Guitar effects pedals are fantastic pieces of gear that players use to carve out their own signature tone. And while there are thousands of models out there, every once in a while comes a pedal that - with the help of a transcendent guitarist - defines their era like few others could. Below, we take a look at five pedal and player combinations that helped shape the history of music.
MXR Phase 90 And Eddie Van Halen
The brown sound is among the most widely revered tones in rock history, thanks to the silky, saturated tube with amp distortion produced by Eddie Van Halen and swirly speed of his MXR Phase 90. While EVH has used several MXR pedals throughout his career, it is the Phase 90 that is most widely associated with his sound, so much so that MXR and the Van Halen guitarist even collaborated on a signature model.
Arbiter Fuzz Face Pedal And Jimi Hendrix
Known as an innovator of high-gain guitar tone, Jimi Hendrix was an early pioneer of using distortion to great effect. And of all of his pedals, few are as tied to him as the Arbiter Fuzz Face. He first picked up the legendary effect while in London during the late 60s and began using it during his recording sessions and performances soon thereafter. The rest is rock and roll history. Today, Jim Dunlop's Fuzz Face continues the tradition set by the Hendrix and the original Arbiter model.
Digitech WH-1 Whammy And Tom Morello
When Rage Against The Machine hit the big time in the early ‘90s, many players were completely thrown off their seats by the insane notes being cranked out by guitarist Tom Morello. We’re not talking about highly-refined, saturated tube tone here – we’re talking crazy solos and riffs that often sounded nothing like an actual guitar. And while Morello used many pedals to achieve his many effects, it was the Digitech WH-1 Whammy that he regularly used as the core of his sounds.
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man And The Edge
Few guitarists are as tied to their signature effect as U2’s The Edge. With the help of the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man, The Edge crafted a sonically rich, delay-filled sound with enough textured overlays that you could swear he had to have been overdubbing a second guitar to get such a big effect.
Ibanez Tube Screamer And Stevie Ray Vaughan
While the Tube Screamer was already a popular pedal with guitarists, it wasn't until it was paired with the masterclass musicianship of Stevie Ray Vaughan that the amazing potential of Ibanez's overdrive was truly realized. While he started off with an original TS-808 Tube Screamer, SRV later upgraded to a TS-9 model in order to get a slightly grittier tone. Since then, hundreds of pedals have followed the midrange boosted formula that was popularized by the original green machine and Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan.
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What are some other great pedal/player combinations?