The Talk Box
OK, so this one never became as ubiquitous as fuzz or delay effects, but that’s not the point — once you’ve heard the Talk Box effect on guitar, you can’t un-hear it. The effect is best known from Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do,” Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” and many other hits from the ’70s, but musicians were actually experimenting with this kind of effect (essentially a tube connected to a small speaker box) as early as the late ’30s. The appeal is similar to that of the wah pedal, as the Talk Box offers an expressive, vocal-like effect that blends seamlessly with the guitar tone. It’s not for everybody (or every song), but if you want to generate sonic textures that can’t be ignored, the Talk Box remains one of the most unique effects available.
The Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive pedal
The late ’70s also introduced one of the most popular overdrive pedals ever made, the Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer. Over the years, there have been many variations in the Tube Screamer line, with minor sonic differences between them, but they’re all known for the mid-emphasized Tube Screamer sound. Ironically, some of the most iconic Tube Screamer tones, like those of Stevie Ray Vaughan, actually feature very little drive from the pedal itself — dial the drive down and the level up, and you’ve got a mid-focused boost that’s perfect for punching up your amplifier. It’s also a popular technique among metal guitarists to run into a distorted amplifier for a tighter, more focused tone.