Here's FXDB's interview with Daniel Klein of Port City Amps.
Port City Amps is run by Daniel Klein. The company was initially started in Wilmington, NC, but moved to Winston-Salem, NC, since.
How did Port City Amps start?
We eventually entered the pedal realm after building amps and cabinets for several years. I always loved the 808 but wanted a different tone. I thought the Sahana Boost would be a good addition of the line of products.
The biggest help in doing this was reading lots of books on acoustics and electronics, that really helped more than anything.
Wilmington, NC is known as the Port City of North Carolina and is one of the largest ports on the East Coast. We thought we would take our name from that proud fact.
The Port City logo is a wave. Since we started on the coast and we have a line of cabinets called Wave cabinets we thought the ideal choice for a logo.
What sets Port City Amps apart from other builders?
Having built quality tube amps that are in demand set us apart for other pedal builders. To know how a pedal should operate as to not affect the tone of the amp is very important to us. Not all pedal manufactures understand that.
How do you start on a new pedal?
It usually take us a few months to bring a pedal to market. We like to test out the prototypes and get feedback. Tweak as needed and repeat. All of our designs are based off a platform and grow from there.
How do you name your pedals?
Sahana is a Turkish word for melody. We thought Sahana Boost sounded good.
Can you tell us something about the production process?
I currently have a manufacturing manager and 4 builders.
In all current production Port City pedals we use a PCB along with hand wiring. In the new pedals we are working on we are looking into hand wiring everything. Our enclosures at the moment are bought and then powder coated.
How important is the look of your pedals?
Very important. No pedal looks like a Port City pedal. That is good.
Is parts selection important?
We try to let our ears do the judging instead of looking at specific names and brands. We try everything and what sounds best stays.
Which of your pedals makes you most proud?
We only currently have the one pedal called the Sahana Boost. We are currently working on other pedals.
The Sahana Boost was designed to be used with our Sahana amplifier. We have been surprised that is has been accepted in several different genres. We have blues, rock, jazz, fusion and metal guys using the Sahana Boost.
We have tons of famous users. Please check out the artist list on the Port City Amps website.
What does the future of Port City Amps look like?
We are currently developing another pedal, the Salem Boost. It is a buffer/boost that is totally clean. It makes everything sound better. It should be out in 2 months.
There are several amps currently in pre-production phase as well.