Interview with Chuck Bennett, Owner
What is your background in music?
I do a little bit of all. I used to be an active musician playing local venues with various bands, and I’ve done a bit of recording. Nowadays, I do more building than anything, but I do more recording over playing.
Who are your musical influences?
I’ve been influenced by a bunch of people overall, but I tend to gravitate to progressive indie types of bands.
And how did you got into the boutique pedal business?
It kind of just happened (laughs). I did a lot of recording in a budget music studio, and we were always looking to experiment with sounds whenever we could. A couple guys had a couple different pedals that we’d experiment with and after a while, I wanted to try some of my own designs.
I came form an electronics background with my dad when I was younger, building some kits and all. I approached my dad when I wanted to build a guitar pedal, we found schematics and etched our own circuit board. We sourced some old VCR and tape machines and I went to work … I had myself my first pedal, which was MXR Micro Amp-inspired.
I love building and assembling. I have a huge passion for sound, and creating new tones and creating songs with these new tones! I’ve also worked as a background guy with other pedal companies, contributing to circuit board design and circuit design.
Tell everyone something about your approach to building.
I like to include very high-quality components and I source parts that are very high fidelity and have a great sonic character. Putting all of this together, it has a great sound to it. My board layouts are really clean and I build by hand, in small batches. I have my lady helping me with soldering these days and we build everything in-house, with no robots … no robots touching the circuit boards.
What other builders have influenced you in the pedal space?
So many people in the pedal space do such a great job. I’ve been influenced by builders in general. I do like the success stories of companies like Electro-Harmonix and Earthquaker Devices.
What can gearheads look forward to from Chuck Pedals?
We’ve got tons of designs, and I’m starting to look into digital coding so we can write our own programs for our pedals; and create pedals that are truly unique that no one else has. I have several different confirmed effects that I’d like to release in the near future. Some will be super limited runs and others will be production pedals.
What are you doing, when not building and running your company?
My wife and I have a daughter, and we enjoy the whole family thing—exploring, camping and things.
What are you thinking about Gear Collector?
I like what you guys are doing with Gear Collector, having an eye on the builders and educating players and collectors about who we are, and what we are all about!