In some respects Reddit is little more than a dank and cavernous pit sitting at the center of cyberspace. A space for faceless bigots and chauvinist to reinforce damaging stereotypes and further blur the line between 'free exchange of information' and hate speak. However among some of the less despicable communities on Reddit are some great spaces to investigate information about DIY instruments and gear. We went on an adventure through Reddit to search for the most interesting DIY pieces of kit we could find.
THE DARTH VADER PENCIL CASE SPRING REVERB
Spring Reverb is a pretty approach to reverberation that gained noteriety for it's simplicity, cost-effectiveness and portability, It was first introduced by the Hammond Organ Company some 50 years ago as a built in effect for their organ range. It was so succesful that they built a stand alone reverb unit that was famously employed by Leo Fender in the 1963 Vibroverb Guitar Amp. It seems as though the basic princicple of the old spring reverb unit is being implemented in a host of DIY projects such as this little Star Wars number. It's been put together by a novice, but it's a tidy looking unit.
ELECTRIC CIGAR BOX GUITAR
Cigar Box Guitars are hardly innovative. Plenty of people put together cigar box guitars and share them in communities like Reddit all the time. They're built to different spects and to serve different purposes. The origins of the Cigar Box Guitar date all the way back to the early 19th century. The cigar box was used as the resonator of the guitar, and often a broomstick would be used as the neck. Presumably people made use of cigar boxes because of the accessibility of them at the time. While they might have been crudely built interpretations of the instrument, they hold a significant place in music history. It's nice to see people still putting them together.
THE PONY AMP
When you wake up after a long night drinking it's hard enough to make good use of your time, let alone make good use of your time AND good use of the vessel you spent all night drinking from. One particularly thirsty redditor has whipped up this little practice amp, recycling a small keg and using it as an enclosure. While it's not likely to set the world on fire from a purely sonic perspective, it makes a good 'conversation piece' at dinner parties, standing as a reminder that, at least once, something good has come from your drinking.
We weren't drawn to this briefcase pedal board because of it's innovative design. Much like the cigar-box guitar, the briefcase pedalboard has been a pretty popular concept amongst musicians for quite some time. Mainly because you can buy a beat up suitcase at the Salvos for about eight dollars, and even the most cost effective pedal boards will still set you back at least five times that amount. That said, you can't just take any old suitcase and use it in place of a pedal case. You need to reinforce the floor of it (and also the top and sides if you want it to protect your pedals at all), and you'll always be stuck with the inconvenience of having an open suitcase present on stage when you play with the top facing the crowd. It's a well laid out pedal board, but it's probably not going to do the best job of protecting the pedals. On the plus side it does have a pretty awesome name.
THE TERMINATOR PEDAL
There's nothing quite like a hand painted pedal that says "hey, I'm not just a guitarist, I'm an artist." A contemporary fascination with classic analogue guitar effects has spurred on a wave of hand painted units inspired by the aesthetic of psychadelic mainstays like the big muff or the fuzz face. This might not be hand painted, but it's certainly individually designed. It's not a distortion pedal as you might have assumed, and "it's not a tunah' either. It's a standard footswitch, but it's a very tough looking one.