A Necessary Evil August 13 2022

It has been many years since I have raised prices. Sadly it was necessary. Our story is similar to many others in manufacturing. Costs have increased on every level from shipping, components and 3rd party fees.

On a positive note, we are working hard to improve the quality of our products and have several new kits and products in the proto-type stage. We have built a new site just for the instruction sets that allow for interaction with us so that our kits can always be improving.

I sincerely hope I will not have to post another message like this for many years.



Cyber Monday Sale November 29 2021

If you want a discount just enter cybermonday as a discount code when you check out. I will leave the code active until 11/30/21 at 11:30pm PST.



Important update to components included with kits. October 09 2020

Currently we are updating and upgrading all of our kits with better performing components. We are working on updating all the product photos and in the meantime wanted to post information on the new components and why the changes were made.

Input Jacks: Previously we supplied closed frame Switchcraft input jacks, we now supply all metal open frame Switchcraft jacks as they have a more solid connection to the input cable and have a much longer life cycle.

Capacitors: When possible we are changing from Electrolytic to Multi-Layer-Ceramic-Caps (MLCC). There are two reasons for this. First electrolytic caps degrade over time and have a useful life of 10-15 years, MLCC do not degrade over time and they sound better (I may write up a paper on the specifics in the future. Most axial caps other than filter caps are being changed from Axial mount to Radial mount. High quality axial caps are becoming increasingly rare and extremely expensive, while there are audiophile grade caps in radial configuration that cost about the same as the high cost low quality axial caps. While both form and function are important factors in the case of Caps I have decided on function over form. And a final note on caps, where possible polarized caps are replaced with bi-polar caps for better signal flow.

Other cool changes are in the works!!!!!!! so check back often.

Get 50% off a Pedal with the Purchase of Any Kit August 07 2020

You read correctly. If you buy a kit at regular price you can get one of our awesome acid etched pedals at 50% off. Why you ask? We are no longer acid etching our pedals and are currently designing awesome new enclosures for the entire line. We have limited stock of remaining acid etched pedals and need to clear out the space for the new ones.

It was a difficult decision to leave the acid etching in the past. I think the etched enclosures look absolutely incredible and like nothing else out there. The biggest problem was with the chemical waste and hazardous gasses produced during the process and was the deciding factor in changing our finishing process such as with the Shape and Seraph we are currently producing.

All of our enclosures are going through a redesign and will be presented soon, including the Shape and Seraph.

Anyhow, if you put any kit in your cart then add any acid etched pedal you will automatically see the discount when you check out. All of our pedals are new and under full warranty.


Current Shipping, Order Status, and the Stay Home and Solder Sale. June 02 2020

Shipping delays across all providers (USPS, FedEx and UPS) are becoming the new normal. I have seen many orders not show up in tracking until a few days after being picked up by shipper. In addition actual shipping times once tracking is available is taking longer as well.

International orders are being processed as well but many countries are not accepting deliveries from the USA. We ship international orders via USPS and you can check to see if your country is affected by clicking here.

Mercury Magnetics is open for business again and hope to have all orders processed by the middle of June. New orders for transformers are being accepted but expect delivery time to be 3-4 weeks.

The "Stay Home and Solder Sale" ends on June 19th, 2020, which was supposed to be the last day of the school year for my kids.

Update on Shipping and Order Processing April 12 2020

During the Covid-19 crisis shipping via all methods (UPS, USPS, etc) are slow. In addition we are working at half staff and limited shop time. All kits are in stock and we are processing orders daily and shipping on Monday Wednesday and Friday.

Transformer orders will be delayed until April 21st, at the soonest as Mercury Magnetics is closed until at least April 19.

Shape EQ orders are being filled as quickly as possible, final assembly of the pedals are completed when an order is placed. I have taken all the Shape EQ parts home and doing final assembly at my kitchen table, not as efficient as the shop but safer and hope to be caught up in the next few days.

In shop mods and amp repair time has increased to 3-4 weeks shop time plus shipping time if applicable.

We wish everyone the best during this time of isolation especially during a holiday season that is about gathering and bringing together as people around the globe typically celebrate Passover, Easter, and Ramadan in large gatherings at their local Mosques, Synagogues and Churches and family events like Seder, Egg Hunt, and BBQ!

