MkI Tone Bender

Jerms MkI Tone Bender on RigShare
In case you weren't too sure Jerms is a builder of fine fuzz pedals not a flesh eating bacteria or something you might get in a public restroom. He has really been picking up steam lately with some well known fuzz patrons using his stuff in the studio and live. Jerms himself is just a man named Jim Roth who is also known as the guitarist in the band "Built To Spill." He has a vast and spectacular pedal collection of which he uses to create his clones of vintage and rare circuits. Today well talk about the one build that has put Jim on the map and has really set him apart from other builders that have dabbled in the same circuit; The MkI Tone Bender. One of the most famously used and elusive fuzzes around. It was created as a improvement on the Maestro Fuzz-Tone by a technician named Gary Hurst and sold through Macari's Music Shop under the Sola Sound name. Today it is one of the most sought after fuzzes in the world and has been replicated more times than you can count. The trouble with this circuit is the tuning of it. It can be a tricky process in which some will fall flat and lifeless while others simply shine. The Jerms example here has an overall less scooped sound than some of my other MkI clones and delivers a very stout, full bodied flavor. It really sustains and decays in an organic and lifelike way. It is tuned to perfection and sounds great on every setting of the dials and with every amp/guitar combination I played it through. To find one of these can be a challenge. Jerms pedals, especially the MkI, don't usually come up for sale very often and new ones are only made available through certain Internet forums or through Jim himself. He is not a guy that makes pedals for a living so when he makes them they are usually runs of a few here and there. So if you find a Jerms MkI on the market be prepared to drop some cash, as there will be several fuzz freaks right behind you with money to burn. As far as the look of Jerms' pedals they are very bare bones with no labeling at all. But rather a simple home brew aesthetic and a single color paint job. You won't find the flashy treatments on these or any cute ironic naming twists but they work well and are very good at what they do. Simply put, they sound good...And the insides will make you drool. He tends to make recreations of some of the lesser known pedals out there which is another reason he is creating such a buzz. He is a builder you should know and look out for; there will definitely be more posts of his work here. It just keeps getting better and he is quickly becoming the guy other builders stack themselves against. He doesn't seem to have much ambition to milk his popularity or success but rather just seems like a guy who enjoys what he does and gets satisfaction out of knowing that other musicians enjoy it too. So, if you like old-school, crusty fuzzboxes with tons of vibe; but want to be able to use it to death with no issues or fear of damage try a Jerms out. They really are as close as possible to the real thing without alot of the cost, worry, or issues associated with a vintage pedal. I've owned a few of his pedals and hope to own a few more. They are hand wired with the tastiest of parts and really deliver that thing that we all look for in our favorite fuzz boxes. This builder has old-school down, one look at his work will make you a believer.

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