After we noticed the Voice Box FX pedal from Electro-Harmonix, I noticed that they were based in Long Island City, just a short train ride away from my place in Brooklyn. Since I'm getting ready to move to Oregon—Hello, Eugene!—I figured I ought to get up there and check out one of the last family-owned music gear companies in America.
Turns out that EHX also manufacturers a huge percentage of the world's vacuum tubes in its factory in Russia, which are then sent back to New York for testing and pairing before being sold to vintage and high-end audio fans, as well as manufacturers like McIntosh.
I had a really good time checking out the factory floor to see the hand-made vacuum tube testing machines, as well as talking to the engineers that sit around all day and try to figure out how to get the ideas for new FX processors out of their crazy boss's head and into working hardware.
And thankfully for you, [Wes and Derek on the Boing Boing Video crew] edited out all the footage where I was wanking around with FX boxes, looking mournfully at the camera and whining that "Hey, this box doesn't make me sound as good as it does when people with talent use it. What gives?"