Hughes & Co. dive into Eurorack and much more…
TOM HUGHES loves gear. He isn’t shy about it. So stoked are the flames of his passion for the lineage of vintage noisemakers, that back in the early 2000s he set out to compile a book that would be become the go-to tome for those seeking knowledge regarding old school pedals… Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects. Color us unsurprised to find when we visited the Black Cat Pedals shop in New England that a pair of glass cases full of top-flight stomps was there to greet us, including a Mike Beigel-signed Mu-Tron III, a Bob Sweet-autographed Mojo Vibe, a Hot Chili Tubester, big-boxed Gainster, a gold Klon Centaur and a variety of wood-boxed Electro-Harmonix pedals among others. Atop one of the cases is a Black Cat-loaded Pedaltrain complete with a spanking new Ring Mod prototype. The board was destined for the New York Stompbox Exhibit scheduled for the day after our visit.
The cases break up the room into part museum, part shipping station for both Black Cats array of pedals, and Hughes’ For Musicians Only website where he sells copies of the book as well as used effects. Beyond the shipping area is a half-open room done in a fiery pink and adorned with accent rope lighting and retro furniture. A bit out of place in a workshop, but inviting nonetheless.
“This started out as a lounge but turned into a pedal testing room,” confesses Hughes. “This is where most of the testing happens. When we first moved in it was pretty ritzy. Now it’s more lived-in. We’ve been here coming up in seven years. I love our space. East Haven is… well, there is not much happening here.”