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The interview with Sandro Marchetti, creator of the Cosmosound, Silversound and Goldsound pedals, continues


C2V: “Sandro, how did the Fender-style pedals come about?”

SM: “In ’76 Baldoni had the idea of ​​taking up the Fender Blender case in extruded aluminum, also the principle of the effects was similar but actually the circuits were a bit different. we created the distortions (E-6 Powerful Sound and E-8 Wild Sound) and we added other effects as well (Ed. Cosmosound E-7 Fearfully Sound tremolo distortion, tremolo that was also done as a separate effect as E-5 Shaking Sound). Among other things, requests arrived from guitarists for an external reverb that could be connected to amplifiers that did not have one. Consequently I created a rack-style spring reverb module with multiple inputs and volume and tone controls for use with guitars and keyboards (CSE-10). Then came the electronic Leslie Cosmosound (CSE-18): at first we made them with ITT delay lines but the cost was high so we made a few pieces and in the meantime we studied one with the 741 opamps, much smaller, that practically was a double phasing with two waveforms that worked in opposition, simulating the leslie sound. Later we also recreated the speed change effect. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to adjust it but with practice it became extremely fast.”

C2V: “Well, talking about Leslie, did you only make electronic or mechanical ones too?”

SM: “No those were just electronic, I did a mechanical leslie in the early days at MET. Baldoni and Polverini (Logan, GIS) were looking for a suitable name and I came out with Rolling Sound, which they liked very much. We made some samples but then I stopped taking care of them because in the meantime, in 1975, I left EME to give life, together with Baldoni, to the company where I dedicated myself to pedals, the EF-EL, and the project of the Rolling Sound K200 was passed to the MAC of Carlo Mandolini, who renamed it SC200 R and changed the cabinet, while the one created by me was much more pleasant compared to the average of the other leslie, even other manufacturers copied my case… after all at the time it was normal. With the EF-EL I also created some Hi-Fi components and small 5w and 10w guitar amps, of which many were made. Of the Hi-Fi amps (ed. MARSAN brand, which stands for Marchetti Sandro) were produced two models, 25w and 40w and also a limited edition of seven pieces of 75 + 75w rms on 8 ohms, of which I did one for me and I still use it regularly.”


C2V: “And going back to your pedals, for which other brands were they produced for?”

SM: “We made them for various brands, also for Meazzi and Vox.”

C2V: “And this explains why there are the same Cosmosound pedals under the Vox brand.”

SM: “Exactly, at the time in Montecassiano there was the EME of Ennio Uncini (the father of motorcycling champion Franco Uncini) who had many contacts abroad and which produced and imported for Thomas and also for Vox, even if I have no idea who made the amps (Ed. they were made by Eko). He asked me if I wanted to make my pedals for Vox and I accepted. But then I also made them for others, for example Crosio in Paris, a big shop that imported accordions, asked me for the pedals and I made them. But also DO RE MI (which later became C D E, by Alfonso Barabino) and Cavagnolo distributed Goldsounds and Silversounds in France. Later, however, problems arose with my partner Baldoni, furthermore the pedal market at that time began to decline and the production of pedals slowed down. It is to be understood that the market goes after fashions, once in the Marche it was all a production of accordions, then only guitars and you saw bands everywhere that only played guitars, Eko worked overtime in production. Then the moment of the organs began and all the other manufacturers were waiting for the new Farfisa model to study it and, even if not the circuits, at least they copied the general idea of ​​the instrument.”

C2V: “So what did you do next?”

SM: “In 1976 I left EF-EL to Baldoni and went to Logan, with whom I had already started collaborating for the organs. At the time, Logan was just started, at the beginning I went to give him a hand and then ended up staying with them. Logan, at the time, made a strings keyboard that was the best around, considering that, unlike other companies that only used 2 ITT delay lines (including Eminent, which had patented strings keyboards), it used 3. Logan’s chief engineer, Costantini, had done some experiments when he was previously working at Farfisa and realized that the more delay lines there were, the better the sound produced. Practically there were 3 oscillators out of phase of 120 ° with each other, with remarkable final results. In the end those who listened to it fell in love with it and it turned out that the best groups used this strings machine. The problem was that Elka was the first to produce the Strings and also the first to bring them to the Frankfurt fair, consequently it sold everything, so the Logan, which arrived late, was screwed for that year. But things went very differently the following year and Logan won on all fronts. Moral, I remained in Logan until 1982 and I finished my career in the world of musical instruments with them because afterwards there was the crisis, to which the Japanese contributed a lot: the first years they came to Frankfurt and photographed everything they saw, they donàt miss nothing. Later they presented themselves with products both aesthetically and technically improved, taking us by surprise and putting an end to the history of Italian musical production of the era. ”

C2V: “And this happened at the end of the 70s, a real shame …”

SM: “Oh yes, because until then it was great and there was a lot of work for everyone, we were overwhelmed by requests. After all, the Japanese had help from the government that we, as usual, did not have (it seems that the Japanese government paid the companies in advance for the instruments that were exported and then took care of managing the deferred payments from the various customers). ”

C2V: “And from now on we enter the story that we all know well in Italy. Back to the Pedals again, how it worked the construction process? ”

SM: “In the beginning, when I was still at MET, I designed the whole thing and started production. Later, when I started the EF-EL, MET (which had a mechanical workshop) continued the production of the mechanical part and I was in charge of having them painted and finished: assembly of the electrical part, finishing, testing and packaging. ”

C2V: “You were also in charge of applying the various brands, then. Which ones can you remember? ”

SM: “Eh, remembering them all is difficult … there were the G.I.S., which had the exclusive rights in Italy of various brands and the EUR that were for parallel markets.”

C2V: “There are also around JEI, GUN, WERSI, ZENTA, EMTHREE (which is always Meazzi), MAC and obviously your EF-EL.”

C2V: “And how did the promotion work instead? Did the instrument demonstrators already exist?”

SM: “Yes, all right, we had Johnny Charlton of the Rokes and also Peter Van Wood, who mostly took prototypes, all the “strange things”: we made a prototype of octaver with high and low octaves which was great, the intent was to perfect it and put it into production but he took it and we never saw it again, then in the meantime I was already gone. Another prototype we made was distortion, repeat and another effect that I don’t remember now, all controllable with the feet (ed. The description is very reminiscent of the Eko Multitone), but those were things that mostly didn’t go into production because they weren’t commercial. ”

C2V: “After the music sector, what did you focus on?”

SM: “I dealt with everything else, from electronic taps, both as mechanics and electronics, to the creation of plastic and aluminum prototypes of lighting equipment for Guzzini, the catalogs were made with those. Since retirement, I have cultivated the hobby of model aircraft and have built a dozen engines, two and four strokes, steam, compressed air, which have been published in specialized magazines. ”

C2V: “A life dedicated to the true and multifaceted craftsmanship, congratulations! Very well Sandro, thank you for this wonderful chat and for all the information you have given us! ”

SM: “Imagine, it was a pleasure!”


Thanks to ToneHome and ElectricMister for the kind concession of the use of some of the images in the article.


Author C2V

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