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Saturday, April 21, 2007

From Which the Gristleizer Came

Update: be sure to check out the comments of this post for more, including some comments and links to more info from Chris Carter.

In case you missed the update to this post, BugBrand dropped by the comments with the following:

"I'm just about to meet up with Roy Gwinn (literally in a couple of hours time) who wrote the original article back in the 70s for Practical Electronics magazine (he was 16 when he published it!) from which the Gristleizer came.

If you're interested, Clone Analog Gear have a pdf of the article::

http://rubidium.dyndns.org/cag/pdf/gep.pdf

It was published as the Guitar Effects Pedal."

You can see a video of the Gristleizer here.

Update via kapnkrunk23 in the comments:
"Sorry to everyone for the delay. I know everyone is excited about this. We at the shop are super stoked to be doing this. We have had a pretty awesome response from minimal advertisement. So due to the over whelming emails, We are going to start an email newsletter dedicated to replying to your questions. A few of which are about the CV mods. We are still up in the air, but leaning towards adding them. And as you all were wondering about prices, here it is….

PCB $30
Kit without box $100 (PCB and parts)
Kit with box $220 (PCB, parts, box drilled, no powder coating)
Kit with box and powder coating $250 (same as above with finish, and control labeling)
Pedal version $325 (complete. Will be similar to the PE version only with cool graphics)
Table top version $350(A modern reproduction of the original TG black box)

Kits will not come with instructions. Sorry. But will come with the parts list and layout.
The completed versions will come with a limited lifetime warranty against parts and workman ship. Owner will be responsible for shipping.

Please inquire about custom powder coating or using you own artwork. We will have a website up for the shop as well as a dedicated page with a secure checkout. We will be taking pay pal. We will also take check or money order. Pay Pal order will add 3%. Debit and credit cards can be taken over the phone. Pictures and sounds will be up as soon as we complete the first one. Which will be soon!!!!!

If you have more questions feel free to email us. I hope everyone is as excited about these as we are!!!!! I personally have wanted one for a loooong time. THEE return is soon.

Charles Howes
Smashing Guitars

P.S. I would like to thank Both Chris Carter and Roy Gwinn for supporting, and allowing me to do this."

Updates via Chris Carter:
"My original Gristleizers were based around the PE kit (PCB & components) produced by Phonosonics in the UK in 1977. I've never made any secret of this, and in fact for a while had the PE schematic on my site. However, I added some mods of my own and designed a completely new case and made units for myself, the band and friends, probably about 10 in total. Cosey's still works to this day but mine was unfortunately 'lost' shortly after appearing in a exhibition in London a couple of years ago. I'm going to upload some photos of an original Gristleizer to my site soon and I'm currently in the process of building myself a replacement. See here: http://www.myspace.com/ChemistryLessons"

"OK original Gristelizer photos and additional info now available here: www.throbbing-gristle.com/gristleizer and/or here: myspace.com/chemistrylessons"

Update via kapnkrunk23 in the comments:
"Here is a link to our myspace www.myspace.com/theegristleizer . This weekend I will be driving to Chicago to deliver the first of The Gristleizers to Throbbing Gristle. Which will be the official release. Our website will be up VERY VERY soon. I have to say. This has been a very intense project. Which has been a team effort of Endangered Audio a division of Smashing Guitars in Asheville, NC. The passed month and a half Todd Kelley(owner) has been working super late nights removing quirks, looking at waveshapes, turning things, and adjusting them. Truly the brains of it all.

Everyone will be super pleased. We will be publishing mods for it on the EA/SG website. CV in and out pads are included on the boards. We ran tests using Moogerfoogers, and man was it sweet. Keep an eye out on our myspace, TG's website, and as soon as it is up, The EA/SG website where orders will be taken, through a secure checkout. In the meantime, feel free to email us at smashingguitarsasheville@hotmail.com. Thank you all for waiting. It is now time for THEE GRISTLEIZER!!!"

