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Compulsive Audio
Compulsive Audio is located in Sparta, a small town in the NW region of NJ. I started the company when I was laid off from my computer consulting job in the summer of 2009. The decision to start a boutique guitar effects business sort of just happened organically.
At an early age, I was bitten by the electronics bug when a cousin introduced me to a Heathkit electronic kit. At the age of 12, I got my Novice Amateur Radio license and built most of my radio equipment myself. Music has always been an important part of my life as well. I played the trumpet from fifth grade all the way to the end of high school. Playing guitar didn't come until later in my adult life.
Compulsive Audio Workshop
My wife Laura gave me guitar lessons as a gift one-day and I have grown to love the instrument. I got into building guitar effects when I was searching for a loop switch for my pedal board to allow me to mix and match my effects chain. I quickly found that what I wanted was not available in the price range I could afford. So, with a little research and my electronics background, I set out to make one myself.
When my guitar instructor at CRP Music saw what I had built, he asked me if I was interested in building effects that they could sell in the store. After that, I started looking at building other types of pedals.
For overdrive and distortion effects, my approach is pretty simple. I look at what makes a particular amp sound the way it does - tone stacks, Class A mode etc. Then I take those ideas and design a stomp box that can emulate the tone I am looking for. A lot of what I do is trial and error, sometimes using nothing more than my ears to tweak a design.
My production process is all by hand. Many of my effects are built on stripboard. One of the keys to the sound of my effects, however, is the use of very high quality electronic parts, silver solder and mil spec wire. I believe that you can hear the difference, and I take this approach to my guitar pedal modifications. I currently can mod most Boss effects and actually change their characteristics in good ways.
Jimi Octave Fuzz
When I first started building, all of my work was done in the family room. That quickly changed as my wife did not like picking up the small pieces of wire I had left laying around. I moved my production process to the garage, where it still exists today.
Most of my pedal enclosures I have powder coated by Pedal Parts Plus, though I do have a few signature pedals like the Jimi Octave Fuzz that my son James helps to paint. These take longer to create, but the paint jobs are really cool. Screen printed designs are in the works as well.
I don't have any big artists using my effects yet, but I hope to change that. Currently, this is still a part-time business with big aspirations. During the day I work on software, and at night I burn the midnight oil building effects, coming up with ideas, posting to Twitter, Facebook, and my blog.
Right now I am working on an analog compressor pedal and several modulation effects like an autowah called the Psychedelic Funk Machine and a chorus pedal called the Heavenly Chorus. I just recently released a vintage fuzz pedal built with NOS parts and a Marshall Plexi overdrive pedal called the Tone Oracle.
My guitar effects are currently available online at compulsiveaudio.com (and yes, I do all of my own web design and programming) and at CRP Music in Rockaway, NJ. With any luck, I plan to expand my retail presence next year.
This is just a sample of the fine pedals Compulsive Audio has to offer. Check out their pedals, subscribe to their newsletters and read the Blog at: compulsiveaudio.com
Pedals Feature:
* Silver solder and military spec wire ensure the effects last a lifetime
* High quality parts used throughout (Vishay metalized film capacitors, tight tolerance resistors)
* 9v DC power jack 2.1mm (neg. tip)
* True Bypass
**Click on Images to Enlarge**
Thor's Hammer Distortion
The Thor's Hammer distortion pedal gives you all the guitar shredding tones of a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.
* Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Solo Head emulation in a guitar pedal
* Fully discrete circuitry. JFETs utilized to mimic the sound of tubes
* Fully adjustable level, damping, bass, mid, treble and gain makes this distortion pedal worthy of Valhalla
* Crushing Heavy Metal and shred guitar tones
Tone Oracle Overdrive
The Tone Oracle overdrive pedal emulates the vintage tones of a classic rock guitar amp - the '68 Marshall Plexi.
* Marshall Plexi emulation in a guitar pedal
* Fully discrete circuitry. JFETs utilized to mimic tubes
* Fully adjustable level, master level, bass, mid, treble and gain makes this a flexible overdrive pedal
* Wide gain adjustment range - goes from almost clean to heavy rock distortion
Valve Howler Overdrive
Tube Screamer TS-808 overdrive pedal clone with various boutique mods - including the popular fat mod.
* Tube Screamer clone with popular boutique mods
* Lead boost switch to further increase the overdrive pedal gain
* Fully adjustable clipping, band-pass, tone, overdrive and boost
* Go from Blues to vintage Hard Rock with one pedal
Lil' Box of Dirt Overdrive
With the Lil' Box of Dirt Overdrive Pedal, you have your choice of classic Fender clean and overdrive sounds in a guitar pedal that won't break your budget.
* Classic tube overdrive sounds in two distinct guitar pedal models
* Responds to how light or hard you play
* Affordable
Face Off Fuzz
The Face Off Fuzz pedal is designed with NOS BC108 and BC109 transistors for vintage fuzz face tone.
* Vintage fuzz pedal that interacts with the volume and tone controls on your guitar
Jimi Octave Fuzz
The Jimi Octave Fuzz guitar effect is based upon the legendary Tycobrahe Octavia octave fuzz. With this killer fuzz pedal you can achieve cool octave-up sounds ala Hendrix and SRV's live shows. Housed in a sturdy aluminum enclosure with a cool swirl finish, this fuzz pedal will turn heads.
* Octave lift switch
Heavenly Boost
This guitar effect is a lead boost pedal that adds some fat to your tone in addition to placing your guitar out front of the band mix.
* Adjustable gain
* This guitar pedal works great with a Tele or a Strat
* Adds sweetness and fatness to your guitar tone
* JFET amplifier circuit
Psychedelic Funk Machine
Funky sounds and looks - the Psychedelic Funk Machine auto wah pedal is the perfect guitar effect to get the funk out.
* Auto Wah has Bias, Decay, Sensitivity and Resonance controls
* Clean envelope filter auto wah circuit
* Handmade to your specifications (paint)
Squeeze Compressor
The Squeeze is a true bypass analog compressor pedal modeled after the Ross compressor.
* Level and sustain knobs along with a tone enhancement switch
* Great for Gilmour solos or Country licks
* This is one clean, transparent analog compressor pedal
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