Are Frantones Just a Pretty Face?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Fifthstone, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    I've been thinking about picking up a Frantone for years. I hate to admit it, but it's mostly because they look so retro cool. Love those wild colors and those pointy knobs. But I don't hear much about them (I've searched and read the existing threads btw).

    Any Frantone owners / users / former users care to comment?
     
  2. Dandy13

    Dandy13 Member

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    the singer in my old band has a cream puff. i never played it but it always sounded killer
     
  3. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    Did he use/she use it all the time or was it mostly for leads? What was killer about it? Did you get a chance to play through it?
     
  4. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    Absolutely love my Vibutron.
     
  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I've got The Sweet. It's very powerful, out of control fuzz.
     
  6. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    I've read some good things about the Vibutron. Any compressor or Hep Cat users out there?
     
  7. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    +1 Love my Vibutron too.
     
  8. Dandy13

    Dandy13 Member

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    he used it mostly for a heavier rhythm sound because he didn't play leads. he used an sd1 most of the time and this sounded a lot better(duh). it had a nice lively raunchiness too it through his super reverb. Sorry I can't give better details because i never played it myself. in the hands of a proper guitarist i imagine it would sound even better. i think the only reason he bought it is because he liked the name and the look of the pedal when he saw it at the shop. he was experiencing a fair bit of pedalboard envy at the time and was trying to keep up with the jones's...(me)- damn singers...
     
  9. krisharmony

    krisharmony Supporting Member

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    anyone have hep cat audio clips?
     
  10. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I have the Frantone:
    Hep Cat (very light overdrive, not like a Tube Screamer)
    Brooklyn (like the Hep Cat with more gain and a tone control)
    Ingot (A/B/Y switcher)
    Glacier (ring modulator)
     
  11. scotty31

    scotty31 Supporting Member

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    ive had a few.

    the vibutron was my fave. very warm smooth tremolo.

    I liked the peachfuzz a lot. it was part muff, part fuzzface and was such a versatile drive. cleaned up really well, the higher gain modes weren't woofy or harsh, lower fuzz settings didnt fizzle out. the tone knob would go from bassy thump to a bright buzzy fuzz that still held a bit of lowend. my only fault of it is it doesnt sustain very long. decayed off a little too quick. and it didnt stack well with a lot of boosts, but a good comp would help with the sustain part. also made one hell of an overdrive

    the creampuff is sort of like a raunchy rhythm-y peachfuzz, but with a little less low gain capabilities, but made up for it with chord definition. big wall of sound like the sweet, but a few more settings.

    The Sweet is just a big f***-off of a fuzz. pardon the french but thats the best way of putting. really big, mean sounding fuzz. it doesnt have a lot of sweet spots, but it does nail a fairly decent live gilmour tone.
     
  12. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I love them, but the overdrive/fuzz/distortions are Not Your Typical Boutique overdrives...

    No Tube-Screamer clones, boring nasally refinement, touch-sensitive transparency or other normal boutiqui-ness at all (which is GREAT ;)).

    Just unique and very individual and distinctive fuzz-distortion (even the overdrives are very mild ones). Fran has a definite voicing that she likes, and they all have it in varying degrees.

    I've got the Brooklyn, The Sweet and Cream Puff, the Thunderhead bass booster and the Acoust-a-boost acoustic preamp, and tried the Peachfuzz (but it wasn't for sale!).

    The Brooklyn is a mild fuzz-boost, that has an interesting separation of the fuzz from the clean tone - not mixable, but you can hear the two tones separately. It doesn't sound great into a clean amp at low volume, but really shines at higher volume or with a dirty amp.

    The Sweet is like a thicker Big Muff with more bite and gain.

    The Cream Puff is huge, scooped, wall-of-noise fuzz-distortion. It's advertised as being a rhythm pedal but I get on fine with it for leads too. It stacks especially well with an octaver if you really want to blow things up ;). It's pretty girly pink :).

    The Peachfuzz was a bit smoother and more old-school, but nice.

    The Acoust-a-boost doesn't actually do a lot... except make your acoustic sound really nice, and louder. It's not instantly the most amazing pedal out there, but once you get used to hearing it it's hard to turn it off, somehow.

    The Thunderhead is similar, but more so. It 'just' boosts low frequencies and volume. Except that it does so in a fantastically fat (and yet not muddy), powerful and deep way that once I'd heard how great it sounded, I really do never turn it off... it's almost like having an extra bottom octave, without actually adding another note.


    No, they aren't perfect. The relay switching is reliable, low-noise and fail-safe (power off reverts to bypass automatically), but is very power-hungry - it's a serious issue on batteries, I measured one at something over 30mA draw with the pedal on - and might even be a problem with some power supplies if they're already heavily loaded.

    And the switch broke on my Sweet... but that's sadly common with most of the modern mechanically-switched pedals I've owned, and at least it went to bypass not silent.


    BTW, the sound clips on Frantone's website are awful! They really don't do the pedals much justice at all. They really need some better ones... although the one of the Glacier with guitar modulated by cats fighting is one of the most surreal things I've ever heard :).
     
  14. swakowski

    swakowski Member

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    any comparisions of the glacier to anything else? ie the moog ring mod or whatever.
     
  15. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    Another +1 - finally found the perfect trem for me after many pedals and years of searching.
     
  16. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    the vibutron is fantastic.
     
  17. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    Thanks all for your responses, especially JP. Sounds like these are an acquired taste and sound best at louder volumes.
     
  18. mikelaw

    mikelaw Member

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  19. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    My Vibutron is the longest lasting pedal on my board. I searched for a trem for a while and once I tried the Vibutron, I was done.
    I have wanted to try a couple of the other Frantones, but I haven't yet.
     
  20. tweedtone

    tweedtone Member

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    I've got one of the newer anniversary HepCats. Very Mick Ronson, in my book a cool thing.
     

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