Photo above shows a vintage Herzog atop a '69 Garnet BTO with 4x12 cab.
A Brief History
"Gar" Gillies' Herzog®
The following is by guitarist Randy Bachman, formerly of
The Guess Who and Bachman, Turner, Overdrive.
He was the inspiration behind Gar's development of The Herzog. Indeed the original
runs of these units were called "Randy Bachman's Herzog"
Gar and I developed this unit together back in '65-'66. Growing up
playing violin, I loved the sustain, especially of a viola or cello. So early on
in the mid '60's, I found out that by plugging a small amplifier into a bigger
amplifier, I could get this sound. Now I was taking the power out, which normally
would go to the speaker and plugging it into the input of another amp. The result,
for a few short minutes was a cool, great new sustained sound. Gar Gillies had a
tv/radio repair shop, was a cool musician, and I wasn't embarrassed to take in my
amps, which were literally burned by the power misuse; fried, to say the least.
Gar asked what the heck I was doing, and when I told him, he said, you're insane
to do this, its very dangerous. So he offered to help me do it a safer and less
destructive way. Gar proceeded to build me a tube pre-amp, which when put into
another amp, got me the desired sound. But not really, the sound was a little weird
in a Fender amp which was all that was around, so Gar decided to get parts from
Heathkit and build an amplifier to go with the unit. We were looking for a name,
and at the time I was reading a book with HERZOG written across the cover. Hence
the name, so we could stop referring to the unit as the "noise thing".
I used to go to his shop on Osborne Ave late at night after gigs, and stay till
the wee hours of the morning, making the most incredible Moose and Ox bellowing,
distortion/blotto screeching sounds that would make us laugh. But once it was
smoothed out, it was smooooth. So that became my lead guitar solo sound. It was
first featured on The Guess Who CBC weekly show, Let's Go and Music Hop in 1967-68
but really came to the forefront as the sound of "No Time", "American
Woman" and many other songs on the Guess Who albums, "Wheatfield Soul",
"Canned Wheat", and "American Woman". I continued using it later
on "Brave Belt I and II", and then on Bachman Turner Overdrive albums.
"Gar" Gillies' Herzog®
Ever since the late 60's when guitar tube amp legend "Gar" Gillies
created this legendary effect others have tried to duplicate it. Sure they may
have an "American Woman" setting but the real thing started right here.
The Herzog connects like a typical stomp box but it retains all the components
critical to vintage tube tone; a 12AX7 based pre-amp, a 6V6 based power section,
and transformers specially chosen for just the right amount of sag and saturation.
All of this in a small point to point wired head with cosmetics just like the