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We have all dreamed of being the lead guitarist in our favourite band, playing signature riffs or solos in front of thousands of adoring fans. But the reality is rather different from our tennis racket fantasy in front of the mirror. An incredible amount of skilled work is involved during a recording or live performance. Guitarists require not only exceptionally nimble fingers across the frets but feet that can flick switches on effects pedals without dropping a note.
One company that produces market-leading guitar effects equipment is one of Rapid's most loyal customers. If you are not sure what is meant by guitar effects, think of the distinctive sound of U2's guitarist The Edge on songs like 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. This is principally achieved using a delay effect and a particular type of amplifier.
Over 80% of the materials used by The GigRig are supplied by Rapid, many of which are own brand products. The GigRig's wide range of effects pedals, switching systems and toning boxes, with names like the HumDinger and Loopy-2, have been championed by some of the most respected guitarists in the music business. The Wiltshire-based company's clients include Dave Gregory of British post-punk legends XTC, Paul Stacey, who has played with Oasis and The Black Crowes, and members of Jamiroquai, Mika's, Chris Isaak's and Lily Allen's bands.
Dave Mapleston, The GigRig Technical Director, is the self-confessed audiophile behind the gizmos that guitar people love. As he says on the company website, 'Great guitar tone is not a mystery, but it is a journey and we're here to help'.
A successful switch hunt
Just like a very good roadie, Rapid have been instrumental in The GigRig success story. Mapleston told us: 'We have always considered Rapid a good company with good prices on small low volume items. However, what surprised us at The GigRig was a chance requirement in 2007 for a second source for our foot switches. The specification on these switches is phenomenal. When Chris Isaak plays the pre-game show at the Super Bowl, live in front of 500 million viewers, the switches just have to work!'
Rapid requested the specification of the switches and due to the company's contacts in the Far East found something similar in a latching and momentary version. The GigRig received samples within a week. Mapleston tested them in time-honoured fashion. 'We hit them with a hammer, as you do. In fact, we were so impressed with the quality we decided to pay the extra cost, or so we thought, to change over to these new switches. Yes, Rapid gave us a better price, not just slightly better, just short of 50% better!'
So the next time you hear some old fashioned fuzzy or wah-wah guitar, a Rapid switch could be making it happen