[interview] Lotus Pedals: Sean Erspamer

Here's FXDB's interview with Sean Erspamer of Lotus Pedals:

How did Lotus Pedals start?

I got into building pedals after purchasing a used boutique pedal online and having it arrive not working. Having worked in the manufacturing of pro audio gear for Crane Song LTD I have learned my way around circuits pretty well. After seeing the simplicity of the circuit on the broken pedal I decided to try and design my own pedals. I started building for myself in November on 2009 and by mid 2010 was building for others and Lotus Pedal Designs was founded.

I have gotten advice from a few other builders, Jack Deville, Caroline Guitar Company, Wampler, Cusack, I am inspired by anyone who creates.

Where do the name and logo come from?

The name lotus is a yoga reference, and I am a practitioner of yoga. Lotus is also a flower, which has petals, so I thought that it was an interesting word play.

Very simple logo, just the word Lotus with a Yin/Yang for the "O". Simplicity is what we were going for, with the logo and all aspects of the pedals.

What sets Lotus Pedals apart from other builders?

Lotus Pedals are all hand built, in small batches by the designer using the highest quality components available.

We believe in simplicity in design and operation of the pedals. We believe that the tone is the most important part of the pedal.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Design ideas typically come from one of two places, first is by request from customers, second is something that I need/want for my own personal use. Typically pedal designs take about 8-10 weeks from the time I start working on it until it is ready for production, though some have taken longer. The Yellow Delay was 10 Months in the making.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

All Pedals are built in house, by me, I am the only builder at this time.

All Lotus Pedals are point to point hand wired on perf board, no printed circuit boards are used. Currently enclosures are unfinished with just a decal on them, though we are experimenting with powder coated as you can see with the latest model (the Desire Boost).

How important is the look of your pedals?

Look is important, but not nearly as important as the tone.

Is parts selection important?

Yes, I pay close attention to all parts used, utilizing NOS parts whenever I can and I am very selective on the capacitors that I use, especially is certain parts of some of the circuits. I believe that can add to the tone.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

I am proud of all of the pedals in the line and all for different reasons. The Blue Distortion was the first pedal I designed. The Yellow Delay was/is the most challenging to get to work and to build. The White Overdrive was purchased by Alan Sparhawk (Low, Retribution Gospel Choir).

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Yellow Delay. It has the most complex circuit and the largest parts count in my product line.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Yellow Delay, I believe there it stands out due to the simplicity of the features, it gives a great tone and is simple to operate.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

My pedals could be used in any and all genres.

Alan Sparhawk (Low, Retribution Gospel Choir,...) uses some of my pedals.

What does the future of Lotus Pedals look like?

Lotus Pedals is growing, our short term goals are to expand our dealer network and to attend the Dallas Guitar show in April 2012.

Are you working on any new products?

I just released the Desire Boost pedal and am not currently working on anything new.

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