[interview] Lovetone: Dan Coggins

Here's FXDB's interview with Dan Coggins of Lovetone:

How did Lovetone start?

I began making pedals for his own use aged 14 for school band ,including a fuzz box and a tremelo and latterly heavily modded Coloursound Wah my Dad bought me when I was 10 before I even had an electric guitar...?!

Vlad and I met when I sold a Fuzz Face to someone else in early 1994 when living in a house share at Damer Gardens, Henley-on-Thames. Vlad phoned about the Fuzz Face and got chatting after missing out on it! This led to meeting up and messing around with guitars and pedals and amps etc. Within a few months the Meatball and other early pedals (Brown Source, Big Cheese, Doppelganger) were designed: electronics by me but ideas jointly Vlad and me and sounds tweaked by both. Case design by both, metalwork and paint etc. mostly by Vlad.

I was influenced by my old electronic kit (A Philips X40 Radionic, Radio and Electronics Kit), Electronics mags of 1970s - Everyday Electronics, Wireless world and Practical electronics. Craig Anderton's books. John Linsley Hood, Dave Petersen was Amp mentor. Pete Cornish provided both Vlad and me with good advice when we took the Meatball production prototype to him in Summer '95. Tony Arnold of Arny's Shack. I had lots of electronics advice and moral support from my BBC colleagues Peter Butler and Mike Meechan. Thanks all!

Where do the name and logo come from?

Descriptive and hopefully self-explanatory. Coined by Vlad in early 1995 when we needed a name to set up the business!

The logo is a psychedelic manifestation of a typeface.

What sets Lovetone apart from other builders?

A strong belief that being true to one's self was the main thing and not do it how everyone else does it. Something like that...

How do you start on a new pedal?

No comment on current practice. See my interview regarding Dinosaural for any further insights.

How do you name your pedals?

Working titles that stuck. The Meatball had Meat and it had Balls (meaning the sound). No idea at all what to call it in the case of the Flanger.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Back in the day, a bit of both in-house/out-house production. No info on figures, sorry. No idea what is happening now.

No comment as Vlad now owns the Lovetone business and I cannot comment on its current aims and practices.

How important is the look of your pedals?

It was very important.

Is parts selection important?

See Dinosaural interview.

Which of your products makes you most proud?

  • Flanger, but only in terms of the crammed features.
  • Meatball was our best seller.

Which of your products was your toughest build?

The Flanger, too complicated and a pig to make technically, but it came through ok and sounded sweet.

Which of your products was the most popular and why?

The Meatball was, and that I think was its neat appearance and many tweakable features, nice tone and funk factor in the sweep, etc. FX loop and battery access were useful. Front end buffer overdrives very gracefully if you short the FX send socket out.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

Designs were original, obviously influenced and inspired by all manner of things (not just FX pedals but also Indian food and Henri Matisse paintings, etc.) and done for our own satisfaction first and foremost. If the public also liked it, then that was nice.

Mick Talbot from Style council was an early Lovetone customer, and then a lot of other famous muso's followed. I was very pleased that Misters Page and Jones from Led Zeppelin bought our gear as well as Pulp and Metallica, Bootsy, etc, etc.

There are many others - see Wikipedia Lovetone page.

What does the future of Lovetone look like?

This is now for Vlad to say, if he chooses to.

Are you working on any new products?

See Dinosaural interview.

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