Our pedals are handmade by one person from beginning to end* in the US, it can get sweaty (and sweary) in the Champion Leccy workshop, but we’re not into exploiting any cheap labour options. We like to have control of every stage of the process.
All of our effects were developed on breadboards by us, either from scratch or based on the schematic of an existing pedal (or part of a pedal). We experiment and tweak the circuits so that thy are significantly different enough that none of our pedals are straight up clones. From time to time we do make some modded, but representative clones of existing pedals. These are always labelled as such. We use Fuzzdog PCBs for these limited runs.
We hand paint each pedal with one-off artwork. No two pedals are the same. We want our pedals to stand out and we take pride in our work. Just be aware that they are hand made, these pedals have character, they’re not mass-production level perfect in their appearance. That’s the nature of the beast.
We also have articles about the developmental process we went through to produce our own designs for other DIYers or people who might be interested. If you are interested in building any of our pedals, working from any of our designs, or have any questions about them and can’t find the information you need, get in contact we’re more than happy to help.
All we ask is that you don’t copy our designs and sell them under your own name. By all means build one for yourself or a friend, put one on a breadboard and modify it, just don’t rip us off.
We produce all our pedals in small batches to keep a nice balance between quality control and efficiency, so we can keep our costs as low as possible and sell them at a reasonable price.
*with the small exception of our PCBs which are fabricated in a proper PCB manufacturing plant. We don’t have the technology to produce our own, and this is one way to keep costs down whilst still producing a quality product we can stand behind. Vero, perfboard, and etching your own PCBs are all great, but that would be hugely time consuming and it’s not for us.
Here’s how we produce our pedals!
- get ideas together
- draw up a schematic
- breadboard it
- tweak values
- have a cup of Yorkshire Tea
- get it sounding good
- use KiCAD to design a prototype PCB
- get the PCB made in a proper factory
- populate the PCB by hand with our own selected components
- house it in an enclosure
- try it/ troubleshoot and try it again
- have another cup of tea
- make changes to the PCB design if necessary
- get the new PCBs manufactured
- make drilling template
- drill the enclosure
- lightly sand and clean enclosure
- prime the enclosure with auto primer etchant
- hand paint the pedals with posca paint pens (or Winsor and Newton paints)
- give the painted enclosure a coat of the best colour friendly clear coat
- let the clear coat cure (1 week)
- prepare the enclosure for protective clear coat
- clear coat the enclosure with auto-grade acrylic enamel clear coat
- leave to cure (1 week)
The entire process for each pedal takes about 3 weeks.
- draw up the BOM (bill of materials)
- clean the PCB
- populate the PCB with the good stuff
- snip the leads from the back of the PCB
- reflow all solder joints to protect against microfractures
- clean the PCB
- solder all the offboard wiring (jacks and footswitch)
- clean joints
- house the guts in the enclosure
- check everything works
Once they’ve passed the bar, they go on sale!
Our aim is to make pedals that are good quality and affordable. We don’t skimp on the quality of the components we use, but we also don’t go for the super expensive, extra mojo, gold plated parts either. We buy all of our parts from trusted, respected suppliers and have a warranty on our products against parts failure and workmanship (within the bounds of reasonable usage). Those good quality components include…
Alpha and mammoth pots
Nichicon electrolytic capacitors
Lumberg, Neutrik or Switchcraft 1/4″ jacks