Taking everything I have learned about designing & building pedals in the last two years, and using the increased purchasing power that Kickstarter provides, version two of the Enterprise makes many improvements.
1) Extended range of the SPEED control. Using a custom-made pot, the speed range is increased while allowing for more fine level control over the faster speeds.
2) Extended range of the DEPTH control, which will be called the CENTER control on version 2. This still the same control as before, but the sweep goes past the normal maximum and shifts the center of the sweep towards high frequencies. This allows for a full sweep, a throbbing low sweep, or a mellow high sweep.
3) A custom-made FEEDBACK control has a more even sweep, plus a center detent to let you know when it is set at zero feedback.
4) Precisely tuned phase stages for an even more natural, smooth sweep, especially at slower speeds. I really took my time to tune the phase sweep for the widest array of natural phase tones.
5) The MODE switch now has a middle position, which is a cross between the focused phase mode and swirling vibe mode.
Due to the rise in demand for VFE Pedals, many of our products are on pace to sell out before the summer. Additionally, many of the custom parts needed for the Enterprise phaser will give us a jump start toward developing improved versions of several other products. Because of these crossover parts, this Kickstarter will also support the development of version two pedals for the Blueprint delay, Distortion3, Fiery Red Horse fuzz, Pale Horse overdrive, and The Scream overdrive.
Here is a summary of all the planned changes:
Blueprint delay - Only small tweaks are planned for this analog-voiced delay. Perhaps the most significant is a custom-made pot to provide for better control over the speed of the modulation.
Distortion3 - Many changes are planned to make this an even more versatile overdrive/distortion/boost. More EQ control over both treble & bass response, wider gain range, plus variable compression for both the OD clipping options and MODE selection.
Fiery Red Horse fuzz - Bass response is improved in the distortion section for a punchier bottom end, especially at high gain settings. EQ range is extended with boost/cut treble & bass controls. Improved headroom in the output stages while still allowing you to create starved fuzz tones by sagging the power to the distortion stages.
Pale Horse overdrive - The primary change planned is to convert the 3-way clipping switch into a variable compression control that will allow you to fine tune the character and compression of the overdrive. Next, custom-made pots for the bass & treble controls will yield more natural control (clockwise = more). Finally, I plan to experiment with the TONE control, but nothing has been decided yet for this control, other than to provide more EQ control over the tone.
The Scream overdrive - The Scream will also convert its 3-way clipping switch into a variable compression control. With the goal of adding versatility while sticking to the classic TS808 design, the FAT control will be upgraded with a custom-made dual-gang pot to preserve more transparency when dialing it back.
One of the challenges of designing pedals is the limiting the design to currently available components. Potentiometers are the biggest problem, as the ideal value and taper are not always available. By getting custom-made potentiometers by Alpha Products in California, I can often extend the range of a control while simultaneously making it more natural to use & easier to dial in the setting you want. These custom made pots purchased because of Kickstarter backers will be used in more than just the Enterprise, but several other current products.
Alpha Dog distortion - The variable compression in both the HARD and SOFT controls has most of its range at the two ends of the sweep. Two custom-made pots will allow for a more natural range, plus a center detent to let you know the place with the least compression.
Blues King overdrive - The variable compression provided by the DIST control has most of its range at the two ends of its sweep. The custom-made pot will allow for a more natural range, plus a center detent to let you know the place with the least compression.
Choral Reef analog chorus - The SPEED control is currently weighted towards slower speeds, with the faster speeds only accessible in the last part of the sweep. The custom-made pot will allow you to more easily dial in the speed of the chorus, especially the faster speeds.
Mini Mu autowah - The PEAK control starts slow, and then ramps up quickly toward the end of the sweep. The custom-made pot will allow for a more natural sweep + wider resonance range of this control.
Rocket EQ clean boost - The range of the FREQ control that I can give to the mid range is limited by the taper of the pot. The custom-made FREQ pot will be used for easier control over the center frequency of the mid band, and also extended range of the control.
Enterprise Junior phaser - The same custom-made SPEED control in the Enterprise will also be used to extend the range and usability of the Enterprise Junior.
For more information about different VFE effects, visit vfepedals.com.
