Mike’s Garage Gear Pedals

Some awesome local made pedals from Mike’s garage.

Us guitarists are pretty spoilt here in Brisbane. Along with being the home of Tym Guitars who makes world class custom pedals, amps & guitars, Brisbane also has BJ amps, Vase amps plus a swarm of local pedal makers. One such pedal dude is my friend Mike, whose pedals go under the banner “Mike’s Garage Gear.” I didn’t even know Mike made pedals until he dropped round a few and asked me to try them out.

First up is Mike’s version of the classic Super Fuzz FY-6.

Mike is a big fan of this pedal, but like most of us… didn’t want to pay the crazy money these are going for nowadays. So he did some research, bought some bits and pieces and voila… he made his own. Mike also tweaked the design by turning the ‘expander’ switch into a footswitch, which is way more effective.

I’d never played one of these pedals before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Holy crap… what a sound. There are two distinct sounds in this pedal… the expander switch certainly lives up to it’s name. The sound goes from an awesome Led Zeppelin type fuzz into Black Sabbath. Both 70′s, both awesome.

This pedal also works spectacularly well with bass. I think this actually works better on bass than the Brassmaster. It’s a different fuzz with more ‘chunk’ in there. Again, the expander adds a lot of flavour and both sounds work well. The expander could be used as a boost to blow people’s faces off, mid-song. I started this sample with the bass on clean to show you how much of ‘effect’ this effect has.

And here’s a song with both guitar and bass using the Super Fuzz. The second guitar track has the expander off, while the main rhythm is with it on. As you can see, the bass sounds huge with this pedal.

So after Mike came to pick it up, I told him he couldn’t have it back and I was buying it. Simple as that. I had to have this pedal.

Next up is a pedal Mike calls his Big Knob Fuzz. I’m not sure what this pedal is based on… but yeah, it’s got a big knob.

The single knob controls both volume and fuzz. At halfway, it’s a nice classic, warm fuzz. At 75% it starts getting louder and a bit nastier, but still nice. At 100%, this pedal is a nasty piece of work. It’s the equivalent of a Harley with a hole in the muffler. Loud and obnoxious. Here’s a sound sample to show you what I mean.

Inside… it’s pretty sparse. Seems it doesn’t take much to make all hell break loose. So yeah, this pedal stays on 75% tops. 100% is too much for my amp (and my ears) to take.

When Mike gave me the pedals, they had no art on them whatsoever. I thought that these pedals were so good that they had to have SOMETHING on there to distinguish them from every other home built pedal, so I did Mike up a logo that sat inside the Big Knob, and also could be used on his other pedals. The spark plug pushed the garage made aspect of the pedals, and also worked as a pointer.

He loved it… then said he wasn’t making anymore pedals. So if anyone wants one of these, you’ll have to twist his arm. Here’s a link to his site.