Johnny Wator started Daredevil Pedals in 2012 as a matter of necessity.

Johnny Wator of Daredevil pedals

Johnny Wator of Daredevil pedals

“I play guitar in a band,” says the Chicago guitarist, who was involved in the now-defunct hard-rock act the Last Vegas and today performs with The Evictions. “I need pedals. So that’s been the story for over 10 years now. Touring, recording, spending my last pennies on strings and more gear than I could fit in my apartment.

“After never owning or being able to afford the cool effects I wanted, I decided to build a few things. This quickly turned into an obsession—like a nonstop all-night-long obsession of the 3rd kind. Other friends wanted my new pedals, one thing leads to another, here we are.”

Today, Daredevil Pedals boasts a full line of fuzz, distortion, overdrive and boost pedals, as well as a pair of cocked-wah stompboxes: the Atomic Cock boost and fixed wah and the Cocked and Fearless distortion and fixed wah.

All of the company’s pedals are hand-built in Chicago using high-quality components and feature true-bypass switching and 9-volt external DC jacks. They also look extremely cool, with brightly colored graphics that are as bold as the tones that emanate from them.

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The guts of some Daredevil pedals

Wators’ latest creation is the Almighty Bass Fuzz, which made its debut at Winter NAMM 2018. Based on his original design circuit, the Almighty Bass Fuzz delivers biting and thick gain and has tonal options to cover a lot of ground.

He also plans to release an artist signature model stompbox in the next month or so. The pedal—which is being built to the specs of a for-now anonymous guitarist—will feature independent fuzz and octave circuits in a two-in-one style pedal, along with a noise gate. Stay tuned to the Delicious Audio blog for updates.

“My goal in all this is to make stuff that I think is awesome,” Wators says. “Seems a little selfish, but that’s what makes it fun for me. I’m picky when it comes to gear and I’m not gonna make things I wouldn’t play through. Apparently a bunch of other people out there feel that these pedals sound good too, thus keeping this noisy train rolling.

“I started out building old-school point-to-point and strip-board circuits, which I still love to do, so those will be available occasionally as time allows. I’m going to continue doing my best to make affordable effects that sound great and inspire people.”

You can check out Daredevil’s current lineup in the interactive gallery below (click for video demos). For more information, including pricing, visit Daredevil Pedals.