It’s that time of the year again that is the end of the year at this time. It’s a time of change, rest, stock check and reflection and cake.
What went on in 2021?
2021 has been a huge year for us. We finally released the Swan Hunter! We expanded the team! We sold a lot more pedals this year than any other and we’re hoping to continue expanding into next year. A lot of the effort this last year was put into behind the scenes stuff like securing stock, and improving production. Hopefully a lot of that will start to pay off next year.
It’s also been a difficult year. We have been incredibly lucky that it wasn’t much worse. We’re extremely grateful for all the friends, family, colleagues and customers around us who keep us going every day.
What’s happening now?
We’ve managed to get lead times down from nine weeks to just one! For the first time in a long time we have no outstanding orders! By early next year, we’re hoping to get ahead enough that we’ll have product ready to go when we put listings up.
Today we shipped the first lot of Canny Fettle Boosts since their launch over a year ago. As there has been such a big gap in production, it’s lost a lot of momentum. We also have a bunch of new stuff that needs our attention, so we’ve decided to make the Canny Fettle Boost a limited run and call it a day. After this last batch from early December, we have around 30 left. We’ll be putting them up early next year, either in one single big run or over a couple of smaller runs.
From tomorrow (December 18th) until January 7th, we’re taking it relatively easy. We’ll be spending a lot of time doing boring behind the scenes stuff in preparation for next year. Including…
- stock checks and reordering!
- tidying and organising!
- building stuff for dealers
- finishing online manuals for the Swan Hunter and Kilter
- working on new pedal ideas
- getting ahead of builds for early 2022 batches
We did a Christmas Pedal raffle and raised $1,840 for Philabundance!
Winners have been notified!
Will we do it again next year? Quite possibly.
What’s coming in 2022?
Here’s some stuff that may (or may not) be happening
- More content?
- A move from screen printed enclosures to UV printed ones
- Shorter lead times and more availability
- More international dealers
- Unfortunately unavoidable price increases are on the horizon
- Quite possibly a discord (as a Champion Leccy info hub)
- New merch
- A couple of new releases (maybe even three!)
- A couple of limited runs
We’ve just invested in a new computer so we don’t have to feel like crying every time we wait 5 minutes for a document to open. We’re going to need some time to get everything set up properly, and sort through the hundreds of folders and files that we’ve created over the past few years. We also picked up some new software for better quality content that we need to work out how to use. Onwards and upwards!
2022 will see us shift from screen printed enclosures to UV printed enclosures. On the one hand we’ll be sad to move away from screen prints because they have so much character, but UV will give us more options and better consistency. It’s also going to save us a bunch of time on stamping and drilling top jacks. With current stock levels, expect to start seeing the new enclosures appear from about spring or summer.
With expanding the team a little, we’re able to build more and do it a bit more quickly. We’ve fulfilled all of our orders for the year and we’re aiming to ditch the preorder model as soon as we can. Next year we’re aiming to have everything ready to ship when we restock listings. It may take a few weeks, but that’s the goal.
We’re also hoping to make our pedals more available by increasing batch sizes so they don’t sell out quite so quickly. I realise it has been frustrating for many customers missing when listings go in minutes.
We’re currently working on stock for our existing dealers and hoping to finally make our stuff available to a couple of new dealers who have been waiting in the wings.
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of companies already started raising prices this last year, unfortunately we’ll have to start following suit at some point in 2022. I feel it’s only right to give yous a heads up.
The sad news is, that as much as we’ve tried to keep prices down by buying in much larger quantities than ever before, the shortages and price increases caused by the pandemic are slowly catching up with us.
Actually, we just did this!
It’ll double as the Champion Leccy AND #endofdaysfuzz Discord
Here’s the link if you want to join in the pedal chats! Everyone is welcome.
For a looooong time I’ve been wanting to do more merch. I haven’t done any new art for sticker designs for a long time. I also want to have a range of picks done in different gauges and one of those wee pedalboard tins too. I’ve been wanting to do some of my other art on stuff under the name team porridge for a couple of years now. Who knows maybe 2022 is the year it happens. We’ll at least have a new run of tees at some point in the next few months.
In terms of new products, we’ve got a long list of things we want to get out there, and with all the pandemic stuff slowing us down we’re about a year behind where we wanted to be. See below for what’s likely to appear next year.
If you have any suggestions, let us know. Your feedback helps us a lot.
What devices are planned for release in 2022?
Well, it all really depends on how things progress with each design. But let’s start with the definites.
End of days fuzz
Firstly, we’ll absolutely be doing an amp smashing fuzz for the #endofdaysfuzz.
If you’re not sure what’s going on there, you can read the article below, but basically it’s an open challenge to all pedal builders to see who can create the gnarliest world ending fuzz that I thought would be fun.
The end of days fuzz may well become a regular in the line up, depending on how it goes and how well it’s received. We do have a dirt pedal idea that is running parallel to the end of days fuzz idea. we’ll have to see where that goes!
Our end of days fuzz will feature some DNA from the fatt gett (RIP), the Canny Fettle Boost and the Divvy but with some nice surprises in there too. It’s likely to be an absolute beast. Hopefully it isn’t too much.
The Hand Samwitch (limited run)
The next certainty is a limited run of Hand Samwitches.
If you’re not familiar, we did a very small run a few years ago when we still hand painted everything. We had a small batch of enclosures screen printed in 2018 or 2019 for a second run, but that got put on the back burner when we bought our place in South Philly. Anyway, we found the box of enclosures recently, so we’ll be building whatever we have and making them available in January (or possibly February if we have any setbacks) as a limited run.
We have enough enclosures for 20ish screen printed Hand Samwitches and we even have a couple of original hand painted ones too!
The Divvy (limited run)
I think we might have to do a limited run of some form of Divvy at some point next year too. Harmonic Percolator based designs definitely got a wee boost in popularity in the last year or two with a few companies doing some great takes on the circuit. It’s a circuit worth the attention!
I’ve been asked about the Divvy a lot as a result. It’s not a certainty, but it’s pretty likely we’ll do something with them again. It definitely won’t be making a permanent comeback, but I would like to get a few more out if the demand is there.
We have a huge list of ideas for pedals and devices, unfortunately we just don’t have the time and capacity to design and produce them all. We’re hoping to get at least two of them out in 2022, maybe even three! We might have to start farming designs out to other companies soon, who knows!
Availability of parts is something of a limit and has made a few decisions for us. We don’t want to start a new design, and not be able to sustain production. So a few idea that have scooted up the list include parts that we know we have on hand and will be able to use for several hundred units.
We have designs for a few utility devices that are overdue too. One of the designs is to the Swan Hunter what the Kilter is to the Skitter. If that makes sense.
There’s three different chorus ideas we have floating around. One nice chorus/ boost, one lofi chorus ensemble and another with a unique element thrown in, no hints yet.
Another idea that’s been working its way to the front is another modulated reverb, if this does see the light of day, I promise it’ll be the last reverb we do. It’s just that on paper it’s a beauty so we want to see it to its conclusion.
I’ve been flinging ideas around for deluxe versions of the Woozy and Skitter pretty much since we released them. I don’t know when they will see the light of day, and it’s more likely that they’ll be 2023, but they’re on the drawing board.
There’s another couple of weirder outlier ideas, but more about them later…
All the very best to you all!
And many thanks for all of your support. It is greatly appreciated!