[interview] JerroStomp: Jerry Ernst

Here's FXDB's interview with Jerry Ernst of JerroStomp.

JerroStomp is Jerry Ernst, Chief Cook & Bottle Washer, and is located in Rochester New York, USA.

How did JerroStomp start?

A prospective employer wanted someone with more of an electronics background so I decided to learn more about it and started with Arduino before finding BYOC kits, which looked a lot cooler than making LED's fade in and out. Over a few months I started studying and building from internet schematics.

I was referred by Prymaxe to Earthquaker Devices, in particular the Hoof Fuzz. With The Hoof I found what real tone could be, and I love its rich creamy throaty sound, reminiscent of Clapton on Disraeli Gears. That is still the standard I aspire to. My other big influence is Gary Sunda, who founded the short-lived Sunda Amplification before moving on to being a VP at Randall and other gigs. They made the Sunda Fuzz Sound in 1968,and I bought one of about 50 that they made. It was the only pedal I used for years. Once I got my feet wet in pedals I set out to approximate this pedal working from gut pictures found on the Effects Database and eventually got in touch with Mr. Sunda through his family's business, Orange County Speaker Repair. I sent Mr. Sunda the first working box and have his blessing on this project. I use his jacks in my semi-clone of his work and his GLS plugs in my patch cables. Tradition is good.

JerroStompWhere do the name and logo come from?

JerroStomps loosely translates to "Stomp boxes made by Jerry."

The logo is The Burd originally all red, from my high school, Cardinal Mooney.

What sets JerroStomp apart from other builders?

My main pedals are not clones, but are inspired by vintage sounds. A couple are more standard designs that I have modified to be brighter or less constricted. My cables are all hand made with good quality materials, avoiding the expensive trendy materials. Customers seems to really like what I do.

How do you name your pedals?

Fuzzy Sunday is a play on Gary Sunda, maker of the Sunda Fuzz Sound on which the Sunday is based. The Hot Fudge was originally the Hot Fudge Sundae, same gambit.Fuzzo - what can I say, it is a cool name and didn't come up anywhere else in an internet search. I came up with the name first and the worked on a circuit worthy of the name. The name inspired me to keep improving it. It is also somewhat inspired by a legendary music shop in Geneseo NY, Buzzo Music. Of course I had to take a couple Fuzzos to Buzzo, who liked it. JerroStomp Fuzzy Sunday

Can you tell us something about the production process?

JerroStomps is a solo operation.

Circuits are hand wired on perf board. Enclosures are powder coated aluminum finished with decal and clear coat.

How important is the look of your pedals?

JerroStomps has enclosures designed for pedals that don't have circuits yet. Usually it's the other way around, but in any case inkjet waterslide is the medium of choice in order to use better graphics and color. The Uppity Pup clean boost is a favorite, with a snarling puppy on the box. The Graphic Design division is partial to PowerPoint.

Is parts selection important?

I've found that not all components of the same value sound the same, so I've become particular about brands used. Capacitors in particular seem persnickety.

JerroStomp Uppity PupWhich of your pedals makes you most proud?

Fuzzo. I was thinking about ways to modify tone and had a 'what-if' idea on tone that I hadn't seen before, and it worked, so that became my latest variant.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

Fuzzy Sunday again, as I had only a few gut pictures to work with, with antique components on a hand etched board. Once close I just used trial and error to make it workable, then very good. There were no schematics left of the original that it is based on. The process was also a lot of fun and a great education.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

Fuzzy Sunday. It is simple, it is a nice warm vintage sound, and people just seem to like it.

JerroStomp FuzzoWho uses your pedals and for which genres?

JerroStomps was born out of recreating a vintage fuzz sound and hasn't strayed too far from that.

I have some very favorable comments from musicians at various levels, no big names that I am aware of.

What does the future of JerroStomp look like?

JS is currently building more cables than pedals, but is working with some customers to tweak the current line of 6 pedals.

Are you working on any new products?

Yes, but I can't tell much more about them. Lets say I want to move forward in time a bit and am interested in modulation. Much yet to learn have I.

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