So, remember the SPAMP+? It was a ton of fun. I wrote to ask the SpampMAN if I could get a ¼” stere-to-mono adapter for the headphone jack to make the headphone jack essentially an “out” for a guitar amp so I could use the Spamp+ as an effect or pre-amp.
Dude is solid, and sent me one! He may include it as an option with future builds! The grilled, chilled, & fried all work as you would expect and sound gorgeous coming through my Blues Jr.
Here I used my New York Pro StarGazer (with GFS Lil’ Killer Rails) into the SPAMP, then my Fender Blues Jr. The tones are still awesome! the volume differences are there, but if you pick one & go that rally shouldn’t be a problem. This is totally cool as a pre-amp effect! There’s no on-off, but I do have an A/B/Y switch that I could maybe use to put it in & out of the loop. At any rate, this is still super fun, and that’s what it’s all about!
I dimed the SPICE and HEAT knobs, but left TASTE at 12:00. Why? I always dime all the knobs. I like gain and dirt and punk rock. I ran each guitar through the CHILLED, FRIED, and GRILLED settings.
I like FRIED and GRILLED, but there was a noticeable volume drop with Grilled with all the guitars/pickups. This is a super fun little amp. I may get the normal one to use as a distortion pedal… as I don’t think this headphone out is suitable to run to an amp.
I will eventually get to using a 9V & rocking the headphones. This was plugged into a 9v power supply for the video.
I did test a 9V in it, and it had the same volume drop to GRILLED. Of course I used the oil can guitar in the Spam can amp first.
You can see what kinds of pickups they have and if not just ask me in the comments. You get single coils, humbucker/single split, lipstick, humbuckers, hot rails, and P-90-ish ones. I think the SPAMP+ sounds absolutely killer with the P90’s.
I try not to ruin my guitar/gear videos with talking.
Should I explain things for the 3 of you that watch? Lemme know what you think. Do I need the one that acts as a pedal?
Send me a pedal and I will demo it with all the knobs or almost all the knobs dimed.
So, we all know I have a thing for guitars. I like ’em weird and I like ’em cheap. Anyone who plays & reads about guitars on the internet knows about the reality of G.A.S. and all its warning signs.
I only have a few pedals. I mean, I could always use more. Right? I think the Falcondrive sparked this most recent attack. Eaglebones Falconhawk is the renowned stringman and Fender aficionado of the insanely fun band, The Aquabats!
It’s overdrive and distortion all in one… and I like all kinds of noise. I like high gain, overdrive, distortion, chorus, fuzz… all of it.
Eaglebones sounds great, and he’s a killer player… this takes two of his older beloved modified pedals and combines them all into one package. What’s not to dig about it?
Yeah. That got my interest piqued. Then between AliExpress and Amazon, I ended up in a cheap-ass pedal deep dive. I love cheap gear. But not garbage. We’ll say inexpensive gear.
How do the algorithms know? They’re listening.They’re reading.They’re watching.They’re pressuring.
I have sort of always been looking at an EHX B9 or the Earthquaker Organizer(or the EHX C9, Bass9, Key9. or Synth9 really). Honestly though, let’s face it; Most of my guitars cost as much as or less than these inarguably awesome quality pedals.
I found a super cheap and entirely crappy sounding sort of competitor online, then I found a slightly less crappy but seemingly more useful competitor online… still also pretty damn cheap.
That though, somehow led me to this, which does not sound super terrible: The Mooer E7 Synth. It is not quite as expensive as the big boys, but also doesn’t sound like a dying sound card from a Commodore 64. (Arguably, even that could be a valid fun sound to chase… but if you’re not going for that, then you probably don’t want it by accident.)
Why do I want a synth pedal? Because, for years when playing out in bands, one of the songs I always dug covering was “Cool Kids” by Screeching Weasel. It has two super short keyboard parts that I always just played on the guitar. I would be immensely amused by the 3½ seconds of satisfaction that would provide.
That’s how G.A.S. works, right?
That led me to the Mooer Pitch Box. I don’t even need a pitch box, but is sure sounds cool. And it’s cheap. Damnit. That just led me to the even cheaper VSN Harmonizer. And a drummer pedal! The struggle is real. The pedals have gained sentience and are conspiring.
