RAILhead Effects is your source for affordable, top-quality, handmade boutique effects that not only sound and perform great — they look great, too! Built by a guitarist, for guitarists. Use the above navigation bar to browse the site — and come back often to see what’s new.


December 24, 2010


Can you believe 2010 is almost over? This has to have been one of the fastest moving years in history — and it was RAILhead Effect's best year since opening in 2008! Year to date, RAILhead Effects sales have increased a whopping 280% since 2009, and that's just AWESOME! I can't express how cool it is to know my tinkerings are helping my fellow musicians rock all over the globe. And that's another thing: RAILhead Effects was more global than ever in 2010. Multiple orders from countries like New Zealand, The Netherlands, Australia, The United Kingdom, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Russia, and Italy — that's just awesome!

So I give you all a heartfelt THANK YOU, and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The new RAILhead Effects shop will be complete in just a couple more months, then I'll be diving into bringing some sweet new effects to all of you in 2011, so stay tuned!

Thanks again, everyone — ROCK ON!

December 22, 2010

Etched Peach Custom Fuzz Now Available!

I'm pleased to announce the availability of my Etched Peach Custom Fuzz: the same fat and nasty fuzz tone so many people love about The Peach is now housed in a sweet new shell! Better yet, you can get the etched version for a mere $110! How sweet is that?

The Peach

The Peach

Read more about The Peach on The Peach info page!

December 18, 2010

Modified TUA Metalcore Distortion Enclosure

I've made a slight change to the design of the Etched TUA Metalcore Distortion shell: I simply moved the RAILhead Effects logo to the top of the shell, and that's cut the etch work in half since I only have to process the top of the shell, as opposed to the top and side. Here's a pic of an undrilled shell:

November 9, 2010

Peanuts and More Conservation

I thought I'd share the most recent changes I've made in my efforts to be more environmentally responsible here at RAILhead Effects. The first thing is that I've reduced my packaging size: for years, I've shipped in white 6x6x6 boxes, but I'm now shipping in brown 6x4x3 boxes. That's 216 cu in reduced to just 72 cu in, and that's a LOT of waste reduction. What's allowed me to go to such a small shipping box is that I now place each effect in a 5x3x2 "Indesctructo" box which crush rates at 200 lbs. These little boxes are tough, and sport triple wall sides and double wall fronts and bottoms. And the volume of my pedal box and shipping box still come out to just 102 cu in combined, and that's still MUCH lower than my original 6x6x6 box. Couple that with how much more these boxes protect my pedals, and it's a total win-win situation!

Moving to a smaller shipping box also allows me to, once and for all, do away with using packing peanuts. Not only are they expensive and a pain in the butt to store, they're horrible for the environment. Yes, they make biodegradable peanuts — but they aren't cheap. So what do I do to take up the space between my pedal box and shipping box? I simply use a single sheet of paper, which is 100% recyclable — along with both boxes, of course.

So there you have my latest efforts in being a better steward of this planet we all share! Thanks for reading!

October 29, 2010

Batteries and Conservation

I recently added the option for not shipping my effects with the plastic bumper feet since so many of us rip them off and throw them away as soon as we get a new pedal, and I'm now doing the same for batteries. Personally, I'd prefer to not even support batteries in my effects since batteries are so wasteful — but as a gigging musician, I understand the importance of having the "backup" in case a power supply fails, etc. However, I never put batteries in my effects until I need them in there, so now I'm asking my clients to do the same.

With that said, on each effect's page, there's a new purchase option asking if you want the battery or not. NOTE: the pedal still ships with the battery connector — I just won't include the actual battery itself.

Thanks for helping!

October 18, 2010

User Manuals Are Online

By popular demand, I now have my effects' user manuals online. To get another copy (or just to read for fun (???)), go to the effect's page and scroll toward the bottom — there you will find the link to download the manual in PDF form.

October 15, 2010

About Etching

I thought I'd take a second and talk about etching since I get several emails a month asking how I do it. It really is a neat process, and one that gives each etched pedal it's own, unique personality.

For a good etch, the surface must be as level as possible, so the process begins with a thorough sanding of the pedal shell to remove all the high points. I begin with rough sandpaper, and progressively move to finer sandpaper until I get everything where I like it.

