DOD/DigiTech assembles a formidable lineup of guitar effects designing talent for new R&D team

The DOD/DigiTech innovation team is back together after Cor-Tek acquired the brands
[From left] The DOD/DigiTech R&D Team 2023: Parker Coons, Tom Cram, Jim Pennock and Roger Johnsen (Image credit: Cor-Tek / DigiTech)

DOD/DigiTech has announced a new team to head up its product development and marketing division, and collectively it comprises familiar faces who have clocked up over 70 years of experience designing guitar effects for the much-loved US brand.

The announcement comes not long after the DOD/DigiTech brand was bought by Cor-Tek, the Indonesian gear giant that builds electric guitars for the likes of PRS, and is of course the company behind the fast-growing Cort brand. 

Jim Pinnock leads the team as general manager. Tom Cram, who launched his own pedal company, Spiral Effects, in 2018, is hired to lead product strategy/vision, and social media. Roger Johnsen joins as vice-president of engineering, while Parker Coons leaves the consumer headphones brand Skull Candy to reacquaint himself with the brand he spent 10 years with as a hardware designer. 

Coons worked on the pedalboard favourites such as the DOD Rubberneck delay pedal, DigiTech Whammy Ricochet, Dod Carcosa fuzz pedal, and JamMan Express sampler/looper pedal.

It is ironic to think that this could be the biggest guitar effects pedal story of 2023 but we might have to wait a year or two before knowing for sure. That is the nature of research and development. It takes time. 

But the experience and tech bona fides of this new DOD/DigiTech product development and marketing team is sign that whatever comes out of its Salt Lake City HQ is going to be very interesting for our pedalboards

This is the company that brought us the DigiTech Whammy pedal. What could come next? With the maturation of amp and effects modelling technology, all bets are off. There is also a back catalogue of discontinued and long-lost designs that could make a reappearance, cult favourites reissued and upgraded with modern features. There are no shortage of options. 

This is the brand that turned the late Jason Lamb's imagination and expertise loose on some of the coolest '90s stompboxes ever. 

What about the best-selling DOD FX69B Grunge distortion pedal? Or another Rat-esque dirt box, the Punkifier, as used by Graham Coxen? Those could work a treat for today’s sonic extremists. Maybe given the cult appeal of the Boss SG-1 Slow Gear, the DOD FX15 Swell Pedal, designed to emulate backwards guitar, is worth a revisit.

The FX15 didn’t sell well in the ‘80s, didn't last long, but the technology has advanced. In a new chassis, with some new features, perhaps some presets, or pairing it with a reverb, an FX15 would make perfect sense in 2023, 2024, or whenever we first start seeing white smoke issuing forth from the DOD/DigiTech HQ heralding a new pedal. 

Watch this space. 

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.