Then there are the other pedals that I can’t forget. I love my Orange Micro Terror. Apparently they make it as a pedal now, The Terror Stamp. I use an A/B/Y sometimes to play through both the Micro Terror and the Fender Blues Jr. at once. It would be fun to Orange-up the Blues Jr., or to play the Terror Stamp into the Micro Terror to make the Orange even more Orange.
Is it possible to make into a pedal? I don’t have the skills. I have a soldering iron, but I am no good with it. I used to do drafting in high school, but I am lost on the schematics for electronics. It looks like at least two people have made the combo into a head(…OK, one was for bass). A schematic exists online. Someone even has a circuit board which emulates the circuits for the amp, but is small enough to fit in a pedal. Why make a $200 pedal for a $50 amp? Yes. Why? Also, why not?
I wrote all of that, and still don’t know the point. To relieve G.A.S.? I would guess it should only serve to exacerbate it.
I mean, I do have a few pedals. They’re not even on a board. I had them on the cut-off bottom of a milk crate, but then I wanted to remove one. They are fun, and they do indeed do things.
This, hive mind, is where I need your help. Do I want more pedals? Yes. Do I need more pedals? Also, yes. They are sure to spark creativity. Use your wisdom to teach me. Can anyone build me a TC-35 pedal? I can get my wife to Cricut the logo in vinyl! Ha ha. Which pedals should I go for? What would you go for? I’m looking for those people experienced with these cheap pedals all over the internet. Send me your thoughts, reviews, & opinions!
A while back, I had the opportunity to reach out to Jimmie Bruhn about the Indy Custom Flycaster, and way way back I did some research on the BB Stone. (I have to try to recover all the stuff that used to live on SquareGuitar.com, all those links are now dead.)
I thought it would be fun to try and track down Dewey Decibel(a.k.a. Joe Jerardi – or is it Joe Geradri? Stage names are fun.), and get some insight on the inception and production of one of my favorite axes!
After some emails exchanged, here’s the story from the man himself!
I’m awfully sorry there was a delay on getting back to you. I honestly have had my hands full this year, and it slipped my mind. Just for your patience, I can offer the most information I’ve shared about my FlipOut days to this point. And thanks for asking.
I was performing solo in NY back in the 90s, playing CBGBs and many of the NY clubs. My stage name was Dewey Decibel, and I always performed hooked up to an IV pole. Just a thing I did – never mentioned it on stage. Played electric guitar, with synth sequencers for backing, plus voice.
One day I thought of this backward guitar – Its just wood I thought – so it would play the same, just super unsettling, and deeply rock and roll to my mind. I found one shop out of all the NY guitar techs who would follow my instruction. It was Rick from Carmine Street Guitars. I love him because he didn’t even blink, just said “sure, I can do that”. I went on to form a band called… Dewey Decibel, and kept doing shows, and finished up my third album “Unnecessarily Beautiful” with those guys, great players Jon Howard, and Martin Miller. We did good work. I always played the original FlipOut, which started its life as a Fernandes brand Strat. I always had the IV drip by my side.
We did no real promotion for the album, for any of my albums, so they reside in resplendent obscurity, rarely to surface.
Here is what exists online, though there are 3+ albums and an EP somewhere:
At shows, my guitar got so much crazy attention I conceived of the nutty plan to use a release of these guitars to bring attention to my band. In 2003 I went to the NAMM show on the recommendation of a friend, to look for a manufacturer. There I approached many confused factory reps from Asia, and ended up having luck with a Korean group who were ready to please. I ordered some prototypes during that year, and tweaked things. Then at 2004 NAMM I introduced them to the unsuspecting earthlings, took orders, and started shipping out of San Francisco once the container ship arrived. That first NAMM show was funny funny stupid funny.
The stupid part was that Fender lawyers sent me a letter on the opening day of my NAMM launch that I was in breach of their trademarks. This is a much longer story but I ended up licensing with Fender later, which was great for name dropping and demonstrating to folks that it was a quality guitar.
I was living in a warehouse with boxes of these guitars and my drum set. It was a time of odd existence, taking orders, shipping, doing R&D, and lining up reviews with the big guitar magazines. The FlipOut got strong thumbs up reviews in Guitar Player as well as Guitar One. I did care about the feel of the neck and the pickups. It’s self evident I think when you handle one.
