The Rare Buzz Story
Rare Buzz was founded in 2014, initially as a music and culture promotion venture, by John Esterly – the “Rare Buzzer.” The Rare Buzz brand wandered for several years, before John’s lifelong loves of music and electronics met in late 2017. For the next year, he spent every waking minute pouring over circuits and analysis, reading (horribly boring) textbooks on electronics, and tinkering in his home workshop. After outgrowing this space, Rare Buzz moved out of the garage and into Studio 214 at the MillWorks Art Studios in Central Columbus. The first Rare Buzz design, the Cranberry Fuzz, was released in October, 2018.
What Makes Us Tick
Rare Buzz Effects believes in making the world a better place. A portion of the purchase price of many pedals goes to a related charity – you will see where the money goes in the description of those pedals. Our pedal designs do not include a battery, eliminating the waste associated with dead batteries. Whenever practical, our pedals utilize other small businesses such as Small Bear Electronics and Love My Switches. Our reclaimed wood faceplates come from Columbus-based Griffen Hollow Studio, and Traxler Printing handles our apparel printing – we also only offer our pedals for sale in independent shops.
What Makes Rare Buzz Different
We believe in supporting non-profits that inspire us, particularly those in the Columbus market, both financially and with gear. Your purchase helps us help them!
Our pedals are hand-crafted in Ohio. Enclosures are prepared by Pine Box Printing outside nashville. Whenever practical, parts are purchased from US dealers.
Our guarantee: for as long as you own your pedal, we will repair or replace any failure in workmanship or materials. You ship to us, we ship to you. Even if you’re not the original owner.
Rare Buzz in the Media
Rare Buzz Effects has been featured in several media outlets. Owner John Esterly has been a guest or guest host on several gear related and lifestyle podcases, and our pedals and business have been featured in Gearphoria, The Deli Mag, and other online and print magazines. Linked below are the podcasts that we have been a part of – but don’t stop with out episodes. Give these ‘casts a listen and a subscribe!
Apr. 1, 2019 – This week, we celebrate our 100th episode by turning it up to 11… QFM96 on-air personality Archie and John Esterly of Rare Buzz Effects join us in the studio for a celebration as crank it up! We talk hockey and hair metal, as well as play some fine local hair metal and hard rock. We also poke some fun at John for being a Boston Bruins fan.
Oct. 9, 2019 – The Knobs welcome John Esterly founder of Rare Buzz Effects and Patreon Executive Producer into our studio to chat about his guitar pedals and loads of other great stuff!
Nov. 6, 2019 – The Knobs welcome Brian from Smallsound/Bigsound! The maker of the famed F word overdrive and all-around super chill dude shares his back story and some great announcements!
Dec. 30, 2019 – The Knobs interview Aisha Loe of Loe Sounds, who happens to be our first female pedal builder! She is the maker of unique custom to order pedals, as well as some fantastic standards such as her take on the Super Fuzz and the Atari Controller Fuzz.
Feb. 10, 2020 – The Knobs review the pedals our previous guests said they couldn’t live without to reveal the best of the best in several categories including fuzz, reverb, overdrive, delay and many many many…many more. Special thanks to listener Reo Carnahan for helping to organize all of this!
Mar. 5, 2020 – The Knobs welcome Joe O’Rourke founder of Like My Pedals. Joe builds individual pedals for individuals! Tony had the day off.
Mar. 5, 2020 – On this episode it’s just Joe. Will and AreJay are too important for this podcast now and Joe must go it alone. Well not fully alone. Doug Christ, Jonathan Diaz of the Effects loop, and John Esterly of Rare Buzz Effects join in for some (a)rousing conversation. Spoiler Alert: There is some major train talk going on during this ep.
Jun. 16, 2020 – This week is a milestone for Kasper & Al, they finally got to sit down with their most elusive guest yet. John Esterly of Rare Buzz Effects is a super down to earth guy from Columbus, Ohio who makes rad pedals and drives trains. The guys chat pedals, the hidden dangers of buying on Reverb and more.
Jul. 17, 2020 – The Knobs welcome our new friend Eric Calvert founder of Frost Giant Electronics which produces a great line of pedals for making your guitar roar. Also John Esterly had a fistfight with the internet while Jared had a vacation.
Sep. 1, 2020 – The guys welcome John Esterly of Rare Buzz guitar effects to the show along with Bryan Bonfiglio of Ark Royal Records and uTunes. They play a quick game of “Would You Rather”, talk about effects pedals, and then jump into Rock N Roll Hall of Fame snubs.
Feb. 3, 2021 – The Knobs interview Dan DeMay founder of Spun Loud Effects and maker of the fantastic drive pedal the Blister & Peel which has made its way several times on our Four On The Floor segment. Dan is a great guy making great pedals in the Pacific Northwest.
Mar. 30, 2021 – John Esterly returns this week as the fellows sit down to chat about effects, over buffering your pedalboard and the secret new pedal from Rare Buzz Effects! Kasper chats about learning to build pedals, Al shares why he can’t eat KFC, and John shares tone secrets from the beyond. Get into it!