First an introduction for those whom may be unfamiliar with what "Kickstarter" is:
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you.
Together, creators and backers make projects happen. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.
Creators keep 100% ownership of their work. Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially. Instead, project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. Backers of an effort to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work.
Now that that is out of the way we are pleased to present our Kickstarter campaign:
Know Thy Amp, Respect Thy Amp
Tailored FX - Handmade Preamps (aka "overdrives") "tailored" to respect your amp's archetype and it's unique character.
What we aim to do: Handmade pre-amps (aka "overdrives") designed to respect your biggest musical investment, your amp. Whether you own a Fender, Marshall, or Vox - you do so because of it's unique character and voicing - TFX Preamps are designed to work FOR your amp not just with your amp.
Ask yourself "what if the designer of a overdrive pedal knew what amp it was going to be used on....would that alter the way the designer approached the design of that unit?" At TFX we say the answer is YES!
Our preamp pedals can range from clean boost to low gain overdrive. Please note - they are not distortion pedals that will define your sound - they are tone shapers allowing you more flexibility to sculpt your sound. Every decision made in the production process is guided by the ultimate destination of the guitar signal - your amp. We want to create a unit tailored to work with your rig.
Disclaimer: Of course - there is no "right" or "wrong" way to approach your sound.Though we will use both logic and empirical experience to develop the Tweed, Diamond, and Plexi models our efforts to create an amp-archetype-specific overdrive will be based on our personal opinion on what sounds best - not fact. Our belief is that owners of these respective amps will appreciate our efforts and attention to detail and will be receptive to our unique design approach.
That sounds great but how will we do this?
1) Aesthetics - TFX Preamps are designed to look like an extension to your amp, an homage to the amp's character and unique history.
2) Audio Design - Every decision made in the circuit design is guided by the ultimate destination of the guitar signal - your amp. We want to create a unit tailored to work with your rig.
- Adjusting high pass filter at input of the unit to set the cutoff frequencies:
The high pass filter limits the amount of bass frequencies the circuit will pass. Amp archetypes that pair particularly well with treble booster circuits, such as the tweed, benefit from limiting the bass frequencies prior to the gain stages. Amps such as the vox, which are known for their chimey top end, lend themselves to a signal with more bass frequencies as the treble can easily become ice picky.
- Adjusting the center frequencies for the EQ stages:
Adjusting the three band tone control on the preamps is a critical part of our design process. For each unit we carefully select the center frequencies for each band - this is especially important for the mids freq's. This means for each amp we need to decide what frequencies are most useful to cut or boost with respect to the amp being used. 200Hz is a darker lower mids frequency / 1khz is a centered more honky mids frequency / 2khz is a more upper and higher presence mids. With the Fender-type stack for example, the bass and treble knobs mostly just boost, and the mids knob mostly just cuts. So in that case having all of the knobs at "noon" actually creates a deep scoop of the mids. Once the center frequency is determined the next step is to optimize the cutoff point determining which bass frequencies will be clipped in order to find the sweet spot to avoid muddy distortion as well as shrill ice-pick clipping.
- Adjusting the clipping threshold:
Adjusting the clipping threshold (amount of compression of the signal peaks) allows for flexibly to tune the preamp for differences found in high headroom vs low headroom amps. Because factors such as the variability of guitar pickup output levels and preamp tubes, all TFX preamps are equipped with two internal switches that operate as a headroom control and bass boost.
--------------------The Development Tools--------------------
It started on the breadboard and then we built the development station pictured above on order to tailor center frequencies of the 3 band eq, Center Frequencies, hp filters, diode types, headroom/comp lvl, and more to any respective amp archetype on the fly.
The Civic Crown:
In the process of developing prototypes for the TFX tweed preamp we came across an idea to design a universal preamp that would be designed to be used with any amp. Many overdrives have already succeeded in this territory of mass appeal. Units such as the tubescreamer and bluesbreaker are common for a reason – it’s because they do what they do well and can be added to most any rig with success. The Civic Crown is our venture into this space – a overdrive pedal that will sound good in any rig. The civic crown includes the internal switches for headroom and bass boost as well as the 3 band EQ allowing users a wide range of low gain tones. The gain and lvl knobs light up as you play getting brighter as you dig into the guitar. The Civic Crown is an excellent choice for gain stacking or as a utility for mutli guitar rigs which may benefit from a different EQ and headroom lvl respective to the guitar being used. Use it to fatten your strat or to brighten your les paul – the flexibility is there for you.
Thank you for your interest. We are so proud to finally be able to present the TFX Civic Crown to the market. www.tailoredfx.net
- Additional Reward Images/Mock-ups:
Risks and challenges
What is the biggest risk?
Our biggest risk is that we need to reach our funding goal in order to launch this product. The design of the Civic Crown Universal Preamp has been through many revisions and is ready to launch - though much progress has been made- the truth is - more R&D is required to deliver the Tailored FX amp specific preamps . We need the support of the Kickstarter community in order to be successful.
What will happen after the project is funded?
As soon as we have reached our funding goal, we will be placing the orders for the bare circuit boards, enclosures, paint, hardware, and components from our vendors whom we have locked in with commitments to provide their part of this project according to our production schedule.
Once we have received the various parts for the pedals, we will begin hand building each one at our shop and testing them completely before shipping to our backers.
Although we do not plan on encountering any delays, if for some reason we see that the project timeline will be affected in any way, we will make sure our backers are kept in the loop and up to date on what to expect.
- (47 days)