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Shipping Restrictions and Covid-19 April 03 2020

COVID-19: Important carrier information

This is a message from ShipStation (our shipping platform). Links have been provided by Shipstation

Updates from our carrier partners pertaining to COVID-19 are changing daily. While we’ve created a COVID-19 shipping resource page, it is always best to check with the carriers for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Below you will find a few direct links to help you stay informed.

Note: USPS has placed shipping restrictions on 22 countries (including Saudi Arabia, India, and South Africa), with another 29 to be added on April 7, 2020.

Due to this, you may see an error message in ShipStation if you attempt to purchase a USPS label destined for one of these countries, and you will not be able to complete the transaction. The full list is available on our COVID-19 resource page and on the USPS alerts page.

Other important effects on some carrier services could include:

  • Surcharges/additional fees
  • Changes to signature requirements
  • Updates to carrier guarantees

Important Update Regarding COVID-19 March 24 2020

We hope everyone is safe and sound. Here in Seattle we have a "Shelter in Place" order from the government. We are a small shop with just myself and Danny and we  have implemented the following policies in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus.

1. Only one person will be in the shop at any time.

2. All deliveries will be dropped outside the door without signature required.

3. All in person appointments to drop off or pick up gear are temporarily suspended.

4. PPE (gloves/masks) will be used when taking orders to the post office.

As of today we are still open for business and shipping orders. We are taking an inventory of parts and supplies we are likely to run out of in the next couple months and stocking up. It is unknown how this pandemic will effect the global supply and shipping chain, but it is likely that shipping times will increase. Anytime there is a known change that will impact our ability to serve our customers there will be an update on this blog.

The "Stay Home and Solder" sale will continue until my kids are back in school or June 18, 2020 (last day of scheduled classes) whichever happens first.

What The Flange Is Going On Here? March 24 2020 3 Comments

Let me start this off by letting you know that I don't like most modulation type effects. Flange, chorus, and phase just aren't my style. To my ears they are either a weird texture on top of the tone that doesn't really interact with it or they just sound like the 80's. That being said, there are songs where nothing will work except for the perfect modulation sound. I think that flangers get the least love among modulation effects and I would agree with that sentiment. However, of the three I listed above, it is probably the first one I add to my pedalboard. I love the slow, subtle flange at the beginning of Brand New's "Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis".

But, what the heck is flange and why is it called that? According to Wikipedia* (where I get all of the useful information about anything), flange is "an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds". In layman's terms, flange takes your guitar signal, splits it in two, speeds up/slows down one or both, and combines those two signals back into one. This creates a "comb filter" effect where some frequencies are canceled out and others are boosted, because physics. The varying of the speed of the signal up and down gives it that back-and-forth whoosh sound.

The effect gets its name because it was first accomplished by playing two reel-to-reel tape recorders with the same recording into a third recorder and lightly touching the flange rims of the playing tape recorders. When the effect was reproduced in solid-state circuits in the 70's, "Flanger" sounded better than "Whooshy-Sound Machine" so the name stuck.*

A chorus effect does essentially the same thing as flange, but by using a longer delay in the modulated signal it achieves a much different sound. I think of chorus as a more subtle and rounder sound while flange is harsher and more metallic.

My brain kind of melts when I read the Wikipedia article about phase, but I'll try my best to explain. Phasers use a comb filter of sorts to cancel/boost certain frequencies like a flanger, but don't use time modulation to achieve that effect. This gives the phase effect a similar sound to the flange, but without the characteristic whoosh of the flanger.

My impetus to write this post was a Boss BF-2 I modded for a customer a few weeks ago. I made a before and after recording to see exactly what the difference was:



I used JamUp XT Pro on my iPhone with an Apogee Jam interface to make these recordings. The amp simulator I used was based on a vintage Fender Deluxe and I used a Les Paul style guitar with p90s in the middle position for both recordings. If I remember correctly, I had all of the controls set to noon for both recordings as well.

My playing is pretty poor, but I can hear a clarity in the after recording that isn't present in the before recording. I can also hear a more complex and musical interaction of the notes and signals in the after recording that I like a lot. If I were going to use this pedal on my board I would probably dial it down to a more subtle setting, but I really like how it sounds post-mod.

What are your favorite examples of flange? How do you use flange: for the in-your-face whoosh, a more subtle texture, or something else completely?

I'm thinking I will do more of these kinds of posts as I mod different pedals for customers.



*Any actual facts in this post are pulled from the appropriate Wikipedia articles. Any nonsense is my own.