Story behind Boonar Tube Deluxe Project 1/3
It has been eight years since we introduced the Boonar™ multi-head drum echo, a Binson® Echorec® emulator pedal that gained widespread popularity and secured a spot on pedalboards around the world. This recognition exceeded our wildest dreams when we ventured into the business of crafting guitar pedals. Over time, numerous renowned musicians joined the list of artists using our products, but a particularly proud moment came when Phil Taylor, guitar tech for David Gilmour, reached out to express interest in testing our Boonar pedal for potential integration into David's setup. To say I was excited would be an understatement. Considering Pink Floyd's extensive use of Binson Echorec devices and David's reputation as a connoisseur of that effect, gaining his approval would be a significant milestone for both me and the company.
A Boonar was scheduled to make its way to Astoria studio in London "on an early flight." After testing, Phil reported back that David loved the pedal so much that they wanted to incorporate it into both studio and stage rigs. However, they had some suggestions for improvement, including the idea of creating a "special Boonar" with vacuum tubes, a time in milliseconds readout and, perhaps, a few presets that could be changed via a midi command/foot switch during live performances. Having the ability to swiftly access stored parameters aligns with David's preferred working style, and the opportunity to design a guitar pedal specifically for him was an incredible privilege that I couldn't pass up. So, naturally, I accepted the challenge.
Following discussions with Phil and David, I gathered valuable insights that inspired me to outline potential features. The more I dug into the project, the more it expanded in complexity, leading to an ever-growing list of new ideas. Eventually, I realized a simple redesign of the Boonar blueprints wouldn't work. It was clear: to create the ultimate studio-grade Binson Echorec emulator, I needed to start from scratch. The concept of the "virtual memory drum" in the original Boonar served as a foundation, yet it demanded further elaboration. I was determined to maintain an analog high-voltage signal path while achieving complete digital control over each parameter, in order to get the best from both worlds.
At first, the initial notion of incorporating vacuum tubes, a simple 7-segment display, and a few presets, seemed straightforward. However, from an engineering standpoint, an entirely different challenge was set ahead.
To develop such device that most faithfully emulates the iconic original Binson Echorec 2, I realized I’ll need to source parts and components that are either no longer produced, nearly impossible to find, or very expensive. Despite these challenges, there was no room for compromise in design. After all, I was designing a device exclusively for David Gilmour and if I manage to put it into serial production, it was clear that it would be only a limited run.
Hence, the name was an easy choice: Boonar Tube Deluxe.
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Names Binson® and Echorec® are registered trademarks of their respective owners.