The ToneBender is a classic fuzz pedal that has played a significant role in the history of guitar effects. Here's a brief history of the ToneBender:
Creation (1965): The ToneBender was introduced in 1965 by Sola Sound, a British company. The original version, the Mark I ToneBender, was a three-transistor fuzz pedal designed to produce distorted and fuzzy guitar tones.
Three Iterations: There were three main iterations of the ToneBender, each with its own characteristics:
Mark I (1965-1967):
- This version used germanium transistors and is known for its warm and gritty fuzz sound. It gained popularity among players seeking a dirty, vintage tone. Mark I.5 (1966): The Mark I.5 ToneBender also used germanium transistors BUT only 2 of them and was a direct influence from the Fuzz Face design. It only was produced for 6 months, and is rare but more for limited numbers than tone.
Mark II (1966-1968):
- The Mark II ToneBender also used germanium transistors but had a different circuit design. It is often associated with iconic guitarists like Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
Mark III (1973):
- The Mark III ToneBender, produced by Colorsound, transitioned to silicon transistors. It had a brighter and more aggressive tone compared to its predecessors.
Popularity Among Guitarists: The ToneBender gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with notable guitarists incorporating it into their setups. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, in particular, is often associated with the ToneBender, using it on classic tracks like "Whole Lotta Love."
Reissues and Clones: Like many vintage pedals, the original ToneBenders became sought-after collector's items. Due to the scarcity of vintage units, Tru-Fi produces many reissues and clones of the ToneBender circuit, allowing modern players to capture the classic fuzz tones associated with the pedal. Zoso Model and Supa Fuzz click
Legacy: The ToneBender's legacy extends beyond its initial production years. Its impact on the development of fuzz pedals and its association with iconic guitarists have cemented its place in the history of guitar effects. Many contemporary fuzz pedals draw inspiration from the ToneBender, making it a timeless and influential design in the world of guitar gear.
In summary, the ToneBender is a classic fuzz pedal with a history dating back to the mid-1960s. Its different iterations and association with renowned guitarists have contributed to its enduring popularity and influence in the realm of guitar effects.