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The talk box

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Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

Peter frampton made this machine famous and i love listening to his songs. I want to buy a talk-box so could someone give me a good link on a good cheap one? Now i got a few questions: 1. Would this be a good idea for a beginner? Im not a huge beginner but Ive been playing for a few months. 2. I have NO idea on how to use one of these, so do you think anyone could give me a rundown of these things? Thanks alot guys!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833

It's basically just a speaker that plays through a hose. You put the hose in your mouth and use the guitar sound from it like your voice, shaping it with your mouth. A separate mic picks up what comes out of your mouth.

Hmmm, that gives me an idea to think about how to implement...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27

Genuine talkbox effects ( ) don't really come "cheap". You're looking at over 100 USD for most available models.

They also have one major setback, which is that they don't (usually) run inline with your other effects. Whereas with, say, a distortion pedal, you plug your guitar into the pedal, then the pedal into the amp, a talkbox requires a seperate amplifier source - usually a PA. The guitar signal passes through the effect and to your guitar amp. When you switch the pedal on it diverts a portion of that signal up a tube which you put in your mouth to make the talking sound. The sound from your mouth is then picked up by a regular microphone which is amplified by the PA.

If you can deal with all that, then the original and still the best is the Heil Talkbox ( ).

There are alternatives, such as the Danelectro FreeSpeech ( ), but you're not saving much.

The other option is to try a wah, which produces a similar vowel shape sound, or any one of several multi effects processors that have a talkbox simulation - you'll pay extra for these, but of course you'll get all the other effects bundled in as well.

Have fun trying them out!!



Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 726

I've been tempted with that Danelectro box before. No need for a PA...the reviews are mixed, but it looks like maybe many folks don't know/understand how to set it up/run it correctly.

I'm thinking about it... :mrgreen:

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

do a search of this forum. Smokingdog built one from hardware parts.
I believe he found a site on the web that shows how.
he posted a sound clip of the results. it was pretty cool.

the thread is below this one. just scroll down and look for Dog's New Toy

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5345

Tommy Guns
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 314

I have the Danelectro FreeSpeech. For a beginner this is perfect (bedroom use only). It comes with (2) small mics and goes through your amp, perfect for practice to get used to. In a live situation (band) I don't use the mics because they feedback (squeal) like a stuck pig. So what I do is I run the tube up my vocal mic and it goes through the PA. When you turn on the talk box the amp stops receiving the signal and it goes through the tube. Step on it again and it goes back to your amp. I used to do this when we were playing Bon Jovi's "Its My Life."

Some talk boxes require a separate amp head to power them. Peter Frampton used to use a (50) watt head and that amp power goes up the tube and into your mouth. I can really rattle your fillings if your not careful. If I was playing in a band that used a talk box regularly I would upgrade to Rocktron's Banshee.

Hope this helps.

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!