[interview] JHS Pedals: Josh Scott

Here's FXDB's interview with Josh Scott of JHS Pedals:

How did JHS Pedals start?

I got into it all around 2007 when I fixed a broken pedal in my rig at the time. Over the span of a couple years I modded a couple things, read until my eyes bled, broke lots of pedals, learned the basics of electronics, studied the classic circuits and then came up with some of my own. Not until late 2010 did I ever think I would do this for a living.

My biggest help in the beginning was bordum... I really didn't know anyone in the instrument/effects/amp business so I just figured it all out the hard way. I did have a good friend John Pennington who got into the hobby of it around the same time, he is now the builder manager for JHS Pedals and an awesome creator/designer along with me.

Where do the name and logo come from?

The name came one night as the moon aligned perfectly with several planets resulting in a cosmic epiphany... Actually it's just my initials (Joshua Heath Scott).

The logo came about from a good friend of mine as I was starting to take my hobby more seriously. He just worked it up and kept it simple, it stuck and here we are.

What sets JHS Pedals apart from other builders?

JHS is and will continue to be a company that makes pedals in the USA. We don't let robots build our pedals and we take good care of our employees. I think one thing that may set us apart is the fact that we love doing what we do and for me as the owner I don't take advantage of the job market by hiring cheap labor or machines, I give my workers careers. Other than that the designs are excellent and creative. When you play one you will know that it is different from the crowd.

How do you start on a new pedal?

At this point in the game it starts in different ways. The most common is from customer suggestions. An other way is by chance or beautiful mistakes...

How do you name your pedals?

The Morning Glory is a good example. It is named after the morning glory roman candles that I played with as a kid. The logo is a roman candle but people usually just don't see it. They think it's a water spout or something a lot weirder...

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Everything we do is handbuilt. We do the powder coating, drilling, circuit board assembly, pedal assembly and the whole nine yards in Kansas City, MO. We also hire local artists that do all of our handpaint designs and custom work.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Very important! Our look has become a branding for us. We hear stories all the time of how someone sees a pedal on a board from 40ft away and knows it is JHS. Thats a good thing that money can't buy!

Is parts selection important?

I do because arts are a big deal. My product is only as good as the design and the parts that make that design... it's 50/50.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The new Panther delay is a massive achievement, I am very proud of it. The Morning Glory, Pulp N Peel as well as the Warble-Tron are my favorites simply because they do what they do and they do it well!

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Warble-Tron is a tough one. It's just a different animal due to some elements like LDR's, light bulbs and larger parts count. The Panther delay is pretty different as well as it involves programming and elements that our other pedals don't. I am constantly striving to make our pedals easier to build but not at the compromise of replacing an employee with a machine.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Morning Glory. I believe it's because the market is flooded with gobs of overdrive pedals that are all basically the same thing, The MG stands out because its different in design and tone. We hear endless complements on this pedal and it feels good to know that players are loving it!

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

We make pedals for all styles and scenes of music.

Yes, we do lots of custom work and sometimes those become a pedal that is made again and again. The most notable for us is the Bunrunner made fro Drew Shirley of Switchfoot. It's a killer unit.

What does the future of JHS Pedals look like?

We are in a place of growth and exposure varying from Premier Guitar, Pro Guitar Shop and several other mediums. My focus right now is to keep bringing fresh and innovative things to the table as well as improving our quality year after year. I think by 2098 we will be a really epic pedal company.

Are you working on any new products?

I am working right now on a new version of our Honey Comb Tremolo. It will be a tap tempo trem with very usable and unique features. I also have a heavy drive (think metal tones) in the works and a device that will be know as the "Onomatopoeia".

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