Pedal builder Marc Ahlfs is fuzz fiend
IT IS A HOUSE not unlike any other house in the neighborhood – two stories with a good lawn and evidence of recent upgrades to its curb appeal… chiefly the new pavers along the sidewalk next to the driveway. But once you step inside, the comparisons cease. The living area is butted by a swath of guitar gear – a Hiwatt Custom 100 head is decorated with unfinished pedal parts… populated circuit boards and painted, but empty enclosures.
A few other amp heads line the back wall along with a folding table work station set up for sending and receiving. Through the egress to the right, the kitchen gives way to the dining area dominated by a large wooden table used more as a packing station than for family meals. A door to the right leads out into the garage – a space that doubles as storage/laundry area and soldering/assembly station. A pair of Ikea-bought, configurable work desks are jammed full of wires, switches and the like.
There is hardly a room in the house that doesn’t boast some piece of gear – if only a stray pick or a loose footswitch. Even a hall closet, designed for linens or other home goods storage is jammed full of pedals – the personal collection of Marc Ahlfs, founder and chief tone officer of Skreddy Pedals.
The Skreddy machine was fired up in earnest around the middle of the last decade. Ahlfs, a guitarist and self-confessed art nut, was dabbling seriously in electronics as early as 2003… mostly do-it-yourself stuff. Prior to that, he was a computer programmer, database analyst, web developer and all-around IT-type guy. Earlier still, he did a stint as a roofer, but an accident laid him up during his college years.
“I was a college student recovering from a roofing accident in the late ‘80s,” explains Ahlfs. “I fell three stories. That changed my life. I was laid up for about three to four months. It exploded a couple of bones in my left foot. They’re fused now. My arch doesn’t flex. Both of my knees… shattered my left elbow to bits. It’s put back together crooked now. The best they could do, I guess. I shattered my jaw too… but my back and my head are all good. As good as before anyway. It was nice working outdoors… getting the exercise. I miss that sometimes.”