Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Guitar pedals designed to combine form and function, inspired by works of literary art and legend, striving to inspire musical art.
72 backers pledged $13,825 to help bring this project to life.

About

Wrought Iron Effects--2016 Pedal Lineup project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$13,825

72

  Wrought Iron Leather and Effects has grown from simple DIY beginnings making my own guitar straps, to the point we're at now: getting ready to launch our first 3 production level effects pedals. You will find detailed descriptions and demo videos of each pedal below as you scroll down.

Wrought Iron Summer 2016 line-up
Wrought Iron Summer 2016 line-up

UPDATE: We did it!!! We've reached 120%, our stretch goal. (Everything that foloows in italics is realted to the new SHADOWFAX pedal; scroll down past the italics for the t-shirts, decals, ORCRIST, ASLAN, and BUCEPHALUS pedals.)That means the SHADOWFAX Boost is now available for pre-orders. SHADOWFAX is a clean boost. Now there are a lot of “clean” boosts on the market, so let me clarify a little. Some boosts that are bipolar transistor-based are actually pretty dirty (classic LPB-1 and Rangemaster type circuits) meaning they start to clip your signal as you turn them up. That's fine for some applications and actually sounds AWESOME into an already overdriven amp. Then there are JFET based boosts that have a more gentle tube-like clipping which sound great even into a clean amp, but also have their own flavor. The SHADOWFAX is a MOSFET based boost. It has a super-high input impedance (it won't load your guitar signal down and rob the high end and presence) and more “headroom” than the other types. There are other MOSFET boosts on the market (The ZVEX SHO, the AMZ MOSFET boost, etc) so what makes SHADOWFAX special? Well, we've taken some of the features from out other pedals and incorporated versions of them into SHADOWFAX.

#1. SHADOWFAX not only has your typical treble cut tone control, it also features a bass control knob. While not as versatile as the full 3 band tonestack of the BUCEPHALUS PreAmp, these two tone-shaping controls give you a wide range of control.

#2. Custom laser cut LED backlit graphic. We've received so much positive feedback on the ORCRIST light-up Elvish runes, that we decided to do it again with SHADOWFAX. The horse graphic (more original artwork by Kristine Louise) will be laser-cut and backlit with white LED's. If you are wondering if it's going to look freakin' spectacular, you can stop wondering and start ordering because the answer is “Yep.”

#3. The 18 volt internal charge pump gives you more headroom that a 9 volt boost AND lets you use your standard 9 volt power. Another feature we borrowed from ORCRIST (Goblin Cleaver setting) is the internal charge pump. Read on below for a more detailed explanation of why that's important or go ahead over to the side bar and just order SHADOWFAX right now.

SHADOWFAX plate design
SHADOWFAX plate design

The enclosures are being laser-cut right now, so we probably won't have a legit photo or demo for this one until after the KS has ended (sorry! Just the nature of last minute stretch goals I guess.) But here's the design of the plate that will comprise the top, front and back sides of the enclosure. I'll post a picture of the raw materials as soon as I pick the up.

Highly technical data section: Think of your guitar signal as an alternating current sine wave and the boost pedal is a direct current room. The ceiling and the floor in the room are defined by the DC power supply voltage that you feed your boost pedal (in most cases, 9 volts). The transistor in the pedal wants to boost your signal up higher than the ceiling and lower than the floor, but once it hits the ceiling (or floor) it runs out of “headroom”, the signal bumps its head and gets squashed down a bit. The sine wave has become distorted or clipped. Now that can sound really cool...if that's what you're looking for. But if you want a clean signal, just louder, that ceiling can be kind of frustrating. So what's the logical thing to do? You guessed it: raise the ceiling! How do we do this? Well, one way is to build a “charge pump” into your circuit. This subcircuit takes your standard 9 volt power input and pumps it up to 18 volts. Now the ceiling is higher and your signal has more “headroom” before banging against it. (see accompanying technical diagrams).

9 volt booster clipping signal (THE NERVE!)
9 volt booster clipping signal (THE NERVE!)


 

18 volts pamper your guitar signal
18 volts pamper your guitar signal

If you've already pledge for another pedal and want to add SHADOWFAX to your pledge, we've got some combo packs coming just as soon as I can get them typed up that will offer a little discount to you. THANKS EVERYBODY FOR SUPPORTING WROUGHT IRON!!!!

