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Poradniki online Thomann: Distortion Effect Pedals

2. History


There was a time, of course, when a distorted guitar sound was the curse of professional sound engineers - and indeed, guitarists. The earliest valve amps, many of which are highly prized now for their ability to be overdriven, were designed solely to make guitars audible above the sounds of the other instruments in the ensemble – typically a big-band or small jazz group in the early days. It seems incredible now, but the original Gibson Les Paul series was taken out of production in 1960 because its humbucker pickups delivered too much signal for the amps of the day. People just didn’t want that noisy, crunchy sound...


That was until Messrs Clapton, Beck, Page, Townsend and others (including The Kinks’ Dave Davies and Jimi Hendrix, of course) started emulating the overdriven sounds of the Chicago blues players of the 50s. They heard Hubert Sumlin, Pat Hare and Elmore James - whose sounds were forged with cheap equipment in the noisy South Side clubs - and went in search of their own versions of those hair-raising, spine-tingling tones. With the appearance of John Mayall’s immortal Beano album - properly entitled ‘Bluesbreakers’ and credited to John Mayall with Eric Clapton - the Les Paul was suddenly back in fashion.

Meanwhile, Jim Marshall had introduced his now legendary range of amps and speaker cabinets. As rock music rocketed in popularity and arenas grew larger, so the demand for powerful amplification increased. But with more power, the volumes required to achieve the required crunch became ear-splittingly high, especially for guitars with single-coil pickups.

It was this new challenge that led engineers like Roger Mayer to experiment with devices that could recreate the sounds of overdriven amps, even at low volumes. The first boosters and distortion pedals began to appear, often affectionately known as ‘fuzz boxes’. By the late 60s, the combination of valve amplifiers, humbucked guitars and an increasing armoury of stomp boxes had given rise to the sounds of Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Rock music had come of age, and ‘heavy metal’ was born.


Technology advanced rapidly in the 70s with the introduction of boxes like the Ibanez Tubescreamer and Boss overdrive pedals. Guitarists were finding new ways to work with overdriven signals and high quality valve amplifiers, creating sweet, sustaining tones, as well as the hard and dirty sounds associated with distortion pedals. In the hands of David Gilmour or Carlos Santana, overdrive boxes became sources of rich, warm sounds with near-infinite sustain.


With the arrival of the new decade, amplifier technology had advanced to the stage where master volume controllers and gain controls could be used to achieve distorted, sustaining sounds without the need for pedals. You can read more about this in our Amplifier Online Advisor. It was a time when those guitarists who could afford them were hauling vast, refrigerator-like stacks around with them, complete with a rack of studio effects modules. The boom days of overdrive and distortion boxes seemed to have passed.


For many guitarists, the clinical, digitised sounds of the late 80s and early 90s were characterless and bland. They began to rediscover the joys of a simple guitar and amp combination, and quaint old pedals that were so much fun to play with. Vintage stomp boxes soared in value, and new retro-styled ranges began to appear, often using digital modelling technology to recreate the sounds and functions of the classic pedals.


And so we entered the new millennium with a greater choice of high quality pedals than ever before, and at more affordable prices. Today, guitarists have never had it so good - once they can work out which of the huge range of boxes out there is right for them...

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Anna K., 25.11.2014

Zestawienie Distortion Effect Pedals

Elektron Digitakt Millenium ST-95 Harley Benton HB-40B 2017 Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame Vox Adio Air GT Rockboard LT XL Power Bank Denon DN-300C MKII ADJ Pro Event Table tc electronic M100 Presonus Studio 26 Novation Circuit Mono Station Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass
Elektron Digitakt

Digital Drum Machine 8 Internal audio tracks, 8 Dedicated MIDI tracks, 1 Multimode filter per audio track, 1 Assignable LFO per track, Delay and Reverb send effects, Built-in sequencer, Support for sampling, OLED display, 64 MB Sample memory, 1...

przejdź do produktu
722 €
Millenium ST-95

Standing Aid Ideal for keyboardists, guitarists and DJs, Seat height, backrest and footrests individually adjustable, Seat upholstery and backrest with cover, Seat height adjustable from 545 - 965 mm, Padded seat, Weight: 6 kg, Material: Steel, Colour: Black, Suitable...

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77 €
Harley Benton HB-40B 2017

Harley Benton HB-40B 2017, compact electric bass combo amplifier, 40 watt, 10" custom voiced speaker, TEC tube-emulating circuit, instrument input, gain control, integrated compressor with LED indicator, 3-band equalizer (bass, parametric middle, treble), volume control, headphone output, aux-input for play-along...

przejdź do produktu
97 €
Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame

Electric Guitar Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, 24 frets, Pearloid Dot fretboard inlays, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Pickups: 2 Wilkinson WHHB Alnico Open humbuckers, 1 Volume control, 1 Tone...

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219 €
Vox Adio Air GT

Modelling Electric Guitar Combo Power: 50 W, Equipped with: 2x 3"speakers for a wide stereo sound, Bluetooth allows wireless playback of music and remote control via app, VET Modelling technology for authentic amp sounds, Up to 23 amplifier models,...

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299 €
Rockboard LT XL Power Bank

Mobile power supply for effects pedals 3 High-capacity lithium-ion batteries, Battery capacity: 6600 mAh, Can still be used during a recharge, Can also be used for charging smartphones and other USB devices, On / Off switch, 2x 2.1 x...

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48 €
Denon DN-300C MKII

Denon DN-300C MK II, CD/USB Player, Slot-In CD - Drive, USB Audio Player, USB plays MP3 audio file formats, 3,5 mm Jack Input, Display, symmetric XLR Output, stereo RCA Output, adjustable speed ±15%, Random, Repeat and Power-on-Play, IR Remote, 10-key...

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235 €
ADJ Pro Event Table

ADJ Pro Event Table, Compact and collapsible, Lightweight, around 18 kg, Functional and professional looking, table height: 880mm, dimensions table 1200x580mm; Dimensions (LxWxH): 50” x 24” x 45.5” / 1270 x 610 x 1155 mm, Dimensions for own Logo (WxH):...

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322 €
tc electronic M100

tc electronic M100; Stereo Multi-Effects Processor; 16 TC-Effects including reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, rotary speaker, pitch shifter and multi-effects; Edit and Tap/Select function; 24-bit AD/DA converters; Stereo Input Level control with LED level indication; Mix Balance and Output Level...

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111 €
Presonus Studio 26

USB audio interface 2 x 4 USB 2.0 audio interface with 192 KHz, 2 Combo inputs: Mic/Line/Inst (XLR/jack), Jack inputs switchable from "Inst" (high impedance) to "Line", 2 Low-noise XMAX-L microphone preamplifiers, 48 V phantom power can be connected,...

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198 €
Novation Circuit Mono Station

Paraphonic Analogue Synthesizer 2 Oscillators with individual control of sync and tuning parameters, Filter can be used as high, low or bandpass filters with 12 or 24 dB, Three distortion modes, Monophone and paraphone modes with individual glide control,...

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515 €
Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass

Vox AC2 Rhythm Bass, Basscombo, 2x3" Speaker, 2 Watt, 5 effects, 3 selectable sounds normal flat and scoop, inputs for bassguitar and aux in, headphone output, 81 rhythm patterns, tempo 40-240 BPM, power supply via 6 AA batteries (alkaline or...

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69 €
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