- Engine of Ruin
We here at SBS hold Tym Guitars in very high regard. Owner Tim Brennan has excellent taste in music and musical gear. He also does a lot to create a vibrant, welcoming community. And from time to time he makes pedals celebrating his favorite artists. This is the second signature pedal of his that we have in the reference library (check out the Teenage Fanboost). This is from a run of 20 pedals celebrating Dylan Carlson, the guitarist/songwriter behind Seattle drone legends Earth.
Below is an essay from the Tym website recounting the story behind this pedal.
Dylan Carlson signature distortion
Tim Brennan August 04, 2017
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Dylan Carlson when he toured Australia and played an instore in my shop. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first met him. As he stepped out of the van in front of the shop he looked slightly … intimidating. The reality couldn’t have been further from this assumption.
We hit it off instantly and sat out the back of my shop before the instore and talked about music and him driving around in the Melvins tour van with Kurt and gear, and, music. The instore was …. amazing and we stayed in contact after the tour.
Tym Guitars Online
When he toured a couple of years later he asked to do another instore before Earth played. I had loved the first one SO much and there was no way I was going to say no to a friend playing in my shop.
The second instore was, magical. Dylans solo stuff is just him on stage with a guitar, a couple of pedals and an amp. He doesn’t sing so it’s all instrumental and during this set I felt a compelling sadness during one song and found myself with tears welling up. I think Dylan is that special.
After that instore Dylan bought a guitar from me and gave me his guitar he had used for the instore, the guitar he played in Earth. I didn’t want to take it but Adrienne said “he wants you to have it”
Needles to say it’s a cherished item for me.
After that tour I made Dylan a pedal to say thanks for everything he’d done and for changing my life. Dylan is a big fan of MXR stuff and I made him one of my Tymexars with a three way mini toggle for germanium, silicon or no clipping to give him a little more option. I had emailed Tony and asked if he could do me some artwork based on the tattoos on Dylans hands and he sent this Engine of Ruin back, named after an Earth song.
Tym Guitars Online Tym Guitars Online
So, it’s with GREAT pleasure that I announce the new Dylan Carlson signature distortion.
Made in conjunction with Dylan this is the same Tymexar based on two of my favourite vintage units without the three way switch as Dylan mainly uses the silicon (my favourite) setting which gives more output and a crisper distortion.
This uses the same 741 IC I use in the Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin with 2 slightly different cap values. It’s a full sounding distortion with great clarity.
Tym Guitars Online
It works well with Dylans style of drone strings and adds sustain when the distortion knob is wound up. It cleans up well with the volume high and the distortion down or clean it up with your guitar volume.
- HELLSTACHE v2
Kurt Ballou (God City/Converge) has taken the Abominable Hellmouth (a version of the tube screamer) and tweaked a lot of the parts values & added some stuff including his own Brutalist JR circuit that is controllable while the effect is on via a 2nd footswitch. This is the all new version 2.0 with an updated circuit to reduce noise and further dial in the sound Kurt was looking for.
NEW FOR 2021: BOTH FOOTSWITCHES ARE NOW CLICKLESS!
- 2021Reference Library
We added some very cool items to our Reference Library this year. Some brand new and a couple vintage finds from long ago. Several effects like the Roland Space Echo and Lovetone Doppelganger had been alluding us for decades but are now home in the collection.
While the Korg Miku remains the most requested item (and for good reason) we are certain that these will bring a smile to those that give them a try.
Here is a small sample of this year’s additions:
- Abominable Electronics Hellstache Overdrive (a collab. w/ GCI)
- ARP Odyssey – Korg Reissue
- Keeley – Loomer Fuzz/Reverb
- Blackcat Guitars – Rangebooster
- Native Audio Wilderness Delay
- Roland RE-201 Space Echo
- S&K Bodybreaker Distortion
- Universal Audio Golden Reverberator
- Best Sellers of 2021
These were the most sought after effects here at Stompbox Sonic in 2021:
- Longsword v4.5: Distortion from Electronic Audio Experiments
- Astral Destiny: Octal Octave Reverb by EarthQuaker Devices
- Hizumitas: WATA Fuzz from EarthQuaker Devices
- Hypersleep v2: BBD Reverb courtesy of Electronic Audio Experiments
- Martyr Box: 2-stage gain device by Nerdknuckle Effects
- Afternealth V3: Otherworldly Reverb from EarthQuaker Devices
- T-120: Videotape Echo by Demedash Effects
- Li’l Fella: Overdrive/Distortion from Fuzzrocious
- Thought Forms: Runway Feedback/Oscillations by Midfi Electronics
- Sunlight: Dynamic Reverb from Old Blood Noise Endeavors
In crunching the numbers we found people are quite fond of the pedal builders here in Boston, MA as well in Akron, OH. EarthQuaker is based in Akron while Electronic Audio Experiments, Nerdknuckle, and Midfi are all based in and around Boston.