If you already know guitar pedals are not for you, but you still want to be part of the project, check out this wicked t-shirt graphic! This will be on the back of the t-shirt and the Wrought Iron logo will be small on the front
                   

back t-shirt graphic
back t-shirt graphic

                            History


Here is the story of how we got to this Kickstarter launch.
 Earlier in my career as a farrier, I started making my own guitar straps with the leather left over from the horseshoeing chaps I made for myself. Some friends and family asked me to make straps for them and I eventually  I started selling a few--- that was about 800 straps ago. (You can see the current line of straps here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Wroughtironleather?ref=l2-shopheader-name).

Wrought Iron Leather Strap
Wrought Iron Leather Strap

A couple years later, I got into learning about building my own effects pedals. Inspired by a DIY boost pedal that the bassist of a favorite band built for their guitar player (http://dawestheband.com/), I decided to try to build a couple pedals for my own use. I found that between the electronic circuitry work and the process of housing the circuits in re-purposed vintage containers, this project had really captured my creative attention. After spending some time learning and experimenting, I eventually started building pedals for sale.  I could spend a lot of time on each pedal because I wasn't trying to make a living doing it. I was just learning and experimenting.

Earlier Wrought Iron Creations
Earlier Wrought Iron Creations


But now a shoulder injury has forced me to lay down the hammer and tongs and give up horseshoeing/farrier work. That change has given me the nudge I needed to take Wrought Iron to the next level. As it turns out, custom shaping hot steel to the shape of individual horses' feet has helped me develop a style of working that transfers over into electronic design very nicely: a combination of art and science. With that mindset, over the last year or so, I have developed 4 Drive circuits (The ORCRIST Overdrive, ASLAN Overdrive, and the two sides of the BUCEPHALUS PreAmp) creating customized enclosure designs for each one.

BUCEPHALUS PreAmp, ASLAN Overdrive,  ORCRIST Overdrive
BUCEPHALUS PreAmp, ASLAN Overdrive, ORCRIST Overdrive

  I have 4 main goals for the Wrought Iron pedal line:

  •  1. Great Sounding Circuits. If I can't do this, nothing else really matters.
  • 2.Original circuit design-- there are plenty of other options on the market for modified Tube Screamer, Blues Breaker, and Klon circuits and many of them sound great! So no need for me to re-invent the wheel. I want to build something that sounds a little different and unique.
  • 3. Visually Appealing Enclosure Design. If I put the work into building something that sounds great, I want the box it lives in to complement the sound. I want everything about the enclosure to communicate something about the "soul' of the circuit. The pedals' names, fonts, graphics, colors--it's all intended to flow together into the sounds that the circuit produces. I want them to be inspiring to look at. If you're going to look at these things every time you play your guitar, I want you to enjoy that experience! Form follows function, of course. But it follows very closely. For this reason all Wrought Iron enclosures are either custom-made folded Aluminum or Stainless Steel, or are re-purposed vintage containers.
  •  4. Keep the price within reach for any player who really wants to own one. While I am not trying to compete with prices from huge manufacturers who build their pedals in Taiwan or China, my goal is to keep prices comparable to other small American manufacturers.


The ASLAN (Good) Overdrive
 

  This pedal takes its name from the lion in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S.Lewis and specifically from a passage where Lucy asks whether or not Aslan is a safe lion. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."

ASLAN OD
ASLAN OD


  The circuit's cascade of JFET transistors gives it a very tube-like sound. The ASLAN is voiced to give you a LOT of mid range to sit very nicely in a full band mix. It has your standard Level, Gain and Tone controls plus Bite control to turn up the gain to the final stage to really punch through the mix. The ASLAN Good Overdrive gives you that cranked vintage amp sound, but at a reasonable volume. It's not a tame sound, but it's a Good sound! 

Top Load Jacks save space on your pedalboard
Top Load Jacks save space on your pedalboard

  

Custom-made Anodized Aluminum Case w/ 3D Lion Head Icon
Custom-made Anodized Aluminum Case w/ 3D Lion Head Icon

  

 

                                  ASLAN OD demo by 60 Cycle Hum

ORCRIST Overdrive 

  The ORCRIST OD is named after the sword from Tolkien's The Hobbit. Forged by Elves, the sword took on a blue glow when Orcs were near. The case features the name ORCRIST in Gondolinin runes cut out and back-lit with blue LED's when the pedal is switched on.  