VFE Pedals' commitment to excellence
I don't give into hype when designing my pedals, but rely on math, listening and durability tests. Every VFE Pedal is designed for tone and built to last, using the following parts and construction:
- True bypass relay switching
- Industrial-grade Carling switches
- Neutrik audio jacks
- 5% WIMA polypropylene and polyester capacitors
- 1% metal-film resistors (lower noise than carbon types)
- Potentiometers soldered directly to the PCB (no wires to break)
- Excessive power filtering for low noise
- Isolated board for the jacks & the potentiometers
- Soldered by hand with American-made silver solder
- Brightness control for the water-clear LED light
- Individually tested with guitar & ears, not oscilloscopes!
Built in America, supporting American manufacturing
All VFE Pedals are built in our shop near Seattle, WA. But by backing this Kickstarter, you also support these American manufacturers and services:
I am excited to launch a new feature for every VFE Pedal through this Kickstarter - Dual-Mode switching. Dual-Mode switching allows for standard on/off operation, plus momentary on/off operation. In standard mode, also called latching mode, the pedal turns on when you press the footswitch, and then turns off the next time you press the footswitch. In momentary mode, the footswitch turns on when you press it, and turns off when you release it! Create stutter effects with ANY of our effects with Dual-Mode switching.
The best part about Dual-Mode switching is that it's a standard feature that adds ZERO cost and ZERO additional parts. To switch between latching and momentary modes, simply follow this sequence - tap + tap + hold (>3 seconds). This precise sequence will only work after a 3 second rest period without any presses of the footswitch, so you can riff on the momentary mode without worrying about accidentally switching modes.
Because Dual-Mode switching simply requires a new switching board, we can upgrade all VFE Pedals that were initially made with relay switching. This is virtually everything we have built since the fall of 2010, which was months before we shipped anything to stores. The upgrade reward is at the $35 level, which covers the cost of the new board, plus labor, return shipping, and an upgraded Carling footswitch (when applicable). This fee does not cover the cost to ship the pedal to our warehouse in Puyallup, WA, United States.
More details about VFE Pedals
Just in case you were wondering, here are some of the design standards and components used in every VFE Pedal. For more information, click the Design Standards tab on our Product page.
TrueSoft Bypass = Rugged true bypass relay switching combined with smooth solid-state switching for the best of both worlds.
5% WIMA capacitors = German-made capacitors are the industry standard, and with a 5% tolerance, you can rest in knowing that every VFE Pedals sounds just as great as the next.
Carling switching = Industrial-grade switches commonly used in MUCH more expensive products. Just do a search for prices on the 110-PM-OFF footswitch we use in every pedal, and you will see just how much more expensive this part is compared to our competitors.
Where will the money go?
This Kickstarter will fund several key expenses to developing version two pedals and upgrading a few more current products. $3000-$3500 will go to purchase custom-made potentiometers from Alpha Products in California. These parts normally have a 6-8 week lead time, but they are already on order to reduce the lead time for you to receive your rewards. $1000-$1500 will go to purchase all the version two circuit boards that will be fabricated by Advanced Circuits in Colorado. The rest of the money will go toward the purchase of parts and labor costs to build the rewards.
Risks and challenges
I have designed dozen of pedals over the last few years, and we have produced over 3000 pedals in just the last 24 months. This Kickstarter is focused on non-custom pedals in order to provide simplicity to ship rewards as quickly as possible.
The custom-made potentiometers have a stated lead time of 6-8 weeks. If the lead time is shorter than this, most rewards will ship in late April 2013. If the lead time is longer than this, most rewards will ship in late May 2013. Unfortunately, this is the one key aspect of the lead time that we do not control.
We have already begun shipping rewards from our previous Kickstarter for the Junior Series lineup. With the exception of two $800 custom-designed circuit rewards, which were promised for fulfillment in May, all other rewards are on schedule to ship out by the end of March (exactly when this Kickstarter ends).
There is no official way to do this through Kickstarter. However, all you need to do is pledge the amount that will make you available for all the rewards you wish you receive. Then select one of the rewards from the options available. If the Kickstarter is successful, you will receive a survey that will let you choose your other rewards. Even if an option is sold out, you may still select it as one of your additional rewards.
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please add the extra shipping cost only once for the whole order. If there are two different prices for international shipping, please use the higher number.
Choose any 16 stock Standard Series pedals OR 12 customized Standard Series pedals of your choice. Also, you may exchange these pedals at full retail price toward the purchase of any VFE product until June 2014.