Looking into vintage Soviet pedals and new Russian boutique stuff. Any info?

olgluefoot

Member
Messages
1,549
Hey folks! I'm curious about what the Soviet Union was cooking up guitar pedal wise during their heyday. I obviously know about Russian EHX production and know they have some modern stuff like AMT. Were there any stand-outs during the 60s-80s? What about modern boutique builders in Russia? Seems like something that is rarely discussed. Maybe with good reason? Cheers!
 

DrewwerD

Member
Messages
4,069
Pedals are aspirational, comrade! I have a hard time believing there was much of anything being made in the Soviet Union. Most would have been smuggled into the country.
 

blowery

Member
Messages
2,321
Here's a interesting site about Russian guitars/effects etc. General idea is that they weren't very good at all.

http://www.meatexz.com/cheesyguitars/effects.html

Below are just fun examples for those that don't want to look at the page.

tape delay: The functions include tape reverberation, fuzz and vibrato.
esko1.jpg



This Poltava was made in 1976 in USSR. It is a Fuzz/Wah/Tremolo type pedal. There's an Overdrive, Wah-wah and Tremolo functions and controls. You can see fuzz on/off knob on the low right. The tremolo is switched on when you press pedal to the max. One of the knobs regulates the speed of tremolo. The pedal runs off 9V batteries - as usual. In/out jacks are DIN5 five-pin Soviet plugs, just like on all the Soviet guitars and effects. The location of in and out sockets is very clever - as soon as Soviet pedals tend to break, you can always touch the jack with your foot, even while using wah, in case the contact goes away and there's no sound.
poltava_salevski1_300.jpg


Estradin phaser, a Soviet stompbox. Control knobs include frequency, balance and brightness. The red knob on the right is effect on/off footswitch. Next to the "frequency" knob there's a led which flashes accordingly to the dialed frequency. The controls' arrangement slightly reminds of Electro-Harmonics, but the design is definitely original. The back panel features input, dry and wet outputs, 160mA fuse, a mystical "shift" switch and even a ground jack: Soviet sockets had no grounding so this was an extra option to get rid of noise - just stick a wire into the ground socket and connect its' second end to... hmmm, I don't really know but central heating was usually the most poular grounding terminal.

Body made of metal, Body size - 190mm x 145mm x 55mm.
Power AC-220v.
Price - 90 roubles
Dated October 1990

Phaser? Medical Equipment? Torture? all the above?
phaser_effect_13_07_061.jpg



Echo 1 - analog tape delay, made in USSR. Featuring two inputs - microphone and line, line out, and socket for external controller.
Controls:
Reverb on, record level, output level, channels 1-5 on/off, channels 1-5 level knobs, power.
Tape delay with seven heads, controls - play/stop.

exo1.jpg


A Soviet guitar multieffect processor, made somewhere in the 80's. The information is taken from ebay page.

The pedal B12-011 is used for guitar(keyb) players and has quality and warm sound effects such "Wah-wah" (Auto-wah), "Amplitude vibrato", "Compressor", "Phaser" and it's combinations. This pedal can work as the line amplifier with attack volume and noise gate with threshold. Effect parameters can be controlled by foot pedal, knobs and regulators. Connections - line input and output (5-din). The power source use internal 12V battery slot (or external power supply).

Electronica B12-011 has four functional blocks:
- Compressor with noise reduction
- Phazer
- Amplifier with modulator
- Generators of vibrato and phase rotor

CONTROL PARAMETERS:
- Wah-wah: foot pedal - mod depth, effect on/off knob
- Vibrato: depth, frequency, pedal control - rate, effect on/off
- Phazer: speed, accent (depth), mode, pedal - signal level, effect on/off knob
- Compressor: line volume, level (comp.ratio), timbre, noise gate thresold,effect on/off

12011_1.jpg


Finally, here's one effect with schematics and a manual. This stompbox was made in 1977 in Kazan, USSR. The effect's full name as it appears on the first page of the manual is "Amplifier with level limitation, Booster PR 2.940 019 RE". The manual suggests the Booster should be used with several kinds of electrified musical instruments, s.a. guitar, organ or teremin in order to change the sound's coloring and make it sound more like wind or fiddle instruments (clarinet, saxophone, cello). It also comes with a DIN-5 cord which was a Soviet standard for all electric musical instruments and amplifiers. The booster uses one 9 volt battery.

Here's a couple of words from the pedal' owner:
Booster is classic-looking fuzz pedal. It has two controls - tone and volume. Tone works only in two positions - it should be switch in fact, but it wouldn't look so cool;)
Volume output is rather low. Sound is real nice, my friend called it "organic", I would describe it as "rooty" - nice, old fashioned fuzz a'la Velvet Underground. When I bought Booster, it was not working. My friend, £ukasz, who is expert and magican of music gear, fixed it for me. It turned out, that effect has two "build in" errors. First was low volume output - maby it was designed for use rather with radio than guitar amp? Who knows. Second was not-very- professional bypas, which results in high noise level, when effect was switch off. Booster is build on Ge(germanium) transistors and built like a tank - about 1,5 mm steel sheet! Works on 9V battery only. Switch is non-profesional too - it's just an ordinary switch, like you can find in lamp.

booster.jpg



About as hipster/offset guitar as it gets...
Spectr3_4.jpg
 

olgluefoot

Member
Messages
1,549
Here's a interesting site about Russian guitars/effects etc. General idea is that they weren't very good at all.

