Guitar pedals made from tin containers part of a man’s retirement plan

At 70, Rick Crownover finds himself closer than ever to the electric guitar. A lifelong DIYer, he now builds his signature fuzz guitar pedals from eclectic pewter containers found at antique stores and flea markets.

A guitarist uses a fuzz pedal to enhance the sound of his instrument, creating a richer, fuller sound. Crownover calls the sounds of his pedal the “four phases of fuzz”, and it caught on in the mainstream music scenes. From recording studios in Nashville to bands touring the world, this fuzz has been seen on the pedalboards of guitarists in a variety of genres.

While his pedals have developed a large following, he insists it’s a hobby. As such, demand sometimes greatly exceeds supply.

Crownover is more than willing to teach this technique to the younger generation of builders and do-it-yourselfers. He hosts seminars where students can choose their own loudspeakers, and Crownover shows them how to wire and build that famous fuzz pedal.

These days, Crownover wonders if he really wants to make an effort to make these pedals more widely available, or if he wants to keep them more of a hobby after retirement. Either way, it will continue to build.

“If nobody wanted my pedals, I’d be sitting here with 100 pedals because I love doing it.”


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