Hailing from Saint Paul, MN, Henretta Engineering got us accustomed to tiny stompboxes with a big sound and hidden tweakability. However, they recently came out with a new line of regular sized pedals under the “H-Bomb” line, which we actually had a chance to see and hear at our latest Austin Stompbox Exhibit (see picture above).
There are currently four pedals in the line: a Delay, a “Trembrato,” a Drive and a Fuzz. It sounds like the goal of these line varies depending on the pedal: in some cases (Delay) is to allow full front panel control for a beloved mini-pedal, in this case the Red Brick delay. In most cases, though, the H-Bomb pedals are 2 in 1 versions of popular mini-pedal combinations.
We took the opportunity to ask Kevin Henretta a few questions about this new line:
What made you think of creating this new line of pedals?
Our goal has always been to provide pedals that have unique qualities in comparison to the saturated boutique pedal market that exists today. The no-knob line definitely accomplished that, and we now have a reputation for simple-to-use effects that sound great. It was the popularity of our custom 2in1 pedals, where we place two of the no-knob circuits in one compact enclosure, that brought about the idea of combining circuits to get new sounds. It seemed silly to not make a pedal that combined the scrappy and sticky sound of our Purple Octopus octave up pedal with the smooth fullness of our Bluebird fuzz. That became the H-Bomb Fuzz, and we took it from there. From a business perspective, we’re hoping it’s easier to bring in more dealers with a line of pedals that have the common format with knobs on the outside. From a branding perspective, we’re pushing the “H” logo with the physical design and creating inspiring sounds with the unique circuit configurations.
Are these all existing circuits adapted from your stock mini-pedals?
Yes, so far they are. As mentioned above, the H-Bomb Fuzz is a combination of our Purple Octopus octave up circuit and our Bluebird fuzz. The H-Bomb Delay is just our Red Brick delay with knobs on the outside. The H-Bomb Drive is a combination of our Orange Whip compressor and Pinkman dirty boost circuits. And the newly released H-Bomb Trembrato combines our Crimson tremolo tremolo with the pitch shifting portion of our Black Hole chorus circuit. We will likely continue in the same fashion as the line develops further. Any new sounds will be released as mini pedals first because they need to be on a small circuit board for inclusion in our many custom multi-effect offerings.
Do you have any other H-Bomb releases on the horizon?
I’m currently thinking about combining the Green Zapper envelope filter with theCrimson tremolo circuit, and possibly the Purple Octopus octave as well, for a range of analog synth type sounds. Yes, there will definitely be more.
Check out the current demos for each pedal below, click on the images below to open the videos.