I was moving forward on the BottomOut bass, having received a few prototypes which worked nicely. Even took orders. The problem was that the whole business had me working in too many directions, and exhausted. I’d gone to Europe, and did a bunch of sales, there and in Australia too. I was overworking, and getting wiped out. This was all on my own, and I’d been living with some fantasy that these cool guitars would elevate the music, and demonstrate my sovereign rock and roll whimsy. But alas, the FlipOut project ended at around 500 guitars because I was exhausted, the R&D was too slow, and I couldn’t parlay the thing into working for another manufacturer. I was too much of a lone wolf for them. So I went back to graphic design and animation. I’m an animator today living in incredible San Antonio. I also continue writing and recording a new album, to be released secretly into thrift store bins.
The guitar colors were just my favorites at the time, the names were inspired by memories. Barry Leventhal was I think a kid I played in little league with. Austin really had cabs colored like the guitar.
I’ve seen the FlipOut rip-offs coming from Europe/China, and they look ridiculous, all backward and stuff. Just joking – I guess it was inevitable someone would cash in.
Hey thanks for your interest. Hoping it fills in some detail.
I tried to pick the most odd & attention grabbing of my herd. Do you think I missed the boat by not including some of my other notable oddballs? He didn’t even mention the amps or pedals. Ha ha.
Shout-out to my peeps at Actual Ugly Guitars! It’s a Facebook group focused on looking for guitars ranging from the weirdest of the weird to just pure abominations with strings and sometimes even frets. If you’re gonna join, answer the questions or you won’t get in.
Here’s a rundown of what’s pictured if you’re interested:
If not rocking the Spark for practice or jamming along to YouTube or the built-in drummers, I like to rock a guitar through the tuner then into the A/B/Y into both the Blues Jr. and the Micro Terror through the Laney. Sometimes I put the wah up front, or sometimes on just one amp. I had a Dunlop CryBaby for years, then once I heard the “tone-suck” even when it was off, I couldn’t un-hear it. Same with the Dirt & Ernie… sometimes I just use it as a boost. It will come in handy if I ever get back to live stuff. My “sound” is pretty much gain on 10 master volume on 2 through both amps because I love the sound of the overdriven amps, so I don’t really need to add much dirt. If I set up the Trio, I run the “band” out to the PA so drums & bass come out of that nice & clean instead of one of (or both of) my amps. I am terrible with the POCK LOOP looper. The Lil’ Smokey is also a ton of fun, and I have used to to drive a 4×12. I think I need simpler one or more patience. Maybe both.
So, that’s my setup. Yes, I do play these guitars. Yes, they’re all playable. (I have a go-to guitar guy that is like a guitar-whisperer.) Yes, I have gigged & even recorded with some of them and would gig with all of them.
Which ones do you dig or hate the most? Got any oddballs you want to share? Hit me up with some comments!
I ordered it from AliExpress. It seems to be a copy of the Oktober version. I think Jerry & Doyle originally worked with Rand to build the guitars… then Oktober made a run but Doyle has publicly and often decried their quality. Word on the street is that Dean will be making a production model. Doyle’s have been made from wood, graphite, and metal… with bolt-on sides since he can be a bit rough on them.
Check out Empire Music if you want to see some really nice high-end Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, & more guitars. Check out some of Aaron’s work on his Instagram, he gets to see some beautiful axes! If you’re in or around Pittsburgh, I highly recommend him for all your guitar repair, revision, and setup needs.
If 1999 me had been able to get a hold of this, I may have went down an entirely different path. I would have surely journeyed down some sort of horror punk and goth rabbit hole.
I have been a fan of the Misfits ever since a buddy of mine played a Collection I CD for me. I think we heard of them through Metallica and backwards from Danzig. When I started to play the guitar, I just gravitated towards the “Well, I could do this!” vibe of the stuff. The melodies. The campy lyrics. It takes itself way too seriously. I love it though. Doyle has been a huge influence on my in style and even stage presence. (Although my friend An-Die once remarked that when I stood next to Jerry Only & sang “I Turned Into a Martian” with my recently broken nose still in a cast… I had stage presence, and Jerry had stage presence, but they did not mix together well. I guess I will never know what that means unless video of that day at the Crowbar in Penn State surfaces!)
