Tone Report Weekly Issue 144 - Page 20

was in a band at the time but I could not afford a new pedal, so I tinkered one together just for my own use. It was some time later that a set of opportunities came along that got me into doing it for a living. It took a year to get the first product out which put Frantone in the hole financially at the start, so after the Hep Cat was in production by late ‘95 I had to design other effects to create a line that would sustain Frantone. 20 pedal, and in that sense it is based on another design, but more to the point in that regard I copied myself. TR: Many pedals in today’s market are based off of previous designs, usually tweaked to create something new to the builder’s liking. Did your pedals start from previous designs or are they all original? My compressors were a completely new concept, and I had to design my own optocouplers and manufacture those components in-house to bring it all together. The Peachfuzz may have been the first fuzz pedal to not use diodes or under-biasing transistors to get the effect, I’m really not sure, but instead of using rectifiers or making transistors go non-linear I exploited some exotic properties of an op amp that I liked to achieve a natural distortion that would clean up with the guitar volume knob— much more like an amp overdrive turned to 11. FB: All original. The Sweet is based on some of the ideas I had that were rejected by EH for the Big Muff reissue that I thought would still make a great The Cream Puff was a concept that came to me very suddenly; I had one of those pink coconut Hostess snowballs in my hand and thought “man, wouldn’t it be INTERVIEW // The Return of Real Boutique: A Chat with Fran Blanche of Frantone