Here comes the fuzz

Guitar pedal designed with PT business among top sellers worldwide

Posted 6/13/22

James Schultz’s guitar pedal is selling like hotcakes.

Whether it’s the thick, fierce tones and sounds emanating from the pedal or the monochromatic and minimal design of it, the …

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Here comes the fuzz

Guitar pedal designed with PT business among top sellers worldwide

Posted

James Schultz’s guitar pedal is selling like hotcakes.

Whether it’s the thick, fierce tones and sounds emanating from the pedal or the monochromatic and minimal design of it, the Keeley Electronics Moon Op Amp Fuzz Pedal brings something for most any guitarist or bassist to resonate with.

“It’s just one of the most ferocious fuzz pedals I’ve ever played,” Schultz said. “This one is a very foundation-based sound, something that you leave on. It’s something that will be the tone for the whole song.”

The Moon Fuzz pedal, designed and coordinated between Schultz and popular guitar pedal manufacturer Keeley Electronics, has been among the most popular pedals released in 2022 so far.

The device is being sold on Reverb — the world’s most popular online marketplace for buyers and sellers of musical instruments and gear — and is among the best-selling recent releases at No. 2 on the site currently.

Schultz, a Port Townsend resident and owner of The Guitar Store on Water Street, had a particular idea in mind before he approached the pedal pros at Keeley Electronics, based in Oklahoma City.

He was a big fan of the pedal producer’s Dark Side Workstation Multi-effects Pedal, an all-in-one device mimicking the numerous guitar effects Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour used to formulate the rock band’s signature psychedelic, spacey tones.

Schultz was seeking a pedal that emulated the sturdy and deep sounds found on the Dark Side Workstation’s fuzz effect, but with exclusive emphasis on that sound with a deeper bass to it.

“I talked to Robert Keeley (pedal maker and owner of Keeley Electronics) about it and he said ‘We can do something for you,’” Schultz said. “He moved the EQ around, added a lot more base … to make a doom, stoner metal fuzz pedal.”

After playing around with prototypes and making the necessary tweaks, Schultz and Keeley finally found what they were looking for.

“It’s a very thick, guttural distortion. Tight, it doesn’t get spasm-y and it doesn’t push out in ways that are choppy like ’60s pedals and some of that ’60s garage sound,” he said.

“It’s something that’s a really tight, brutal force that comes out, and if you think of the early ’90s Seattle tones or the Smashing Pumpkins or any of the bands that came out in that era, a lot of them had that.”

After finding an aesthetic design to fit the build, Keeley and Schultz were ready for release.

“We released it on 4/20, and it’s obviously great for being a stoner metal [guitar pedal],” Schultz said.

The Moon Fuzz device was an instant hit with hundreds of musicians purchasing the pedal on Day One, and many others following suit shortly after.

“We’re over 500 sold now in the first month. In the first 26 days, which is pretty phenomenal seeing that we’ve done very little advertising,” he said. “I figure by the time we get to 60 days of selling, we’re going to be the top pedal in the world. Probably the top selling pedal this year worldwide, which is pretty amazing … It’s been a very pleasant surprise.”

As important as the actual pedal effect is, Schultz knows that in today’s internet-based selling market, a nice-looking pedal is just as crucial as the internals.

“Starting with the pedal called the Dark Side, we knew that we wanted it to be based in black,” he said.

“For this, I really wanted it to be plain, I really wanted it to be so plain that it was noticeable when someone saw it on a pedalboard. I wanted something that was bold and dark and matched the idea that this is not a secret weapon, this is a subliminal weapon.”

The Moon Fuzz has been a hit among professional players as well, with bassist Jeff Matz of heavy metal band High on Fire and guitarist Brent Hinds of Mastodon both giving positive feedback on the device.

“We’ve put them in the hands of players around the world. It’s kind of a foundation pedal,” Schultz said. “It’s been really interesting seeing what people do with it.”

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