The moment you plug your guitar or bass into a new pedal is always filled with magic! It can inspire you to take one step further in your musical journey, allowing you to let that sound that you had in your head for so long become true. It is KMA Machines’ aim to fulfil that dream for every musician.
We combine German engineering and craftmanship with lots of love and soul and we put that into every single pedal we make. The KMA Machines’ story consists of a symbiotic relationship between each pedal’s sound and its unique graphic design, creating a piece of art and giving every device a unique soul. The synergy of the artwork, the quality and the versatility of our pedals really does leads to our design ethos.
In The Beginning
As a guitar player myself, I’ve often had those same thoughts about a ‘sound’ and been frustrated when there had appeared to be nothing available on the market to achieve what I was looking for.
Before I founded KMA, I did some one-off custom pedals for friends and musicians that I met while I was playing on tours.
It was such fun to build pedals for other musicians and helping them to find their sound, that I decided to start building effects as a real business.
KMA really properly got going in late 2013 by building a ‘Jordan Bosstone’ clone with a bias control and a wider frequency range.
I called it the Fuzzly Bear because after the mods it was capable to get skinny distortion sounds and also nice thick and meaty fuzz tones.
Karlowitsch, a close friend and an absolutely talented graphic designer, asked me if he could do a nice design for that pedal. I was so stoked about his approach on the Fuzzly Bear, that we decided to work together.
Initially, we did everything in my shared apartment at the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin, from populating the PCBs, hand drilling and silk-screening the enclosures, making the product packages and testing the pedals as loud as we dared to, without disturbing the neighbours!
Since then, KMA Machines has grown and grown, first moving to a real workshop in Berlin – then twice more as we ran out of space each time! We relocated into our new building in 2022 and we now have a great place to work, right by the River Spree.
With every new dealer, it has showed us that we are doing things right, releasing more and more pedals and attending fairs like The London Guitar Show, NAMM in the USA and Guitar Summit here in Germany to mention but a few.
Strange to imagine that we started out just a few years ago with just one product and an initial production run of just ten pedals.
These days, we use a lot more machinery in house here in Berlin that we did in the past – and the finish, feel, tone and overall quality of our products are now better for it too.
But while all of these very cool machines really do help to streamline the manufacturing process, we still do a lot of work by hand and everything is meticulously checked by a real human before it leaves the workshop.
Rather than 10 pedals, we now have many models in runs of thousands of pieces at a time which sell really quickly.
That is so amazing to me. We are so proud of where we are now, in that we have valued customers all over the planet.
KMA doesn’t want to offer pedals that are a one-trick pony though, because just like most musicians I like to swap amps and guitars and I know that our users do that too. So, we look to add nice intuitive features and controls to our models to offer a wide pallet of tonal options.
We love vintage sounds and we also love modern stuff. To bring both worlds together, we often discover classic and well-known circuits, yet give them a modern touch to fit the needs of modern musicians, without selling our soul to fervently just copy.
In addition, we design our own circuits from scratch and have produced some pretty innovative products, but always trying not to just reinvent the wheel for its own sake. Also, we deeply respect the work of other companies and electronics engineers for what they do and what they had done in the past.
Let’s just say that at KMA we want to hold up high the tradition of passionate craftmanship, filled with love and above all – tone!
All KMA pedal designs always start with developing the circuit first, so we only use premium components throughout as we know it makes such a difference to the sound.
Each model has its journey first along the prototyping ‘breadboard’ stage, gets refined until it tells its own story with custom artwork and isn’t released until we are absolutely satisfied with how it sounds, looks, feels and performs.
Long story short – KMA Machines stands for versatility with the highest quality for modern musicians.
Thanks to our wonderful crew here in Berlin, the genius creative work of our artwork team (now lead by Lucas @muffeundpranke), our dealers around the globe and our killer sales and marketing wizards at ADG, our world wide distribution team.
But most of all, thank you for reading and being a part of our journey.
Enrico Preuß – Founder
(and Jeff the head of security!)