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Review Zoo talk Custom Effects with Paul Flattley of Flattley Boutique Effects Pedals

Hi Paul, welcome to Review Zoo.

Please can you tell us a bit about Flattley Boutique Effects Pedals and what you offer?

Flattley Guitar pedals offers handmade boutique guitar and bass effects made to a very high

quality. We aim to give our products the sonic sounds that people want along with

functionality, quality assurance and premium bespoke finishes. We currently offer a range of

Overdrives, Fuzz, Boost modulation and Wah effect pedals for guitar and bass players.

Below in blue gives you a more in-depth knowledge of Flattley from our About us page on

the website.

Flattley Guitar Pedals is a family run business established in 2016 based in the UK. We do

all of our product processes and manufacturing assembly within a 30 mile radius in the UK

with the aim to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible ensuring Flattley pedals are all

truly made in the UK. After repairing the electronics in guitars, bass guitars, effects pedals

and amps for many years in my spare time, I decided that it was time to venture into

something new, making effect pedals. I had been working in the Aviation Avionics Industry

for over 30 years after starting my working career as an avionics technician in the Royal

Navy Fleet Air Arm working on helicopters. I was very confident that I could produce a high-

quality product based on my aviation quality assurance and standards which would live up to

my very exacting requirements whilst producing the sound and tone that musicians are

looking for. Each effects pedal is hand built, hand wired, and our enclosures are hand

finished giving our pedals that personalized touch.

Being a musician myself, I know what I like, and I know what sounds and tones I look for.

This can be quite challenging when playing in a band covering many different genres of

artists and requiring a variety of sounds; I make my effects pedals as versatile and functional

as possible and I am constantly re-evaluating and assessing our pedals to ensure

continuous improvement.

Each Flattley pedal is a work of art as well as a tonal delight and to get that very high

standard involves a great deal of hard work and processes. A Flattley pedal starts life as a

concept schematic diagram which is then tested in basic prototyping formats, once we are

satisfied that the sound and component values are right this then goes off to our

Gloucestershire based PCB design and manufacturer. Once we have our un-populated PCB

the hard work begins, and we populate this with the highest quality components. We then

assemble the PCB to the off-board components and then hand tested in the product’s build

jig enclosure, once we are happy that the completed circuitry produces the tonal sounds that

we are known for this is then installed into its hand finished enclosure.

Each hand finished enclosure is prepared in exactly the same way in our Gloucestershire

based paint facility whether it is a platinum or silver range product, this process usually takes

five days from start to finished enclosure.

They are hand abraded, then the etch primer is applied to seal the aluminium surface as an

anti-corrosive measure and to allow the base coat primer to bond to the enclosure. Once the

base coat primer is dry it then has the base coat colour applied and repeated three times to

ensure a deep lustre of colour.

For our platinum range metallic holographic chrome flake is then applied using a clear inter

coat which adds that all important Flattley sparkle. The pedal enclosure is now ready to be

hydro dipped in its Flattley graphics. This is the process whereby the graphics are applied

using water activated film and the enclosure is slowly dipped by hand through the activated

hydro graphic film, the residual PVA film is then washed off and the enclosure is then

allowed to dry naturally. Once dried the lacquer process begins, each enclosure has a

minimum of three coats of lacquer which are all wet sanded between coats. Once the

lacquer has hardened, it is then hand polished using three different grades of polishing

compounds and it then has a final polish to achieve a high gloss finish using a wool finishing

pad. This process gives the smooth deep lustre finish that is inherent in all Flattley effects


Our silver range pedals then have a minimum of three coats of lacquer applied which are all

wet sanded between coats. Once the lacquer has hardened, it is then hand polished using

three different grades of polishing compounds and it then has a final polish to achieve a high

gloss finish using a wool finishing pad. This process gives the smooth deep lustre finish that

is inherent in all Flattley effects pedals. The graphics designed in house by our graphics

designer Phoebe Flattley are then applied to silver range effects pedals by UV direct printing

in our Gloucestershire based printing facility.

The platinum range pedals are finished with aluminium control knobs which have laser

etched descriptive text on them. Both the platinum and silver range products have LED halo

ring lights installed which dissipates the light to avoid blinding musicians whilst performing

and operating the pedal. We also add Flattley logo laser etched aluminium foot toppers on

the pedal switches as standard across both ranges. Finally, the product name is attached to

the enclosure, this is a sublimated brushed aluminium logo plaque as its unique identifier.

All Flattley products are RoHS, CE compliant, packaged in sustainable recycled materials

and come with a 12-month guarantee. We welcome all feedback on Flattley products as this

allows us to evolve and develop our pedals.

What got you into making Guitar pedals and how long have you been building pedals for?

I had been always fixing friends guitar electrics and amps for a long time, plus tinkering with

pedals so this really got me thinking about it and my wife convinced me that I should look

into making pedals a bit more, so I did and the rest is history as they say. We started in 2016

but really got going in 2017, starting to get more serious about the concept and exhibiting at

guitar shows across the UK.

On average, what is the build time on a pedal?

On average it takes up to 2 hours to build a pedal, which includes making the PCB,

assembling all the components in the enclosure, testing, final assembly, making the packing

box and labeling.

Wah pedals can take me between 4 to 6 hours to build the PCB, Assemble, set up, test, final

assembly and making the packing box and labeling.

Where are you based?

We were based in Gloucestershire for many years but have recently moved to Lincolnshire.

Do you ship worldwide?

We ship anywhere where shipping companies and the royal mail ship to. We also have

retailers in many countries too such as the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Which is your favourite Guitar effect?#

My personal favourite Flattley pedal is the award winning “Revolution” - dynamic overdrive

as it covers most of the tones that I like associated with the bands and music that I like. I

also like the Chorus/Flanger pedals as they are closely associated with the eighties indie

music that I still listen to today.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I like music obviously and the guitar when I get the chance but it’s mainly to test pedals

these days. I also go fishing when I get the opportunity which seems to be rare these days.

Who are your favourite bands?

The Cure, The Cult, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, New Model Army, Sundial

and many of the 80’s Indie bands. Along with Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Black Crowes,

Nirvana, Stone Roses, Ride, Oasis, Neds Atomic Dustbin etc. I also like the grandad rock

element such as Floyd, Led Zep, Cream, Hendrix and other bluesy rock style bands.

Your favourite albums of all time?

The Cult – Love Album

The Cure – Concert

Pearl Jam – Ten

Pink Floyd – DSOTM

Ride – Going Blank

Black Crowes- The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

The Cult – Electric

The Cult – Dreamtime

The Cure - Disintegration

Which instruments do you play?

I play electric guitar and 12 string acoustic when I get the chance but not that often these

days unless its testing pedals.


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