[interview] MW Hand-Built Pedals: Mick W.

Here's FXDB's interview with Mick W. of MW Hand-Built Pedals:

How did MW Hand-Built Pedals start?

I starting working over a decade ago as custom service for building and modifying electronic musical equipment. What started out as a request to build a 'reliable' fuzz pedal that captured both the sound of Hendrix/Vaughan and worked great alongside a modern rig, became a decade long obsession.

I had great support from Regent Sounds (Denmark St/SoHo/London) who over the past couple of years have stocked all the Fuzzytone range.
Richtone Music has also stocked the Fuzzytone (available to buy online and in store).

MW Hand-Built PedalsWhere does the name come from?

The name MW comes from the initials of the man that builds the units, me.

What sets MW Hand-Built Pedals apart from other builders?

What sets MW apart from the others is the sole mission by one man to create the most reliable (both in build and sound) Fuzz pedal available.

Standards will never be lowered, people deserve a quality product that they can rely on and look forward to playing. Over time I feel the perception of what a fuzz pedal should be has become distorted (excuse the pun). What should be a full bodied, rich boost of the guitars signal with symphonic fuzz , has sadly become a thin, fizzy, overly distorted break up for many.

How do you start on a new pedal?

MW is always looking for ways to 'better' the existing circuit. Something as simple as trying a different value potentiometer could lead to the gradual creation of an entirely new circuit!

How do you name your pedals?MW Hand-Built Pedals Fuzzytone

Fuzzytone, because you get a ..................... Fuzzytone!

Can you tell us something about the production process?

All pedals are built in house by MW.

The enclosures are bought already painted. They are precision drilled in-house and graphics are applied.

The circuits are handwired onto tag board, components (sourced from all around the globe) are tested. 

Yes you've guessed it, all by MW.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Fuzzytones are focused around TONE, the Fuzzytone has had a face lift for the Mk2... gone is the simple rectangular enclosure and a very unique design has took its place, watch this space.

Is parts selection important?

All components are tested before populating the board, all transistors are checked using a Peak ATLAS Component Analyzer. A lot of hype is generated over certain transistor types NKT275, AC128, OC76, OC74 and so on, only the RIGHT transistors will find their way onto the tag board after rigorously being checked for gain, leakage and current. No compromise on tone.

MW uses Tag board to mount the components to to make sure you get the 'metal on metal' vintage mojo goodness.

All units are True Bypass and run of a 9v battery supply, the Fuzzytone runs on a 9v battery supply to avoid 'Tone Sagging' that you get with mains power supply. No compromise on tone.

The Fuzzytone Mk2 is designed in a way to get the longest life from your battery (even down to LED color!!!). The Mk2 has a handy battery drawer for battery changes that only take a few seconds.

All Fuzzytones are made to the highest of build quality standards.

MW Hand-Built Pedals Fuzzytone DeluxeWho uses your pedals and for which genres?

MW builds pedals for people who really care about tone. There is no "target group" but we have found great success with Blues/Rock Players.

We are proud when our users are happy, you don't need to be playing stadiums, I love to hear from bedroom guitarists or the semi-pros that have finally nailed the sound they have been chasing, as well as the stadium Rockers!

There are some famous users:

  • Ric Jaz - Buddy Guy Band
  • Dave Kilminster - Roger Waters/Pink Floyd
  • Mitch Laddie - Great UK Blues Guitarist
  • Gerry Joe Weise - Australian No1 Blues Artist
  • John Shanks - Grammy Award winning producer (Bon Jovi/Van Halen/Keith Urban/Olly Murs)

What does the future of MW Hand-Built Pedals look like?

The focus of the company from 2012 onwards is to build low quantity models to the absolute highest standard.

Are you working on any new products?

MW has been working over the last few months designing the Fuzzytone Mk2.

The Fuzzytone Mk2 will be released Summer 2012 to a limited quantity of only 200 units. The Mk2 will be the first octagonal shaped fuzz available, with superior audio quality and containing the all important tone and Massive Volume Boost! Each unit will be numbered, personally named and signed by MW.

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