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Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tonfarbe, Jul 27, 2008.
Is all this copying ethical?
It is my impression that all those boost, and overdrive pedals are mostly copies of one another. Nothing new, or revolutionary.
A bit like old tweed amps...it's the same old circuits, recycled.
Like the blues. Who has the copyright?
Like Big Tony said....
Do you really think that pedals like the OCD or the Centaur are the sole ideas of their creators/sellers?
Then do a google search for "Klon Centaur copy" or "Fulltone OCD copy".
You should rather ask if copying/modifying a pedal design and then selling it for more than 150 $US under your brand name is ethical.
And then what about all the aftermarket pickups? These are basically all copies of Leo's original designs.
What about all the boutique amp- and guitar builders?
Just some brands that come to mind (WITHOUT any judgement and in no particular order):
Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Fralin, Lollar, Novak, Weber, STF, Headstrong, Mission, Allen, Ceriatone, Victoria, Demeter, Cornell, Suhr, Anderson, DeTemple, Grosh, Tyler, Carvin, Nash, Schecter, Lentz...
I think your question is obsolete.
If you guys want to read a country mile's worth of debate on this very topic, head over to the Gear Page and search cloning. It's really a worn out topic over there and you'll get all the input and opinions you could ever want!
Sorry if I may be on the wrong path, but reading some of your older posts, you seem to be a very knowledgeable guy when it comes to
building amps/pedals who has lots to say about electronics etc.
So why these almost "hypocritical" questions???
With a post like this,
I really wonder what your real intentions behind your questions are.
Again, my apologies if I am interpreting something wrong here.
I was just happy about the very positive outcome of my first ever pedal build
and wanted to share it with this community, also to encourage others to go ahead and dare to try something new.
I feel sorry that the thread has taken this new direction.
In the United States, after a patent has expired, the subject matter
goes into the public domain. Then anyone can use the information.
This happens to many older amp designs.
The Zen and Klon are still in production. No evidence has been
produced to show that they are verbatim copies of something
else. $150 a pedal? Research, development, and creative
imagination on the part of the original builder needs to be
rewarded so there will be research and development in the
I think your reply is short-sighted.
For a full discussion, please see:
"$150 a pedal? Research, development, and creative
imagination on the part of the original builder needs to be
rewarded so there will be research and development in the
Sorry, but I didn't say that. I've never said that the original builder doesn't have the right to sell his creation for any price he wants.
I said that copying another design and selling it under your own brand name for "boutique" prices is unetical. Big difference because in my original sentence, there's no "research, development and creative imagination" involved
This is a good example of what I meant:http://solgrind.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/jetter-gain-stage-red/
Oh, I didn't know that the Zendrive and the Centaur are such original designs that their builders have filled a U.S. patent - have they?
I think your reply, implementing that the Zendrive and the Centaur are 100% unique designs and are not based on other pedals, leaves out quite a bit.
I didn't find a patent for the Zendrive or the Centaur on the World Intellectual Property Organization's website.
But I found a patent for Dirk Baldringer's Dual Drive.
Anyway, that was not my point.
If someone proudly presents his new Lentz T-Style guitar here, do you also jump on the thread and ask if "all this copying is ethical?"
I'm just a guitar player who purchased and built a "kit" (collection of electronic components) which costs as much as the sum of it's individual parts.
ADMINS, please feel free to erase this whole thread.
As I said, the outcome was not my intention, but I don't see that it's leading to something positive.
So the German Zehndrive you assembled is a copy of the US
Zendrive. Apparently you are happy that you saved money by
letting Hermida do the design work for your parts supplier,
UK Electronic, and you.
You admitted, "copying another design and selling it under your own
brand name for "boutique" prices is unethical." Here, a design-
the Zendrive, has been copied, and it has been sold under another
brand name-the Zehndrive. What does UK Electronic's price have
to do with it?
As far as these pedals are concerned, I am not discussing patents,
I am discussing ethics.
In my opinion, your request to the Admins. is not surprising, since
your position is not defensible.
However, let me request the same:
ADMINS: Please delete this entire thread, because it glorifies
enrichment (UK Electronics) at another's expense (Hermida).
You should be proud, it looks great.
Why would I "laugh?" I don't laugh at anyone (except maybe comedians I guess HAHA).
Some folks asked for help repeatadly after a first kit build, I mentioned that "painting by numbers" is great (especially for getting boutique gear at low prices - that's always awesome), until you have to try to fix/troubleshoot something. That was never meant as an insult, but apparently it has perhaps been hung onto as such by you (that thread is weeks old by now). The OP seemed to understand my intentions, especially since I continued to offer help and advice where I could and tried to help fill in the blanks for the poster (who I consider a cool guy and hopefully he feels the same about me) about what does what and some basics. He even sent more PM's asking for help, so he knows I meant nothing negative.
We all have to start somewhere - and kits are great for that! As long as you either: learned, had fun (or few headaches), and/or have something you really wanted.
As far as the arguments over copyright... first, it is trademark, and perhaps patenting, folks should worry about in cases like this - if there even was a need to worry. Copyrighting covers a slightly different thing. Second, it is NOT illegal to build/sell clones in this way. Weber, Ceriatone, and many others would not have a business if it was the case. It can be a lengthy explanation, but it's not illegal in most (but not all) cases.
