What are the differences between Standard, Focus, and Old Pal+Focus options?
Standard builds feature enclosure, color, parts selection, and circuit construction of my choice.
Focus builds feature rare, premium components that match those found in vintage pedals as closely as possible. You select color and enclosure type.
Old Pal+Focus builds feature all Focus upgrades plus a careful patination of enclosure and all parts. Old Pal builds are as close as you can get to owning a real vintage pedal. They look, feel, and even smell like my old benchmark units. I've refined the process so that the aging is subtle and practically indistinguishable from that found with vintage examples.
Will you tune my unit to sound like player-X on song-X from album-X?
I will tune your unit to sound like my wonderful vintage unit. Most of my vintage pedals were selected from two, three, or even more excellent examples. I also own multiples of many classic fuzz pedals. Too, I favor more aggressive, unruly fuzz sounds, so you can expect your build to be on the ornerier side of the fence.
Sure, Lennon, Iommi, Mascis, Keef, et al may have used pedal-X, but it means very little without considering the amp, guitar, control-settings, pick, room, microphone (and mic placement), preamp, compressor, mix, engineer, and many other variables. In fact, I've found that when trying to capture some specific artist's sound, it's often better to use equipment other than what they actually used. If you can't run your MKI into a dimed 200w Marshall inside a stadium, perhaps there are better gear choices to court that sound in your home studio. I've heard the original Big Muff was an attempt to capture Jimi Hendrix's live rig—the Fuzz Face, the cranked Marshall, and the open space.
Can I tell you how I want my unit to sound and behave?
Concepts of tone, feel, etc. are subjective. Your ideas of beefy, cutting, crispy, crumbly, etc. may or may not align with my impressions. Because of this, I hope you'll trust me to make your unit sound great.
How much control do I have over my unit's aesthetics?
If you're here, you know I have strong opinions about design. I will make you something beautiful. If you choose to commission a Focus or Old Pal+Focus build, you choose color and box type, but the other stuff's up to me.
What is your return policy?
Running this thing by myself is tough. If your unit arrives damaged, I will happily cover all expenses to get it quickly repaired and back to you. I cannot, however, return your pedal for a refund, credit, etc. I hope you understand that, as a one-man show, I can't afford to do it any other way.
Do you offer a warranty?
If you can provide proof that you're the original owner (proof of payment), I offer a one-year warranty. If the pedal has been modified in any way, the warranty is void.
Can you provide a completion date for my unit?
Nope. On each product page, you'll see estimated build times, but those are estimates only. I work a lot, but I'm also pathologically obsessive about this stuff. Nothing leaves until I wish I could keep it. These ultra-primitive parts and circuits require a bit of alchemy: sometimes units come right together, other times they're grumpy and require many hours to wrangle into submission. This kind of dark magic can be maddening sometimes, but I think the results are worth it for me and for you.
Why buy a BEC device when cheaper alternatives exist?
Fuzz pedals are easy to build. I could bring you into my shop, teach you to solder well enough, hand you an internet-sourced diagram, and you'd finish a working effect by closing time. I built my first fuzz pedal, a Big Muff, this very way in 2003.
The thing is, everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.
In my opinion, to make these things special, you need bags of transistors to roll through, a lot of practical experience with primitive technology, and, most importantly, many hours spent hanging out with the originals. The tuning advice you get from internet forums is the same advice everyone else gets.
I've met a lot of fuzz pedals over the years, often as a repairman, and the effects built by those who've logged the hours and invested the cash are just different.
All of this matters only if the goal is to recreate the sounds of the past.