EL PESCADORO™ Reverberant Hot Preamp
no 60's "reverb tank" here at all.. this is way before premier & leo got springy. Think late 40s, across the 50s!
When you hear the opening rift in Maybelline by Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley's first hit; Road Runner of Chess's Checker label, you hear that sound. Its drippin off the walls of Sumlin's guitar w Howlin Wolf's recordings as well as Muddy's. Going forward to the end of the 50s, 1960 to be exact.. Universal Recording and Chess Records had a beautifully dense, warm, and open quality.
No springs there, just a culmination of sounds from blaring guitar amps in the recording space, and that room sound in the tube mixing console sent through a floor drainpipe w ribbon and tube mics into a basement and non parallel walls in long narrowish rooms w moveable panels.. not to mention the melding of mechanical steel plates, magnetic drivers w tube amplifiers..
Nevertheless, we listen to the 45's and the 78's and we hear and experience something heard no where else in this era. Its a haunting bloom, an iconic captured live sound that surrounds a guitar in a mix.
So I want you to be able to get that from YOUR guitar, and YOUR amp w the EL PESCADORO that is feeding an Octal Tube Character preamp, a streamlined version of the stand alone Hot Preamp I make called the Jr. Barnyard™ https://lzd9h68guj0ie3an-10806428.shopifypreview.com/collections/pedals/products/the-jr-barnyard into a cleverly voiced reverberation emulation circuit. So old skool Analog Class A Discreet is meshing w modern DSP on the verb side, to be slightly technical.
The Reverb on the pedal SERVES the OCTAL Tube preamp, it can be used alone but the preamp pushing the reverb is the magic here and provides the ambient backdrop to helping you recreate the pioneering sounds first heard along Chicago's water front, and later under the streets of the west coast's studio catacombs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay, Okay, what the hell is this thing already, you ask???? I'll explain. Its ELECTRIFIED BLUES in a box, It predates Memphis but embraces roots rock legacy across the board.
On the Preamp side You get:
a gain control- controls output of mixed analog and digi signal
bass & guitar mode switch- (upright bass, electric bass, steel guitar, electric guitar, acoustic w piezo, banjo,uke..bring it!)
Bright- Wooly mode switch- moving from wooly's warms & softly saturated highs, to bright mode will return snap & jangle to your strings if you desire a cleaner attack.
Grits mode switch- this is the preboost mode of the Jr. Barnyard™ hot pre and you can adjust how much grindy reedy texture you want w the internally mounted trim pot. set n forget, eezy.
On the Reverberation side, You get:
Wet Control- this controls how much of your analog guitar tone you want to feed into the reverbs wet effect. Your dry signal is ALWAYS analog. At max wet you are totally fed into the wet effect w no initial guitar attack, for fun. try swimming in the undertow.
Dwell Control- This is controlling your reverberation bloom and decay in conjuction w your wet mix, and smoke control.
Smoke Control- this takes the reverberation from shimmer & snap to dark and blurred, find your sweet spot. Everyone's guitar and pick attack are different. A great final tone tool on the wet effect.
Subterranean & Shallows Switch- Shallows mode gives you live intimate spaces w tight reflections to liquid washes via luscious plate ambience. Subterranean takes you from a narrow two-story 1920s Chicago building's studio plaster walls n' plank floors to its odd long shaped rooms, down mic'd drainpipes to murky catacombs* beneath the city streets, nodding even to the entomb chambers of LA's Capital building on the west coast.
*If you were to push those reverberation techniques to their limits in those Chi-town studios you would have found even more depth I am going to imagine, so I'm allowing it on the controls of this pedal I made. If you go past the confines of what we heard on the records you can envision the lights across the waterfront. The darkness in the salty kelp fingers reaching up from in the shallows in the twilight or the River bottom's silty turbulence murmuring & winding around edges of city streets and maybe even the underneath of waves slapping the hull of EL Pescadoro's vessel. The legend of the Gypsy Luchador, is a story for another time.
Full Video Demo by RJ Ronquillo, so tasty!!
here's RJ Ronquillo giving us a bit of the blues w the El Pescadoro
here's a great example of Leonard Chess's ability to create reverb in house for this Argo records (a division of Chess in '55) recording by Jody Williams "Lucky Lou"..with an almost surf quality albeit on the shores of Lake Michigans salty water.
Video manuel for the El Pescadoro can be find here:
* chess records, checker records, capital, universal, bo diddley, chuck berry, howlin wolf and muddy are mentioned for historic education purposes only and are in no way affiliated.