Walco Effects

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Grubgoat, Jul 6, 2016.


  1. Grubgoat

    Grubgoat Supporting Member

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    A search shows a decent amount of talk about these things, but that's all. I don't like starting threads, BUT here's a Walco thread. Do you own any? Used to have one? Know of any famous acts that did? I have them all (plus the advertising poster) in their boxes hanging on a wall:
    [​IMG]

    But sadly I've only played a Chord and Note Sustainer and a Signal Booster (I have doubles of those two). So while I OWN a Fuzz Tone Generator, I've never actually heard one. Or the Bass-Treble Expander, or the Sound-Go-Round. I don't really know if I'm missing out or not. Based on the two that I have played, it seems like now-a-days builders would have less noise, better parts, etc. (meaning, they're kind of crappy!). Does anyone make modern clones of these?

    To me the appeal is the toy-like nature of them, and the cheese-factor, but I wonder if any of these sound good, or could be updated, or serve good use as noise makers, etc. ???

    I bought all of these for like $50 maybe ten years ago (the seller, who had tons of them, also gave me that poster). A recent ebay search shows some of them listed for that price alone now. I'm sure some are more popular than others (the Fuzz), but the prices as a whole seem to be going up. Which is interesting. Soon they're gonna get too expensive to buy just to goof with, which is what most people seem to have seen them as, historically...

    Anyway, the Chord and Note Sustainer is a CRAZY compressor, push the button down and hit a note, and it will go silent. A second or so later you will hear *something* coming up and it will build build Build BUILD BUILD! into noise and feedback. The compression is set so high that its total noise.

    The Signal Booster is just a boost if I remember right, but its noisy, and all of these things are cheaply built (metal enclosure casings that don't line up right, etc.) I remember kind of liking it, though. I've read that the dude from Sonic Youth uses one for noise purposes, or something.

    What do you know about Walco Effects? Got a story?
    [​IMG]
    Notice the Fuzz is missing in this pic. Does that mean the Fuzz is "rare"?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  2. Linus

    Linus Member

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    I have a sound go round. It is a square wave tremolo. Clicks while on. Sound suck.
    Not useable.

    I got a boost at the same time but it didn't work when it was brand new out of the packaging.

    Junky toys I think.
     
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  3. ElectricWarrior

    ElectricWarrior Member

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    I own a fuzz tone generator. Not a good fuzz.
     
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  4. Ro S

    Ro S Member

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    $50 for the lot. you lucky s@d.

    Why haven't you tried them all?!

    The 'Sound-Go-Round' is a dramatic choppy tremolo type effect similar to, I believe, a Vox Repeat Percussion. I can't recall whether I've actually heard one in action or not.
     
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  5. jimmycupo

    jimmycupo Member

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  6. DBBlues

    DBBlues Formerly fullertone Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a clip of a Walco fuzz, super glitchy and weird. @ElectricWarrior is a fuzz expert, and the Walco Fuzz Generator is not a good fuzz, but it arguably is a cool bad fuzz.



    I have two of them.


    Some years ago, I thought that it would be good idea to buy 7-8 of the Walco acoustic feedback boxes, because I was sure that they would stop harmonica feedback. They didn't, so they are waiting for me to perhaps put fuzz circuits in them. I think that there was a fuzz guy putting fuzz circuits in old Walco boxes at some point.
     
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  7. SoaringTortoise

    SoaringTortoise Member

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    Here's a Treble Bass Expander re-badged as a Kent EA-2 Tone Booster.

     
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  8. DBBlues

    DBBlues Formerly fullertone Gold Supporting Member

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    Great demo! I love how you are using a Kent switch to bypass the pedal.
     
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  9. boppy

    boppy Member

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    I've tried the Signal Booster and the Fuzz Tone Generator with the belt-clip on the back.
    They are very lo-fi, noisy and cheaply made.
    Even the cheapest pedals available today will assume a Klon-like vibe when compared with these...
     
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  10. Grubgoat

    Grubgoat Supporting Member

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    Okay, so anything Kent is ALSO a Walco pedal? Did Walco make them all, or is Walco also a knock-off rebadged brand? I know that they made other musical stuff, as I have a "NOS" (or maybe just old old stock) set of banjo strings in the original package, made by Walco.

    I think the Bass Boost in Soaring Tortoise's clip is kind of awesome, though the Treble Boost doesn't seem to do much at all. DBBlues clip didn't exactly even sound like a fuzz (though that was pretty trippy!). And looking on YouTube for more clips was a waste, there are only about 2 clips having anything to do with Walco.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  11. Ro S

    Ro S Member

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    sounds nice
     
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  12. nasonm

    nasonm Supporting Member

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    I remember in the late 90s, when I first got online and into eBay, I was constantly searching for Walcos because they were cheap and looked like fun.
     
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  13. Grubgoat

    Grubgoat Supporting Member

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    So, did you eventually find some? Or it never quite happened and you're still longing for one after all these long fruitless years? Lol, I started buying them about the same time... probably got my Signal Booster in '97.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  14. DBBlues

    DBBlues Formerly fullertone Gold Supporting Member

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    Since I have two Walco Fuzz pedals, I recorded short demos of each.

    [​IMG]

    For comparison, I recorded the similarly sized Muff Fuzz, a much less glitchy fuzz. I should add that this early Muff Fuzz sounds fantastic to my ears.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the labels on the back of the pedals, one somewhat more skewed and one somewhat more plumb. That's how I identified the two, for naming the recordings, as they sound a bit different.
    [​IMG]



     
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  15. SoaringTortoise

    SoaringTortoise Member

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    No, I don't think that all Kent effects where supplied by the jobber who made the Walco units. I think Kent sourced from a lot of different jobbers. There is a Kent branded one-knob phaser I have seen that is definitely not a Walco unit.
     
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  16. DBBlues

    DBBlues Formerly fullertone Gold Supporting Member

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    @Grubgoat

    SoaringTortoise appears to be very right.

    http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/kent

    According to Effects Database, there were Kent effects made by Schaller and Shin-Ei, and I guess, whoever made Walco.
     
  17. Scott_F

    Scott_F Gold Supporting Member

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    Wait... You own them all but you've not heard them all?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Grubgoat

    Grubgoat Supporting Member

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    C'mon man, they're all in their original boxes. These things are small like Star Wars Action Figures, you don't pop that bubble packaging!!!!!!! You just DON'T. Especially if you already know that they sound terrible...

    Anyway, I'm buying them all over. I have most of them doubled already. Then I'll hear them all, and make YouTube or at least some kind of clips!
     
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  19. Scott_F

    Scott_F Gold Supporting Member

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    Do you play guitar or hang them on the wall like oil paintings?

    Just saying. Remarkable self control Amigo.
     
  20. Grubgoat

    Grubgoat Supporting Member

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    Not really. They basically sound like crap. LOL. Its not like I'm hanging a KLON or an original super-duper whatever pedal on my wall. They're friggin Walco Effects. Toys. But cool toys.
     
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