I am aware that “ultimate” is like “unique.” Something either is or it isn’t in both cases, making “third ultimate” ridiculous. I just like having fun with the click bait concept. Also apologies to the manufacturers of the pedals for taking so long—life intervenes.
This roundup leans heavily on classic, less extreme fuzz, though with three octave fuzz boxes in the mix there are plenty of strange sounds available. This time we tackle two multi-sound EarthQuaker units, two Electro-Harmonix pedals, and one each from Crazy Tube Circuits, Keeley, Joe Gore, JHS, MXR, and Fender.
I was attracted to the playing of Indigo Street through her creative guitar work when backing up singer/songwriter Jolie Holland. On Holland’s record, Wine Dark Sea, Street’s use of fuzz, dissonance and feedback within the context of Holland’s roots moderne sound was letter perfect. When Holland played Nashville, Street showed she was capable of pulling off the same hat trick live. Shy Hunters, her duo with drummer Sam Levin, opened the show. During their set another side of Street emerged; one where she played complex single lines while singing. I had to get her in the mag and—after months of patience—succeeded. Her story was well worth the wait.
In an effort to encourage Guitar Moderne readers to submit their rigs for the new Reader’s Rig section, I proffer my own basic board. I thought it also might be educational to explain how I arrived at this particular configuration. It involved decades of experimentation with dozens of effects, as well as the knowledge gained by being in the lucky position of reviewing and writing about pedals for many years. That said, I am as neurotic as any other guitarist, so rest assured the experimentation is not over, nor ever likely to be.