In the pedal-building community—as in Alcatraz—sharing is caring.

When I have a conversation about business with someone outside of the music industry, I often find it leads to a discussion of competitors or competition. These terms tend to place a comedic smile upon my face. Both of those words are almost always used by the person not in the music industry. As natural as the concept of competition is, the response I give is often received as unnatural. This could solely be because folks are not used to hearing how our industry actually operates internally.

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CopperSound Pedals founder Alex Guaraldi's debut "State of the Stomp" outing looks at how compounding Covid woes are making life trickier for stompbox manufacturers.

In the winter and spring of 2021, I found myself staring at a computer screen overloaded by tabs in my internet browser. Each of these tabs displayed the same processor (colloquially referred to as a “chip”) and the current stock quantities for each of a dozen suppliers. The lingering scarcity of this particular processor had been foreshadowed in other industries, and when I found myself noticing the depleting stock—with my curated lists of suppliers at the ready—I began ordering whatever I could get my hands on. Diligent or obsessive? You decide. Perhaps a bit of both, but the preparation certainly paid off when packages of the scarce processors started arriving at the workshop.

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