Distinctive effects for guitar and keyboards
pique growing market interest
Guitarists talk, and internet forums dedicated to their gear abound. Effects pedals in particular seem to offer irresistible grist for discussion, occasionally elevating obscure, one-man shops to market significance. Case in point, Lounsberry Pedals LLC, an upstart U.S. manufacturer whose sales growth tracks strong word-of-mouth for its distinctive preamp/overdrive effects for guitar and keyboards.
Founded in 2016, Lounsberry was initially known for its acclaimed pedals for organists, including the company’s top-selling Tall & Fat and Organ Grinder models. More recently it has been winning praise for its guitar pedals as well, bearing such quirky names as Nigel, Rupert (for electric bass), and Toy Robot. “All my pedals are handcrafted—and they sound that way,” explains founder and designer Greg Lounsberry. “They ‘play’ more like amps than pedals, delivering a dynamic response many have never experienced in a pedal before. They can really liven up a solid state amp and offer the playing dynamics you thought could only be achieved with vacuum tubes.”
Involved in electronic manufacturing and engineering since the late ’70s in fields as diverse as robotics, biomedical monitoring, and space and missile programs, Greg also gigged as a studio backup vocalist and has recorded with several progressive rock groups. His technical knowledge and love of music converged as he set out to build better sounding electronic circuits for his own use in the studio. Used with guitar, organ, electric piano, or synth, Lounsberry pedals are designed to dodge the dreaded “midrange hump,” delivering smooth overdrive with a wide, flat frequency response.
It’s no surprise that Lounsberry Pedals has a distinctly “boutique” feel. From the company’s inception, every Lounsberry pedal has been hand-built by Greg and his wife in their small factory in western Maryland. The pedals’ consumer-magnet cosmetics reflect his appreciation for how ’70s music and graphics “all worked together as a seamless work of artistic expression.” With a nod to Mark Hershberger’s “graphical vision,” Greg says he wants the vintage sound and look to be an integrated experience for the user. Greg also exhibits a “boutique” approach to customer service. “I treat people fairly,” he says, “even when it costs me money—because my long-term vision is to build the brand and the company.”
Lounsberry is currently developing stereo versions of some of its organ effects “for those who want to use the internal Leslie simulations.” The company is also gearing up to formally introduce its much-anticipated Amp Rescue pedal at next month’s NAMM show. Designed to add dynamics, drive, and gain staging to a lackluster guitar amp, it’s intended “to help out the guy who can’t afford to buy a better amp.”
Lounsberry Pedals are distributed in the U.S. by MJP Sales Inc. and in Europe by The Music Alliance.
Subscribe to The Music Trades today!