Update: some pics and notes on the new Gristleizer from vav: "Smashing Guitars/Endangered Audio are indeed making a fully authorized Gristleizer available. At the TG show last night in Chicago at the Logan Square Auditorium , 7 were made available for sale. I picked one up, and TG was kind enough to sign it. I even requested Gen sign it next to the AC input, as it's kind of male but kind of female :P She seemed pleased. Here are the photos, and i'll try and get some demos up soon."
Update: audio via vavmusic:
"Easy-peasy: Korg ER1 left/mono out to Gristleizer in. Gristleizer out to interface in. Recorded straight into Tracktion with no effects applied. Apologies for any digital clipping, Gristleizer is quite unruly. TG fans will recognize the drum pattern. Start of clip effect is bypassed, then put into VCF mode, manual tweaking of Speed, Depth, waveform type, Bias, Level. Switch is thrown from VCF mode to VCA at 1:08, manual tweaking of all controls again." Update via kapnkrunk23 in the comments: "For Immediate Release Smashing Guitars/Endangered Audio Releases The Gristleizer ASHEVILLE, NC APRIL 27, 2009ó Smashing Guitars has announced the release of the first of their new product line, the Gristleizer. The flagship of the newly formed Endangered Audio (a subsidiary of Smashing Guitars), the Gristleizer is an extremely rare and unique unit. Originally designed by Roy Gwinn in 1976, the Gristleizer is based on a design published in Practical Electronics and sold in kit form by Phonosonics. Chris Carter of the British industrial music and visual arts group Throbbing Gristle modified the kit in 1977, unleashing what is known as the Gristleizer. Lost to time, the unit has been re-designed and produced by Smashing Guitars Owner/Engineer Todd Kelley, with assistance from Charlie Howes. After months of research and consultation with Gwinn and Carter, the audio path has been kept original-- "we've taken what people love about the sounds of the original Gristleizer, and given them much more" says Kelley. The Gristleizer had its initial release at the sold out Throbbing Gristle performance at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago on April 25, 2009, one of their first performances in the USA in 28 years. Features of the Gristleizer include: table top design; 18VAC power supply with dual 9-volt battery operation option; professionally etched PCB board; LFO controlled VCA and VCF filters with four wave forms; chassis mounted bias control; bypass switch; and LED for speed. Pads have been left on the PCB board for mods, with on-line releases of these mods to be made available by Endangered Audio. The Gristleizer will be available from www.smashingguitarsasheville.com, and from the retail store of Smashing Guitars located at 103 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville, NC. The unit will be made available in small batches and will be announced from both the website and www.myspace.com/thegristleizer. The table top version retails for $374.95, PCB circuit board available for $49.95, with a stomp version available soon. Owned and operated by local musicians and engineers, Smashing Guitars is a full service music shop, repair and building facility servicing Asheville, NC and vicinity since 2002. Endangered Audio is their handmade, in house product line. EA is recreating obscure classics as well as interesting original designs of a number of effects, instrument tube amps, tube hi-fi and pro audio projects. All of this occurs by their own staff on the second floor of their facility, "the lab." Any outsourcing is kept local or within the USA. For more information, press only: Dave Harris, smashingguitarsasheville@hotmail.com General Inquiries: Smashing Guitars 103 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 www.smashingguitarssheville.com www.myspace.com/smashingguitarsasheville www.myspace.com/thegristleizer" flickr group shot by Chris_Carter_

18 comments:

  1. wonder how the meeting went? maybe there will be a collaboration.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey bugs so did you finally get the real story on the controversy over whether this is really the gristleizer design or not. also whether mr. gwinn really did the design or if it was stolen from mr. carter or possibly the other way around?

    i still personally think this is not the design that carter takes credit for and its just been said to be the gristleizer because it sounds like it has the same functionality he has been known to describe. but mr. carter won't even discuss it anymore from what i hear and he no longer has any designs available on his site. i’ve decided not to try and bother him personally so does anyone care to enlighten.

    ReplyDelete
  3. if you look up the gristleizer schematic its pretty much the same layout as the 'guitar effect'. don't know the real story though, have just been able to compare documents.

    ReplyDelete
  4. where is the real thing i've never seen it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. My original Gristleizers were based around the PE kit (PCB & components) produced by Phonosonics in the UK in 1977. I've never made any secret of this, and in fact for a while had the PE schematic on my site. However, I added some mods of my own and designed a completely new case and made units for myself, the band and friends, probably about 10 in total. Cosey's still works to this day but mine was unfortunately 'lost' shortly after appearing in a exhibition in London a couple of years ago. I'm going to upload some photos of an original Gristleizer to my site soon and I'm currently in the process of building myself a replacement. See here: http://www.myspace.com/ChemistryLessons

    ReplyDelete
  6. Roy knows his stuff! He helped me big-time with work on a project for next week.

    Its not my intention to cause any controversy on this subject - I was really amazed by the synconicity of Chris posting a reply to the orig thread on the same day I was to meet up with Roy. From what I'd read before, there just wasn't much info about the origins of the design. I think all power to Chris for making a lasting name for the effect and, from a builders point of view, doing a short run batch of 10 isn't too bad (though its always muddy waters with other people's designs). Remember that back at that time there were far more kits etc available for making the projects from all the DIY electronics magazines.

    I only talked a bit about the Gristleizer with Roy (he was mainly showing me some of his current projects which are designed with really indepth knowledge - very impressive, but I don't think I can mention too much - maybe Roy will be able to comment at some point). We did take a brief look at the schematics and he immediately identified the areas that make the modulation osc a bit wierd (the triangle wave has a nasty blip at its max - due to the values at of the components at the top-left of the schem) - but still, not bad at all for a design when he was 16! I've still got the Gristleiser schematic off Chris' old site and the only difference on that was that the power connection was simplified a bit (removed TR3 and R25 off the PE schematic - which would actually mean that battery B2 would always be connected and would, therefore, gradually drain away. Hohum!).

