My first post!

Hi guys, this is my first post… I own a little effect manufacturing company called ToadWorks, and to be perfectly honest, I joined this forum to get a bead on current trends, likes, dislikes, etc. in the marketplace (regardless of what some of it’s members think, Harmony Central isn’t the beginning & end of the world :).

I won’t spam, and I might contribute only occasionally (running a business takes time!), so please don’t flame me when I post… my posts will either be on-topic, or they will tell you how to get free stuff (and let’s face it, we all love free stuff.)

So, in a word, hi!

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Hey toad,

I first heard about ToadWorks on the 9412 rock station. Good to see you here!

- Mike

Michael wrote:
Hey toad,

I first heard about ToadWorks on the 9412 rock station. Good to see you here!

- Mike

REALLY? Wow, I guess that DID pay off :) Wasn't sure how long to continue that, or how much impact it was having... it was a good experiment though.

Hey ToadWorks,

You now have a link on VintAxe.com. Hopefully I'll send a little traffic your way. Good lookin' pedals, good luck with your biz. SB

SB wrote:
Hey ToadWorks,

You now have a link on VintAxe.com. Hopefully I'll send a little traffic your way. Good lookin' pedals, good luck with your biz. SB

sweet, thanks!

I own quite a few bits and pieces when it comes to effects and I find that without any doubt that given the desert island scenario of taking just one unit, it would be my Boss GT6, this giving me the closest I can imagine to the perfect unit (not withstanding the new GT8). However, Boss lowering the price of the GT8 to considerably less than the GT6 was new, will make the secondhand market cringe a bit as you are left in the dilemma of if you want to upgrade, having to sell your 6 very very cheap as people will no way buy your's when they can pick up a new 8 for just a little more.

With the tremendous upsurge in guitaring interest, the effects market has exploded to match - and originally I bought a Korg Pandora PX4 which for what it was, is very good. This of course is very limited and I then got a Line 6 Kidney Bean (Pod), which highlighted what in my opinion is the biggest problem with effects processors. Many claim to have say 200 effects/patches/call them what you will, BUT at least half are virtually the same. The beauty of the PX4 is that each patch is different, the Pod is let down that it is difficult to distinguish half the presets from each other.

I also have a Boss 864 8 track recorder and the built-in effects are exceptional - very good range of variations. Add to this, my Line 6 Uber Metal pedal and I can just about get every basic guitar tweaked sound I can imagine.

My dream unit would be a model called 'Flagship' - this would be an armour plated unit (weight is very UNimportant to me) - I place build quality very high on my demand list. It would be encassed in heavy duty rubber on both ends.
This would produce acoustically everything all Line 6 Variax models do, have the 99 patches from my Boss 864 (plus the Melissa patch from my Pandora), Wah pedal, echo, 5 minute phrase trainer (incremented in 10 second bites), plus every effect from the Roland GR20 guitar synth. Forget any amp modelling, that is simply a lot of old pants.
It would come with an INCLUDED power supply unit and a 5 year unconditional warranty and a carrying bag, retailing at £500/$940.

Of course, I expect to be the proud owner of a 'Toadworks Flagship' with 24 months.

Make it so.

youngwasp wrote:
I own quite a few bits and pieces when it comes to effects and I find that without any doubt that given the desert island scenario of taking just one unit, it would be my Boss GT6, this giving me the closest I can imagine to the perfect unit (not withstanding the new GT8). However, Boss lowering the price of the GT8 to considerably less than the GT6 was new, will make the secondhand market cringe a bit as you are left in the dilemma of if you want to upgrade, having to sell your 6 very very cheap as people will no way buy your's when they can pick up a new 8 for just a little more.

With the tremendous upsurge in guitaring interest, the effects market has exploded to match - and originally I bought a Korg Pandora PX4 which for what it was, is very good. This of course is very limited and I then got a Line 6 Kidney Bean (Pod), which highlighted what in my opinion is the biggest problem with effects processors. Many claim to have say 200 effects/patches/call them what you will, BUT at least half are virtually the same. The beauty of the PX4 is that each patch is different, the Pod is let down that it is difficult to distinguish half the presets from each other.

