NAMM 2024: “We want to do for the guitar community what Fulltone has always done – make amazing products for working class guitar players”: Fulltone has been resurrected by Jackson Audio – and the OCD is coming back

Fulltone Custom Shop OCD v1.4
(Image credit: Fulltone USA)

Two years after the boutique pedal makers closed its California workshop, Fulltone is returning to the market thanks to a fresh collaboration with Jackson Audio. It will make its full relaunch at NAMM 2024.

The collaboration has been announced via a short documentary published on YouTube, which sees the brand revived as Fulltone USA. The move was instigated by Jackson Audio founder, Brad Jackson, who didn’t want Fulltone to “just go away”.

The partnership is bringing back Fulltone’s name-making units, including the classic OCD overdrive pedal and some currently unconfirmed archived stompboxes, alongside new developments. All products will be made in the USA.

Upon the Fulltone workshop’s closure in 2022, brand founder Michael Fuller spoke about relocating to Nashville with the long-term goal of bringing the company back. Jackson, a guitar player and pedal builder with a “20-year foundational history playing Fulltone products”, was quick to approach Fuller and see if collaboration would work.

The pair hit it off on the phone, but Fuller needed to see more. After a day spent at its Dallas workshop, Fuller was convinced that Jackson Audio was the right partner to facilitate Fulltone’s return.

“I'm pretty good at what I do, but what Brad brings to the table and really attracted me was the ability to work with someone who could come up with things I couldn't do,” Fuller explains in the documentary. “I was blown away by what they were doing with such a small shop. They have good hearts and ethics. That's the 90% you don't have to worry about, the other stuff is minutiae.”

Jackson, meanwhile, is keen to establish that Fulltone USA is its own brand, of which Fuller is the Chief Design Officer. He will have the final sign-off on all product ideas and plans.

“Fulltone USA is not Jackson Audio 2.0, it is its own entirely different thing that we have started with Mike Fuller,” Jackson underlines. “If I have a bright idea for a product, it has to go through Mike; these will always be his products.

“The overwhelming thing about Mike that I don’t think anyone in this industry can touch is that Mike knows when something is right. He worked on the OCD for years. It's not just, 'Oh, build my products’; it's taking the 30 years of my career and Mike's success and carrying it forward into the future.

“Fulltone make legacy products that can serve guitar players for the next 30 years,” he continues. “We want to do for the guitar community what Fulltone has always done: Make bulletproof, amazing guitar products for working class guitar players.”  

Founded in 1991, Fulltone made its name by making boutique pedals without crazy price tags. Chief among those was the OCD drive, which has since grown into an iconic overdrive pedal. Billy Gibbons, Eric Johnson and Paul Gilbert are just some of the names to have grabbed their own OCD pedal.

“The OCD is a really simple pedal and that’s the hardest thing – to make something complicated and make it simple,” Jackson believes. “That's what Mike is amazing at. He takes it down to its core essence for products that appear simple but are really brilliant.”

Fulltone USA

Left to right: Mike Fuller (CDO) and Brad Jackson (CEO) (Image credit: Fulltone USA)

Fulltone's website states that Fuller's decision to suspend Fulltone's operations was part of a pursuit of a more peaceful life. He moved to a 17-acre property in Nashville, but Jackson, who now sits as Fulltone USA'S CEO, had other ideas.

“Together we can do things that haven't been done that people want,” says Fuller. “The idea is not to change anything doesn't need to be changed. I think we'll be bringing back some cool things that people really liked, as well as some really cool stuff that hasn't been done before. Certainly not by me.”

The brand refresh comes after Fuller was embroiled in controversy following posts made around the looting that followed in the wake of the death of George Floyd by US police officers. His comments led to suspending sales of Fulltone products.

Fuller has since apologized for his remarks.  However, it is unclear whether the brand’s relaunch will see Reverb overturn its decision and reinstate Fulltone products on its website.

For more information about the brand’s relaunch, head to Fulltone.

Keep up to date with all gear releases ahead of NAMM 2024, head over to our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.