[interview] Pigdog: Steve Williams

Here's FXDB's interview with Steve Williams of Pigdog:

How did Pigdog start?

I studied mechanical and electronic engineering at college during the 80's and I was playing in bands, so always interested music and instruments. About ten years ago I started collecting vintage effect pedals, mainly 60's fuzz pedals.

When engineering took a dive I started to build battery amps and pedals. The first amp was built in 2006, pedals quickly came after that.

David Main (D*A*M) is a great friend and he inspired and pushed me along. I owe a lot to David. But I'll take information and inspiration from anyone and anything.

Where do the name and logo come from?

I have a Spanish friend who often refered to me (affectionately) as "Pigdog" and it kind of stuck. Thinking about it, he used to call me Dirty Stinking Pigdog. I presume that was back in my non-washing hippy days! Pigdog was also a word used to describe the allies during WW1/2. I think this is where he picked it up from.

The old logo is of my dog, a Collie (with a gun to his head). The graphic was done by my good friend Matt. Matt came up with a bunch of logos for me, but this was the least offensive!

We are working on a new logo. Hopefully one that nobody complains about this time.

What sets Pigdog apart from other builders?

I try to build vintage style pedals using original or similar parts. All are small batches, so I pour everything I have into each pedal.

I use my vintage collection for tone comparisons.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Most of my pedals are replica's, but I am in the process of designing a couple of new units. It takes a loooong time.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

I build them on my own. Everything is handwired. I rarely use a PCB.

Enclosures are bought in. Sometimes folded steel from a local engineering company.

Most are powder coat and screen printed. Early builds and custom orders are sometimes hand painted and decals.

How important is the look of your pedals?

There are some big collectors out there. The looks are as important as how the pedals sound.

How important is parts selection?

Yes. I always try to use NOS parts. Some are the same as those used in the 60's and 70's. I spend a lot of time and money tracking down components, especially transistors.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

I am most proud of my MkI Tone Benders. I can get them really close to original 60's units and Everyone wants a MkI.

Pretty proud of my MkII's too.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I will build for anyone (so long as I like them).

What does the future of Pigdog look like?

I concentrate on small batches, giving each and every Pigdog creation close attention.

They will always be limited in numbers. I like it this way.

Are you working on any new products?

I am, shh!

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