Now comes the stencil, which is a pretty cool part of the procedure. I use inkjet photo paper and a laser printer (yes, you read that right), taking advantage to how a laser printer transfers heated ink onto the paper's surface. I make a negative of the art, print it out, cut it to shape, then apply heat to it while it lays on the pedal shell. The inkjet photo paper has an emulsion layer that separates from the backing paper, and that's what holds the stencil to the pedal shell. Sweet, eh? I now clean up and expose the areas I want etched, and I put the face of the pedal in an etchant solution. The etchant eats away at the exposed aluminum, leaving the artwork grooved into the surface.

From here I add paint to the etch, just to give a bit of depth, then I sand everything smooth.

That's it!

The thing I love about etching is that when it's all said and done, you're left with an unfinished aluminum shell that can withstand pretty much any abuse you throw at it. I'm a gigging musician, and I haul and use my gear all over the place — so I want my effects to be rugged. Painted and shiny shells are great and all, but they just don't last over the long haul. Even pedals that are painted and clear coated with automotive paints don't last — just take a close look at your car's hood and fenders. As a builder, I like knowing that my pedals will stand up to road abuse.

I also like the luck-of-the-draw pedal etching is: no matter how many times you use the same art on the same type of shell under the same circumstances, each one will come out different. The acid will leech under an edge or maybe soak through a little, and when you clean it off and check it out, you'll find random etch-trash (as I like to call it). But, in my opinion, the etch-trash is FAR from trash! Those little intricacies are what make that pedal unique and interesting. No two will ever be the alike!

You now have a glimpse of how hands-on the etching process is, and this is the process I go though for every etched pedal I make. Your etched pedal was carefully labored over by yours truly, and that one-on-one attention is part of what makes my effects unique.

October 14, 2010

Options, Summer Sale, and More

First off, the response to The PRESET has been overwhelming! Thanks! I'm stoked so many of you are happy with it.

Second, I want to point out some new options I've added on the effects' purchase pages. You know the rubber bumper feet most pedals ship with? If you're like me, the first thing you do after you test the pedal is pop those little suckers off so that you can put velcro on the bottom and get the pedal on the pedalboard. So, to keep from wasting resources all-arond, you now have the option to specify whether or not you want the bumpers. The pedal price doesn't change as the cost of the bumpers in negligible — but there's no sense in wasting things, right?

The second option I've added is a text field where you can enter your band's name and web address so that I can add you to a soon-to-be-released Artists page. Free publicity!

Summer is almost over, so the RAILhead Effects Summer Sale will be ending soon! You have until Thanksgiving — November 25th — to get effects at the posted prices! Don't miss out!

The Peach? Yep, I'm about to release an etched version — and I hope to have pics of the prototype available by this time next week. Stay tuned!

Lastly, if you're a performing artist/musician and you're using RAILhead Effects gear, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let me know your group's name and web site so that I can link to you on my upcoming Artists page!

October 9, 2010

A Cool Artist/Musician/Band Opportunity!

If you're a performing artist/musician, I'd LOVE to talk to you about something really cool RAILhead Effects wants to do for you! If you're already a RAILhead Effects user, you'll get an even sweeter opportunity. All you need to do is shoot me an email with the following REQUIRED information:

  1. Your band name/artist name.
  2. Your band name/artist web site address or Facebook page (or other social networking site).
  3. If you're already a RHFX user, let me know what you have.
  4. If you're already a RHFX user, send me a pic of my gear in your setup/pedalboard, etc.

Again, this opportunity is for performing artists/musicians only, sorry!

Gather the above and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), then get ready for something cool!

October 7, 2010

The RAILhead Effects PRESET Is Here!

I'm pleased to announce the latest pedal in the RAILhead Effects catalog: THE PRESET Favorite Switch!

My current favorite delay pedals are The Brigadier and El Capistan made a company named Strymon. One "quirk" they have, though, is that there's no on-board preset switch to toggle between the stored settings (each delay can have 2 sounds: one on the effect, and one as a preset). However, these delays have the ability to switch presets if you use Strymon's Favorite switch pedal — simply plug the Favorite into the EXP jack with a TRS (stereo) 1/4" cable, and you now have full access to both sounds on your delay. As great as that is, there's a problem: Strymon's Favorite switch is just too big for my tastes — and the tastes of many others. So, I emailed Strymon and asked if I could make and sell my own small form-factor "favorite" switch, and they gave me full, express written permission to do just that.

That's how THE PRESET was born! Now, all the functionality of Strymon's large Favorite switch can be had in the same small enclosure I use for my crazy-popular Pulse Tap-Tempo — just 2 inches square for mine, compared to over 4.5 x 2.5 inches for Strymon's. Of course, Strymon built their Favorite to match their delay enclosures' shape, which is great. However, many Strymon users want a preset switch as small as possible, and that's where my PRESET comes into play.

