Vox Tone Bender Mark III Overdrive Effect, c. 1970

Vox  Tone Bender Mark III Overdrive Effect,  c. 1970
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Item # 12015
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Vox Tone Bender Mark III Model Overdrive Effect, c. 1970, made in Dartford, Kent, England. The Tone-Bender was originally designed in 1965 by engineer Gary Hurst based on the Gibson-made Maestro FZ-1; Gary was a producer and had already been developing little custom fuzz boxes and clones for local upcoming artists. He was approached by Macari's in London to develop more of these boxes for their store under the Sola Sound name, but eventually The Tone-Bender was born at London music institution Macari's Music Exchange, the business of Joe and Larry Macari. It appeared in the mid 60's as part of a new exclusive collection of pedals for the shop that mirrored the popular effects used by hot guitarists of the day, notably Jimmy Page.

The Tone Bender MKIII came onto the scene in 1968 as the latest iteration of the Tone Bender, which Sola Sound had already been supplying to Vox among others (such as Rotosound and Park) for a few years. One of the most successful iteraitions of the pedal saw the addition of a third knob to control the amount of fuzz and a circuit dotted with germanium transistors housed within a painted steel chassis with groovy graphics. However, during that time several different circuits could be found inside a MKIII; earlier examples might have only featured two knobs, or used silicone transistors.

The Tone-Bender and its many early iterations throughout the 1960's was one of the top choice of players like Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix and obviously Page both in the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and naturally early Tone-Benders still found a home here across the pond with fuzz lovers. A home was really found as a fuzz favorite especially among the young acolytes of Page, obviously among the greatest gear influencers of his time who formally endorsed Sola Sound and the pedal.
Length is 10 in. (25.4 cm.), 5 in. (12.7 cm.) across at the widest point, and 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm.) in depth at deepest point. This Tone-Bender is in slightly worn but mostly original condition, featuring some cosmetic wear from years of being on the stage floor! There are some superficial scratches and dings in the paint. The all original chassis, stomp, and components are intact inside. All knobs are original and in decent shape. One screw on the back appears to be different. The one major change is that this example has been modified to accept a more modern 9V power adapter in addition to 9V battery power.

The original packaging is not included. A 9V battery on a newer looking battery snap rests inside the pedal, nestled in some insulating foam to prevent movement inside the chassis. It sounds great as one would expect, snarly and singingly sweet in equal measure. Very Good + Condition.