Six of the Best – Retro Effects

Take inspiration from the sounds of yesteryear with these retro effects and give your rig a shot in the arm today.

Price £279
Contact MusicPsych 020 7607 6005

There was a time when reverb and tremolo were the only effects at the disposal of most guitarists. Strymon’s Flint uses modern digital processing to channel the sultry analogue throb of three vintage tremolo effects: the ’61 Harmonic, ’63 Power Tube and ’65 Photo Cell.

Alongside those voices, you get a trio of reverbs based on a 1960s spring reverb tank, a 70s plate and the hall reverb from a 1980s rack processor. Highly tweakable, you can also route the tremolo before or after the ’verb in the signal chain. Just try not to lose too many hours playing How Soon Is Now? or the Twin Peaks theme…

Boss DM-2W

Contact Roland UK 01792 702701

Discontinued back in 1984, the Boss DM-2 analogue delay pedal’s warm, bucket brigade tone was a fantastic tool, both for 50s rockabilly slapback and wilder atmospheric textures. Somewhat inevitably, second-hand prices for original units have rocketed in recent years, but happily, the compact purple delay has been reborn as the DM-2W in the new Waza Craft range.

Standard mode reproduces the classic DM-2 tone and 20-300ms delay range of the original, while Custom mode cleans up the repeats and doubles the available delay time. You can also attach an expression pedal to control the delay time on the fly.

Bigfoot Engineering King Fuzz

Contact Bigfoot Engineering 01403 258776

With just big ol’ gain and volume dials on its canary-yellow chassis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a fuzzbox with a limited range, but you’d be wrong.

Hand-built in West Sussex by Bigfoot main man Rhys Stubbs, the King Fuzz was inspired partly by the vintage fuzz tones of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Step on the pedal and ride your guitar’s volume control for everything from small valve amp-style break-up to visceral, Jimi-style fuzz that’s rich in midrange attitude. You won’t want to switch it off.

Lovepedal Les Lius

Contact Andertons Music 01483 456777

We’d all love to get our hands on an original 50s Fender, but not many of us have the budget to buy one and keep it maintained. Fewer still play on big enough stages to crank one up and enjoy the glory of its overdriven voice. There are plenty of ‘tweed amp in a box’ pedals, but this is our favourite.
Judicious use of the volume and second gain stage controls in conjunction with a three-way switch that toggles between 5E3 and High Power Twin voicings, or a combination of both, can replicate a range of gnarly tweed tones. Keef and Neil Young in a box? You betcha.

Mid-Fi Electronics Demo Tape Fuzz

Price $225
Contact Mid-Fi Electronics

Elsewhere in this issue, Barrie Cadogan extols the sonic virtues of the humble four-track cassette recorder, and though it may offend the purists amongst you, there’s often something to be said for guitar tones that are just plain scratchy and nasty.
Unless you fancy devoting pedalboard space to a Tascam Porta 07, this stompbox is your best bet for dragging crunchy, direct-injected four-track sounds out of a 1980s bedroom and onto the modern stage. Bass, treble, volume and trim controls allow for plenty of nostalgic tone-shaping – it’s a wildcard, alright, but we like it.

Lumpy’s Tone Shop Lemon Drop

Lumpy’s Tone Shop

Sick of conventional overdrive tones and fancy something a little different? The Lemon Drop harks back to the hybrid 4 and 7 Series Vox amplifiers used by The Beatles during the Revolver sessions and a certain James Patrick Page on such gigantic Led Zep classics as Whole Lotta Love and The Lemon Song.

The solid-state preamp design found in the aforementioned Voxes utilised a silicon transistor in the input stage, giving them a distinctive growl with a hint of fuzz around the edges. The Lemon Drop does a fine job of capturing this gritty drive, while its internal components and build quality are top drawer.


Get the latest news, reviews and features to your inbox.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

Join our mailing list

Sign Up Now

© 2023 is part of NME Networks.