Martyn's Martin

Melody Maker

I SAW John Martyn on Sight And Sound In Concert1 and was amazed at the sounds he got from his acoustic guitar. What did he use to achieve these effects? If he used a special gadget, how does it work? – Neil Sutherland, Finchley, London N12.

John plays a Martin guitar and, for electric music, he utilises a De Armond pick-up across the sound hole, which goes to a pedal board comprising (in this order) a Big Muff (a kind of fuzz box), boomerang pedal (swell pedal) and MXR Phase-Shifter Mutrone (a variable frequency booster). From there the signal goes to an Echoplex and on into an amplifier. He also uses a Korg rhythm box. For his acoustic sound, he uses the same guitar, but with a Barcus Berry transducer/ pick-up situated just behind the centre of the bridge on the flat of the body. Then the signal is fed into a Barcus Berry studio pre-amplifier and on into the sound-desk. – ISLAND RECORDS LTD, 22 St Peter's Square, London W6 9NW.

1 This was the BBC2 broadcast of 15 October 1977.

This snippet apparently featured in a readers' questions section of Melody Maker.
Scan kindly provided by John Neil Munro