7 questions to Howard Davis

7 questions toAs of now, under the heading “7 questions to …” I would like to introduce you to people who were and are of particular importance for the world of guitarists and whose work – in my opinion – seem to be interesting or impressing.

For the first interview I choose the father of the legendary Deluxe Memory Man: Howard Davis.
In my honest opinion, he is an icon of the world of effect pedals and I am quite proud that he took the time to answer to my questions.

Like million other guitarists, I am a great fan of the Deluxe Memory Man and I think it is one of the most important effect pedals in the history of electric guitars.
On his homepage Howard Davis provide so much interesting facts about himself, what he did and what he is doing.
But there are some questions to those I could not find an answer so I decided to direct 7 of these questions to Howard Davis.

1. How did you come up with the idea for the Deluxe Memory Man and how did the development go?

Howard Davis: Electro-Harmonix was experimenting with the delay pedal concept using the then-new SAD1024 chip. No really successful delay pedal was on the market yet. When I joined EHX in 1976 they had one design (the three-knob model) for the MM, but it had flaws in sound and operation and wasn’t any better than a tape delay. I was given the job, and came up with the 4-knob Deluxe MM. When the MN3005 delay chip became available I designed the 5-knob model.

2. Where does the product name come from?

Howard Davis: You’ll have to ask Mike Matthews about that.

3. What do you think about the countless replicas of your invention?

Howard Davis: I have nothing against free enterprise as long as it is done ethically. I don’t consider cheap cloning as ethical.

4. Which of the “special projects” you mentioned on your homepage was the one you will never forget and why?

Howard Davis: There were several. One was a high cut filter designed to the specifications of Pink Floyd. And one day who should walk into my lab but Jack Bruce, looking to evaluate the latest technology. This guy was a hero to me, as I consider Cream among the best bands of all time.

5. Could you have ever imagined that the Deluxe Memory Man someday will be as famous and wanted as it is today?

Howard Davis: Not then, though I knew it was a vast improvement over the past efforts.

6. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Howard Davis: Not really – I can’t complain. Everyone has their successes and failures, and I maximized my successes.

7. Is there a guitarist whom you wish he would play your legendary Deluxe Memory Man? Or are you proud that a certain guitarist uses this pedal?

Howard Davis: I don’t know even one-tenth of the famous guitarists that probably use it or have used it.

I recently designed the W3 MEMORY ANALOG DELAY for Xvive. This is an updated, state-of -the-art version of the earlier DMM design. Go to www.xviveaudio.com for details.

Many thanks at this point again to Howard Davis who was so kind to answer 7 questions of the DelayDude.