Zachary Vex didn’t plan on going into the guitar effects pedals business. He built his first fuzz box in high school and sold it to another student for $10. He continued making and selling tube amps and amp modifications throughout the ’80s and ran a recording studio before becoming an independent producer and engineer. In 1995, he started Z.Vex Effects and distributed his pedals to one store at a time. One day, PJ Harvey’s guitarist came across Vex’s products and wrote about them in Guitar Player magazine – and the rest is history.
Vex initially hand-painted his pedals because he couldn’t afford to have them silkscreened, but it turns out that artists prefer the quirky paint jobs. Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, and Joe Perry are just a few of Z.Vex Effects’ fans. The line is also known for producing unusual sounds. According to Vex, “Being weird makes me stand out from other pedal manufacturers. Weird sounds get people talking.”