[interview] 3Xfx: Justin Jordan

Here's FXDB's interview with Justin Jordan of 3Xfx:

How did 3Xfx start?

I had gone to school for Computer and Electrical Engineering, but decided to focus my education on music electronics through books and experimentation. There are a lot of great resources about building effects pedals and it fits right into what I wanted to do.

I definitely got a lot of ideas when I was first starting from some of the online forums like DIY Stompboxes and GEOfex.

Where does the name come from?

I came across a definition of the slang XXX which was, "To become more intense, to be more extreme." That is the inspiration for the name and what I try to do with every design.

What sets 3Xfx apart from other builders?

My effects are unique because of the sounds they make and the features they have. I do a lot of experimentation to come up with unique sounds and use a lot of unusual components such as photo-cells to bring something different to a saturated market.

How do you start on a new pedal?

I go into the design process with a basic idea of what I want to do and throw it on a breadboard. From that point I do a lot of experimentation to come up with something I like. After that I work on a layout and design the printed circuit board and start building.

How do you name your pedals?

I name all my pedals after military weapons.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

I build all my effects in-house (literally) and occasionally bring on contractors to help with larger runs.

I personally design and build all my own effects and electronic instruments. I do everything by hand in my home. I order boxes powder coated and then stencil the logo and labeling for a military look. I do all my own printed circuit boards, including etching, drilling, stuffing, and soldering. I drill the enclosures, put in the off-board parts, solder everything up, test it and ship it out.

How important is the look of your pedals?

I keep the look simple, based on old military control panels.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The Fatman/V2 is one of the first pedals I designed and one that continues to be a favorite of musicians.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I don't cater to anyone specific, I just do what I do because I love it. If I stop loving it I will probably stop doing it.

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