Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Ok, I've finally had it with pedals...caution: Rant

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by WetBandit, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016
    A little over a year ago I decided to move away from digital modeling/multi effects units and piece together a actual pedal board.

    I bought a range of things, some new, some used from CL.

    I ended up with.
    TC HOF
    TC Flashback
    TC Ditto mini
    Keeley "Dyno my roto"
    EHX Metal Muff
    Joyo ultimate drive
    Biyang OD (TS clone)
    Donner Morpher
    Donner tuner pedal
    Wampler velvet fuzz

    All in the span of about a month.

    After reflecting on this for several months, I have came to the conclusion that the pedal market/industry has became just about as contrived and deluded as "Custom shop" guitars...

    And I have also noticed that alot of manufacturers aren't doing any of their own advertising anymore, which I suspect is entirely strategic.

    They put their product in the hands of every "gear demonstrator" on YouTube and every place else, because they can then deny any "falsehoods" that are spread around about the product.

    It's been said a thousand times that pedals wether they be "off the shelf" or "boutique" (what a nasty word) aren't worth nearly the asking price, not that there aren't some reasonable deals out there.

    Even though I LOVE my velvet fuzz and I think Brian Wampler is a great pedal builder and a genuinely nice guy, his entire operation is built on hype and the fact that it's "hand made in the USA"

    Why exactly do nearly all of Wamplers pedals cost exactly the same money? And why is nearly every pedal available in a "regular/deluxe" configuration?

    You mean to tell me a tremolo circuit costs the same to build as an OD circuit?

    Not hardly...

    Not picking on Wampler, just using them as an example.

    Earthquaker is another good example.

    Same with JHS.

    How many of these pedals today are actually innovative, and not using nostalgia and lack of innovation as selling points?

    It makes my skin crawl and makes me feel nasty for buying into it.

    Just saw the new Horizon "precision drive" priced at $220 USD....for a distortion box! More like EXTORTION box.

    I'm really considering revoking my GAS card, because the whole thing is nauseating.

    When you can buy an AWSOME amp for the price of 3 or 4 pedals something is WRONG!!

  2. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    If you don't think that's advertising, you're kidding yourself...

    So you send out a few dozen free pedals, and who is going to say anything BAD about them, and if they want to keep getting FREE PEDALS, they're going to give it a good review.

    Have you EVER seen Andy at Pro Guitar Shop ever say "this sucks", or "This is ok, but buy this other one instead, it's cheaper and sounds better"?

    I didn't think so...

    People are mistaking ads as reviews, and the pedal makers are laughing all the way to the bank as they come out with ANOTHER variation on a transparent overdrive (Or Klone, or TS, or Echoplex, or whatever), every three months, which will then be touted as the next "must have" piece of gear that you can't live without.

  3. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016

    NO! We agree EXACTLY!

    I know it's advertising, that was my point!

    I was saying the companies themselves seem to be doing less of the advert themselves and letting the "demo guys" do it, so that they (the company) can be distanced from the claims that are made.

    For example. Andy at pro guitar says check out this velvet fuzz it sounds like this!

    When I get mine it doesn't sound anything like that.

    Now if I called up Brian and said hey man just got the velvet fuzz and it doesn't sound as advertised wtf?

    He can simply say, I didn't say it sounded that way and neither did anyone at my company...

    See what I mean?

    Plausible deniability kinda.
    Scrapperz and Hexabuzz like this.

  4. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA

  5. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 19, 2011
    United Kingdom
    • American staff cost more than sweatshop workers. People pay to support what they believe in, to a degree. If you feel strongly about the exploitation of low-wage workers you might decide to give your hard-earned to a company that charges more but has fairly paid staff.
    • There is a notion of cross subsidisation, wherein a company charges more for a product that is cheaper (within reason) and uses the extra revenue to offset cost of producing more expensive units of other products (so they have some to send out to dealers and youtube guys). They can also fund R&D into new products.
    • What's a GAS card? I feel glad I don't have one...
    • What's this super awesome and affordable amp? I'd love to know.
    Jakedog and badfish_lewis like this.

  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Respectfully, here is some tough love. I'm just going to say it, that is a disaster as to how you went about putting a complex pedalboard together. I'm certain that most of us took painstakingly small acquisitions at a time to develop our own pleasing pedalboards over many years of trial and error. You probably fell into some sort of "multi-effects unit syndrome" that convinced you how simple and easy it is to put a complex string of effects together. From looking at your list of pedals, I would say that you probably did succumb to some marketing hype, but even if you had purchased the most expensive pedals of each effect, you would have ended up disappointed ... guaranteed.

    Just to help, I suggest starting with one pedal. Learn it backwards and forwards. Then add a second pedal. Add one at a time for a minimum of a week each. Sell the ones you don't like and start looking for replacements.

    Good luck.

  7. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016
    That is an interesting statement. It's always been my experience that most actual employers do NOT feel that way! In fact they would gladly pay you the least that you will accept!

    Seeing as how I am an employed U.S. citizen and have manged a successful business for the better part of a decade I think I have a fair grasp of the costs associated with paying employees

    Employment is almost always the biggest overhead expense in any business.

    So, here is the average consumer contemplating their next pedal purchase and they are torn between a Wampler or a EHX

    And they some how are compelled to choose the Wampler because they know that Brian is going to pay Tyler a good salarie?

    Hmmm...are people that selfless? Because that doesn't strike me as realistic.

    Let's face it if that was the common way of thinking Wal-Mart wouldn't exist!!

    And your whole idea of "charging more for a cheaper product (within reason) to help further other projects...catches a big snag at the "within reason" juncture.

    There is no non "because we can" reason that a drive pedal should cost 220 when a Delay/Reverb combo costs the same...when the ladder is far more costly to produce.

