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  • Jon Armellino

Why the hell did I start a pedal company??

Updated: Dec 8, 2020


Guess it's kind of hard to explain without some history first...


It all goes back to being around live music since I was a little kid. Literally since I was born, my Dad has been playing in either multiple bands or doing a solo act (that's him over there to the left, rockin' the Les Paul). It seems that universally when you have kids, you put them to work, so I was helping roadie for my father shortly after the diapers came off.

(Still kickin' ass 35+ years later)









This led me to pick up the guitar in high school and from there I've been playing in bands ever since. Played guitar and bass in just about any kind of band related to rock there is. Played guitar in a punk pop band. Played keys and guitar in a 80's coverband. Played guitar and bass in a few metal bands. Played slide guitar in a folk/post rock band. Played bass in a Zepplin tribute band. Continue to play guitar in a straight ahead rock band. Sorry, don't mean to rant, guess what I am trying to say is I've been in bands and played live hah.


Throughout playing in all these bands I have literally gone through a mountain of gear...


Well maybe not that much, but a lot to say the least. Every new band meant finding/creating a whole new rig so I've gone through 20+ amps, 40+ guitars and, conservatively, 400+ pedals. Working at music stores throughout the years has also fed into this gear addiction. Finally it got to the point where I learned enough of what I liked and didn't like, so I ventured into making my own.


I don't know why and it probably was a stupid thing to do, but I started with tube amps. Hah I know, the one thing that can kill you if you don't know what you are doing. I will say that Hoffman Amps was a wealth of knowledge and helped me find great info when I was starting out making my first Princeton Reverb based circuit. I went through a lot of pain and suffering (most mental, some physical) but came out the other side with a working tube amp I built by myself and I was hooked.


(long before I "started" the company)






Amps led to guitars. I was lucky enough to live near a college with a woodworking and luthier program so I enrolled and spent some time getting my hands dirty.






Then came the pedals. I had always modded and repaired all of my electronics myself when I could a) because I wanted to know how it worked and b) I was too poor to pay someone else to do it. So with the electrical engineering knowledge I gained from building amps, along with some incredibly solid reading material from Brian Wampler (Advanced DIY Effect Pedals, strongly recommend) and websites like runoffgroove.com and effectslayouts.com (amazing resources) and I started messing around with my own effects pedals.


Enter year 2020 and the damn hell beast we call Covid...


I was laid off early on after the first shut down happened. At the time I can't say I was happy about it, but as always, hindsight is 20/20. Luckily I now found myself with time to do something I had always wanted to do, start my own company. I dove in head first, literally working twice as much as I had at my full time job. It became eat, sleep, electrical engineering.


Thanks to my amazing and patient wife, I was able to take over part of our home office.

This was my new work place...

(pre insanity) (post-insanity)


After months of intense prototyping and questionable hygiene, I was getting somewhere. I started getting circuits that I was really proud of and that simply made me want to play guitar more. Ultimately that shaped my whole purpose. My goal was to create pedals that made people want to play.





And here we are. I am starting this whole company on the back of my first production pedal: the Very Good Fuzz Drive. It took a lot to get here, but I hope it is just the beginning of being able to create for the creators.




(Special shout outs to people who do not know me, but I definitely know them and appreciate their help and sage words of advice along the way: Josh Scott of JHS, Jason Johnson of FuzzLord Effects. Watching these dude's videos gave me the confidence to launch my own brand. Thanks guys!)















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