Originally Posted by vjf1968
Fran is still in business, well her website is still up and she is still making pedals although they are expensive.
Excellent news! She just has a different way of doing things. Like Voodoo Lab and a few other companies, she offered a GREAT alternative to "traditional true bypass." Unfortunately, it's not very conducive to mass production. Since many "boutique" companies get their boards manufactured off-shore now, that is just one facet with hers (if she still uses it) that would make it hard to not build by hand. There is a big honking power resistor in the old Frantone pedals.
Long story short is that her designs just really mostly required hand assembly. Quite a few hand builders have found that it is difficult to re-work something so they can plug the circuit parameters into software and have it lay out the circuitboards so they look similar.
...Even something like the M.I. Audio Crunchbox has a re-worked layout, and it used a mass produced circuitboard for V1. I can only guess that with selling enough of these pedals with someone like MF or GC requires it.
Fran likes that horizontal layout, and unless the builder goes to those tiny Alps-style pots like Pigtronix or Vex has, you can't cram that many in them. And - Fran at least used to use the full-sized pots like you'd find for your guitar controls, or for many of the Barber pedals.
...I have to admit that if a builder works with the bigger pots (which I have) that it is kind of enjoyable using them - nice spacing on the solder lugs, and the mounting nuts/threading is a little more robust. IOW, it's just a little hard to let go of using them if you've had them in your pedals for years and years.
But great news that she's back at it, although I imagine with a smaller staff (or staff of one), which will carry a high price tag. Dano and Joyo have really changed the game.