Short Dirt Pedal History


Senior Member
Here's a little short hsitory I posted in another thread that might be fun, and maybe helpful...

Here's my little 2 cents history lesson. I'm old enough to have been there for most of it.

Phase 1: little amps sound great cranked: tweeds, no pedal

Phase 2: loud amps sound great cranked: marshalls, no pedal

Phase 3: hmmm, let's use a fuzzface, boost or treble booster to slay this beast and get some variety going for rhythm and lead

Phase 4: hmm...let's use OD and high gain fuzz to get hair, saturation and sustain without getting really loud. Hello MXR Distortion + and Big Muff Pi.

Phase 5: OK, let's use a master volume and crank that preamp: most amps after mid 70's. Maybe keep those pedals for "more."

Phase 6: I've got it, let's use cascading preamp madness to have infinite sustain at any volume! Welcome Boogie and endless knock offs. Pedal= channel switch footswitch. Dis those dirt pedals! 12ax7 tone!

Phase 7: wait a minute, I've lost touch sensitivity and the volume pot doesn't clean up the dirt. This sucks. Many sounds, all bad. Damn. I hate my Boogie (knock off)!

Phase 7: Let's get an amp that right for the rooms i play and hit it with a boost, or maybe a low gain OD like a TS. Hello SRV, blackface and tubescreamers.

Phase 8: let's get some really great sounding amps, that are right for the rooms we play (maybe introduce an attenuator or power scaling) and use great sounding pedals that work with the amp, so that there's a linear gain structure throughout, from pre to output, but use the pedal to add hair, gain, and compression to taste at the input. Maintain touch sensitivity, articulation, and volume pot cleanup. Hello Zendrive, Eternity, Klon, Menatone, etc.

Phase 9: There is no phase 9! Don't ask, or history is likely to repeat itself.

So, for me, a great medium size amp, maybe an attenuator, world class dirt boxes, sensitive tweaking and ears, and let's go! Phase 8 forever.


Mr. Kite

Silver Supporting Member
I like it! Shouldn't one of those phases include a smoke machine strapped to my back with circular saw blades cut in half attached to me in various spots.


Senior Member
no, phase 10 is create tube amps that run off TV tubes so we can have an endless supply of NOS tubes.


Platinum Supporting Member
I like Phase 8. So many options today. We're really spoiled. I guess I use a little of everything.


Dang. I still like my Boogie. But I also like pedals with my simple Class A amp. I think Phase 9 is "All of the above".

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