Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Go Vote For Pro Tone Pedals!

Yes yes election season is behind us, but its year end 'best of' time.


Pro Tones Body Rot II has been nominated by Guitar Player Magazine for Best Stomp Box... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go vote for us!

Its a pretty long list of things to vote on over there, most of it is write in stuff, but you can leave them blank if you dont have a favorite GP lesson or review or whatever. We're on question 27, right the questions about your families medical history

Go check it out and help us send a message to the establishment- You can get pedals that look AND sound killer.

 Dennis

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sample Settings for the Becker Distortion

OK Gang here are a few settings I came up with this morning to get you started with some killer tones from the Becker Distortion.
These are all classic tones, with more modern rock/metal settings in the works.
I did not want to resize them for full visibility here because it would make it a pain to read... so you'll need to do a right click- view image to see the full photo of the settings.





Monday, September 01, 2008

My Visit With Jason Becker

I'll be recording a pod cast covering some of the aspects of my visit with Jason... but in a nutshell- life changing!
When you meet someone that has overcome such adversity and forges ahead with life...and not just existing, but still LIVING life- wow... its truly humbling.
I only took a few photos- here they are-








Dennis

Friday, August 22, 2008

Amps in a box... and a free pedal for you

So over the last few months we've been working our ass' off on a few different signature pedals, and along the way we found some serious tones. For example- while prototyping the Jason Becker pedal we built a Marshall™ Plexi based distortion box. We built it to compare/contrast the differences, and see if we could get the Becker tone. While it didn’t hit what we wanted for the JB pedal, it was a killer Plexi sounding pedal.
That said- we will be releasing it as part of our amp in a box type line. No, we wont use that phrase as its been used to death, but you get the idea- we'll take a rare or expensive amp and cram its characteristics into a 4.7"x3.7" box.
How does this benefit you? Well- if you cant drop $2500 for a Plexi head, maybe you can swing $250 for a stomp box that will get you really fuckin' close and keep you in the ANALOG REALM instead of dealing with digital gobbledygook.

The Plexi tone will be just the start- We've got our eyes on probably 3 more, but I'll keep those quiet for now… heres a hint- one will be the 2nd color of a rainbow.

So your assignment- help us come up with a better phrase than 'amp in a box'- if we like your idea enough we'll adopt it, and give you a free pedal for your trouble.

Take care!

Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Rusty Cooley Rocks the Jason Becker Distortion Prototype

We've got some video footage of Rusty Cooley testing the release candidate circuit on our YouTube page. Check em out- the pedal really nails the Marshall tone of that era!

Secondly, there has been some change to the configuration... Rather than a low gain overdrive feeding the distortion circuit, we reversed it- the distortion feeding into a low gain overdrive/booster. Sounds amazing!


Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.







Saturday, July 26, 2008

Packing It All Up For Testing

Pictured are 5 of the Perpetual Burn prototypes. We've been pretty open about how we intend on getting Jason's tone, so seeing the labels on these shouldn't come as ANY surprise.



We're putting 1 last prototype together for session with Rusty Cooley on Monday.

Let me run you through them real quick-
  • Buffer- I want to test each pedal with as even a signal as I can at this point- a buffer should help us keep all things as equal as possible.
  • Simple Marshall Tone- just a simple Marshall-y distortion
  • Plexi-ish... name kinda says it all
  • Super Lead- an approximation of the Soldano Super Lead. We know Jason didnt play this amp, but plenty of the guys from that ilk & era did, so lets see what we can do with it.
  • Emul800- Jasons Perpetual Burn amp was a JCM800. We've emulated the 800 here with a few tweaks to give it a little more drive.
  • Complex Marshall Tone- nice tone, but the controls are all wired backwards... oops.
  • YES the A/B switch is upside down

I'll post some thoughts from my hotel room tomorrow night... maybe some video to go along with it all.

Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals

Monday, July 21, 2008

Prototyping Round 1 is Complete

Monday July 28th I spent much of the day with ubershredder Rusty Cooley testing the myriad of prototypes of Perpetual Burn pedals constructed in an attempt to nail Jason Becker's amp tone.

I've never really addressed the importance of having a player of Rusty's caliber test the pedal. Its actually quite simple- most distortion pedals don’t hold up well to high speed picking. They tend to mush up, or blur and you loose the attack of each note. There are very few people on this planet that can do what Jason did, and very few that can do what Rusty does. So I figured if this design can hold up to Rusty's furious picking speed it could withstand anything.

The final prototype candidate, the design I was pretty sure would be 'the one'… was exactly that! It nailed everything we wanted and needed from it! The notes, even at hyper, speed jumped out the amp each one ringing as clearly as the next. Massive amounts of sustain, crushing Marshall-ish distortion… smooth and silky tube overdrive when you dial the gain back, totally un-pedal-like in every aspect.

We've got some audio and video clips of the sessions. I'll post some of the testing as Rusty and Jason approve of them.

From here we'll do some more recording, build a few more prototypes with the final design and send them to a couple of other players for their feedback, and present all of the data to Jason for his final approval.

We're RIGHT on track for a Fall release.

Thanks to everyone for your support on this project- its made a tremendous impact.

Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.







Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prototyping, Pick Ups & Photos

Wow... its been a full week since the last update lets jump in!

Prototyping- I did some prototype testing and the results were... well not as great as I had wanted them to be. The overdrive into the distortion model that I wanted to follow just creates too much noise. So I'm going to investigate other options for giving people the tools to get Jasons tone. We'll keep it dual channel, but with a different mindset and functionality. The bottom line is that it has to sound amazing. That's our commitment... otherwise we're all just wasting time.

