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Richard Gibson
 
I decided it would probably be more hassle than it was worth to name the pedals after myself (although the lawsuit may have generated some publicity for us!!!) so we decided on "Balkan Pedals" as we live at the foot of the Balkan mountain range in Bulgaria. Our workshop is an outbuilding next to our house, and inside there are all the essentials for a pedal builder, including a woodburning stove for winter and an old record deck with a load of LPs for entertainment. Sam is not a guitar player herself, she plays the piano, although she is a great help in designing pedal layouts, helps with the actual building of the pedals, and also assists with the business side of things.
 
Sam Thompson
I've been playing guitar since childhood, and I've always loved the vast array of sounds one can coax from the electric guitar. It was about 4 years ago now when I decided to start experimenting with electronics, with a view to finding unique tones for myself. My first foray into sound shaping was when I purchased a 'Lucky Dip' selection of components and started experimenting with them on a bread board to see what they did. Lots of tinkering ,reading, and strange noises later, I was putting circuits together that sounded like something! I was never formally schooled in electronics, I've just figured stuff out as I went using my ears as my main guidance. I still consider myself a wide eyed experimenter rather than an electronics expert!
 
Eventually, I was looking around for an overdrive pedal for myself and I knew exactly what I wanted. The trouble was, all the really nice sounding ones were more money than I had, so I decided there and then to build it myself. In my determination to get it right I went through several prototypes, and actually it would have been much cheaper to buy myself a good pedal, but by that point it was like an obsession. There was a sound in my head that I had to make real. A medium gain growling sound that eventually made it's way into the 'vintage' mode of the Balkan Driver OD pedal. A sound recognisable as a classic overdrive sound, but also somewhat different to everything else out there. I was never interested in making clones of already existing pedals, as there are already loads of excellent builders doing that.
 
Balkan Pedals Workshop
Once we decided to launch Balkan Pedals as a business just over 10 months ago, our first step was putting our website together. With that in place, and a few listings on eBay, we slowly started to get interest in what we were doing. There is not a massive live music scene here in Bulgaria, so we are mainly a mail order based company,sending our pedals out across Europe and worldwide. We opted from the start to make our pedals as affordable as possible for people and I'm sure that has helped us stand out in the boutique world. It's still really important to me that Balkan can supply players with great quality, inspiring sounds without them needing a second mortgage to fund it!
 
Right now we build an average of 20 pedals per month, obviously we are keen to build more, but it's early days yet for us as a company and being based in Bulgaria makes promotion a little more difficult, but we are pleased with our progress so far and the most important thing is that our customers have loved our pedals and given us some great feedback. Just recently one of our pedals was given an excellent review by Analog War Cry, so that has brought us quite a bit of interest from people who had probably not heard of us before.
 
In the immediate future we are planning to turn our attention to the world of modulation. We'll always be keeping our ears tuned for unique but usable sounds too.
 
Visit Balkan Pedal's current line at:
 
 
Balkan Driver
Balkan Driver - Dual Mode Overdrive
 
"The Driver by Balkan is a quality handmade pedal aimed at the more experienced player who needs an overdrive to add to an already established sound. I believe that the best guitar sounds are achieved using good quality guitars and amplification. I also believe pedals should work with and compliment your equipment." - Rich, Balkan Pedals.

Dual drive mode switch. Toggle between 2 drive modes.
* Vintage mode has a more midrangey character with a looser feel to the overdrive and less gain.
* Modern mode has more bass and treble, and more intensity to the drive. In fact this mode, unlike many other overdrive pedals, allows all the bass in your signal through, making it ideal for guitarists and bass players.

The dual modes make this pedal just like having 2 boutique quality overdrives in one!

Gain control & Output volume.
The gain control takes the pedal from clean boost duties to full overdrive in a smooth sweep. The smooth volume control offers lots of volume output, making it ideal for driving your amp hard. Nice amp too loud for use at home? Cut the volume on the Balkan Driver and use the gain control to get tasty useable overdrive out of your amp at volumes which won’t upset the neighbours.

High quality stompswitch.
A durable footswitch with a positive action. Switch between effect and bypass modes. The pedal is true bypass, and therefore preserves your sound when the effect is not engaged.

Powered by AC adapter or battery. The Balkan Driver accepts a 9 volt, center negative, 2.1mm regulated adapter. There is also a battery clip inside the case for running the pedal off a 9 volt PP3 battery.

Tough metal casing with hardwearing finish. This pedal is built to last. Fully handwired and handbuilt. Point to point handwired, with hardware installed off the circuitboard for ultimate durability. Each pedal is individually built for you at time of order with True Bypass. When the pedal is off, your sound is fully preserved.
 
Balkan Flame
Balkan Flame - Fuzz Pedal
 
"The Flame by Balkan is an exciting new fuzz pedal featuring two distinctly different fuzz circuits, one warm and vintagey, the other a wall of blistering fuzz. The two circuits can be blended to create your perfect fuzz tone, and they interact together to create a beautifully alive sounding fuzz with one circuit kicking in as the other dies off. The gain control can be used to back off on the fuzzy mayhem and give you an array of great crunch tones too, making this one hell of a versatile pedal, made to the high standards that we pride ourselves on here at Balkan." - Rich, Balkan Pedals.

Gain Control.
The gain control has a smooth, usable sweep allowing you to dial in the perfect amount of gain, or back it off to get awesome and sensitive crunch sounds.

Heat Control.
The heat control blends between two different fuzz sounds, one warm and vintagey, the other a hot blistering fuzz. The two sounds interact together making this fuzz pedal sound wonderfully alive. Due to the nature of the two seperate voices within this pedal, the heat control reacts somewhat like a cross between a seperate gain control and a tone control. Inspiring sounds can be found wherever you choose to set the heat! When used in conjunction with the seperate gain control, this pedal will give a far wider range of wicked sounds than most fuzz pedals.

Output Volume Control
A smooth volume control lets you easily set the perfect balance between effect and bypass sounds.

High quality stompswitch.
A durable footswitch with a positive action. Switch between effect and bypass modes. The pedal is true bypass, and therefore preserves your sound when the effect is not engaged.

Powered by AC adapter or battery. The Balkan Flame accepts a 9 volt, center negative, 2.1mm regulated adapter. There is also a battery clip inside the case for running the pedal off a 9 volt PP3 battery.

Tough metal casing with hardwearing finish. This pedal is built to last. Fully handwired and handbuilt. Point to point handwired, with hardware installed off the circuitboard for ultimate durability. Each pedal is individually built for you at time of order.

True Bypass. When the pedal is off, your sound is fully preserved.
Send us a nice shot of your effects pedal board and we'll help promote you or your band!
 
 
 
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