My first electric guitar was an F-hole Suzuki acoustic guitar. I bought an external pick up and
|A 1960 Suzuki Guitar|
|Notice Reverb Unit and the William's amp at bottom right|
In 1964, there was a company in KL named Williams and if I am not mistaken became Bentleys later. If I am not mistaken Uncle Ho of SES Sound has his roots from Williams. This company made their own amplifiers with Goodman speakers and my band bought two of them using our savings from our gigs. One was a bigger one with two 12 inch Goodman speakers inside. In 1963 a friend of ours bought an external reverberation unit with a spring inside that generated the reverb effects. I remember using it to play “Telstar” by The Ventures. While playing the guitar, I “kicked” the reverb unit and we got “space effx”. Of course these were tricks to sound different from the other bands and competitors.
|The much coveted Swiss Tape Echo Unit|
|The Schaller Disc Echo Unit|
Then in 1964 the tape echo units became available and brought a new dimension to guitar players to sound like the Shadows. The best one was the Swiss Echo and that cost some $ 800 which was like paying RM 10,000 today….a good second hand car cost that much. There was another option - The Schaller Echo unit which also cost about $700. As usual I lost out on buying either one and settled for a Watkins Copicat that cost about half of that amount. This is the unit that I used for all my commercial audio recordings with The Jayhawkers and TV appearances.
Later on the wah-wah pedal made its appearance and I bought one. At about the same time the fuzz-box also became available and this became a must for playing rock music even then. The last one I bought was a Roland Phaser in the late 70’s.
|The Roland Phaser|
|A Modern Guitar Effects Rack|
These days, I am happy playing the guitar only with a little reverb and some delay effect. Of course many of these gadgets for guitars are taken for granted but if one has gone through what I have gone through, only then would one begin to understand and appreciate the wonderful array of guitars and effects that are available today.