time Bob taught himself electronics, mechanical engineering, and patent law. And from what started as a wood block prototype, Bob’s original vision began to take shape. “I made a couple of prototypes and showed them around and eventually certain musician friends of mine wanted one of their own. So, I patented the whole “Visual” concept for pedals (another learning curve) and at the January 1995 NAMM show, I jumped into business with one product… the Visual Volume™.” That was the start of Visual Sound, now known as Truetone.
Like any startup company, Visual Sound had its share of ups and downs trying to find that one thing that makes it all work… “If there was a mistake to be made, I probably made it. Unfortunately, volume pedals simply don’t sell as fast as effects pedals do. So I tried a few different test-market productions of other pedals such as: Visual Metal, Visual Blues, and the Visual Wah/Volume. All had less-than-impressive results.” But it wouldn’t be long before Bob created the pedal of his dreams… the classic Jekyll & Hyde™ overdrive and distortion dual effect pedal. “It wasn’t ‘Visual”, Bob said, “but it was exactly what I had been wanting as a guitar player for years.”
But the biggest challenge was yet to come…
At the very time Bob invented the pedal that could change the future for both him and his company, the money ran out. Bob tells it this way, “Through a miraculous set of circumstances in my darkest hour, I suddenly was given the opportunity to have a some big orders paid for up front, which normally never happens. That turned everything around by giving us the exact amount of money we needed to start over. Leading up to that, I actually thought I would close up shop, but evidently God wanted me to keep going. How could I say no?”
Since that time, Visual Sound continued to grow, finally becoming Truetone in 2015.
1 SPOT Technology… what does that mean and why should I care? Technically, it’s switching power supply technology, which is very different than what anyone has ever put inside a power brick. Normally, you would find just a big transformer and a handful of small electronic components inside a power brick… old tech that hasn’t changed in decades and has a lot of limitations. We took the same triple filtered switching power supply technology found in our famous 1 SPOT and scaled it up to make the 1 SPOT Pro models. With much more space to work with, we were able to completely eliminate noise, provide total electrical isolation between outputs, create multiple voltages, and still give you the ability to use it anywhere in the world.
A major benefit of using a switching power supply is that it can handle far more current (power being pulled out of it) than any transformer-based power supply. Although we had to put power rating labels on each output to satisfy certification agencies (yes, we actually certified these, unlike most companies), the outputs can generally handle far more than the label shows. For example, you can connect a 300mA pedal to a 200mA output, without causing any problems. With a transformer-based power supply, you can’t get away with that. The important thing is to not exceed the total of all the labels. With a CS7, the output labels add up to 1900mA total. That means the total current draw of all your pedals should be less than 1900mA. That total current rating is roughly double the current load of the most common power brick, for a lot less money.
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