    I'd also heard about mods that appeared on the Gristleiser -- CV inputs maybe? Bringing the bias control to the front panel? Chris - it'd be amazing if you could upload images of the original boxes - wow!

    By the way, if anyone wants to come on a bike ride in Cambridge (UK) next weekend(Fri 27th & Sat 28th April), this is the project that Roy helped me out with, for the Enter Festival. The project is to get 30 people going on a 2mile bike-ride - the bikes are fitted with dynamos that are used to charge up SLA batteries. At the end of the ride there's hopefully enough power generated to boil a small kettle (kettles need a LOT of power) and everyone then gets a cup of tea. I'd been battling with this (somewhat simple) project - how much energy are we actually generating on this bike ride? Will we actually be able to boil a kettle? Well, with Roy's help we did get the kettle boiling and all our calculations now suggest that 30 people cycling for 2miles should just (and only just) generate enough power for boil the kettle.

    (hmm, that last bit is quite an aside, right?! PS there's a BugBrand modular show at the Enter Fest too)

    ReplyDelete
  7. OK original Gristelizer photos and additional info now available here: www.throbbing-gristle.com/gristleizer and/or here: myspace.com/chemistrylessons

    ReplyDelete
  8. i remember years ago i contacted bugbrand to get a gristleizer built for me... never worked out; back on em411.

    im quite suprised chris carter responded to these posts. good thign to clear it up!

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow now i'm glad i asked. but i have to admit i feel bad for having the story so very wrong, you certainly can’t believe everything you read. nice to have the straight now


    Chris, i was very curious to know how this all actually worked out as i never did see the original post on your site, i must have gone looking for it after it was down and i got the feeling that you didn’t want to be bother with more questions. i wasn’t under the impression that you tried to make it a secret so please don't think that was the consensus. i guess i shouldn’t have used the word stolen.

    thanks for putting that info up again. curious to see how you did the CV mods. i’m about to finally build a pair for my modular and that would be a nice addition.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't recall how I configured the CV in/outs and unfortunately I no longer have a Gristleizer with the CV mod to refer to. If I had the time I would dig out my original notes but I'm in the midst of preps for impending live TG events.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey, Chris - thanks for putting up the images & descriptions - really cool indeed!

    The circuit could certainly be brought up to date with some modern techniques/components and tweaks. The modulation part could certainly be modified in lots of way (CV, for example) and improved waveforms (ie eliminate that tri blip problem)- the interesting part of this is the offer of ramp, tri, saw and sqr - pretty unheard of to offer all those. The audio part is, I'd have thought, what gives the real gnarl to the effect (gain etc) - the Jfet part could be tweaked somewhat for sure. The depth control area is where you could stick in some other CVs from other modulation sources and the modulation part could well be taken as a stand-alone modulation CV source.

    And, Phil - yeah, I'm lame like that! Too much to do!

    ReplyDelete
  12. completely understandable chris i think i’d rather have some new TG then cv mods i can probably figure out myself, unless of course bugs get to them first. if you do revise this bugs, do let us know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello everyone,
    I am in the midst of building a run of Gristlizers. They will be exact reproductions of the original. I have contacted Chris as well as Roy. They seem to be with me on this. I know most of the people posting on here are DIY'ers, we will offer a kit if you are interested. For those not into the DIY thing we will be selling completed versions. In a pedal form or the Reproduction model. Anyone that is interested can email me at smashingguitarsasheville@hotmail.com . They should be ready last of october, first of november. Out of the 50, 15 are spoken for. So get on the list if you want one.
    Charles Howes

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry to everyone for the delay. I know everyone is excited about this. We at the shop are super stoked to be doing this. We have had a pretty awesome response from minimal advertisement. So due to the over whelming emails, We are going to start an email newsletter dedicated to replying to your questions. A few of which are about the CV mods. We are still up in the air, but leaning towards adding them. And as you all were wondering about prices, here it is….

    PCB $30
    Kit without box $100 (PCB and parts)
    Kit with box $220 (PCB, parts, box drilled, no powder coating)
    Kit with box and powder coating $250 (same as above with finish, and control labeling)
    Pedal version $325 (complete. Will be similar to the PE version only with cool graphics)
    Table top version $350(A modern reproduction of the original TG black box)

    Kits will not come with instructions. Sorry. But will come with the parts list and layout.
    The completed versions will come with a limited lifetime warranty against parts and workman ship. Owner will be responsible for shipping.

