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Showing posts from January 31, 2021

Mu-tron Phase II by Musitronics

One of the signature sounds of the 1970s was the phase shifter. Musitronics made the Mu-tron Phase II in the mid- to late-1970s. Phase shifters were intended to sound something akin to the rotating Leslie speakers that organists used, which create a Doppler effect of sorts. The additional controls of depth, feedback, and speed allowed a wider variety of tones, some of which were quite extreme.  The Mu-tron Phase II came in a brushed metal casing that was surprisingly heavy and robust. A lit rocker switch informed you if the pedal was on or off, and it could act like a mute switch to turn off the signal chain when you were taking a break. The effect was AC powered, so you had to provide an outlet for it. At least you never had to worry about a 9V battery dying in the middle of a gig. The Mu-tron was a bit more expensive and it seemed to have a more high-fidelity sound than the popular MXR phase shifter of the time. It had more stages in the phase process and a wider frequency range. It

1971 Kustom K150-8 Guitar Amplifier

Kustom amplifiers from the 1970s are instantly recognizable for their Naugahyde "tuck and roll" coverings. The solid state amps, produced in Chanute, Kansas, found their way onto stages with artists like Conway Twitty, the Jackson 5, and perhaps most famously, John Fogarty of Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Kustom amps had a reputation for reliability on the road. Tube amps are heavy due to the massive heat sinks in them and, of course, tubes break and have to be replaced. Kustom amps featured solid state technology with no tubes, which made them roadworthy. The owner of the company had done car customization in his younger years, before starting the company, and he applied the Naugahyde tuck and roll material to the amps for a distinctive, hot-rod look. The K150-8 was a 75 watt amplifier with four 10" speakers. It had two channels, not uncommon at the time. One was a plain channel and the other offered reverb and tremolo effects. One advantage of the non-tube technology