1- AMDECK PEDALS
This was not a new idea,
but amdeck, a boss roland sub-brand I presume, brought do-it-yourself pedals or pedal-kit to a new level.
Precise instructions, amdeck forged wrench, very good design and quality, these kits can nearly teach you how to build a pedal. Of course, the circuit was already soldered but, for us techheads, there was this:
While the English is not
really Lord Byron---as mine---, this creative part is really interesting and can truly be
useful. I know a lot of effect aficionados that would love to see their pedals
coming with these mod instructions, but as a pedal manufacturer myself, I understand
this could be a nightmare warranty wise.
The compressor sounds nice and natural, with no audible pumping. However this is not a sustain machine and the compression cannot be set very high.
And here is my analog delay,
that has already appeared somewhere on my site. I love this kind a delay, because,
as you get a mix knob, you can set the delay time high, the maximum repeats
and then lower the delay volume to impersonnate a wobbly reverb tone I love. Good
preamp in this delay are very loud, so this effect goes out perfect .
Offering AC operated kit pedals proves these guys had guts. Or a very good insurance. Or very low safety standard. Or all three together .
ARIA pedals through the ages
This really is one of the oldest Aria pedal ever. Unlike other Japanese brands, Aria was founded in 1956 by a true classic guitarist, Mr. ARAI , who quickly became the best classical guitarist manufacturer in Japan. As you may know, Aria guitars, while sexy as a Ferengi, as always well constructed and very playable. This stompbox is no exception and benefits from a lush phasing tone in a becoming pseudo-crinkle outfit.
Do not mess with inner trim pots! The former owner of this pedal certainly thought that his Aria phasing was weak and dull, while it needed a simple twist in his trimpot. You can admire the beautiful diamond rubber back knowing another brand of Mr.Arai's was Diamond.
From the same period is this uncanny Jet Phaser, inspired by the Ibanez Jetlyzer, or is it the opposite? The Jet function was popular at that time: it featured a gauche impersonalisation of a landing Boeing 737. Nowadays, for some ecologist reasons, it is not considered cool anymore .
Here is the second series of Aria pedals. It was a great line of pedals, all with tons of tones, featuring for example a very looked after analog delay. You cannot go wrong with this chorus either.
And here the last one, nicknamed ugly plastic. It is still a very good analog chorus I would strongly recommend if you are not after looks.
Ugly plastic Aria effects were christened Big Foot for some obscure reason. One of my favorite guitar player, Davey Johnstone of the Elton John band, is known to have huge feet. (Check his classical guitar solo in Elton John's "Word in Spanish". WARNING: You may give up guitar after this.) Any connection?
I just found this ADT-1 distortion and, nice surprise, we have a very good ts9 in -ugly- disguise. All this to learn that oncce again, do not judge a book by its cover, and when you find a plastic pedal made in Japan, odds are great it is a good sounding effect.