New to the pedal game, Ryan Kirkland''s been garnering attention for his Tone Bender clones and stunning artwork.

From semi-professional musician to television repairman to tattoo artist, Ryan Kirkland of Skinpimp Hand Crafted has certainly traversed the occupational landscape in search of his life’s calling. A few years ago, however, Kirkland began dabbling with building his own effects pedals “just to stay involved with music,” he said. This past January, he answered a post on The Gear Page from a guy that wanted to trade some gear for “something interesting.”


Custom MKII

Custom Buzzaround

“Basically, I contacted this guy and told him I could build anything he wanted,” Kirkland said. “I ended up building him an MKIII, and once he got it he posted some information on The Gear Page about it, and it just took off.”

That’s a serious understatement. For 10 months now, Kirkland has been so busy building pedals that everything else on his plate is now on hold. So, why all the fuss? Kirkland’s pedals are out-of-this-world clones of a few vintage Tone Bender models from the ’60s and ’70s. Here’s what he’s got:

MKI – A copy of the original Gary Hurst Tone Bender, á la Mick Ronson
MKII – A copy of the Mark II Tone Bender, á la Jimmy Page
MKIII – A copy of Vox Tone Bender Mark III
The Buzzaround – A copy of the original Baldwin-Burns Buzzaround pedal
The Fuzzface – Copy of the original Fuzz Face pedal produced by the Dallas Arbiter company in the ’60s, á la Hendrix and Eric Johnson


Custom Buzzaround


Custom MKII

His expertise with a tattoo needle [hence the name, SkinPIMP] helps too; he offers custom graphic designs on any model. If you can bear the wait, it might be worth it.

For more information, email skinpimp1@yahoo.com
skinpimp-handcrafted.com (coming soon!)

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Photo by Annabel Merhen

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