Here's FXDB's interview with Ali Reza Roshan Nahad of Ratin Pedals.
Ratin Pedals is run by Ali Reza Roshan Nahad in Shiraz, Iran.
How did Ratin Pedals start?
I started learning electric guitar when I was 21 or 22, around the year 2000, but before that I was already an electronic enthusiast and used to build electronic circuits. Shortly after starting to play the guitar and due to financial problems I built my first distortion pedal. My tutor sold it for me so that I could pay my tuition fee to him, that was the start of it all.
While designing my own pedals I was inspired by Boss pedals because Boss was the only brand that was available in Iran back then and Joe Satriani, my guitar hero, had a Boss DS-1. When I first started building pedals I started by copying other brands (including Boss) but it was not under any name or brand of my own, it was just for my own use and sometimes they were being sold to friends too.
There was no one around me at the time when I started building effects and I had limited knowledge so there was no one to get any help from, I just had a John Marcus book that had so many designs in it and one of the topics was music related circuits. At that time I did not have a computer, but after buying a computer Internet was my only source of info on effects theories and schematics, etc.
Ratin is the name of a fighter in ancient Iran
, so i decided to choose a name that is originally Iranian but also easy to pronounce.
There is no story behind the logo, I just have a few designer friends that carried out the task of creating several logos and then chose one of them.
What sets Ratin Pedals apart from other builders?
The components are one them because in Iran we have a stock of high quality RCA , Motorola, NEC (made in japan) ICs that really affect the performance and the final sound of effects.
But more important than components, the sound is what really makes the difference.
How do you start on a new pedal?
Sometimes it starts from hearing an amp that inspires me. I'll draw a schematic that I think can do the magic, I'll fantasize about the features and options, after that it is being built on a bread board and the tweaks begin until I feel I like the sound and it has the essential sonic characteristics that I was looking for.
How do you name your pedals?
Names are chosen with the color of tone that the pedal produces.
Can you tell us something about the production process?
The pedals are being built (assembled-soldered-tested) at home, designing and optimizing is done by myself but production of PCB, enclosure, paint job and silk-screen is done by others and at other places.
The circuits are PCB but they are all being soldered by hand, not machines.
Enclosures are also made by hand (not me) as I don't have access to cast enclosures.
Painting is done by a workshop and then silk-screened by another group
How important is the look of your pedals?
it is important but obviously not as important as the quality of the circuit and the design itself. It is better to sound awesome than to look awesome...
Is parts selection important?
NOS parts are always favored, they have quality and durability. I avoid Chinese parts.
Audio path and protection are the two most important, circuit design, soldering and assembling of the whole thing are important too.
The Blue Angel, because it is favored by so many. It has several controls that allow the user to get various sounds from it.
Who uses your pedals and for which genres?
Mainly blues rock pedals are being built now, but I'm working on metal oriented pedals too.
Massimo Varini, an artist from Italy is using one of my pedals.
What does the future of Ratin Pedals look like?
Working on newer pedals that have a different type of sounds.
Custom shop products such as analog multi effects pedals.
Are you working on any new products?
I'm working on pedals with a more natural tube-ish sound and vibe in mind and they'll be out soon.