Vintage Vault


"Holland, the other cheese country" ( La Hollande, l'autre pays du fromage ): This was an old ad comparing France to Holland , cheesewise.
But the nice Dutch people did commit themself in the cheese we like: effect from hell...and boy, is this soundshifter a hell raiser..


Novanex was a well known brand, at least in France, for cheap amps. They came just after the Italian cheap tube amps to fill the gap. Good amps, such as Marshall and Fender were way out unaffordable in my teen age. To give you an example, they costed more than the average month salary in France at that time. All I saw until the age of 20 was Italian tube goodies, Japanese crap, and Novanex cheese amps. The Novanex amps were famous for their colourful toylike pots and featured a nice tremolo. Otherwise, they were not really good, lacking tone AND power. They made a nice battery amp competing with the more famous Vox escort, which sold good because of its cheap price and the now extinct trend of playing electric guitar among flower fields.

But this wacky rack is quite rare, being the only Novanex effect alone I know. And it is hard to beat in weird analogue delay category. You can play hours with the 5 pots and only end with a feeble Star Trek Classic phaser sound imitation. Needless to say this monster catches analogue delay feedback with an amazing ease, and therefore can blow you precious '68 greenback speakers in a blink. But, if you tame the beast, you will enjoy a very musical analogue delay that will inspire your jazz rock licks for sure.
Just before all your electrical installation fuses blow in flame, thanks to its wreckless AC power supply.

Egmond is the other Dutch gear brand that have made itself a name in the small world of cheese electric guitars. You are now admiring my leatherette queen , featuring 3 polder made pick-ups and a complex selector. This complex selector, exactly the same that was featured on '60s electric irons, gives more tones than necessary, including completely hollow weak treble sounds.
Useful to make believe the amp you are trying is broken in order to obtain a discount from a naive 2nd hand musical instruments salesman.

The trem bar have been missing for so long that generations of bugs have been living happy in the vibrato empty hole. Special mention to the mind-blowing mother-of-toilet-paper-dispenser pickguard that comes close second to the other most beautiful Dutch product of all time, Sylvia Kristel better known as Emmanuelle, pictured on the top of this page.

This only rock band that could have used both is KAYAK, an amazing unsung dutch rock band from the '70s.
For a real trip, listen their masterpiece album " Royal Bed Bouncer " while munching a slice of gouda.