Positive Grid J.H. Axle Fuzz pedal is available in the Experience Jimi Hendrix™ for Spark add-on and is inspired by the Roger Mayer Axis Fuzz.
The Axis Fuzz was developed in early 1967 to give an additional series of tone colours for Jimi. This guitar effect is named after it’s most famous use on the title track of the album “Axis Bold as Love”. It can also be heard extensively on the “Band of Gypsies” and various other post 1968 recordings by Jimi. Since it’s reissue it has become a firm favourite by guitarists who demand rich fill range quality fuzz tones with plenty of bottom end but that can also be used on chords and riffs. It cleans us very well from the guitar volume control and retains its large range of tone colours. The guitar does not loose identity and is truly a modern classic used by many leading performers today.
Electronically the Axis uses a discrete circuit configuration that is completely unlike the simple and crude Fuzz Face configuration. Both PNP and NPN silicon low noise transistors are used in an unique configuration that is temperature stable, free from radio interference and producing more output level and sustain than the Classic Fuzz. It produces a distinctive rich-biting sound that makes solos extremely noticeable but not thin sounding and weedy like so many popular mass marketed effects. The unit has a high input impedance to keep the guitars character and quality of tone whist providing great sustain. It is definitely best described as fuzz rather than distortion but has the ability to be used on chords as well as solos.
Roger Mayer is an electrical engineer who developed several electric guitar effects, including the Octavia, a fuzz effects pedal which also doubled signal frequency, with a sound that was not attainable by simply connecting an octave pedal and a fuzz pedal together. The effect was popularized by Jimi Hendrix, and can be heard during the solos on the song "Purple Haze".
The Octavia, as well as several other effects, are still being produced under Roger Mayer's name.
Mayer was originally an acoustic engineer working for the British Admiralty on underwater research projects. At a time when guitar effects were virtually unknown, he designed and built fuzz boxes for leading English guitarists such as Big Jim Sullivan, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. His effects can be heard on P.J. Proby singles such as "Hold Me" (1964) and on numerous Yardbirds tracks.
Just having turned 21, Mayer saw Hendrix playing live and in his words was "blown away by his live show". It was after one of Hendrix's shows at the Bag O’Nails club which was in Soho, London. After introducing himself backstage and talking in-depth about tone and a desire to create a totally different sound, he was invited by the guitarist to a gig the following week. Via a small amp back stage, Hendrix listened to the Octavia and was really impressed and excited by what he heard. Mayer was invited by Hendrix to overdub the solos on the songs "Purple Haze" and "Fire" which took place at the Olympic Studio, and working on tones and designing custom effects to realize the sounds Hendrix 'heard' in his head. His designs can be heard on the albums Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland.
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