[interview] Tanabe.tv: Toshihiko Tanabe

Here's FXDB's interview with Toshihiko Tanabe of Tanabe.tv:

How did Tanabe.tv start?

In 2007 I was using a Zendrive, but it was not pleasing, so I manufactured the original Zenkudo pedal for myself.

My main inspiration is Mr. Koichi Korenaga. He is my friend and the top guitarist in Japan. He highly evaluated the first pedal I made and he immediately started using it in his work.

Where does the name come from?

The name is my domain name: tanabe.tv.

What sets Tanabe.tv apart from other builders?

I only make pedals I like myself.

How do you start on a new pedal?

If there is a request from a user, I will build it.

If an idea appears, it's possible to make it in one day. If there's no idea, it never gets done.

How do you name your pedals?

At the beginning, the Zenkudo pedal was just named like that as a joke.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

The manufacturing is only done by me.

The circuits are hand wired PCBs.

The enclosures are bought and drilled by myself. They are not painted, but a natural sheet of Abalone is stuck on the top side.

How important is the look of your pedals?

The appearance of my pedals is very important. I think that a tool must be beautiful. Since the pedal which I make uses natural Abalone, they all have a unique top pattern.

Is parts selection important?

The op amp I am using is not produced any longer and I can't buy them anymore either. Manufacturing will become impossible when I used what I have.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The Zenkudo, the first pedal I made.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Zenkudo and Dumkudo because a Dumble sound is obtained immediately.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I make pedals for any genres where there's a demand for them.

There are a lot of famous users. David Lindley, Robben Ford, Henry Kaiser, Howard Leese, Paul Jackson Jr., Eddie Martinez, Anthony Drennan, Dave Kilminster,... I met some of them in the United States in September, 2010. And when they came to Japan, I was invited to their concerts.

Henry Kaiser is a heavy user of my pedals. He even ordered some to give to his friends.

What does the future of Tanabe.tv look like?

I am continuing to make pedals as a hobby. They are not available from the shops, I only make them when they are ordered directly from me.

Are you working on any new products?

A new pedal is made by the end of this month. It is made by the request of Henry Kaiser.

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