hartman electronics

Theo Hartman''s copies of classics come from careful testing and vintage parts... and maybe just a little bit of mojo.

For whatever reason, many a guitar player is satisfied with the idea of "mojo" being responsible for the way certain equipment handles or sounds. Theo Hartman of Hartman Electronics isn''t one of them.

Much like a craps player who is more interested in studying probability than the superstitions involved with what makes a table "hot," Hartman is vocal about his mojo agnosticism. He won''t deny that something unexplainable can exist, but he''d much rather calibrate every known variable involved and explore the nuances of classic components than acknowledge a mysterious x-factor as the main ingredient for a killer tone. You''d expect no less from an architect whose projects include listening environments with top-rate acoustics. Combine that kind of technical precision with the passion of a classically-trained musician and you end up with someone who is uniquely qualified to build guitar pedals for a certain kind of player.

Theo Hartman has tinkered with electronic circuitry for decades but didn''t start making pedals until 2005. In a few short years he has quickly gained a reputation for making equipment that satisfies discerning tastes. We recently had a chance to pick Theo Hartman''s brain about his products and the kind of thinking that leads to a pedal design.


How would you describe your product line?

Every pedal I make is based very closely and faithfully on an out-of-production original from the past 40 or 50 years. My goal is to make the right tools for the job and in each case it’s to get that sound. So if you’re a producer or a player who needs to achieve a very specific sonic objective my goal is to be able to provide a pedal to do that, no more and no less -- no questions asked. There’s no trick to it whatsoever. I think we’ve all found ways to get tones from things that are other than what we’re trying to sound like and that’s fine. I’m just trying to make it a shorter walk.

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