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History of Custom Sounds

When I was six years old I started noticing the great music my friends and older siblings listened to. Music became my passion. Sounds in particular became a point of interest to me at eleven years old, when I saw an ad for Jimi Hendrix’s compilation album. As the commercial briefly played through some his songs (such as All along the Watchtower), I found myself taken by the magic. Hearing the diversity of new and facsinating sounds was a first for me.

I began to explore the world of electric guitars. That very Christmas, I received Jimi Hendrix’s much awaited compilation album (named Cornerstones) and my very first electric guitar. As soon as the wrapping was torn off, I ran to plug in the best present imaginable into the home stereo system, as there was no amp to go with the guitar. I still remember the dissapointment when the sound resembled that of an acoustic guitar, and was not distorted.

Much to my 11-year old’s surprise, I found that i needed tools to get the sound I wanted. Eventually I was able to acquire a small transistor amp, and my very first guitar pedal, a DOD distortion. With these, I was able to get a little bit closer to the sounds I was craving to reach.

Fast forward to 2005: I was a touring musician, and we had a showcase gig in New York with the band I was in. We spent most of our time going through the vast array of the Manhattans music stores and I found myself astounded by all that the stores had to offer. I came home with my very first boutique pedal, a ZVex Wolly Mammoth.

A seed was planted on that trip; what if we had such a selection here in Finland? In 2007 I started my first company, Music Import Finland. I first began to import and deal guitar pedals to music stores, but soon realised that an online shop would the best way to get my full selection out there.

One of the many stores I started dealing pedals to was Custom Sounds. By the end of the year Harri Koski, the founder of Custom Sounds, asked me if I would like to work for him in addition to running my own company. I jumped right in. By day I worked at Custom Sounds, and by night worked for my own company.

Along came 2011, and Harri became increasingly busy with his other company, Mad Professor. He asked if I might be interested in buying Custom Sounds from him. I considered the offer, but was frightened at making the leap on my own. Around the same time, Kimmo Aroluoma started working at Custom Sounds, and we conjoined forced in 2012 and purchased Custom Sounds from Harri.

As co-owners, we took heaps in taking Custom Sounds forward. During this time, we had launched two online stores, renewed our selection and the whole concept.

2017 brought along new winds, as Kimmo moved over to run Custom Boards, a company that specialises in pedal boards and fixing troubleshoots.

As the sole owner of Custom Sounds, I will carry out my original idea to offer inspiration in the form of effects and sounds. Our main mission is to offer the best and largest selection of quality pedals in Finland, ranging from the well found basics to eccentric boutique pedals from all the parts of the world.

Guitar amps, and guitars themselves play an important part of the concept. Though the selection is small, it is a a hand-selected group of diamonds which complement the vast wall of effect pedals.

We offer a 14-day money back guarantee, and a warranty of three years to all of our products. This guarantees that our whole range is, and will always be, top of the notch.

Our aim is to offer you first class service online and in-store. If you know what you want, you can proceed to purchase it online, easy and fast. If you have any questions, or are perhaps pondering which product might be just the one you are looking for, you can come by for a visit, and test out the selection. Our staff is professional and familiar with the whole product line. Stop by for a visit, send us an email, or call, we more than happy to help answer any questions you might have.

I believe the true measure of great customer service is how problems are solved. We aim to resolve any claims as fast as possible and in a way that you remain happy and wish to return. We will surely to everything in our power to make everything as easy and carefree as possible for all of our valued customers.

I think it all comes down to the Hendrix tv ad and the feeling I got from it, which I still chase, and I hope that everybody else could feel as inspired.

Helsinki, 01.08.2017

Jani Marjoniemi
The owner of Custom Sounds Finland, a father of two amazing daughters, and a hunter of new sounds.