[interview] Coopersonic: Martin Cooper

Here's FXDB's interview with Martin Cooper of Coopersonic:

How did Coopersonic start?

I have been building my own gear since I was a kid as I couldn't afford to buy stuff then. I made some fuzzboxes for the guitarist in my band as I wasn't pleased with any commercially available ones, and lent out the prototypes to musician friends. Since they were reluctant to give them back I thought I might be on to something.

We didn't really get help from others, it's all our own work...

Where does the name come from?

I made it up! From my surname, obviously.

What sets Coopersonic apart from other builders?

The sound, and perhaps high build quality.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Tricky... they get developed for many reasons, sometimes something we think would be cool, or sometimes something we discover by accident when twiddling about...

How do you name your pedals?

We just make them up, but for some reason they seem to have unpleasant meanings to some...

Can you tell us something about the production process?

All in house, except enclosure painting and printing. Two of us building.

Hand-made, including PCB's. Absolutely no SMT, or jacks on boards etc; we want things to last.

Enclosures hand-drilled by us, then professionally powder-baked and screen printed elsewhere.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Fairly important; we want them to look good and we want them to have a certain look, but the sound comes first.

Is parts selection important?

Yes. We use high quality parts, especially in the audio path. Some vintage parts too but that's a secret. Think metal, not plastic, reliable not small.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The Valveslapper; our first and most popular pedal. Has some famous people using it but this is not too important to us.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The original version of the Valveslapper. Involved a lot of wiring and a lot of stuff to fit in the box...

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Valveslapper is our most popular. Probably as it's been around longer, and has had more publicity and famous users than the others.

Who uses your pedals?

We have many famous users, but we don't like to shout about it too much. Don't think we have any anecdotes particularly, sorry.

What does the future of Coopersonic look like?

We aim to make some more interesting pedals in the future...

Are you working on any new products?

We're always working on new stuff, but you'll have to wait and see...

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