“This ‘notched’ guitar tone has been used by legends like Carlos Santana and Brian May. It’s a fantastic tone to have at your disposal”: Red Witch unveils Euphemia, an analogue sample hold filter with a twist

Red Witch Euphemia
(Image credit: Red Witch Pedals)

Attention on deck! Red Witch Pedals has a new guitar effects pedal out, and as you might expect from the stompbox company that brought us the mind-expanding Synthotron III, this pedal – a 100 per cent analogue sample hold filter pedal named Euphemia – is a limited edition cracker straight out of left field.

Now, please excuse the naval introduction to this article, it is just that sample hold filter pedals for the electric guitar are not something that we see everyday, and it brought to mind the gurgling psychedelic squawk of Frank Zappa’s Ship Ahoy. This pedal could put those sorts of sounds on your pedalboard.

But while it draws inspiration from old-school sample hold filter units from the past – such the Maestro FSH-1 and Oberheim VCF-200 of the ‘70s – this has an expanded set of controls to give you more control, and more tones to play with. Which makes sense in this day and age. We like options. 

There’s also a cold financial reason why you might favour a modern update such as the Euphemia – and yes, this too is kinda pricy – because those aforementioned vintage units from the ‘70s are super expensive now. You're talking over a grand for the Oberheim, over two for the Maestro.

Euphemia comes equipped with a Velocity control to set the rate of the filter shift, a Frequency dial for adjusting the filter’s frequency spectrum, so you can really train it on your lows, mids or highs depending on the scenario. 

There’s also an Aggression dial that does as described and dials in how aggressive you want those filter shifts to be, from mellow to full-on. Turn it fully counterclockwise and you “unlock” bandpass filter mode, which is where you can tether your guitar tone to a particular frequency for that notched EQ sound. 

“This ‘notched’ guitar tone has been used by legends like Carlos Santana and Brian May,” says Red Witch founder and designer Ben Fulton. “It’s a fantastic tone to have at your disposal.”

Red Witch Euphemia

(Image credit: Red Witch Pedals)

Rounding out your complement of controls the Euphemia has that all-important mix dial. The wet/dry blend is crucial for these kinds of effects – ask any funk guitarist. It allows you to go all in for extreme sounds or dial it back and retain your picking attack for when you want the sound to be a little more tucked in.

Other details of note are the transistors. We might have seen this pedal some time ago had Fulton been happy with the noise transistors for the unit. With original components from the ‘70s long obsolete, never to be made again, that is no easy task. And the build features all through-hole components, with each unit numbered and signed by Fulton.

He is only making 59 of these and they sell out quick. Priced $349, the Euphemia Sample Hold Filter is available now. See Red Witch Pedals for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.