A TRS (stereo) cable is required for use, and if you don't have one, you can buy a 1.5 foot cable from me for an additional $4.00.


THE PRESET Favorite Switch is only $35. Yes, $35! Head over to THE PRESET's info page for all the details!

October 5, 2010

THE PRESET Teaser Pics

As mentioned in the last news post, I received permission from Strymon to build and sell a small form factor "favorite" switch — and THE PRESET was born. Now, all the functionality of Strymon's large Favorite switch can be had in the same small enclosure I use for my crazy-popular Pulse Tap-Tempo — just 2 inches square for mine, compared to over 4.5 x 2.5 inches for Strymon's. Of course, Strymon built their Favorite to match their delay enclosures' shape, which is great. However, many Strymon users want a preset switch as small as possible, and that's where my PRESET comes into play. Here are a couple of teaser pics showing THE PRESET in action:

The Preset

The Preset

This wonderful little piece of gear can be yours for just $35 shipped! How sweet is that? And since Strymon ships their Favorite with the required TRS cable, I'm also making one available for an additional $4.00 in case you need one.

When will THE PRESET be available? This Thursday, October 7! STAY TUNED!

October 5, 2010

THE PRESET Is Coming Soon!

Here's some cool news: I have received express, written permission from Strymon allowing me to build and sell small form-factor Favorite Switches for their delay pedals. YES!

My pedal will be named THE PRESET, and it will be housed in the same shell as my Pulse Tap-Tempo. I'm finishing up the first prototype artwork and etch today, so keep your eyes peeled for a sneak-peek later tonight!

September 28, 2010

The RAILhead Effects Etched TUA Is Here!

I'm pleased to announce the pedal many players have been asking me for: the Etched TUA Metalcore Distortion. Minimalism at its best, with gut-churning, hellfire distortion that makes Perdition seem like a rose garden. This is the be all end all of high-gain distortions, and it provides the most guttural, gnashing, straight-from-Hades sounds you'll ever hear. Fun, no? Six controls let you meticulously dial-in the exact tone you want, and the tweakability allows you to rip heads off with any guitar in your rig. If you need high-gain, you need the TUA! Better still, the price has been reduced! You can get an Etched TUA for just $140 shipped, or snag the Painted TUA for just $160!

Get more info and hear some samples over at the TUA info page!


September 27, 2010

The Etched TUA Is Almost Here!

Keep your eyes peeled for the Tuesday afternoon announcement of the Etched TUA (Total Utter Annihilation) Metalcore Distortion! Great looks, great price, and wicked sound!

August 27, 2010

RAILhead Effects T-Shirts Are Here!

RAILhead Effects T-Shirts are here and ready for purchase for the ridiculously low price of $18, shipped! The shirts are printed on a black Hanes Beefy-Ts with the RHFX banner in white. You know you want to get one, so get one before the first batch is sold out! Head to our Merchandise page to place your order.

RHFX Shirt

August 20, 2010

The Etched Pulse Tap-Tempo Is Here!

I'm stoked to announce the immediate availability of my new, etched Pulse Tap-Tempo! This little guy measures-in at only 1.99x1.99x1.06 inches, so he can fit anywhere on your pedalboard — and the new etched version gives a total of 9 possible color combinations, so you're bound to find one that fits your tastes. The Pulse sports a high-quality, ultra soft-touch footswitch so you don't feel like you have to "click" a switch to register a tap — you just merely tap like you're tapping your foot along with the beat. No power is required for operation. Made by hand, one at a time, here in the USA. Color options are: Etched with Metallic Black Text, Etched with Metallic Blue Text, Etched with Metallic Red Text, Metallic Blue, Metallic Red, Metallic Black, Metallic Blue with dots, Metallic Red with dots, Metallic Black with dots. Best of all, the new, etched Pulse Tap-Tempo is only $30 shipped!

You can get more info at my Pulse Tap-Tempo page.

The PulseThe Pulse

Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 




RHFX Banner

RHFX Banner


Everything contained herein is copyright © Maury McCown and RAILhead Effects. Don't tread on me.
Return policy for direct purchases is 48 hours from receiving pedal, less a 25% restocking fee. Credit given only after pedal is returned for inspection.
This site is gleefully hosted by Media Temple and managed dynamically using ExpressionEngine 2.6.1.
This site has been viewed 624386 times.
This page was rendered in 0.3440 seconds.