10 Most Valuable Effects Pedals
Sorry for the mixup. View todays Article Here
by PGS Fitz
This week, we're looking at some vintage effects that are legends or modern classics, fetching top-dollar in the used market. As always, a giant disclaimer that this isn't a science-- vintage gear is only worth what someone will pay for it, right?! If anyone reading has tales to tell about acquiring any of these awesome pieces (or any of the other awesome vintage gear that we didn't get to here!)- as always, we'd love to hear about it in the comments!
The Echorec has been experiencing resurgence lately, perhaps due to some well-made modern takes on this vintage spinning-drum based echo unit. The Binson Echorec is a key piece of early Pink Floyd and played a major part in the psychedelic rock movement. These are highly sought after: Echorecs are selling for between $1500 and $2500 these days. The one we have in the office here at Pro Guitar Shop is, sadly, NOT FOR SALE!
Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster
This pedal comes up so infrequently that it’s hard to get a true gauge of how valuable it is, but within the last couple years has been known to fetch between $2000-2500 a pop… the Rangemaster with it’s simple but perfect circuitry was the pedal that several legendary players used to push their amps into sonic ecstasy—Clapton, Iommi, and May all come to mind. Though treble boosters lost their grip on the guitar world during the 80s in favor of straight-up overdrives, treble boosters are back on players’ radar and several companies are making this style pedal again… at a much more affordable price point than one of these hard-to-find originals.
Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face
The Fuzz Face is a legend for a reason. This extremely simple circuit with a pair of germanium transistors provided guitarists of the sixties all the hairy fuzz they could ask for. Jimi Hendrix added the Fuzz Face to his rig, and the rest is history. There have a been a million versions of the Fuzz Face, but original Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Faces from the sixties can still command between $700-1100.
Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive (Gold Case)
We all know it by its single syllable name: KLON. The legend. The mania. The backlash.
Everyone has an opinion about the Klon, but the fact remains that Centaurs are in high demand and still fetch huge sums on the used market, making it a modern classic. Less of an overdrive pedal and more of a tone booster, it is infamous for it’s epoxy covered circuitry designed to thwart any circuit-thieves. The Klon market is now saturated with clones (and literally, Klones) due to the scarcity of the original Klons. A gold case edition will set you back at least a grand and maybe as much as two grand. Magical, mythical tone don’t come cheap.
Maestro Echoplex EP-1 (60s)
In the 50s, Ray Butts built an amplifier, the EchoSonic, that had tape echo built into it. These amps with built-in slap-back became staples of players like Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins and started an echo revolution… The Echoplex was designed not long after the EchoSonic and may or may not be based directly on the EchoSonic’s circuit (the history books can’t quite decide on this one!). The Echoplex thickened up the guitar signal, providing atmospheric echoes and slap-back as well as a noticeable boost. Original EP-1s are very hard to come by—we couldn’t even source any for this article. We clocked some EP-3s coming in right around $1000, with EP-4s coming in significantly lower in the $500-600 range
Mu-Tron Bi-Phase & Flanger
Mu-tron produced a number of still-sought-after pedals in the 70s, notably the Bi-Phase and their take on the Flanger. The Bi-Phase featured stereo phasing and the ability to control it with an optical expression pedal, making it a lush, spacey addition to the rock guitar rig. Their Flanger remains a classic thanks to it’s bucket brigade circuitry and built-in expression pedal. The Bi-Phase has been selling for $1000-1450; the Flanger is much more rare and has been selling for $1000-1250, with at least a couple recent sales fetching as high as $1800.
Roland Space Echo (70s)
Roland’s tabletop tape echo units offered a wonderfully atmospheric tape delay with multiple tape heads, variable motor speeds, and later reverb and that famous Roland Chorus… These units have always been in demand—though my personal belief is that Johnny Greenwood himself re-ignited desire for these units in the last decade or so! Roland made several versions of the Space Echo, with the RE201, RE301, and even the RE501 all fetching around $1000 (give or take a couple hundred on either side).
Tycobrahe yanked the name “Octavia” right out from Roger Mayer, who never copyrighted the name and never released a production model (having simply built a few Octavia for several of the biggest guitarists of the day) and created a classic. The Tyco Octavia creates your classic octave fuzz tone that carried the music of the seventies… finding one of these in good condition will easily set you back four digits, with units typically selling for between $1000-1300.
Univox Uni-Vibe (60s/70s model)
We don’t even have to tell you what this is or why it’s so popular—but in case you need a hint, here’s one word: Hendrix. Though the Uni-Vibe was intended as a rotary speaker emulation for organ/keys—it made perfect sense in the signal chain of the rock guitarist of the sixties and seventies. We recommend listening to “Voodoo Chile” at maximum volume to get a feel for this awesome pedal. Today, vintage units can easily fetch over a grand, recently showing up in the $1200-1500 range, with some stellar, mint pieces fetching over $2000.
Vox Clyde McCoy Wah Wah (’66-’67)
The original Clyde McCoy Wah was designed to emulate Clyde McCoy’s trumpet-muting and has been a Holy Grail of Wah-Wah pedals ever since it was first produced in the late sixties. Players yearn for the expressive, vocal tone of the Clyde—and the market shows that it’s holding strong. Original Clydes are fetching between $700-1100 on the used market.