Featured Builder – Dr Scientist

It’s been a little bit since we were able to get a builder on the site but this time around we were lucky to get to speak to Ryan from Dr Scientist Sounds to answer some questions about him and the products that they are building, some news too on some upcoming releases from Dr Scientist for the next year or so.
From my view, Dr Scientist is one of those boutique builders who are know for great quality workmanship. Unfortunately, we don’t see a great deal of them make it to Australia, but you can definitely find them at places like Pedal Empire in Brisbane. They may be expensive in AUD, however I can personally vouch for the quality of the builds. I have a Woofer Wailer (see article) from the early days of Dr Scientist (around 12 years ago) which is still in beautiful condition, all hand wired and built like a tank, so if you can find them they are definitely worth the price that you pay for them.

About Ryan

My rig right now is the best rig I’ve ever had, I really dig it, it’s a kit build of the original AB7063 Fender Deluxe Reverb amp, my favourite amp, sitting on a pair of 15″ Eminence Legends.  Awesome clean platform that sounds killer with pedals and every guitar I plug into it.  My main guitar is my new Millimetric Instruments MGS3, made by a fantastic Canadian builder.  I do a lot of trades with my pedal building pals so I’ve always got different pedals coming and going but generally I love having a very high gain fuzz or distortion in my chain with lots of reverb.
Surprisingly Ryan says that he is not much of a guitar player and is way more into the electronics and the builds. However he also states “but I love playing the old metal riffs I still remember.  My main years as a guitar player were in the mid to late 90s so I mostly know how to play old metal like Slayer riffs, Morbid Angel riffs.. I kinda only play palm mutes and power chords with a ton of gain, that’s just my favourite guitar sound!”

Dr Scientist products

Ryan says that they are “cooking up two new products right now that we’re really excited about.. one is a new reverb pedal since we had to retire the Reverberator last year.  I really miss having a dedicated reverb pedal in our line and we’re working on a really fun replacement, something more weird and complicated and powerful.  We’re also working on a new kind of expression pedal that’s fun to play with.  I’m not sure if we’ll finish either for 2017 but 2018 for sure!” Great to see that they are continuing to break new ground, I am especially interested in the new expressions pedal and see what that is all about. The only hint that he gave me to mire details about new products was this Instagram link

On the history of Dr Scientist, Ryan says that when they launched in 2005 they had 7 different pedals in their line:  The Cleanness, the Frazz Dazzler, the Tremolessence, the Sunny Day Delay, the Cosmichorus, the Reverberator, and the Woofer Wailer.  Of these, only one was a clone – the Woofer Wailer (based off the TubeScreamer). Ryan felt that as a boutique company it was important to have a familiar pedal like that in their line.  Looking back on this, he felt that 7 pedals was too many pedals to be trying to make at that time, meaning that they were quickly swamped. As you can imagine with a small builder, this put pressure on them. Unfortunately, the story is all too common with boutique builders that have massive waitlists for products. So they decided to trim the line a bit starting with the Woofer Wailer.  This meant that he had so much more time and energy invested into the other pedals and didn’t feel anything about the Wailer, so it was an obvious choice to go. Funnily enough, I was lucky to pick up one of these Wailers (of which there is less than 100) and currently have it on my board – a great TS 808 clone.

Always humble, Ryan says that he feels weird about dropping names of the artists that have his products on their boards, but also realises that this isn’t a big deal for him, or something that they seek out at all.

In his downtime, Ryan says “If I’m not at my workbench making pedals then I’m probably out in the garage working on a project.  I do a lot of projects out there like making subwoofers, making speakers, this summer I made a full size arcade cabinet with 32″ LED tv, I love getting out in the garage with the power tools and making something.  Retro gaming is probably my favourite hobby or interest outside of electronics” Check out the Dr Scientist Facebook page for some of the pictures of the arcade cabinet.

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