Do You Feel? and Rocky Mountain Way

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Do You Feel? and Rocky Mountain Way

If you’re "in the know", you know the common link for those two songs is the use of the talk box effect. Heck, those songs made the talk box a household word (assuming, of course, that you live in a musician household)! For those of you who don’t know, a talk box works by taking the speaker output of your amp and running it into a midrange driver. The sound then travels from the speaker, through a plastic tube, and into your mouth. Still with me? The end of the tube is held in your teeth while you move your mouth to shape the sound coming out. In order to be heard in a live situation, you MUST stand behind a microphone so the sound can go through the P.A. system. On this trip, we’ll take a look at Electro-Harmonix’ versions of the talk box, the Golden Throat series.

EH-7200, The Golden Throat (not to be confused with the Velvet Fog a.k.a. Mel Torme), debuted around ‘76-’77. It was housed in a box slightly smaller than the Big Muff (6 3/4 x 5 x 3) and is easily recognized by its rectangular shape with no slope in the top. The earlier models had "Golden" written down one side of the top with "Throat" down the other while later editions had the name written at an angle just above the tube connector. These early models also featured a classy gold plastic tube.

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The Golden Throat didn’t have any controls, but why would you need them? Basically, you run a speaker cord from your amp to the jack marked "Amplifier" and another speaker cord from your speaker to the jack marked, what else? "speaker". Hitting the footswitch allows you to change from your straight amp mode to the talk box mode. A red "Overload" light tells you when you’re driving the box too hard. The ad copy states that "wah, fuzz, tremolo, phasing, and many other effects are possible." The Golden Throat contained no electronic circuitry at all. Open it up, and all you’ll find is a 100 watt driver, two 1/4" jacks, a footswitch to switch between your amp’s speaker and the GT, and a lamp holder with a #1073 lamp. No batteries to worry about. All you needed to make music was the included 6’ plastic tube that attached to it. Two other models were added later to the Golden Throat line, the first being the Golden Throat II, which was designated EH-7300. This was essentially the same thing, but was advertised as an economy model. I’ve heard that the only difference is that the II has a 50 watt driver. My GT II is actually taller than the GT, measuring at 4 1/8" deep as opposed to the GT’s 3".

ImageImageImage The king of the family was EH-7250, the Golden Throat Deluxe. This was a talk box containing a small (in size) amplifier circuit. The inclusion of an amplifier allowed you to use a talk box without sacrificing the normal sound of your amp. The amp was rated at 25 watts RMS and 65 watts peak with volume and tone controls. Of course, you need a bigger box to put all this in so the box was increased in size. In addition to the aforementioned controls, it also featured 2 footswitches marked "EXT. AMP" and "MONITOR". Hitting the EXT. AMP switch patched your input signal to the EXT. AMP jack which was then plugged into your amp. This allowed your signal to be run through your amp and the talk box at the same time. The MONITOR footswitch switched the output of the internal amp circuit from the driver to the MONITOR jack where you could plug in a speaker cabinet. By using the footswitches together, you could have the signal only from your amp or from the talk box tube. The inclusion of an amplifier required that you plug the Deluxe into the wall for power.
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All these pedals qualify for the heavyweight category of effects. The Golden Throat weighed in at a hefty 5 lbs while the II model is about 3 lbs. The Deluxe is also at about 3 lbs. Don’t drop them on your foot!!

I recently took my newly acquired Deluxe to a party/jam where it became an immediate hit with the musicians. Everyone really got off on the distorted tone the Deluxe is capable of at full volume (careful you don’t rattle your teeth right out). Steve Woods immediately went into his rendition of Frampton’s "Do You Feel" which sounded very cool. Another plus of the Deluxe is you can unscrew the tube from it and use the unit as a small practice amp or as a head, patching the output to an external speaker cabinet.

The Golden Throat carried a price of $119.95 at the time of its introduction although a later (5/78) price list has it listed at $99.00. The II was priced at $79.00 and the Deluxe at $149.95. Prices today range from $100 to $175 for the I or II and up to $200+ for the Deluxe. Do yourself a favor: CLEAN THE TUBE WHEN YOU BUY ONE!!! Who knows where it’s been!

Thanks to my former neighbor for the Golden Throat, Guitarzan for the Golden Throat II, and Jeff & Al at Guitar-O-Rama for the Deluxe.