I just recently discovered Coast Sonic Pedal Providers (www.CoastSonic.com), and I was quite impressed with this site. I was impressed with a couple of things. First off, their site is clean, incredible easy to navigate. Secondly, their selection of builders.. is awesome – and we’re talking about the good stuff. Finally, I dig their ‘presence’ in the social space. Great stuff on Instagram and they provide interesting stuff on their news section.
I contacted Jody and had a few questions for him.. and boom.. mini-interview time!
– Do you have a physical store as well as a virtual presence?
We like to refer to Coast Sonic as “the World’s Local Pedal Shop”. We’re an online only shop but we strive to offer the kind of customer service you would get if you walked in to a local music shop. We feel that just because you might not live close to a great music shop it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to one and by that we don’t mean just the ability to oder great gear. We are very passionate about helping people find the right tools for the tone they are after, we love gear and so do our customers so it basically like a bunch of friends meeting up online to share what the love.
– Where is Coast Sonic based out of?
We’re based in Encinitas, California – a costal surf town located between San Diego and Los Angeles. The “Coast” in Coast Sonic refers to our geographic location, right on the coast of Southern California – and for the “Sonic” part; we’re right in the middle of some really great music scenes.
– What inspired you to start Coast Sonic?
Coast Sonic is a new venture by Carlsbad Guitars – our first music business. Carlsbad Guitars has been around for about six years specializing in guitar parts, vintage guitars and amps. We built a stellar reputation serving customers around the world and developed a loyal customer base. It was our customers continually asking about effects that lead us to start carrying pedals. As pedals really started to take off for us we decided to create coastsonic.com to better serve our customers. We purposely use a very simple design to make it very easy to navigate and find exactly what you are after. The majority of our listings include video demos as well to help with the decision process. So to make a long story short the creation of Coast Sonic was inspired directly by our customers, they kind of led us in this direction and we’re very thankful for it.
– I see your focus is with pedals, but are you interested in expanding to instruments, amps and accessories?
Our focus is with pedals for sure, specifically we specialize in hand made effects from some of the best builders around the world. It’s this boutique side of the pedal industry where we feel the most creative stuff is coming out of, small to mid-sized companies staffed by passionate builders actively trying to deliver something new and of the highest possible quality. There are piles of online warehouse type stores offering every mass produced pedal you can think of plus every other type of gear you can imagine. They have so much stuff that it’s just not possible for them to be knowledgeable in all of it, we want to be the exact opposite. We carry a well curated selection of the finest effects and offer top notice service and advice to support it. This is our main focus and concern, do one thing and do it really well. A few of the brands we carry like Greer, Cusack make some incredible hand made amps as well so in the future we may bring those in, we’ll let our customers demands decide. What ever we add to Coast Sonic it will follow the same ethos of being hand made, quality comes first gear.
– Are you seeing any particular trends in the world of pedals happening right now?
For awhile it seemed every company was trying to do a bit of the same – for example transparent overdrives were a huge trend for a minute. A lot of the “new” pedals of the last few years just ended up being a slightly tweaked version of another company’s hit pedal. While the trend did produce some great pedals it’s really refreshing to see the trend now being that companies are really trying to get more creative and really develop something new wether it be breaking new ground entirely or taking a new approach or a new twist. We’re seeing a lot of effort being put into not standard effects – looking outside the safe bets and clones and really exploring new areas. 2014 saw a lot of cool new directions being taken and 2015 should be really exciting. For us pedals are like an artist’s paint brushes so to see companies working to really widen the colors we can paint with – that’s a really exciting.
– Who/what are some of the new editions to Coast Sonic?
We try to strike a nice balance between brands that are veterans of the boutique pedals world combined with newer/smaller brands that we feel are doing really great and innovative work. Our latest addition was last week when we added Wren and Cuff to our lineup. This is an exciting one for us as not only are we big fans of extremely high build quality and attention to detail that goes into their line but also we’re big fans of a lot of the player’s who use Wren and Cuff. When you have player’s as diverse as J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Brian Ray (Paul McCartney) and Ben Harper using the gear you know you’re got something great. We also recently added Black Cat Pedals whose owner Ton Hughes literally wrote the book on vintage effects – Analogman’s Guide to Vintage Effects ao again you know the quality being delivered is second to none. On the smaller side of things companies like Fuzzrocious, Fuzzhugger and Devi Ever FX are recent additions to our store who are all pushing the boundaries of pedal building.
– Are you offering any deals currently?
We do minimal discounting, the quality of the pedal brands we sell speaks for itself. With custom/hand made pedals the quality of the parts cost these brands a lot more to build so a lot of them just don’t have enough markup in them to allow discounting. We have a few annual sales but firmly believe that the companies we are selling are already offering an incredible bang-for-the-buck so most of them ask us not discount their lines. We do have contest and giveaways though planned all though 2015.
– Are you planning anything exciting for 2015?
We’re aiming to offer quite a few really unique items this year. We just received a Coast Sonic exclusive version of the revamped Screamer V2 from Cusack Music that is only available from us. We have an exclusive version of the popular Earthrise Overdrive from Epigaze Audio being made just for us. It that takes the already great build quality to the next level with custom components and puts a real interesting twist on the whole hand painted pedal idea. We’re really eager to share this one with everyone – we’ll be announcing it soon. Plus we’re working on lots of exclusive/limited edition releases that you’ll only find at coastsonic.com and we have a whole bunch of new brands that will be announced over the next few weeks. 2015 is going to be a great year for Coast Sonic and for fans of true quality effects hand made by builders who really care about craftsmanship and their tone.