[interview] Dinosaural: Dan Coggins
Here's FXDB's interview with Dan Coggins of Dinosaural:
How did Dinosaural start?
I started with electronics as a hobby when quite young, aged 11.
Dinosaural is a spin off of Lovetone so I could do repairs and sales of that along with my own designs. Not very prolific though - only one product since 2003 so far...!
I had some help from friends at college, work colleagues at BBC pre-1995, Pete Cornish, Maplin electronics kits, etc.
Where do the name and logo come from?
Dinosaural means "old audio" but hopefully in an innovative way. Guitar sounds never sounded better than in the early days of Rock, IMHO.
Logo: Fingers slipped in word processor.
What sets Dinosaural apart from other builders?
I can translate what I hear with my mind and ears into a nice little analogue circuit as I've listened to a lot of music, played guitar since school days and also burnt my fingers on a lot of soldering irons!
How do you start on a new pedal?
Breadboard, then when I have been playing non-stop for 30 mins+, I consider it a worthwhile design!
How do you name your pedals?
Working titles that stuck, really...
Can you tell us something about the production process?
Low key, low volume, low employee count!
The circuits are conventional single sided pcb's but would move to double sided smd if required.
The enclosures are die cast boxes, powder coated and silkscreened.
How important is the look of your pedals?
Important - needs to look functional and yet at least a little pretty.
How important is parts selection?
I listen to them and use medium-priced bits never cheapo ones. Don't skimp on capacitor quality!
Use fast-ish op amps or discrete silicon transistors, keep signal path clean and avoid electrolytic caps if poss. Polyester metalized film is very good, as is polypropylene and polystyrene. Ceramic sucks!
Which of your products makes you most proud?
- Lovetone Flanger, but only in terms of the crammed features.
- Lovetone Meatball was our best seller.
- Tube Bender - sounds like valves but uses transistors!
Which of your products was your toughest build?
Lovetone Flanger - too complicated and a pig to make technically, but it came through ok and sounded sweet.
Which of your products was the most popular and why?
Meatball was, and that I think was it's neat appearance and many tweakable features, nice tone and funk factor in the sweep, etc. FX loop and battery access were useful. Front end buffer overdrives very gracefully if you short the FX send socket out.
Who uses your pedals and for which genres?
Own taste and hope the rest of the world agrees but not really bothered if it don't!
Mick Talbot from Style council was an early Lovetone customer, and then a
lot of other famous muso's followed. I was very pleased that Misters
Page and Jones from Led Zep bought our gear as well as Pulp and
Metallica, Bootsy, etc, etc
Manfred Mann and Snow Patrol were my famous Tube Bender users, SP bought loads!
There are many others - see Wikipedia Lovetone page.
What does the future of Dinosaural look like?
Dinosaural is doing not very much at present and is on continued "tick-over".
Had considered bringing out new products later in 2011-2 but have now abandoned this idea in order to keep on learning in my current job designing and making fast laser and X-Ray camera pulsers. Still too much of a devoted family man to get back into self-employment and all the time it takes up.
Enjoying being a musician as a semi-pro hobby, playing in the local covers bands Vinyl Vandals and Flower Station (playing guitar).
Are you working on any new products?
I have stacks of ideas, but no products yet I'm afraid. I want to make more workmanlike and less wacky stuff in future. Being a gigging musician has taught me that simplicity, ease of functionality, space and ergonomics are very important things to factor in. No more large "esoteric" strange named mysterious pedals from me! That was something reflecting more on my previous colleague's character - I'm far more "keep it simple" and down-to-earth.