[interview] T-Pedals: Alberto Dani

Here's FXDB's interview with Alberto Dani of T-Pedals:

How did T-Pedals start?

I started building pedals as a hobby in 1999, finding some schematics on the web (the very first ones, most of them were incorrect). The first fuzz circuit I made was not working, so i trashed it. Then, some time later I tried again with a boost, built on my birthday... and this one worked! I still have that pedal.

Being a musician, playing in several bands helped me to develop and test effect pedals in real conditions.

Roberto Pistolesi helped and taught me many things about electronics, tube amps, vintage instruments and sound. He was the most experienced and talented tech I ever known, he was also an excellent luthier. I started T-Pedals thanks to his help.

Then, some friends of him like Gary Hurst and Rick Harrison give me many inspirations and contacts to build better pedals.

Where do the name and logo come from?

"T" stands for Mr.T, a nickname I used on guitar forums.

The logo is a stylized transformer shell. I used transformer shells as cases for my first pedals back in 2001. They look unique, very different from standard cases.

What sets T-Pedals apart from other builders?

T-Pedals is a "one man band". I think it's great that a customer can talk directly with T-Pedals founder, owner, pedal builder and tester.

  • All the questions will be answered and any problem solved!
  • Money back if you don't like a pedal.
  • Free repairs.

The pedals are tested at high volumes and in live band situations, real heavy duty construction, originality in sound/look, quality and rare components.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Playing guitar, hearing bands/musicians, there are many ways to imagine a new pedal/sound, sometimes it start from a broken one or heavily modifying a classic circuit.

I like instruments like Hammond organs, Mellotrons, analog synths, vocoder filtering and I try to transfer some of their characteristics to guitar.

How do you name your pedals?

Buggy Fuzz: the buggy is a 70's icon and is perfect for a noisy trip in the desert!

Super Hoffman: it's all about sound and musician's expansion. 

Bass-tard Fuzz: the name speaks for itself...

Can you tell us something about the production process?

One man band! Hand-wired, point-to-point circuits. Absolutely no SMT.

Transformer shell enclosures with wood bases, professionally painted and screen printed. I use decals on some models or custom works.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Well, it's important, I don't want to build anonymous pedals, but the sound come first.

Is parts selection important?

Circuit design and high volume testing with different amps are very important. Also days of silence and a relaxed mind between tests helps to focus the attention.

I think it's important to try every kind of component, quality parts rule, but sometimes you really need those pre-historic age ceramic caps or germanium transistors to reach remarkable results.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

T-Fuzz: started as a joke when "fuzz" was still unfashionable... then it became my work!

Metak Fuzztron: more than a pedal, a sound generator. 

Buggy Fuzz: a little beast!

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Filther: 24 hours of building time for 1 pedal.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I don't make pedals for a "specific" genre, but I like psych, stoner, drone, experimental, post-rock, noise, 70's Italian prog, krautrock and strange 60/70's soundtracks, so I hope my pedals strike imagination of sound experimentalists and open mind musicians.

Retailers told me about Oasis, ZZ Top, Supergrass and many other famous bands liking my pedals.

I've also made pedals directly for Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, Queens of the Stone Age), Dan Spitz (Anthrax), Xabier Iriondo and many other wonderful musicians.

What does the future of T-Pedals look like?

Surely I don't want to grow a lot or build many more pedals. I'm happy right now, building personally the right amount of pedals, taking care of every detail and take some time to talk with my customers.

Are you working on any new products?

Many pedals...

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