I also have a Boss 864 8 track recorder and the built-in effects are exceptional - very good range of variations. Add to this, my Line 6 Uber Metal pedal and I can just about get every basic guitar tweaked sound I can imagine.

My dream unit would be a model called 'Flagship' - this would be an armour plated unit (weight is very UNimportant to me) - I place build quality very high on my demand list. It would be encassed in heavy duty rubber on both ends.
This would produce acoustically everything all Line 6 Variax models do, have the 99 patches from my Boss 864 (plus the Melissa patch from my Pandora), Wah pedal, echo, 5 minute phrase trainer (incremented in 10 second bites), plus every effect from the Roland GR20 guitar synth. Forget any amp modelling, that is simply a lot of old pants.
It would come with an INCLUDED power supply unit and a 5 year unconditional warranty and a carrying bag, retailing at £500/$940.

Of course, I expect to be the proud owner of a 'Toadworks Flagship' with 24 months.

Make it so.

Wow, whatever happened to the idea of plugging a guitar straight in to an amp, and then overdriving it? im not having a go at you but i find a reliability of effects a real burden, i try to keep my effects to a minimum. But i suppose its down the the kind of music you play, where would the Edge be without his Delay? And i dont think the PX4 was meant as a mutieffects tool for plugging into an amp in the same way you would use a Boss GT6, its meant more for practicing on headphones, playing along to pre-set song styles in different keys, hence its size, the Pod was meant as a recording tool, not realy for live work although some people do use it for that, IMO there isnt a digital effects unit that can realy simulate the characteristics of an overdriven valve amp.

I thought about your response and the questions you raise.

The original thread was started by the Man From ToadWorks, who is researching current effects trends and to answer your point about whatever happened to the idea of plugging a guitar straight in to an amp – well have we ever ‘just’ done that? I don’t know of any amp that is simply a box with a volume knob, for we shape, mould and manipulate the sounds we produce with bass, treble, reverb, or whatever the amp (however old) has installed. These are all effects regardless of how you care to define it.

Cost of course is an issue here as you emulate virtually any sound now all originating from one guitar. To illustrate this, I recently laid a laminate flooring in the new porch I built. To all intents and purposes, this looks just like antique floorboards – but it isn’t, it is a printed facsimile and unless you examine it closely, you can’t tell. In direct comparison, I wanted sax on at least two tracks I was producing at home. The cost of actually hiring a sax player was prohibitive and not practical, so I bought a Roland GR20 guitar synth and used the breathy sax patch and played the part myself. I mixed it down onto CD and played it back to my wife – she asked where I had found a sax player? She had no idea that it was me until I told her and she had been a professional singer for 9 years!

I tend to view music as a process, a machine if you like, parts revolve, elements fuse and combine and out pops a product, so to say I ‘rely’ on effects may be true but it’s certainly not burdensome. This is like saying having to use the brake in a car is a pain every time you want it to stop. I too try to keep effects to minimum, be it if I am recording at home (hence the Pandora and Pod – I agree neither are meant for anything much else and it was never my intention to imply they might be), or live (hence the GT6).

So to counter your final point, whilst there isn’t a digital effects unit that can simulate the characteristics of an overdriven valve amp – that’s fine if that is the only sound you ever want – but get your valve amp to simulate what my GT6 can.

The market is awash with effects units and it is a very lucrative business for that is exactly what players want – variation.

Like i say, im not having a go, if effects are your thing then thats fine, i just find that you can become dependent on effects, a good delay and infinate sustain can hide a lot of sloppy guitar playing, but you can get creative with it too. The burden i said is meant to be carrying all this stuff around while you are gigging, batteries running low, effects packing up, short patch cables going faulty and it all has to be set up in the correct order, im not critising anybody for using all this stuff, it just seems to be a shame that all a lot of guys talk about is what effects does Metallica use? what delay does Brian may use? How do i get a sound like Slash? when i think you will agree, that 90% of their sound comes from their technique, and not a little red box with a 9v battery.
No offence intended on my earlier post.

Toad, let me add my welcome here :) . I had a look via Steve's Music at the Rattler, John Bull and Mr Ed pedals.

WRT the latest posts, I don't think Toadworks products are really about the "patch 99 = Superlead channel II into single 4x12 w Mayer Fuzz" route. As the Toad says, made by humans, not Motorola.

