The original concept of the "Talk Box" goes back to the 1930s when Alvino Rey debuted the song "Singing Guitar." For the next few decades, session musicians crafted devices to emulate that effect, and players like Bill West even infused these unique sounds into their stage sets. But it wasn't until 1972 when the Heil Sound Talk Box hit the block. Famously adopted early on by Joe Walsh and then Peter Frampton later, the Heil Sound is a pedalboard-friendly, stage-ready Talk Box that allows the player to create a wide array of intriguing vocal sounds.
The concept is actually very simple. You need: guitar, amp, talk box, and a microphone. The Talk Box plugs in between the amp and speaker. When you activate it, your sound is bypassed through its regular speaker, and instead, the guitar signal goes through a low-pass filter then a 250-watt JBL speaker, which is siphoned through the copper funnel on top of the unit. Then using a long tube, the sound travels all the way into your mouth, where it resonates and is amplified through your microphone. As you make vowel shapes with your mouth, your guitar signal picks up those unique vocal inflections. The incredible result has been made famous on plenty of recordings, and it's a sure-fire way to get noticed on stage.
This circa-1976 Heil Sound Talk Box is a great example of the "V2" iteration that was made in purple housing. It shows some expected wear and tear (see photos), but that's just genuine vibe and mojo. It functions as it should, but it does not include the necessary tubing to rig it up properly.
"Do you feel like we do?" If so, you're probably going to want a talk box on your board.
**Please note: Tube not included!**