ORCRIST OD
ORCRIST OD

The ORCRIST is a bipolar transistor overdrive that is voiced for lots of low-mids, lows and even low harmonics. This is a really warm overdrive that gives you lots of break-up without the high-end sizzle that's characteristic of a lot of op-amp overdrives. It has standard Gain, Volume and Tone controls, but also gives you a Bite control that adds a little treble and gain to the final gain stage. Additionally, on the top side of the pedal, there's a toggle to switch between standard 9 volt mode (Biter) or 18 volt charge pump mode (Goblin Cleaver) for more volume and a little more headroom.  This is a great OD for rhythm guitar players and stacks great with other overdrives.

Top load jacks for space saving plus a charge pump toggle
Top load jacks for space saving plus a charge pump toggle

  

Stainless Steel enclosure with cut-out Elvish runes.
Stainless Steel enclosure with cut-out Elvish runes.

 

                     ORCRIST OD demo by 60 Cycle Hum

The BUCEPHALUS PreAmp 

 Bucephalus was the warhorse of Alexander the Great in his conquests from Greece to India. Legend holds that, as a boy Alexander was able to tame the massive uncooperative horse that no one else could by turning him into the sun so that he no longer saw his shadow. Bucephalus became the driving force of the Companion Cavalry as the Macedonian army stormed across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The BUCEPHALUS PreAmp is designed to be your dependable foundation to boost or build your tone.

BUCEPHALUS PreAmp dual drive
BUCEPHALUS PreAmp dual drive

You will probably notice that the BUCEPHALUS PreAmp has undergone a redesign even since the video was filmed. BUCEPHALUS now features two independent circuits.
The Hippikon ("Cavalry Soldier") side is a 2 mode boost/OD with a mid-voiced 3 band amp-style tone stack. The "Biting/Brutal" toggle moves the midhump forward to high mids (great for lead tones) or back for low mids (great for rhythm playing). The tone stack controls let you fine tune the EQ.  The mode switch goes between Finesse for a cleanish boost with some light breakup and Force for a full on low gain overdrive. 

Hippikon
Hippikon

The Exelasis ("Cavalry charge")  is an very open sounding JFET overdrive without any diode clipping/compression. This low gain drive is super-responsive to guitar volume and has very amp-like response to picking dynamics. It features standard Volume, Tone and Gain controls, plus a 'Discipline' control for reining in higher output pickups. The "Unbridled" toggle opens up the full output of the final gain stage for a little extra boost.  

Exelasis OD
Exelasis OD


  The feature that adds extra versatility to the BUCEPHALUS PreAmp is that each circuit has separate input and output jacks. So you can run the circuits in either order OR insert other effects in between the two circuits.  

Separate IN and OUT jacks for each circuit
Separate IN and OUT jacks for each circuit

 

                          BUCEPHALUS demo by 60 Cycle Hum

  I feel that we have met our goals with these 3 pedals and I am excited to share them with the guitar playing community. So why not just open a website and start selling them?,  you may ask.  Why do a Kickstrater campaign?  Those are good questions. So let me outline the answers here by giving you a little peek behind the scenes.
    Up to this point, each pedal has been a completely hand built item--I build the enclosures, I anodize them to color, I bend them to shape, I even acid-etch the Printed Circuit Boards myself before populating them and soldering the components in place.

Hand etched PCB's for BUCEPHALUS prototype
Hand etched PCB's for BUCEPHALUS prototype

This has been a fun way to do it, but it is not as consistent or cost effective as it could be.  I need to get some pros to help me out with some of those jobs. This Kickstarter project will allow me to have PCB's professionally machined in a large quantity and get the enclosures laser cut and professionally marked and anodized for consistent high quality production (See the Risks and Challenges section for more on this). I can then focus on building the circuits, shaping the enclosures and assembling everything....and continuing the experimentation that leads to new Wrought Iron Effects designs!
   Thanks for your consideration of Wrought Iron products and for your support in this project!
Ed and Kris Chew
  

Risks and challenges

Risks and Challenges:
The biggest challenge is getting quality materials at prices that allow me to keep the pedals affordable. Quantity discounts are the key to controlling costs. Getting a sufficient number of pre-orders can drive the price of certain materials down by 66%. So the challenge is to get enough pre-orders of each pedal that I can buy materials in sufficient quantity to take advantage of these discounts.
The main risk is going to be supplier lead times. I have developed a good supply chain, but sometimes things don't work out as planned. I will be working with a local anodizer for the BUCEPHALUS and ASLAN enclosures. Matching the colors I have developed for each might be a challenge. Also, some parts for the circuits are becoming hard to find as they are replaced with tiny surface-mount components, intended to be set by machine rather than by hand. I have located a primary supplier and 2 back-ups, so I should have access to a sufficient quantity of high quality components for these 2 rounds of production.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Friends of Wrought Iron

