[interview] Carl Martin: Søren Jongberg

Here's FXDB's interview with Søren Jongberg of Carl Martin:

How did Carl Martin start?

Originally it was a bit of a coincidence, as Carl Martin one day brought the first attempt of the Hot Drive'n Boost to the workshop, then it slowly took of from there, so it's nearly all about the Carl Martin pedals today.

Carl Martin and I did it all from the beginning, we came from the Pro-Audio scene and that was our inspiration to how we designed the products in terms of headroom and sound quality, as the Carl Martin design is very different from what's normally done.

Where do the name and logo come from?

It's the name of the Old Guy from the beginning, he is more in the background these days.

We have the Purple triangle as our logo, it's from when we worked with TC-Electronics so there was some similarity to their original stuff. It's inspired by a sail.

What sets Carl Martin apart from other builders?

Clearly our electronic design and our philosophy, with the build in power supply that gives the extra headroom compared to conventional pedals, and the special Carl Martin spirit about the three dimensional feel in the tone.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Normally we play around a lot with all sorts of ideas, and when one of those things falls in place we begin the actual design process, that can take up to a year or more from prototype to finished product.

How do you name your pedals?

We try to find names that explain the type of product, like Delayla, PlexiTone etc.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

The Pro-Series is hand made by 8 people in Denmark using normal components, they are housed in aluminum enclosures that are powder painted.

The Vintage Series is made by a contractor in China, a few SMD components used here and there and housed in aluminum enclosures as well.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Previously is was not very important, and that has been the most critical point with CM, we do however pay a lot more attention the the looks nowadays.

How important is parts selection?

Our original idea was to use components that were normal and easy to get at all times, but it's become more critical and difficult to maintain this. But we do look for components that are not too rare.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud? Toughest build? Most popular?

Oh it's hard to pick one, but of course the Comp/Limiter as it's known to be the best on the market, also the PlexiTone has set its own standards.
But the TremO'vibe is a real great product, like the Fuzz and Contour'n Boost, very innovative pedals.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Contour'n Boost was a challenge as it's based on my own idea, and to get it just right was hard work, but in general most CM pedals are hard, simply because we want this CM feel with the three dimensional tone, which often takes a bit of work to nail down.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Comp/Limiter was our most popular for many years due to the quality.

The PlexiTone is probably the most popular these days, as it's so unique for the great old Marshall tones.

In between we saw pedals like the Delayla and lately the Red Repeat become very good sellers and in recent years the Octa-switch has become very popular, I guess due the the simplicity and price point.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

Both the Plexi and AC-Tone were designed for specific genres, the Plexi with the 80's hard rock in mind, the AC is the classic AC 30 hot rodded sound.

The rest is made after our own taste.

What does the future of Carl Martin look like?

Our future goal is to maintain the development of high quality pedals and to set new standards for design.

We're also working hard to establish CM as an amp brand.

Are you working on any new products?

Sorry, no not at present.

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