volume and expression effects

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Ortega was established in 1994 by the German musical instrument distributor Roland Meinl (Meinl Cymbals & Percussion). At the beginning Ortega Guitars was a classical guitar company with a range of 6 classical guitar models all made in Spain using traditional methods. By 2018 their product line had expanded considerably and included acoustic & classical guitars, acoustic basses, mandolins, ukuleles and banjos as well as accessories and effects for acoustic instruments. By this time most Ortega instruments were made in China although there was still some Spanish manufacture.

Source: Ortega Guitars website (25 October 2018)


Farfisa is an Italian electronics company established in 1946. Farfisa is best known for its organs made from the 1960s until the 1980s but they also produced guitar amplifiers and effects. Farfisa also sold acoustic and classical guitars under the Fuerstenberg and  L. Mozzani brand names. The musical division of Farfisa was bought by Bontempi.


Lafayette Radio Electronics Corporation was a radio manufacturer and retailer based in Syosset, New York. The company sold a wide range of electronics equipment and other items through their mail order catalog, including guitars and amplifiers. Lafayette instruments were typically imported from Japan - the electric guitars were often made by Guyatone. Lafayette also produced effects including: Echo-Verb, Fuzz and Rotovibe units.

Source: Lafayette Radio Electronics catalogs 1964 to 1973.


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)

Jordan (Electronics)

Jordan Electronics was initially a division of the Victoreen Instrument company, making radiation dosimeters. Jordan Electronics then became a division of the Phaostron Instrument and Electronic Company of Pasadena, California. In the late 1960s and 1970s Jordan Electronics made a range of solid state amplifiers as well as the Boss Tone Fuzz effect and volume/fuzz pedals. The Jordan Electronics brand later became a division of International Music Corp of Fort Worth, Texas, who distributed Jordan amplifiers.

Source: Jordan Electronics catalogs 1969 - 1972


Earth Sound Research bass and guitar amplifiers were made by Instrument Systems Audio Corp based in Farmingdale, New York, first introduced in 1972. They were a division of Benjamin Electronic Sound Corp, and also made PA mixers/power amps, keyboards and stand alone reverb units (solidstate) as well as distortion and volume pedals. The early Earth tube amplifiers were based on Fender designs with later solid state ones were based on Peavey designs.

The Earth Amplifiers brand was revived by a Netherlands boutique amplifier manufacturer, which circa 2017 offered handcrafted guitar amplifiers, effects and cabinets.

Source: Earth Sound Research amplifiers catalog 1972-1975

Source: Earth Sound Research amplifiers at Pedal Heaven (4 April 2017)

Source: Earth Amplifiers website (4 April 2017)


The Schaller Company started out as a radio repair shop founded by Helmut Schaller in 1945. Helmut Schaller was a talented inventor holding numerous musical instrument related patents,  and he went on to build the Schaller Company into a leading manufacturer of quality guitar components.The range of products has continuously changed over time, the focus gradually shifting from amplifiers and effects to hardware components including machine heads, mutes, bows, pickups, tailpieces, strap-locks, bridges and tremolos. Schaller was originally located in Feucht, near Nuremberg in Germany but is now based in Postbauer-Heng, Bavaria.


In the 1940s, Paul A. Bigsby was a foreman at a machine shop in Los Angeles owned by Albert Crocker of the Crocker Motorcycle Company. Paul’s interest in motorcycles and Western music brought him into contact with Merle Travis and they became good friends. Merle brought his Gibson L-10 guitar to Bigsby for him to fix its worn out Kaufman vibrato. On seeing the problems with the Kaufman design Travis ended up designing a whole vibrato mechanism which worked much better. The new Bigsby design quickly became the vibrato of choice for most guitar manufacturers.


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.

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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In the early 1960s the Unicord Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic transformers purchased the Amplifier Corporation of America of Westbury, New York. They began marketing a line of amplifiers under the brand name of Univox. The company was purchased by Gulf + Western in 1967. Guitar making operations moved to Japan in 1975 where they continued making guitars until 1982. Production under the Univox name was halted after a fire at the Matsumoku factory. After this time instruments were made in Korea under the name Westbury. The Unicord Corporation was purchased by Korg in 1985, effectively ending the line for good.

Build Your Own Clone Pedal


Build Your Own Clone sells a good range of guitar DIY guitar effects pedal kits, which are great for the inexperienced maker. Each kit is based on a famous effects pedal and comes with absolutely everything you need to build the pedal. Step by step instructions should make assembly a breeze.


Jen Electtronica was a company in Pescara, Italy who made electronic musical items such as organs, wah-wah pedals, fuzz boxes and ring modulators in the 1970s and 1980s. Jen made products for other companies & brands including Vox, Gem, Elka, Crybaby and Gretch.


BOSS is the division of Roland Corporation most easily recognized for its line of colorful guitar and bass effects pedals.

For over 25 years BOSS has also developed innovative multi-effects, rhythm machines, personal digital studios and other easy-to-use instruments for musicians of all types.


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