    So you're not an electric guitarist and you have no need of t-shirts and stickers, but you want to support the project. Well, thank you! Pledge whatever you want and we'll have your name engraved on a brick in the sculpture I have commissioned to honor our supporters upon completion of the project.
    Ok, that last part isn't a real thing, but we will send you a handwritten card with an update of how everything is going once we get production up and running.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Supporter Pack- Limited edition Decals

    Thank you for helping with the launch! You'll get a set of limited edition Wrought Iron decals(one corresponding to each of the 3 pedals offered) for your instrument cases or car bumper. Or for the sandwich board you wear on your lunch hour while you walk the sidewalk in front of your place of work promoting my business.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Wrought Iron ASLAN T-shirt- USA made

    100% cotton t-shirt, MADE IN THE USA!! in charcoal grey with soft-touch graphics (Wrought Iron Anvil logo small on the front and ASLAN lion image large on the back). Original artwork by Kristine Louise. These will be available in Men's and Women's cut in sizes S, M, L, XL, and 2XL and youth sizes S,M,L. They're a slim fit, so keep that in mind when ordering.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Combo Sticker/ T-shirt pack

    Get the Decal set (3) plus a t-shirt and save $5 off the combined price!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $155 or more About $155

    SHADOWFAX 18 volt Clean Boost

    SHADOWFAX MOSFET booster features black anodized aluminum case, laser cut LED backlit horse graphic, controls for Bass and Treble and 18 volt internal charge pump for additional headroom.
    Just like its namesake, the SHADOWFAX will faithfully carry your signal where it couldn't go on its own.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    ASLAN Overdrive--- FIRST RUN

    Grab one of the first run of ASLANS and get $25 off the regular price! The "main ingredient" to this overdrive--JFET transistors--is getting harder and harder to come by, but I've got a cache of enough to build these first 25 right away. I will have them ready to ship by the end of September*. Each will be hand stamped with its serial number and come with a certificate of "first run" authenticity.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    ORCRIST Overdrive---FIRST RUN

    Get one of the first 25 ORCRIST OD's to roll off the assembly line and save $25 off regular price!! I will have these first 25 ready to ship by the end of September. Each will be hand stamped with its serial number and come with a certificate of "first run" authenticity.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 21 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    ORCRIST Overdrive ---2nd Run

    Grab one of the next run of ORCRIST OD's and still get $15 off regular price! After filling the first run orders, I will begin building the 2nd run. I have the Stainless Steel plates already cut for these enclosures, so 2nd run should go pretty quick. Delivery dates will be somewhat contingent on suppliers meeting turn-around time commitments.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $295 or more About $295

    BUCEPHALUS PreAmp--- FIRST RUN

    Charge into battle with a first run BUCEPHALUS and save $35 off regular price! Each will be hand stamped with its serial number and come with a certificate of "first run" authenticity.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    ASLAN + SHADOWFAX

    Save $15 off the pair. If you've already pledged, just update your amount and select this reward in place of your previous selection

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    ORCRIST +SHADOWFAX

    SAVE $15 off the pair! If you've already pledged, just update your amount and select this reward in place of your previous selection

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $405 or more About $405

    ASLAN + ORCRIST first run combo

    Save $25 off the pair. Get the bright roaring tones of ASLAN and deep cutting tones of ORCRIST together! Throw away all your other overdrive pedals--you don't need them anymore!! (just kidding, don't throw them away. You might want to keep them or at least sell them and use the money to buy more Wrought Iron gear or pay down your student loans if you must.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $555 or more About $555

    ORCRIST +ASLAN +SHADOWFAX

    SAVE $30 off the trio! If you've already pledged, just update your amount and select this reward in place of your previous selection

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    ASLAN + ORCRIST + BUCEPHALUS--first run

    Save $50 off the trio! The tonal possibilities are endless when you have all 4 circuits at your finger--er--toe tips. Both sides of the Bucephalus plus the Orcrist and the ASLAN in any combination you want to run them.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $805 or more About $805

    ORCRIST +ASLAN +BUCEPHALUS+SHADOWFAX

    Get all 3 of the originals, plus the bonus pedal and we'll knock $75 off! If you've already pledged, just update your amount and select this reward in place of your previous selection

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)