Vintage Vault
Obscure Japanese

These page is about unsung --or almost unsung-- pedal heroes from Japan outside the boss/ibanez reign . Some of them have reached collector values now, while they were the cheapest then and the other way around. Some of them were made as copycat, others as groundbreakers, but, more important they all give you a sound apart from nowadays standards, and were my constant inspiration in guitar effect crafting.

The CORON corones.
I always think, when buying CORON phasers and distortion, that they were cheap ripoff of the MXR breed.
Before one day I had the idea to A/B them.Come on.They kick.
But the greatest shock was an A/B party with a TC electronic fan.
My CORON super chorus simply butchered his TC chorus.
Why?It's full frequency chorus, which is impossible in theory. Of course with my
MEISTERSINGER it would have been a different story. ^
Funny how they even copy MXR in their ugly Commande line as you can see it on the overdrive.
The flanger was marketed under numerous brands.

TOKAI and SHIN-EI kendokas.
TOKAI was famous to manufacture perfect strats.I have one and I understand why Fender was threatened.And they had a line of stompboxes too.
They are perfect too.No surprise.A must buy.
SHIN-EI Companion Fuzz was my first pedal.
At that time we thought that distortion was a feature only pricey guitars could offer.
It buzzes its way to my heart but I forgot it when I finally bought a BIG MUFF.
I had to discover it later.These kind of buzzing fuzz only work with madding Marshall amps.
And Shin-ei made the Univibe too.

BOSS/Roland pedalosaurus.
OK the chorus is very well-known but what about that driver? Weird and speaker unfriendly allright.The Cat is Phoebe song's one:smelly.
The Rocker distortion is an old utopia of every pedal designer: control the drive while playing.Like all existing attempts, it sucks.
But these racks are a real treat.I have numerous phasers but this phase man...it always remind me of Barbara Carrera saying to Sean Connery in 'never say never again' :« admit you never made love like this » and he answers « I know a girl in Detroit . »
See the Dynacord rack under?Best analog delay in the world but it is not japanese.Nobody's perfect.

Last but certainly not least : The Singing Geisha.
Manufactured by an obscure nippon workshop, the lady is huge. The small american disto gives the scale.
The wha and fuzz are in the good average of vintage japanese but it has the singing feature:a monophonic synth that you play with the pedal.
With training it is usable as the course of the pedal is a natural match with the frequencies.Can highlight a weak solo.
Or can ruin a good one.Lady's choice.   
I have received so much offers for this pedal, that I have decided to recreate it myself.
The JACQUES STOMPBOXES "Singing Geisha" features all the original geisha features but the size.