Wireless power comes to guitar stomps
In a similar way that wireless charging mats promise to liberate your smartphone from fiddly cables, the F-Pedals don't have 9 V batteries bulking out their frames or numerous power cables sprouting from the pedalboard. In fact, since the F-Board on which the effects pedals are placed to receive power includes its own rechargeable and replaceable battery pack, the two stomps currently being prepared for sale can also be used away from a wall socket for up to 20 hours.
Before investing in an expensive pedalboard power supply, I tried a succession of less-than-perfect cheap units that all added a little unwelcome something to my signal. According to the creative minds behind the F-Pedals, it's "common knowledge among guitarists that pedals sound better and more quiet when they are operated by batteries; however, it could be expensive and a hassle to replace batteries for each pedal every time they run out."
Los Angeles-based F-Pedals has developed a system that merges vintage analog goodness with modern wireless power transfer technology. The stomps don't have a battery compartment, but are placed on top of a battery-packing black box known as the F-Board that provides a steady flow of power via magnetic induction technology. The stomps and wireless power board can both be used with conventional power supplies, should you like the sound of an F-Pedal, for example, but just want to integrate it into your existing pedalboard setup.
The first of the company's Legend Series F-Pedals is set to kick off shortly with two units inspired by producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, who has helped shape the sounds of such artists as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Carlos Santana, and has been enthusiastically promoting the innovative stomps at NAMM, this year and the last.
Each Eddie Kramer Series F-Pedal has about half the footprint of a BOSS stomp, at 3.6 x 2 x 1.5 in (9.2 x 5.2 x 3.8 cm), comes in screenprinted die-cast aluminum housing, and features a true bypass footswitch that completely removes its influence on the signal when not engaged. The Edstortion offers three different types of distortion, selected by a mini-switch up top, and the PhazeVibe is described as a unique-sounding combination of phaser, uni-vibe, wah and leslie all in one pedal.
The company expects to release the Eddie Kramer F-Pedals in April. The Edstortion will cost US$189, and the PhazeVibe $199. Each stomp will be shipped in a stylish, wine-bottle-style wooden box. The F-Board release date will be announced shortly.
The video below shows company founder Francesco Sondelli introducing the Eddie Kramer F-Pedals.