Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grant Distortion 15 Pedal


A few years ago I read a story in Tape Op Magazine (if you don't get this free magazine you are now required to go sign up...seriously) about Jason Falkner from the band Jellyfish. They were talking about how he was able to get amazing home recordings on things as basic as 4-track cassette recorders. He mentioned that he ran literally everything through an amazing effect pedal called The Choker by a '70s company called Locobox. Of course I had to find one and it was next to impossible to do. So I checked to see if "locobox.com" was available, which it was, and I bought the domain name and started a website about Locobox pedals. I figured that if people had a Locobox pedal for sale they would Google "Locobox" and find me. And guess what? It worked. I ended up buying many Locobox pedals...not just The Choker compressor pedal. They made some really cool other stuff as well...I recommend the Locobox Tubemaniax and the Mysto Dysto distortion pedals.

What happened next was that I started finding information about other pedals as well. Guyatone, Memphis, Coron, Electra and many others. I found that some of the factories in Japan at the time would make particular pedals and put many different brand names on them, but they were all essentially the same pedal. Locobox did this with Electra and Volz. Coron is probably a more well known name, but the same people also made the Memphis, Storm and Grant brands exactly the same as the Corons. Many of these pedals sound great, many are at least interesting, and quite a few I have found to suck. Just my opinion. The one that I have found to like quite a bit is the distortion pedal made by Coron/Memphis/Grant/Storm etc.

I ended up buying a Coron Distortion 15, a Grant Distortion 15, and a Storm Distortion 15, mostly just to see if they really did sound the same.

Of course there were slight variances, but for the most part they all sounded about the same and I really like the sound. I would say they fall more in the Tubescreamer variety of distortion...more of an overdrive I guess than heavy distortion. The one I kept for a long time was the Grant pedal. It sounded the best of the ones I had, though that's probably fairly subjective. I have found the Memphis pedals to be the least consistent and quite a few of their pedals that I have found I sold right away. In particular the Freq Attack. For some reason, people email me all the time at the Locobox site wanting to sell their Freq Attack pedals.

If you happen to come across any of these I would suggest giving them a shot. It just might be that little slightly different sound that you are looking for. I ended up selling mine at one point and I really do wish I had that one back. If you want to see what all of these pedals look like, visit my site Locobox.com and scroll down to the bottom of the home page. You'll find links to all of these brands that I have mentioned and a few more.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article! I'm researching a Memphis Rotophase (on loan from a buddy, but he's trying to sell it) for a blog post, and there was some good info in there.

Mike Fawcett said...

I also am the lucky owner of a Grant distortion.Works amazingly with bass,doesnt loose bottom end or get lost in the mix,with masses of volume and distortion to spare.Since finding one of these,been on the hunt for more of these mid 70's maxon style pedals,bagged a Coron Octaver 2,Ibanez Maxon phaser and a Maxon Compressor. All amazing retro pedals.You just cant beat the sound.Just need a few more!
Mike