HST, these op-amps and silicon pedals are not usually my thing either. Toad, I know you'll have most of the competition covered, but here's an intriguing smallie you may want to look at (he interests me). Dave Hall seems to only sell his pedals (search "DHA") on ebay.co.uk but you might take a look. Yes, I know he uses a marker pen on his cases but the internals are worth a scrute. Have a look at his completed listings; he used to show a "cover off" shot, but he's gone coy nowadays.

I'm a fan of the dual-gain, 12AX7 based overdrive pedal, but am I becoming extinct? I read that the Mesa V-Twin is no longer produced. Is this Fleeb-seller's hype? If it is true, I'm not mega-surprised. It's pricey and not particularly good enough for the money (like a lot of current Mesa product). The Matchless Dirtbox is, however, totally superb. It is also expensive and, when a transformer flaked, there was yet more "ownership changed hands" hoops to jump through. When it works, though... aye carumba.

I'm very tempted by the DHA. Even with the box-off shots, I only have a hazy idea because I don't look at the spaghetti and instantly understand it. In theory, though, a nice design. Take the gain from the 1st AX7 and, if not barking enough, stomp in the second. True bypass, switchable Ge or Si clipping, 3 band eq...

One thing (as a bassist, but I wish guitarists had this too) I'd like is a true-bypass parallel output. Like the Tech 21 Sansamp. Obviously, I get annoyed when my bass disappears as soon as I step on the OD, but there's only the one guitar in our band. I get just as annoyed when he steps into fizz-bomb territory and all the "rhythm" sound has gone. I get around it by using a Nobels 4-splitter to make sure I always have a dry feed.

ps, my "patch 99" multi is gathering dust, and ought to be loosened on the fleeb-hordes soon.

lee_UK wrote:
Like i say, im not having a go, if effects are your thing then thats fine, i just find that you can become dependent on effects, a good delay and infinate sustain can hide a lot of sloppy guitar playing, but you can get creative with it too. The burden i said is meant to be carrying all this stuff around while you are gigging, batteries running low, effects packing up, short patch cables going faulty and it all has to be set up in the correct order, im not critising anybody for using all this stuff, it just seems to be a shame that all a lot of guys talk about is what effects does Metallica use? what delay does Brian may use? How do i get a sound like Slash? when i think you will agree, that 90% of their sound comes from their technique, and not a little red box with a 9v battery.
No offence intended on my earlier post.

I certainly have taken no offence.

Covering mistakes is not something I would consider to be a priorityand certainly not the main reason to purchase an effect. I am also a bit unsure what you mean by 'carrying all this stuff around' - my GT6 lives in its own carrying bag, comes out of the back of the van, through a door and onto the stage - hardly the equivalent of a 50kg rucksack then up the side of Ben Nevis! As for battery power (and as I have solely quoted the GT6 throughout for live work) - the GT6 has no battery compartment = no batteries, I plug straight into the unit then into the PA/whatever system we are using = no patch cables.

The reason people ask about a guitarist's 'sound' is because that is what they want to sound like - and no, I do not agree that it is 90% technique. You quote Brian May as an example, the main reason he sounds like he does is because of the very specific amp and homemade guitar setup he uses with its unique switching system.
I believe tone is 10% technique and 90% equipment = the reason Burns have made a copy of The Red Special and Vox an amp, is because that combination allows you to virtually acquire the 'tone'.
The last time I saw Pink Floyd live, I watched in awe at Gilmour play, BUT he ONLY achieved that sound because of the HUGE array of effects he was plugged into. Yes of course, he is a master of space and phrasing, but Gilmour sounds like Gilmour because of a great many 9v batteries and little red boxes - on the other hand, I use just one gold box and no batteries.
You could argue that we all 'rely' on things hanging together whilst we play, we rely on string not breaking = I have broken several whilst playing live, I had a valve amp = it died twice whilst playing live.

Effects are not a dependency, they are part and parcel of the modern genre. Every strat owner manipulates the sound every time they reach for the whammy bar - is this a mistake masking technique designed to hide their bum notes?

Yes yes - some players hide behind racks of flashing lights, but many do not.

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