Actually, twice and probably will again.
I’m talking about Lightning Boy Audio. While I’ve always had favorite pieces of gear or favorite products, I can’t think of anytime I’ve ever been a fan of a company as much as the toys they make. I’m biased in this case and I’ll be the first to admit it. The man behind the curtain at LBA is from my hometown and his company is located in a small farm town. Mike appears to build mostly boutique pedals, and although there are more of those companies now than ever, there is no company in Buffalo like it and he already stands alone amongst the rest.
Mike makes a product called, “Thundercaps,” which are paper and oil capacitors, hand rolled better than your finest cigar. They come with a 5 year warranty and the products come with a lifetime warranty. It’s the best warranty in the biz and Mike stands behind it.
When I first met Mike, he was building Pultec clones, LA2A clones, and refurbishing and modifying other old gear like an Altec 438c and a custom built monitor control as well as other stuff. I’m not talking PCB stuff, I’m talking point to point wiring, silver solder, and vintage components, true to the original designs. He takes it serious.
Our last conversation together, Mike mentioned that he’s no longer into modifying other people’s gear anymore. He’s too busy building these great new pedals and has no time to keep doing one offs right now.
The first thing he built for me was what he named the “Fluid Filter 800” which is a custom wired power conditioner/protector cryogenic-ly sealed. Having $10,000 in gear plugged in to something like this requires some assurance. The FF800 is worth every penny I paid for it. Just a little over $350 for 8 sockets. While he’s not really building these anymore, he said he’d build another one for me. (Good thing. I need one.)
But this post is about lightning striking again. I got my hands on a pre-production, serial #002, “The Lightning Boy” overdrive pedal. In fact, my model is the brushed one on the right in this demo video. (Not Eric Clapton doing the demo, so don’t rag…)
After you watch the vid, jump over to his site and check out some of the other cool toys. Next on my list is the “Bolt Bender & Mikey Q” a Baxandall on the Bender and the Q is inductor based with more paper and oil capacitors. Gotta get my hands on that.