“I had been wanting to get into the
business one way or another, and it just so
happened that guitar effects came together
really nicely,” he says. “At the time, it was
just me, Analog Man [Mike “Analog Man”
Piera from Analog Man effects], and Mike
Fuller [from Fulltone]—I had no competition. There was just nobody out there.”
Keeley says meticulous attention to detail
and a strong focus on customer service
were the foundation of his business.
He sold a handful of units, and then a
few dozen. He couldn’t believe how swiftly
“My beloved [Keeley-modded] Tube Screamer had more
clarity, more bottom—and it even got a little dirtier than
the stock one. It became my go-to overdrive pedal.”
— Chad Weaver, former Brad Paisley guitar tech
his name spread throughout the industry. Soon
he had sold hundreds. He says his customers
were so thrilled with the sound of his effects
that, in almost no time, they’d made their way
… fit for the demands of the present and the future of amplification.
Jeff Loomis – Photo: Simona Bezdekova
Launched more than twenty
years ago, the Savage 120 was
touted as “innovative,”
“dependable” and “tonally
unique.” Two decades later,
those raves still hold true.
The Savage 120 melds
tradition with modernity.
Why change a good thing?
into the hands of some very influential
players in Nashville and California.
Brad Paisley’s former guitar tech,
Chad Weaver, attests to the rapidity of
Keeley’s success. Curious as to whether
he’d like the sound of true-bypass,
Weaver ordered a Keeley Blues Driver
mod (a modified Boss BD- 2 Blues
Driver overdrive). Imagine his surprise
when he excitedly tore open the package
to find an Ibanez Tube Screamer inside.
“It was an honest mistake,” he says.
“When I called Robert to let him know
I’d gotten the wrong pedal, he said two
boxes were mixed up in shipping, and
he would immediately send the correct
one.” Keeley also told Weaver that the
Tube Screamer would be a gift for the
inconvenience. “That alone told me a lot
about the man, but it wasn’t until I met
him that I realized how truly passionate
he is about his work,” says Weaver.
“At one point,” Weaver explains, “I had
only read about Robert Keeley and his
products, but after actually hearing them I
found so many other reasons to use them.
Here was someone who was taking the
effects I liked and improving upon them.
My beloved Tube Screamer had more clarity, more bottom—and it even got a little
dirtier than the stock one. It became my
go-to overdrive pedal,” he says.
myspace.com/englamps · www.engl-amps.com
The range of modifications that Keeley
eventually came up with was born of a
simple process: He identified common
complaints about popular pedals and
then set out to correct them. He found
that websites such as Harmony Central
were great for this, as the millions of
guitar players who post reviews on the
internet weren’t shy about voicing their
grievances. “I’d just get online and literally tally up the complaints and fix
those little problems,” he says. “So our
[Ibanez] TS9 mods or BD-2s are products of me simply listing out the cons