    Please inquire about custom powder coating or using you own artwork. We will have a website up for the shop as well as a dedicated page with a secure checkout. We will be taking pay pal. We will also take check or money order. Pay Pal order will add 3%. Debit and credit cards can be taken over the phone. Pictures and sounds will be up as soon as we complete the first one. Which will be soon!!!!!

    If you have more questions feel free to email us. I hope everyone is as excited about these as we are!!!!! I personally have wanted one for a loooong time. THEE return is soon.

    Charles Howes
    Smashing Guitars

    P.S. I would like to thank Both Chris Carter and Roy Gwinn for supporting, and allowing me to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here is a link to our myspace www.myspace.com/theegristleizer . This weekend I will be driving to Chicago to deliver the first of The Gristleizers to Throbbing Gristle. Which will be the official release. Our website will be up VERY VERY soon. I have to say. This has been a very intense project. Which has been a team effort of Endangered Audio a division of Smashing Guitars in Asheville, NC. The passed month and a half Todd Kelley(owner) has been working super late nights removing quirks, looking at waveshapes, turning things, and adjusting them. Truly the brains of it all.

    Everyone will be super pleased. We will be publishing mods for it on the EA/SG website. CV in and out pads are included on the boards. We ran tests using Moogerfoogers, and man was it sweet. Keep an eye out on our myspace, TG's website, and as soon as it is up, The EA/SG website where orders will be taken, through a secure checkout. In the meantime, feel free to email us at smashingguitarsasheville@hotmail.com. Thank you all for waiting. It is now time for THEE GRISTLEIZER!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. In Scotland, they're known as "thistleizers."


    OK, I'm going.

    ReplyDelete
  17. For Immediate Release

    Smashing Guitars/Endangered Audio Releases The Gristleizer

    ASHEVILLE, NC APRIL 27, 2009ó Smashing Guitars has announced the release of the first of their new product line, the Gristleizer. The flagship of the newly formed Endangered Audio (a subsidiary of Smashing Guitars), the Gristleizer is an extremely rare and unique unit. Originally designed by Roy Gwinn in 1976, the Gristleizer is based on a design published in Practical Electronics and sold in kit form by Phonosonics. Chris Carter of the British industrial music and visual arts group Throbbing Gristle modified the kit in 1977, unleashing what is known as the Gristleizer. Lost to time, the unit has been re-designed and produced by Smashing Guitars Owner/Engineer Todd Kelley, with assistance from Charlie Howes. After months of research and consultation with Gwinn and Carter, the audio path has been kept original-- "we've taken what people love about the sounds of the original Gristleizer, and given them much more" says Kelley. The Gristleizer had its initial release at the sold out Throbbing Gristle performance at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago on April 25, 2009, one of their first performances in the USA in 28 years.
    Features of the Gristleizer include: table top design; 18VAC power supply with dual 9-volt battery operation option; professionally etched PCB board; LFO controlled VCA and VCF filters with four wave forms; chassis mounted bias control; bypass switch; and LED for speed. Pads have been left on the PCB board for mods, with on-line releases of these mods to be made available by Endangered Audio.
    The Gristleizer will be available from www.smashingguitarsasheville.com, and from the retail store of Smashing Guitars located at 103 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville, NC. The unit will be made available in small batches and will be announced from both the website and www.myspace.com/thegristleizer. The table top version retails for $374.95, PCB circuit board available for $49.95, with a stomp version available soon.

    Owned and operated by local musicians and engineers, Smashing Guitars is a full service music shop, repair and building facility servicing Asheville, NC and vicinity since 2002. Endangered Audio is their handmade, in house product line. EA is recreating obscure classics as well as interesting original designs of a number of effects, instrument tube amps, tube hi-fi and pro audio projects. All of this occurs by their own staff on the second floor of their facility, "the lab." Any outsourcing is kept local or within the USA.

    For more information, press only:

    Dave Harris, smashingguitarsasheville@hotmail.com

    General Inquiries:

    Smashing Guitars
    103 Broadway St.,
    Asheville, NC 28801
    www.smashingguitarssheville.com
    www.myspace.com/smashingguitarsasheville
    www.myspace.com/thegristleizer

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just stopping by to update. Please use our new email from here on out, endangeredaudio@gmail.com The first run is being installed in the boxes as I type this. We have had an unexpected response, and have decided to do more than fifty. They will be done in batches of fifty or so. Non populated boards will be available. Sorry, but no kits. The time dedicated to doing so would mean less time to build the units. Though, we will include a bill of materials, schematic, and a parts layout for every board. The first batch will be the tabletop version, batch two will be a pedal version. The pedal version will be ready in the next month.

    Our website is in the final stages, being, we are testing the checkout. We are projecting next wednesday as the launch for the website. We will keep everyone posted.
    Todd Kelley
    Endangered Audio / Smashing Guitars

    ReplyDelete

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