When thinking about some of the musical gear I have parted with over the years, I sometimes feel remorseful. Sure, there were things I acquired that I am glad I got rid of. (For example, an old Behringer Mixer that was a noisy as Niagara Falls. Good riddance!) There are other pieces of gear, that in retrospect, I wish I still had. At the time, I am sure I had good reason to get rid of some it – financial needs, efficiency or helping out a friend. However valid the reason may have been, I still can’t shake my feelings of regret. Here’s a list of five pieces of gear I wish I still owned:
1. Premier Reverberation – In the late 1970’s, I purchased this reverb box new from a small music store in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It was built like a tank and sounded great! The best thing about this unit was what happened when I turned the reverb up to its maximum setting. I would get an eerie, delay effect that sounded so cool. One other memory about this box was the strange grounding issue. I would always get a slight electrical shock when I touched the 1/4″ plug that was attached to the unit. (I wonder if that was common with the reverb box or if it was something with my particular unit?) The Premier Reverberation unit will always have a place in my heart as my favorite all-time reverb. So why did I get rid of it? I was broke and needed the cash.
2. Fender Bandmaster Amplifier – This was my first real amplifier and started my love affair with Fender Tube amps. This 65 Watt gem, with the large speaker cabinet, sounded great and was loud. When I cranked up the volume, it literally shook the wood frame of my house. (Why Fender used such a large cabinet to house two, 12″ speakers is a mystery to me.) I will say the tube distortion sounded really good and the piggy back amp looked really bad ass. While the Bandmaster did not have reverb – which is why I ended up getting the above mentioned Premier Reverb Reverberation unit – it did have the classic Fender tremelo. In the early 1990’s, when was broke and unemployed, I had to part with this amp. I sold it for $175.00.
3. Digitech PDS-2020 – I bought this digital delay box in the late 1980s. The PDS-2020 was part of the early crop of all digital effects. It was versatile with different settings for delay – flanging, doubling, echo and Sound on Sound. I would often mess around with the flanging and then engage the hold pedal for a spacey, “siren” effect. My favorite feature on this pedal was the sound on sound. It was an early “looping” pedal and with a ridiculously short repeat time. The looping effect was the catylst for my instrumental song, “D-Day.” I got rid of this pedal because I thought I would no longer use it. What a mistake!
4. Hondo II Less Paul Copy – When I was in 10th grade, my great Uncle Morris left me a couple hundred dollars in his will. It was enough money for me to buy this guitar along with a small Epiphone, 10 watt, solid state amp. This was my first, “real guitar.” While the action sucked and the intonation was probably off, this guitar sounded great to my 15 year-old ears. As a teenager, I was in guitar heaven with my Hondo II Les Paul copy. In the early 1980s, after I acquired my Gibson ES 335 (a gift from my generous brother), I ended up giving this guitar to a friend. Years ago, I lost touch with that friend so I don’t know what ever happened to the old Hondo guitar.
5. Big Muff-pi – Guitar players always remember their first fuzz box. In the late 1970’s after I got my Hondo II Les Paul Copy, I craved some gnarly distortion to enhance my rig. The Big Muff-pi was the obvious choice to fit the bill. Sure it was noisy – but it was cool. I spent many an hour toying with the settings to get just the right fuzz sound. As my musical tastes drifted away from barre chord centric rock, I used my Big Muff-pi less and less. I ended up giving it to a friend, who still uses it and enjoys it.