A little while ago, I did a post called The Unknown Russian Distortion Pedal where I discussed this pedal which I bought, used, at a local music store. This distortion pedal is so weird, out of control and so unlike any distortion I own. Most US builders would never think to make something so over the top, violent and grating, but someone in Russia did and I have to admit, I’m forever grateful.
I stated in that first post that I didn’t know much about the history of the pedal or it’s name, but the pedal community responded to me on YouTube and this is what they said:
- “Hello Juan! I am a big fan and collector of vintage USSR pedals\basses. The Russian company that you interested called “Lell” and is still alive! Check out http://lell.ru/pedali.htm.
- “Yours is late 90x (English labeling, previous was with red knob and all Cyrillic labeling). DD is also a discontinued model. It was their first line of 3 pedals DD (drive dist – red knob), CZ (digital delay – you said greatest crazy pedal! – blue knob) and EP (true parametric EQ – green knob). Unfortunately, modern Lells have different schematics\technology, and don’t have that “unique” RAF sound, except they’re modern ЛЕЛЬ EX-9 Exiter may be (in my opinion). I think u wonder how many COOL pedals USSR did:) Feel free to contact me, I would glad to help you!”
- “LELL were the first normal stompboxes made in Russia. They had normal guitar jacks and even a 9-volt socket – the same format as BOSS pedals. The footswitch pad reveals a battery cavity underneath.”
- “The company still exists! It’s website, for some unknown reason, claims the company was established in 1992. But look at the pictures – we’ve got a proof it was active in the 80’s. The headquarters are located in Moscow, on the Lower Krasnoselskaja street. “Digital Delay” in Russian goes like “Cifrovaja Zaderjka”, and while in Russian “CZ” makes sence, it was lost when it was transferred to another language. In fact, there was no chance to convert it into “DD” (digital delay) since the DD pedal already exists – it’s “Drive/Distortion.”
I am fascinated by the other products Lell makes. Their factory seems like one, giant industrial compound that manufactures electronic instruments and computers. It reminds me of the pedals and effects company, Eventide, that also features some unusual, non-musical products on their website as well.
I’m so grateful for this information, and to find out that the company still exists. I have heard about the delay they make and it sounds like a “must have.” I hope more people will seek out crazy pedals like the Lell line and try to stretch their own sonic palate. I know I stretched mine!