Here's FXDB's interview with Rodrigo Ciochetti of ICS Audio Gears.
ICS Audio Gear is a small company in Mairinque, Brazil, created by Rodrigo Ciochetti, an afficionado for pedals and amplifiers. Since its start, circa 2007, ICS has been using and/or revamping famous musical equipment for musicians -- guitarists, bassists and so forth.
How did ICS Audio Gears start?
I wanted to build pedals with better quality to use in my band. Since no one could afford first class products, I started recreating classic projects used by famous musicians.
The pedals are home-made, so there is not a production line for them. Since all projects are made one at a time, they are unique in their quality and design.
Several friends supported ICS from its beginning, especially musicians and luthiers from the area of Mairinque.
ICS stands for "Illicit Custom Shop", because the company rebuilds the best projects available on the market at an affordable price.
The inspiration for the logo is a guitar pick, representing the business core of the company (better sound to musicians).
What sets ICS Audio Gears apart from other builders?
All pedals are carefully designed and built one by one.
How do you start on a new pedal?
It depends. Sometimes we want to achieve a sound used by other musicians. Or we see a new project online and try to build it. It is all based on the customer's needs and my taste.
How do you name your pedals?
The names are based on their sound and circuit boards. There is not that much effort on this part.
All pedals are built in-house. I am the only person involved in the entire project.
- Circuit: Pedals - PCBs, Tube amp - Hand-wired
- Enclosures: Sand-cast (Hammond)
- Painting: Decals and stickers
How important is the look of your pedals?
Very important. Not only the design differentiates them from other effects, they also have to look great for our customers.
Is parts selection important?
Always. ICS has all known brands as its benchmark. Essentially parts and design.
Which of your pedals makes you most proud?
It is the Vintage Chorus, because the circuit board is no longer produced since the 70's.
Which of your pedals was your toughest build?
The Vintage Chorus, because some components are no longer produced in a large scale.
The most popular is the Power Tube. It is popular because of its classic sound.
What does the future of ICS Audio Gears look like?
- ICS continues to provide on-demand pedals for its customers assuring that they achieve the best sound in their music
- The company does not use any kind of social networks to promote its products. It is promoted only by customers and friends
Are you working on any new products?
Not at the moment. The product line is complete with 14 pedals.