Hornby Skewes in Garforth, Leeds, England. Skewes had learned the musical instrument distribution business as a sales rep with Hohner, and British guitar company Fenton-Weill. As the business began to take off Skewes aquired various local storage premises including the old Garforth cinema and car park, the old Victorian Police Station and two Methodist chapels.

JHS was one of the first companies to appreciate the profitability of manufacturing in the Far East. Imported merchandise forms the bulk of the JHS catalogue, with the Far East and the USA playing a prominent role in providing JHS with instruments.


Multi award winning luthier, Perry Ormsby, has been manufacturing his custom hand-made instruments in Perth since 2003. Located in Beaconsfield, just south of sunny Fremantle, Ormsby Guitars is a local success story, striving forward despite the global downturn. All instruments are custom made from a variety of exotic and Australian timbers, their own hand wound pickups, and top shelf hardware.

How to remember effects pedal settings

Guitar effects template helper

This tip comes from Tim Lillis an artist who does a "Tricks of the Trade" comic in each issue of MAKE magazine. He's sharing some of these tricks of the trade comics on his Flickr pages.

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