You all have a particular attraction to reverb and fuzz/distortion. In fact, 50% of all effects we sold this year were reverbs.
We look forward to all the music you will create with these effects in the year(s) to come! Stay save & make some noise.
- Favorite Music: 2021
2021 has reached it’s end. A lot of really good music was released this year, While there wasn’t time enough to explore it all a decent amount was heard by us. Below is a collection, in no hierarchical order, of the music that accompanied and resonated with us during the year.
Albums, EPs, and Singles:
Amythyst Kiah: Wary & Strange
Rob Noyes: Arc Minutes
Low: Hey What
Dinosaur Jr: Sweep It Into Space
27: A Billion Searchlights
Damon & Naomi: A Sky Record
Rhiannan Giddens: They’re Calling Me Home (With Francesco Turrisi)
Chris Brokaw: Puritan
Colleen: The Tunnel and the Clearing
Dean Wareham: I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of LA
Thalia Zedek: Perfect Vision
Sue Bell: Wild At Heart
Emma Ruth Rundle: Engine of Hell
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit: Georgia Blue
Doug Tuttle: Pinecone
Converge w/ Chelsea Wolfe: Blood Moon I
Leah Callahan: Short Stories
Marissa Nadler: The Path of the Clouds
Constellation Myths: Everything and Time
Piroshka: Love Drips & Gathers
Noveller: “Red Room”
Violet Nox: Whispering Gallery
Boris: “Reincarnation Rose”
- Wata Fuzz
The Wata Fuzz by MASF. A powerful octave fuzz released in conjunction of Boris guitarist Wata. Built by Japanese pedal builder MASF. The velvety/velour fuzzy enclosure perfects encapsulates what this pedal is all about. This is from the second run released in 2015.
The God City Instruments JUGENDSTIL w/ “Sub” control. Released October 2021
If there were a Venn Diagram showing the overlap between ‘90s British shoegaze and ‘90s Swedish death metal, Jugendstil would feel right at home in the middle. The circuit starts with a simple, high-gain silicon fuzz section which cleans up extremely well and can even be used as a clean boost at low settings. That’s all well and good, but Jugendstil’s secret weapon is a fully maxed out HM-2 style EQ, labelled “loud” and wired as a parallel blend — use the loud control to blend in as much or as little of the HM-2 sound as you like! “Sweep” controls the center frequency of the mid boost. Set it around 2 o’clock for the classic HM
9v center negative operation only.
- 12 Years of Stompbox Sonic
- Amythyst Kiah – Sound Tasting
It has been WAY too long since we’ve been able to enjoy live music or provide a Sound Check Sound Tasting for touring artists. All that changed Friday October 29th when we had the opportunity to share a selection of effects with Amythyst Kiah at the Crystal Ballroom. Favorites from Copper Sound, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix, Electronic Audio Experiments, GCI, Klon, Midfi, Nerdknuckle, Red Panda were were on the demo board.
Amythyst’s music is powerful and transformative. Combining and transcending the genres of Folk, Blues, R&B and Rock. It was a highlight of the year to hear her distinctive playing through these effects.
- Fender Blender
After reading it was a favorite of George Harrison, My Bloody Valentine and Gish-era Pumpkins I had been looking all round music shops, the want ads and flea markets all over New England and the Tri-State area.
This was one of my first ever online purchases made in the early days on eBay, round about 1997-98. The auction house began in 1995.
This late 60’s/early 70’s fuzz unit definitely did not disappoint. It was brash and unlike any of the overdrives, distortions and Muffs I had been using up to that point. And the clean blend sure does come in handy.
Checkout Michael Dregni’s article in Vintage Guitar Magazine.
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