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June 2017 Giveaway

Vintage Effects in a Modern World

There’s a perception these days that vintage gear is the best. Why? Well, almost all vintage guitars, amplifiers and stompboxes were hand-wired and assembled by a real, living human being. So it makes sense that a person will build a better product than some automated production line, right? Personally, we feel that today’s gear is far superior to anything built 20 or 30 years ago, but that’s a debate for another time. Right now, let’s deal with a common problem today’s guitar players (and to some degree, keyboard players) face when plugging into a vintage effects box — an original Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, for instance. In many cases, older gear cannot handle the hotter signal coming out of a modern guitar or keyboard. This may be a design flaw, but it could also be the result of component failure. The most common complaint is that there’s some unwanted distortion when plugging into a vintage effect and playing hard. The solution is rather simple in this case: a resistor on the input circuit will bring down the signal to a level the effect can handle. Naturally, this is something best done by a skilled technician. In most cases, if the modification is done correctly, it should not impact on the resale value of any vintage equipment.

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