Find instant inspiration in this collection of one-of-a-kind finds from years of searching thrift stores and pawn shops for tones unlike any other. The devices we profiled for this collection will suit your everyday needs as well as stand out when you need a unique sonic signature.
Nolan Rossi's Pawn Shop Finds Kemper profile pack. Find instant inspiration in this collection of one-of-a-kind finds from years of searching thrift stores and pawn shops for tones unlike any other. The devices we profiled for this collection will suit your everyday needs as well as stand out when you need a unique sonic signature.
I was driving in my parent's neighborhood and saw this old solid state mixer in someone's trash. Naturally, I turned around and had to get it home to see if it would work. 6 Channels. Each with gain, treble, and bass controls - and it worked! Well, kind of. If you want that vintage lo-fi direct guitar tone you hear on so many records - this thing has it. All the channels sounded pretty much the same, but Channel 6 had the real magic. Channel 4 was broken, but I loved how it farted out, so I included a profile for that channel as well.
One of my favorite pawn shop finds was this unmarked Valco amp. Pretty sure it’s a Supro, which is iconic for its tiny oblong internal speaker. The speaker on this one was actually ripped when I got it, but it adds the fire!
There’s a lot of mystery out there right now regarding the old B&H projectors. Different models, different mods, and when you actually can find one they can be really beat up. Mine came out of a high school AV dept. It needed a little love, but now it’s one of the first tones I reach for. You have a small collection of profiles here. Most are the projector going through a typical guitar speaker, but I’ve also included a few with the internal 4in speaker which sounds like the thing is about to implode.
I found this at a tiny music store in Ohio. It’s an old reel to reel recorder that was tube based. It’s not made for a guitar, but it compresses in a way that is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It’s really great for dynamic playing, the high gain versions are really fun because of how much natural compression you hear.
This funky thrift store find is a cheap kids toy. It’s a short scale guitar with a built-in guitar amp. It sounds awesome for slide work, and anytime you want something completely out of the norm. The little internal speaker is so weird to try to capture so I did it a few different ways. I used a set of headphones, a cheap telephone style microphone, and a traditional 57 with tons of gain. I love each of these approaches for different reasons.
I’m really excited to share with you my collection of pawn shop finds! On a long tour, I would spend my downtime seeking out pawn shops and thrift stores, hoping to find some tonal treasure. After years of doing this, the result is a collection of gear unlike anything else. Broken amps, solid state mixers, tape decks - any old piece of gear can hold the magic of my next inspirational tone. The profiles in this collection reflect that. Sometimes familiar, often unexpected, but always unique - this collection of profiles will give you instant inspiration. It is unlike anything else!