[interview] Tym Guitars: Tim Brennan

Here's FXDB's interview with Tim Brennan of Tym Guitars:

How did Tym Guitars start?

I started making pedals around 1998 when I wanted a Mosrite Fuzzrite. A friend who was a retired electronics engineer helped me build that first one and several other designs after that. I was making about 7 or 8 different effects when I decided to "re-do" the whole line in about 2008 with new hand made stainless steel enclosures and new artwork which is my current line.

My friend helped a lot in the early days but now I do everything myself. I'm inspired by anyone who makes stuff by hand not just in the pedal world.

Where do the name and logo come from?

I didn't want to use my name so I thought Tym would be better. Now everyone calls me Tym.

I have a few logos mainly done by one person who does all my artwork.

What sets Tym Guitars apart from other builders?

I make pedals for people who still believe in something that is hand made, from scratch by one person who is passionate about what they do. Everything I make is based on that philosophy. I only use the best quality components I can buy and use custom PCB's and/or point to point in my own enclosures.

How do you start on a new pedal?

If it's something I'd like to own, I make one. I never build stuff with the expectation of it selling lots. I make stuff for me and if other people want it, that's great. I also don't make anything that is currently available from the original manufacturer. Only stuff that is either no longer available or the originals are getting prohibitively expensive.

How do you name your pedals?

No, I just call pedals whatever I want or my artwork guy comes up with a name for me based on what artwork he wants to do.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Everything is in house. Just me building.

All hand made by me here in Brisbane. The enclosures are all custom made stainless steel. My artwork is printed on adhesive aluminium and fixed to the front of the enclosure. All drilling, loading PCB's, fitting and wiring is done here by me.

How important is the look of your pedals?


How important is parts selection?

It's important, I don't believe NOS always sounds better but I only buy good quality parts throughout. I also buy locally where possible to help other businesses in my area.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The Fuzz Munchkin. The Tatanka. The Tone Boost. The Buzzrite.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Univox Superfuzz I guess? Time consuming and complicated compared to other fuzzes.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Big Muff clones do very well. They're pretty sought after in general at the moment from any manufacturer doing them right.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

The Fuzz Munchkin is J Mascis's signature fuzz. The Tatanka is Brett Netson (Built to Spill) signature fuzz. The Big Bottom is Dean Turner (Magic Dirt) signature pedal. The Real Gain Supernova is the No Anchor signature pedal. I have made pedals for Baroness, Earthless, Witch, Monarch and lots of other bands.

Mainly fuzz and boost pedals but I do/have done overdrives, distortions, trems and EQ pedals.

What does the future of Tym Guitars look like?

I'll just keep making pedals, amps, guitars and speaker cabs etc. as long as people want to buy them.

Are you working on any new products?

Some new Big Muff clones and a few new fuzzes but I'm pretty snowed under so they'll be a while off I think.

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