About

Here's your chance to get the scoop about how RAILhead Effects started, and who, exactly, makes these neat little boxes of noise.

Origins

I like to say that RAILhead Effects was born out of necessity. Yeah, I know that's kind of cliché — but it's true.

Ages ago, I decided to setup my pedalboard so that I could easily swap between playing electric through my miked Goodsell Super 17, or playing my acoustic directly into the FOH board. Since I wanted to run both guitar types through all my effects, a simple A/B switch was the answer — so I bought the lowest priced, name brand switch I could find. My initial goofing around let me know the little guy worked great, so I strapped it on my board and headed out the door to play.

Once I started using it in a live setting, though, I realized it had a fatal flaw (in my opinion): no LEDs to indicate which channel was being used.

Since I've always been a tinkerer, I decided I'd modify the investment and drop-in some LEDs as opposed to buying a whole new switch. When I set out to do this, though, I also realized the pedal's jacks weren't in the prime spots as far as fitting perfectly onto my board.

The answer? You guessed it: I decided to build my own. I sourced out the parts, played with different layouts, monkeyed with various configurations, and finally settled on a final layout design. At this point, I had the perfect A/B switch for my needs — but it was ugly. Thankfully, my wife just so happens to be a painter, so I handed over the blank shell and she performed her paintlery magic upon it.

And thus our flagship pedal, the Switcha Rooski, was born.

Personnel

RAILhead Effects' massive operation is managed by a whopping two people: me and my wife.

In all seriousness, though, it's just the two of us. I come up with the effects I want to build and take care of all the "electronic stuff" — my wife takes the blank shells and makes them pretty. Sometimes I have a distinct idea for what I want as far as graphics and art go, and other times, I just let her do whatever comes natural.

I've been playing the guitar since 1985, and I've always been fascinated with analog technology. Since I love working with my hands (especially detail work), it was only a matter of time before my love of music fell into sync with my love for electronics.

My wife also plays the guitar — but the viola was her first musical love. She's also painted all her life, drawing loads of inspiration from her late Grandmother, who was always a marvel with canvas and oil.

My wife and I met in college because we were both in bands: I was in a heavy rock band named Free Association, and she was in a girl band named The Blue Sugars. It didn't take our band very long to figure out we'd have a better turn-out if The Blue Sugars opened for us (and we eventually got smarter and realized it was better to let them be the half-time show, thus ensuring an even larger audience), so we started hanging around one another a lot during our practices. Eventually, our drummer and I started playing in their band, and things progressed from there (read: she just couldn't resist my total coolness so she set about to woo me).

The rest, as they say, is history.

The RHFX shop 2010
 

 

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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.
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