Vintage Pedal of the Week: Lovetone

And we’re back with another Vintage Pedal of the Week entry! This week we’re covering Lovetone, Lovetone the now defunct (but not officially) British pedal making company. Lovetone was started in the 90’s and was responsible for creating a small line of only seven pedals. For such a small line of pedals they all managed to be large in size and sound while remaining very versatile and psychedelic. Lovetone pedals were known for their aforementioned size but also their very tongue-in-cheek names!

Photo credit: soundonsound

Photo credit: soundonsound

Founded in the early nineties, Lovetone didn’t begin the retail of their pedals until 1995 with the initial debut of the Doppelganger phaser/vibratoBig Cheese fuzz/distortion, the Meatball envelope filter, and the Brown Source overdrive. All Lovetone effects are analog, and it should be noted that they were one of the first companies in the early pedal manufacturing days to combine different effects in one housing. What they had in functionality also came with their size, even rivaling that of vintage large chassis Electro-Harmonix pedals! In keeping with their sense of humor, the settings all had clever names/puns for each pedal with the settings on the Big Cheese fuzz being “Curds” for gain and “Whey” for volume.

Lovetone would later introduce the Wobulator tremolo, the , the “?” (aka the Flange with No Name) and the Ring Stinger ring mod/octave fuzz/synth modeler. The Ring Stinger is a ring mod that rivals that of the Moog MF-102 Ring Mod, with more options, an octave fuzz switch and the ability to unlock the LFO for large psychedelic sweeps it was a very underrated pedal. Lovetone made pedals that were so innovative and forward thinking, the high price point, limited release, and learning curve made it difficult for the average consumer to wrap their heads around them not making them nearly as popular as they should have been.

In the early 2000’s Lovetone ceased production of all of their pedals, a splinter company formed by one of the original makers of Lovetone called Dinosaural would continue to only make a handful of pedals. The second hand and used market for Lovetone pedals exploded with prices doubling their original retail value (we’re talking 500 dollars and up easily), and even making it into the thousand dollar ballpark for the Ring Stinger! As of today Lovetone exists in name only as its website has long since been updated (despite an “under construction” banner having been displayed on the site for quite some time)Dinosaural no longer manufactures pedals but will make repairs on existing Lovetone pedals.

Some high profile artists like The Edge, and Jimmy Page used Lovetone pedals in their careers but the pedals themselves rarely if ever made their way stateside. As always, your best bet is probably searching the second hand market with Reverbcraigslist, and eBay. Patience is key as a lot of Lovetone pedal owners know full well what they’re in possession of, but every now and then you’ll see one or two pedals pop up. Unfortunately there’s no way to really demo them so that’s a risk you always take when purchasing peals online, so save your pennies and really give it some thought. Until a company starts making clones, patience is key! (I think the guys over at Mantic made a Ring Stinger copy!)

That concludes this week’s entry of Vintage Pedal of the Week! If you think you’ve stumbled onto a one of a kind pedal that no ones heard of, or if there’s a vintage pedal you want to hear more about, email us at juan@pedalsandeffects.com

-Max