Here's FXDB's interview with Timothy Eisenacher of Full Custom Music:
How did Full Custom Music start?
After years of building high end amps for our repair shop's customers we decided to try something a little more accessible to the average person. In December 2009 we designed the Kraken Overdriver and things have built up from there. We hope to keep designing new products every year and eventually add amps back into the product line.
All the magic happens at Full Custom Music Repair using solid proven science. Yes, there is math evolved.
It is a shorted version of our repair shop's name "Full Custom Music Repair". We use "Full Custom Music" as the brand for our manufactured products.
We have lots of friends who are talented graphic artists. We are great at what we do but when we need artwork we always hire someone outside the company.
What sets Full Custom Music apart from other builders?
There are a lot of clones and new takes on old designs. We think we have a true original design with the Barnacle Fuzz.
How do you start on a new pedal?
The design is first drawn out on paper. Then some experiments may be done for proof of concept.
Then it's CAD time. Then a full working prototype is built. If the design is approved, artwork is designed and we put it into production. The whole process takes about six weeks.
How do you name your pedals?
We have this under the sea thing going right now. I don't know if it's the radon (very common in Pennsylvania) or what. But we think it helps to connect to the customer and lets some of our humor show through. Pedals are for having fun, they should be fun.
Can you tell us something about the production process?
All the pedals are built in house by the repair shop staff. PCB's are custom made for us by a company that specializes in PCB fabrication, but they are stuffed in-house.
We are using double sided through hole PCBs and will at some point move to SMT. The level of circuit complexity we use just does not lend itself well to a hand-wired design. We have built very high-end hand-wired amps and through our repair business we are well versed in the construction methods used from the 1930's up to present day. We have been taking a best of both worlds approach in our designs. Modern construction with a classic look and sound.
How important is the look of your pedals?
We have been going for a classic look and feel to contrast a more modern design.
Is parts selection important?
We stay clear of NOS parts. We have used NOS parts in the past. But for our current products every part is chosen to get the highest fidelity sound with the most consistent results. We randomly pull pedals from production to compare to the prototype to make sure the product that we are making does not change as we go.
Hands down, The Barnacle.
Which of your pedals was your toughest build?
The first pedal (Kraken) was the greatest challenge. With each new design the process becomes more refined. Building on a existing foundation is easier than starting from scratch.
What does the future of Full Custom Music look like?
Continue designing new products and moving the focus of our business from repair work to manufacturing.
Are you working on any new products?
We hope to release a new design at least every February/March.