Ethical? Who knows. Who cares. What a messed up thing to say to a happy DIY'er! You have a great pedal (and it looks cosmetically gorgeous as well!!)...
I'm leaving this forum for the same reasons you're upset - you do something nice or ask for help and snobs come on and look down their noses at everyone... ethical?! Leave poor tonefarbe alone! Jeez!
TDPRI should be friendly, helpful, and fun - and for the most part, TDPRI is still the best on the web.
It's just that I have now realized that a good percentage of grown guitar players will ALWAYS violently argue minutia, from string to speaker, like it is religious dogma... regardless of the forum. I'm tired. Burned out.
We're traditionalist and narrowminded guitar players. We can't help it. Ever have a conversation with a guy at a gig and he makes snide remarks about your gear/tone (or others)? I used to do the same - WAY too often. I hope I can say TDPRI helped me learn some humility and let everyone just be happy however they can. I'm just weary of arguing with other musicians - it's what a lot of us do... it's unavoidable. Since joining in 2005 I have learned much and had a lot of fun... but I just don't enjoy "talking shop" with guitarists anymore - online or in real life... it's like talking about religion or politics... sometimes it's a holy war waiting to happen asking what tubes is in one's amp
So, tonefarbe and anyone else I may have offended over the years, I deeply apologize, I can only think of two or three folks I intentionally may have tussled with (one not justifiably, the others I feel justified) - the rest were unintentional. ENJOY PLAYING MUSIC!! To a few others (vicious folks, arrogant cork sniffing snobs, snake oil sellers, and just mean people), I offer no apology nor explanation - All I will say is: enjoy playing your music as well.
Everyone: Have fun. Smile when you play. Hell, laugh like a school girl while windmilling your guitar Townsend-style. Life is short, so drive it like you stole it!
I hope you aren't permanently bailing out on us. I always enjoy your posts and have learned alot about amp building from you. Don't let the argumentative nit-pickers win the day!
Hey, J.C. - don't leave!
Staying out of the ethics debate!
Who knows! I've played loads of so-called "Klon Killers" over the years, and thusfar, no cigar... but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as is impressive as the Klon is with a good rig match, it can sound like butt with a mismatch rig...
No experience with the pedal you've linked, just some general and speculative comments:
* The green pedal runs at 9V, while the Klon runs internally at 18V, allowing for increased headroom. Maybe the green ped can withstand extra juice, and maybe that makes this consideration N/A.
* I'm not a tech, but I know that Bill Finnegan (Klon designer) and Pete Cornish are hardcore when it comes to defending the larger enclosures that contain their circuit designs, claiming that there are significant sonic differences. I can't say, 'cause I don't know. Also, both of these guys are champions of the buffered circuit, and neither favor the true bypass format.
* What I can say is that the controls on a Klon behave more like a quality hi-fi stero than perhaps any dirtbox I've ever played. Smooth, predictable taper, which doesn't seem like that big a deal on paper ... but for anybody that's ever tried to get on with peds that have jerky response across the pots, it can be a thing.
please don't take my first pargraph of the initial post too serious - it was a bit "tongue in cheek". I just wanted to express my awareness that I'm only at the beginning of a very long road when it comes to guitar/fx/amp electronics and that, in no way, I wanted to compare this to your outstanding builds.
And Johnny, please don't leave!
In my opinion, it would be a big loss for the TDPRI. Your threads were always enjoyable and educational and they had a big impact on me to jump in at the deep end learn something new.
Nice job, Tomfarbe. Did the kit come with the decal? (looks great) - Did the kit come with a drill template? Just curious - your work looks great. It appears that whoever makes the kit does a nice job of putting all the needed 'helps' together in one place for the builder.
The Zen is a great pedal - with a wonderful ability to have lots of body to the tone with relatively 'low gain' - sweet and creamy. The Jetter Gear Gain Stage Red is very similar as is Xotic's AC Plus (the OD side). I have the AC Plus and really love it; great stuff with Teles!
I think you did a great job on the pedal, and it sounded excellent in the clips you did. I think, though, that it sounds much more like a Tubescreamer than a Zendrive (there's absolutely nothing wrong with that... I dig Tubescreamers ). From your clips, it just doesn't seem to have the Zendrive's pronounced snarl or "chirp," which is what really separates the Zen from most other pedals. I'd be curious to hear clips if you ever get a chance to A/B the two pedals in a direct comparison.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your project with us, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you build next!
This is most certainly a circuit workalike/clone of the Zendrive:
The two circuits (TS/Zen) have much in common.
No, the kit didn't come with a decal but in the pdf there's a layout of the decal print. I first printed it on paper and used the center of the pot scales as a drill guide.
The rest of the holes were done with careful measuring.
Then I printed the layout on decal paper which I had bought separately.
For my next project (haven't decided yet what to build) I will definitely make my on decal layout.
Thanks. Before I did the quick recordings, I maybe had 10 minutes to try out the pedal. So the settings are far from being "dialed in".
I once had a Tubescreamer and didn't like it because it sounded way to narrow and middy for my taste. It also robbed lots of the low end.
This pedal does nothing of the above. Although it has a slight mid hump, it sounds very clear and "true" + it retains the low end.
I love this pedal for its sound and couldn't care less if it's an exact clone (from a player's point of view) or maybe just a basic TS with an additional pre-gain voicing control.