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Help Me ID an Old EHX Pedal Please. . .


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I saw an old Electro Harmonix Black Finger compressor in a shop today. Im really interested in getting it but I need more info. Its a really big box with just 3 controls on top, VOL, SUSTAIN,TONE I believe, and the picture is a cloud with black lightning and a black finger coming out of it. Approx. what year is this from and how much is it worth? They're asking $90. Good deal? Good pedal? Thanks. :wave:

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The old Blackfingers were made as early as about 1974 and as late as 1982. I'd have to see the circuit board for a better estimate.

 

Pros? They can produce some serious sustain, especially with single notes... More sustain than the average compressor.

 

Cons? They don't handle polyphony very well without some noise.

 

 

Assuming the pedal is fully functional, the price is very good.

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ONe is on Ebay now for $130 BIN. The only completed listings one I found was one called The Black finger which looks totally different for $99.

I cant find anything on Youtube for this one, just the new tube ones, and The black finger.

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Try it before you buy it. It was EH's first compressor, billed as the "distortion-free sustainer" to pair with the Big Muff Pi, and it did have some kick ass pedal graphics. But it was too early and too noisy, and once MXR and Ross and others had better, quieter compressors out (which defined the effect), EH dumped it for the original Soul Preacher, which wasn't that good either.

 

That's why these have never reached the same popularity as the MXR, Ross, Dan Armstorng, or even the Boss, DOD, etc.

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PS, your cat looks a lot like one of mine. Does he have blue eyes?

 

 

Yeah he does. Hes my Mom's cat now. I own his mother tho and she just had another litter, one of the kittens is pure white with one blue eye, and one green eye.

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Ok if its not that good of a compressor I wont bother. Thanks for the info. Whats a good comp for around $100 new/used?

 

 

I highly recommend the later version of the Black Finger, the one with the tubes in it, my absolute favorite compressor, can be had for a hundred used. It is big, uses a weird power supply, but the sound/feel of it is amazing.

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I highly recommend the later version of the Black Finger, the one with the tubes in it, my absolute favorite compressor, can be had for a hundred used. It is big, uses a weird power supply, but the sound/feel of it is amazing.

 

 

The modern Soul Preacher is good too.

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It really pre-dated the compressor being finalized as an effect, and missed the mark.

 

 

From my understanding, it was not intended as a compressor. It was always meant to be a distortion-free sustainer. The Big Muff Pi was a prototype of the distortion-free sustainer, as history has it, and a happy accident on that pursuit. The Blackfinger eventually became what Mike Matthews orignally was aiming for.

 

So from that perpective, the Blackfinger is actually quite good at what it was meant to do... produce extremely sustained notes without creating a fuzz tone.

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