Today I’m excited to post an interview with Austin Ziltz of Cold Craft Effects. Austin recently got married, so first I wanted to send a big CONGRATS to Austin! We did a demo of Cold Craft’s Cascade pedal a few months ago and I was able to send him some questions about Cold Craft Effects. I personally really enjoy getting an understanding of the people making pedals. It’s definitely helps match a builder (and their philosophy) to the potential sound you’re trying to acquire with your instrument.
Austin also let me know about his new MkII series – Fiesta Fuzz and the Black Dynamite. First orders will be heading to Prymaxe Vintage soon.. and they look pretty hot. For a sneak peek, check out this page (Projects & Preorders at Cold Craft Effects).
– How long has Cold Craft been around?
I started Coldcraft in 2010 as a locally available built-to-order service. After about a year I decided to switch gears and design my own line of pedals.
– What inspired you to start Cold Craft?
I got the bug for building guitar pedals pretty quickly, but it was less about the DIY/saving money aspect and mainly motivated by trying to improve whatever I was building so I would have something unique and superior, with extra features and tones.
– What get you inspired in electronics in general?
I first learned electronics as part of my undergraduate education in physics. It was required for my degree, but something that I always wanted the change to get my hands on.
– Where are you located?
– What do you think separates your products from other builders?
The core voices/tones and feature per footprint. When designing a product, it starts from something simple and original and evolves with extra features, controls and modes for a wide range of tones and uses.
– When designing circuits, what is your primary goal – and also, what are you always trying to avoid?
The primary goal of a new design is to create a unique tone that has intuitive controls as and a wide range of sounds. An example of this would be the Black Dynamite MkII, an overdrive/distortion that has the typical Drive and Volume controls with active Treble and Bass EQ. Unique to the design are the Shift and Comp controls which let you tune the character and compression from a warm, smooth overdrive to a more focused, articulate distortion.
I always try to avoid duplicating or even approximating something already on the market. I think there are enough replicas and tweaked clones to go around. There are many well-known original designs as well and I’m not in the business of taking business away from those people. I do believe there is room for new ideas that either fill a gap in the market, or present a unique tone in a familiar, intuitive package.
A good example of this would be the new Fiesta Fuzz MkII, which was designed to function like a cross between the classic Fuzz Face & Tonebender circuits but with a voice based on MOSFET transistors. There are wide range of unique tones in this product, but the core functionality is familiar to anyone who has used a FF or TB before.
– What type of musician would be interested in your pedals?
Classic and Alternative Rock, Country, Blues & Worship. At least so far.
– Would you say you appeal to a specific niche?
I haven’t noticed one yet.
– Without releasing any secrets, are there any pedals in the works that will be released in the near future?
Too many to list but there is a deluxe version of the mainstay Cascade Overdrive, an Octave Fuzz and a Booster/Overdrive/Fuzz that mixes treble booster and stuck-wah voices.
– Are there any notable musicians using Cold Craft effects?
Blues-Rock guitarist Justin Pietrowski of the Virginia-based Justin Pietrowski Trio (JP3) http://mybandandme.com/
– How do you feel the future looks for Cold Craft?
Bright! We’re shipping more products to more places than every before, and I hope to keep expanding!
– Where can I pick up some Cold Craft pedals?
Online list of domestic and international retailers, http://wp.coldcrafteffects.net/blog/?page_id=104