http://www.meatexz.com/cheesyguitars/effects.html

Below are just fun examples for those that don't want to look at the page.

tape delay: The functions include tape reverberation, fuzz and vibrato.
esko1.jpg



This Poltava was made in 1976 in USSR. It is a Fuzz/Wah/Tremolo type pedal. There's an Overdrive, Wah-wah and Tremolo functions and controls. You can see fuzz on/off knob on the low right. The tremolo is switched on when you press pedal to the max. One of the knobs regulates the speed of tremolo. The pedal runs off 9V batteries - as usual. In/out jacks are DIN5 five-pin Soviet plugs, just like on all the Soviet guitars and effects. The location of in and out sockets is very clever - as soon as Soviet pedals tend to break, you can always touch the jack with your foot, even while using wah, in case the contact goes away and there's no sound.
poltava_salevski1_300.jpg


Estradin phaser, a Soviet stompbox. Control knobs include frequency, balance and brightness. The red knob on the right is effect on/off footswitch. Next to the "frequency" knob there's a led which flashes accordingly to the dialed frequency. The controls' arrangement slightly reminds of Electro-Harmonics, but the design is definitely original. The back panel features input, dry and wet outputs, 160mA fuse, a mystical "shift" switch and even a ground jack: Soviet sockets had no grounding so this was an extra option to get rid of noise - just stick a wire into the ground socket and connect its' second end to... hmmm, I don't really know but central heating was usually the most poular grounding terminal.

Body made of metal, Body size - 190mm x 145mm x 55mm.
Power AC-220v.
Price - 90 roubles
Dated October 1990

Phaser? Medical Equipment? Torture? all the above?
phaser_effect_13_07_061.jpg



Echo 1 - analog tape delay, made in USSR. Featuring two inputs - microphone and line, line out, and socket for external controller.
Controls:
Reverb on, record level, output level, channels 1-5 on/off, channels 1-5 level knobs, power.
Tape delay with seven heads, controls - play/stop.

exo1.jpg


A Soviet guitar multieffect processor, made somewhere in the 80's. The information is taken from ebay page.

The pedal B12-011 is used for guitar(keyb) players and has quality and warm sound effects such "Wah-wah" (Auto-wah), "Amplitude vibrato", "Compressor", "Phaser" and it's combinations. This pedal can work as the line amplifier with attack volume and noise gate with threshold. Effect parameters can be controlled by foot pedal, knobs and regulators. Connections - line input and output (5-din). The power source use internal 12V battery slot (or external power supply).

Electronica B12-011 has four functional blocks:
- Compressor with noise reduction
- Phazer
- Amplifier with modulator
- Generators of vibrato and phase rotor

CONTROL PARAMETERS:
- Wah-wah: foot pedal - mod depth, effect on/off knob
- Vibrato: depth, frequency, pedal control - rate, effect on/off
- Phazer: speed, accent (depth), mode, pedal - signal level, effect on/off knob
- Compressor: line volume, level (comp.ratio), timbre, noise gate thresold,effect on/off

12011_1.jpg


Finally, here's one effect with schematics and a manual. This stompbox was made in 1977 in Kazan, USSR. The effect's full name as it appears on the first page of the manual is "Amplifier with level limitation, Booster PR 2.940 019 RE". The manual suggests the Booster should be used with several kinds of electrified musical instruments, s.a. guitar, organ or teremin in order to change the sound's coloring and make it sound more like wind or fiddle instruments (clarinet, saxophone, cello). It also comes with a DIN-5 cord which was a Soviet standard for all electric musical instruments and amplifiers. The booster uses one 9 volt battery.

Here's a couple of words from the pedal' owner:
Booster is classic-looking fuzz pedal. It has two controls - tone and volume. Tone works only in two positions - it should be switch in fact, but it wouldn't look so cool;)
Volume output is rather low. Sound is real nice, my friend called it "organic", I would describe it as "rooty" - nice, old fashioned fuzz a'la Velvet Underground. When I bought Booster, it was not working. My friend, £ukasz, who is expert and magican of music gear, fixed it for me. It turned out, that effect has two "build in" errors. First was low volume output - maby it was designed for use rather with radio than guitar amp? Who knows. Second was not-very- professional bypas, which results in high noise level, when effect was switch off. Booster is build on Ge(germanium) transistors and built like a tank - about 1,5 mm steel sheet! Works on 9V battery only. Switch is non-profesional too - it's just an ordinary switch, like you can find in lamp.

booster.jpg



About as hipster/offset guitar as it gets...
Spectr3_4.jpg
Awesome man! Interesting stuff. Thanks.
 

DimT

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,665
So, are you Russian? Do you own Russian pedals?

I own American, European, Canadian, Chinese and indeed a Russian Fuzz face with 2 GT402 pedal. I just dislike generalizations (and I made one only for the sake of answering another...)
 

stargazer747

Member
Messages
4,463
I have the Shift-Line Astronaut Space Reverb v2 pedal recently ordered and shipped to me right out of Russia, it replaced the 1st edition model I had. Great FX brought to you by the makers of the MIR Space Station and Chernobyl!
 

openbar

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,258
I have the Shift-Line Astronaut Space Reverb v2 pedal recently ordered and shipped to me right out of Russia, it replaced the 1st edition model I had. Great FX brought to you by the makers of the MIR Space Station and Chernobyl!
They make some cool stuff. And the write-ups of their products are what I imagine the MIR Space Station manual to read like.
 




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