Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Pharaoh Fuzz Pedal

As If life wasn't hectic enough I recently found a new tenant for my rental property.  While this is good news for obvious financial reasons it also means I have to move my music studio and other household goods I have stored on this premises so the new occupants can move in.  Setting up my gear and doing some recording is an itch that has needed scratching for some time.

The other day a friend lent me a guitar effect pedal called the Pharaoh to try out.  I finally had a few minutes to plug this thing in to see what would come out.  In a word Wow! I've never heard a fuzz pedal with such a wide range of effect.  The most stunning feature of this pedal is how the tone of my guitar and amp are completely unchanged.  This was something I noticed right away but had not thought about until I read some other reviews by guitarists claiming the same observation.  The bottom end has plenty of bark and the highs crackle like a nearby lightning strike.  Awesome! 

When it comes to music I prefer an old school analog sound and this pedal delivers.  No harsh or tinny digital emulations from this dirt box, just a dump truck load of bad-ass guitar growl.  I want one to call my own for sure.  The creator of the Pharaoh has a blog with more information:  Black Arts Tone Works Check it out!

left to right:  Fender P-bass (American Standard), Epiphone SG Vintage, Epiphone Les Paul Special, Randall 30 watt solid state practice amp 

Fender Acoustisonic 30 watt 2 channel, Fender 60 watt base amp (background)

To record my sounds I use a Tascam digital 8-track.  I mix and master using this board then run a line out to a Sony cd burner to create my finished product.  My approach to music is very much a "Mad Scientist" endeavor.  I love experimenting with effects and multi-tracking my guitars.  What little knowledge I do have I've gotten by just playing around and trying different stuff.  Through recording I believe I have developed a much greater appreciation for the art. 


  1. Hello Mike,

    I've really enjoyed this post about your music. I've often thought of recording some old tunes that only I seem to remember. This would be the perfect way to do it.

    I used to play a lot of old "Ventures" tunes with a friend that used an Epiphone electric. It was just like the red one you have there.

    Can't find a music store around here that knows anything about this stuff. I'm glad you decided to write about it this week. guitar case for my EKO looks very similar to yours. I have stickers pasted all over it. Character......

  2. Thanks John,

    Computer-based and stand alone gear for home recording available today is amazing. Neat time to be in the hobby for sure. Even though my recorder is 5 years old already I like it for its simplicity and the controls are the same as the 4 track cassette recorder I started with. Nice thing is with the digital is instant rewind and no tape heads to worry about. Try asking for a degausser these days- people really look at you funny!

    That's 20 years of sticker accumulation on my case.

  3. I have an Alesis Multimix 8 that through USB feeds my computer. While I don't record music it works great for the voice overs and reports for Amateur Radio Newsline I do. I used to have an Ampex Mono Recorder, but decided I wanted my office back ( it was Big). Now I do have a Sony tape deck, and cassette deck, but 90% of what I do is from my mike, and 40 year old EV or Heil Pro 40. While the Heil is a good mike, I have to tell you I still like the sound of the EV. I used to use it in the field when I was a news director of an AM/FM station in Las Vegas. Oh it's so much fun being an old person.