Pick ups- I heard through the grapevine that Jason was using a DiMarzio Super Distortion. Coupled with the fact that somewhere I read Jason used Dimarzios in the bridge and Duncans in the neck... I ran with that thought. WELL... I found out in a most humbling fashion this is NOT CORRECT. Turns out I actually had that backwards, DiMarzios in the neck Duncans in the bridge.
    With that bad info firmly lodged into my head, and I admit its my own fault I had bad info, I made a call to DiMarzio. I wanted to find out if there would be any differences between the Super's on the shelves today, and those sold 20-25 years ago... After getting a long lecture on how Jason was never an endorsee, and other technical BS I wont bore you with here... I walked away knowing only 1 thing: I would never again give the DiMarzio company another fucking dollar. I dont care who is on their roster list you just dont treat people the way I was treated. I'm not going to name WHO it was that I spoke with, but trust me when I say they should know better. I guess he just figured when you're the top dog in your field you can treat people like shit without giving a damn.
    If you are EVER in the market for after-market pick ups, PLEASE check out our friends at Motor City Pick Ups. They hand wind everything and they sound amazing!!! All 5 of my electric are loaded with Motor City P'ups and I love em.
   
Photos- Jason sent over a few rare photos for us to use in the promotional campaign.. cool stuff. We'll use them I'm sure, but we've also got something else planned that will just be ubercool. More on that later.

Thats it for today... next time I might share some new images, so keep an eye out for that.

Be well!

Dennis

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.







Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Mock Up Image

A new mock up of the Perpetual Burn Distortion pedal... and since rendering this I've already made a change- the EQ section will go on the outside with the water drops. Not to mention I forgot to use the blue knob!


And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.







Friday, July 04, 2008

Tech Talk

Lets see... its been a busy couple of days... I spoke to Jason 3 days ago. Again, a surreal experience. I wanted to know if he could recall any of the settings he used on his amp or pedal... sadly, no, he could not recall his knob settings. Oh well... no problem

I did find out that he most likely used 9-46 gauge strings... that's helpful.

Had a chance to swing by a music store and pick up a Jackson dinky to experiment with, as my usual experimenter guitar is breaking due to the extremely heavy strings I usually use... the bolts that go into the guitar and support the bridge are puling out and shredding the wood.

I picked up the Jackson for a few reasons- it was cheap-the sticker price was $350, its got a floyd rose, and it was cheap.

Why is cheap important? We're designing a pedal for the average joe to get WAY FUCKING ABOVE average tone... so I figure I would get a guitar, not unlike the normal dude would be playing.

We will be outfitting said cheap guitar with the 9-46 gauge strings and the pickups favored by Jason- the Super Distortion by DiMarzio. I'll be making a call to DiMarzio next week to see if there are any differences between the p'ups we can buy today and the p'ups on the shelves 25 years ago. 

I've got a bunch more to report, but I think I'll try to keep each post to a bite size amount...

Be well!!

Dennis

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.







Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Goal

So during all of these press releases and blog postings and so on, I've neglected to point out what we're trying to do here... and who we're looking to help with this tool.

The goal is to get as close to Jasons PB tone as we can. Obviously there will be variables we cant design for- like Jasons fingers, the amp you would plug the pedal into... things like this but the goal is to get the Perpetual Burn tone from an average bedroom sized combo amp. That is what I'm designing to.

At the end of July I'll spend a day locked in a room with Rusty Cooley doing prototype testing. In addition to being a freaking MONSTER shredder, Rusty is an accomplished instructor, giving lessons to a new breed of maniacs. We'll use his finger-on-the-pulse knowledge of what young shredders are using for amplification as our benchmark.


Jason was never secretive with his gear and how he got his tone. So if
you could afford a distortion pedal, inexpensive guitar and a JCM800 along with the capability to crank it, you
could easily get his tone... but for those that cant do that this pedal
will be a crucial element to getting that sound.

Thanks for reading

Dennis

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.





Monday, June 30, 2008

Squeezing it all in

Here area a few shots during the layout process. Trying to make everything fit and still functional on top.

Notice a slight change in the art...







Take care!
Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals

And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.





Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jason Becker Perpetual Burn Distortion part 1... the saga begins

Today is Thursday June 26th, 2008... Tomorrow we will mail the 'official' press release regarding the partnership between Pro Tone and Jason.

I'm going to try my hardest to post as frequently as possible during the design and development phase. For us here this is not just another signature product in the guitar market. Jason is a special guy with amazing fans and they deserve nothing but the best Pro Tone Pedals has to offer.

Let me catch you up on how the ball got rolling...
On 6/11/08 I posted a blog on MySpace ranting about Guitar Center. We've received a flood of positive feedback from that rant, one of the supporters was Dave at Paradise Guitars. Paradise Guitars is currently working on a Jason Becker signature guitar. So... Dave contacts us, says it would be cool to also put out a JB pedal using Gary Beckers (Jason's dad) art. After a few days of Emails between Dave and I, he passes JBs contact info, and I made the call to Jason on 6/18/08.

After a few days of research we began prototyping on 6/21/08. Luckily Jason's gear at the time was very straight forward, nothing really exotic about it. The same 6/21 date saw Jason provide us with the first round of art work. I say its the first round because at this point it could change.

Here is the first concept art for the Jason Becker Perpetual Burn Distortion:


June 25, 2008- shred master Rusty Cooley signs on to assist with the prototype testing.

Dennis
Pro Tone Pedals


And now for the tacky, yet required, part of the blog...
We are anticipating extremely high demand for this pedal. You can pre-order the unit here with a $100 deposit. When yours is in the build queue an invoice for the balance will be sent.