I dug the OG stuff, and I was a fan of the Misfits ’95 era stuff too. Those were some of the most memorable and entertaining live shows I have been to, and I saw a lot of them. AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion regularly covered “Dig Up Her Bones” and “I Turned Into a Martian” among others. I was even part of 2 different Misfits cover sets, the latter being captured on video in 2004.
Doyle has one of the coolest guitars that fits him perfectly. I look like a doofus with it no doubt. It elicits pure joy when I play it though. Doyle’s originals are one-of-a-kind. They have gone through several incarnations over the years. From graphite, wood, to bolt-on metal wings so they aren’t so easily destroyed. One of the original Rand Annihilator guitars was put back together with something that you’d find in a hardware store. There are many legends about the real thing that Jerry & Doyle crafted at Pro Edge. He has a unique rig for sure. BC Rich was going to make one I think? Ed Roman has one listed on their page, but only as a reference to the weird stuff they can make. Oktober Guitars did make some, but Doyle has stated publicly several times that he was not impressed with their quality and craftsmanship so they’re no longer a thing. It’s an open secret these days that Dean is next on the list to make a production model.
I knew I was getting a potential turd. I just wanted the shape. Luckily, I know a guy who has polished many of my proverbial turds (guiturds?) with great success, and he’s now at Empire Music. I feel a visit coming after I get some new pickups and maybe pots & other hardware.
I had issues with ordering in October of 2020, not getting it & cancelling by December. They kept sending photos of an unpainted guitar saying it was almost ready. I asked them to reach out when it was complete so I could reorder. They did in February 2021, and I had it in my hands by mid March,
The neck feels great. The guitars hangs perfectly. It could stand to have more heft, but a lot of people out there like light guitars. The action is HIGH.
I can hear it going out of tune as I play, but that may be my own ineptitude at the Floyd Rose system. Played through a Positive Grid Spark on the “Metal” setting with the bass all the way down and the treble cranked.
(Played a regular axe right after to make sure the amp wasn’t shitting out. 🤣 Also put it into the Orange Micro Terror and the sound did not jive. 🤣)
I have a quad-rail bought cheap online that I was itching to have dropped into something… but I feel like I need some real metal-y pickups in here. Do I get real Seymour Duncans? Who besides GFS does quality affordable pickups? Maybe I will just go with GFS. 🤷♂️
So, what kind of pickups should I have dropped into it?
Do you have an Annihilator? Do you want one? What’s next on your guitar list? What’s an axe that an influential player to you uses that you would also like to have? Is it crazy, or normal? Share in the comments!
For me, posting on YouTube is sort of like blogging. It’s more of a creative outlet than anything. I like to play the guitar, and I like weird guitars (Exhibit A & Exhibit B), so why not show off my weird guitars?
It still needs a name. I haven’t officially decided. I have been calling it “the music room” or “the guitar room.” Both of those seem boring. Maybe this? I find it amusing but clunky.
I may make some videos of guitar shenanigans as a creative outlet. Not sure what direction they’ll take. I’m not a particularly good or technical player, but I can demo some gear or do some fun silly stuff. I do already have a YouTube playlist started for my guitar-related videos.
The Postitive Grid Spark amp & app have really made jamming quick and fun… they have a cool in-app video feature, but it’s not much different than recording straight-up with the phone’s camera.
More setup inspires more setup. I need a way to store my physical media (mostly CD’s) so it’s easily accessible. I have a lot. Too many probably. I need to build some shelves and the stuff I’m finding online seems painfully expensive and not quite a fit. And I’d like to dump that all on a personal media server. I have a lot of stuff not available on Amazon or Spotify.
The next itch I can already feel will need scratching is some kind of recording setup. I’d like to layer stuff I can hear in my head, without the aid of a looper. I miss the days of a Tascam 4-track with a cassette tape. Maybe I’ll delve into a nice simple digital version of that.
The kids have guitars, ukes, and a keyboard too… and now we almost need drums and a bass or too, right?
At any rate… it’s important to have a creative outlet. Live isn’t conducive to me jamming regularly with a band right now. I only seem to do mazes when the inspiration hits, and I blog pretty randomly. Music is one more option for expression, creativity, and constant learning/exploring. I hope to foster the kids’ musical expression and drive home how important it is to remain creative themselves and appreciative of art in general.