    But hey man if you are cool with giving your cash to the "this guy needs another vacation house fund" then go ahead...

    I'm all for American jobs, but American greed is what made those jobs an issue to start with.

    All I'm preaching is sensibility.
    jimash likes this.

  8. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016

    Na, I'm not in the least definitely wasn't my own purchases that caused this feeling.

    I wasn't inclined on any purchase by advertisement except for the "dyno my roto" which is truly amazing and actually innovative.

    I'm not complaining about my own rig, I'm complaining that I could have spent 10x the money and gotten the same if not a worse/more limited range of sounds.

    And that this happens to ALOT of people due to the hype driven lie filled world of "gear demos" and the like, that prey on the uninformed and naivety of young budding guitarists.

    It's a shame really. And it makes me no longer want to "feed the beast".
    t guitar floyd and Scrapperz like this.

  9. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

    Apr 15, 2016
    Pedals are crazy money, I agree. Having said that, like you a year ago, I'm thinking of ditching my modelling amp, as nice as it is. For a third of the price I can get a JOYO American, because that's pretty much the only settings I use anyway. I have a delay pedal already for the only effect I use on the amp. Couple of pedals into my AC15 or Pathfinder and I feel like I'll be sorted. I'm not likely to go mad with pedal fever, I barely use the few I have now, but I do like to switch away from the Vox sound now and again.

    Price aside, are you happy with the switch?
    Plumber likes this.

  10. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2008
    The Golden State
    So, does this mean you're going back to a digital rig?
    bacongrease likes this.

  11. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016
    I am actually very happy with it!

    I still own my modelling stuff and use it for quiet practicing mainly through headphones.

    All of my pedals I bought with a purpose except for the donner Morpher which was really just curiosity for $19.

    To my ears the individual pedals sound more vibrant and "alive" than the modeller...

    Ultimately trust YOUR ears and no one elses!

  12. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016

    No. I will not get rid of it though because it still has it's uses...quiet practice mainly.

    I do believe the individual pedals have more of the sound characteristics that I want.

    I'm just so sick and tired of all of the hyped up lies that are being pumped to everyone in the attempt to grab more unsuspecting folks money.

  13. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Holic

    Apr 12, 2014
    About 3.5 years ago I started down the same path. But I'm happy with where I've ended up--and I've only bought one pedal that I would re-think.

    I started by wanting to find a great sounding flexible tube amp. Despite some bad reviews about reliability, I bought an Egnater Tweaker 40, which gives the me ability to set up two channels with different sounds.

    Playing straight chord into that amp sounds better to me than what I was getting before out of a processor. And I haven't had any trouble with the amp. Did replace the footswitch.

    After a while I added a T Rex SoulMate. Gives me OD, Dist, Delay, Reverb, a clean boost and a Tuner all in one box. Makes set up and tear down really easy. And the sounds are good. I've never dialed in a great delay sound, but I don't use it that much anyway.

    Over time I added a Boss Auto Wah (I need the envelope follower because I can't work a real wah wah and sing at the same time), a Tremolo, and a reverb pedal with a shimmer function. Only one I would re-think is the shimmer pedal. Given how seldom I use it, I should have bought the cheapest shimmer I could find, not the best (and one of the most expensive). Oh well.

    I'm really happy with what I've got.

    I agree that the pedal business is a racket. Companies find ways to re-package the same stuff, so you think you've got to buy some new thing that will give you killer tone or (whatever). And it won't make much difference, or probably isn't better than something you already own or could have bought for less.

    At this point I don't have any plans to buy any more pedals--although that could change I suppose for some particular song that needs some particular sound.

    Unfortunately, I've now moved on to the search for the perfect amp--or worse yet collection of amps. In the last year I've added a Mesa TA-15 and a Fender Custom 57 Vibro Champ. And I don't think I'm done. LOL

  14. Dunnigan

    Dunnigan Tele-Meister

    Apr 27, 2017
    Hopefully that invisible hand keeps the margins within reason.

    I do agree 100% that you need hip waders to navigate the hype around anything related to consumer market sound: musical instruments, stereos, all that. I am convinced it's largely to do with how easily our ears are fooled. If the pedal looks cool, is played by someone I'd like to emulate, then I bet it will sound good. But...Could I pick it out of a lineup of similar pedals without peeking at the names? Could I even pull off a matched levels blind test with pedals?

    Granted, some differences are easily heard. I tried an Epi Les Paul for my first real electric. After awhile I discovered I didn't care for the overtones I was getting. I thought it was my amp, which I upgraded. But still there. Then I tried some teles with single coils and found the cleaner tone I was after. I do think I could hear that difference reliably.
    WetBandit likes this.

  15. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016
    I feel ya, I currently play through a tweaker 15 head mainly.

    And I too have done the amp quest...

    And the whole bit about repackaging old stuff is what has been going on for decades sadly...

    Hey everybody get on the waiting list for your $400 Muff clone!

    Pedals themselves are pretty "low tech" in most cases but yet some cost what an IPhone does...hmmm

  16. Austinato

    Austinato Tele-Meister

    May 13, 2017
    Huntington Beach via Reno
    Another post on the Stomp Box about how much pedals suck.


  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I have no idea what you are ranting about. You like your pedals (many of which are very inexpensive) but you don't like what they cost? Are pedals somehow different in that once the market knows what consumers like, everyone tries to offer their version of that preference?
    stratguy23 and chiefline like this.

  18. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016

    NO! Pedals do not suck! Not at all!

    The way they are marketed and priced sucks horribly!!!

    Again...I'm not talking about my own rig!
    Doug 54 likes this.

  19. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2016
    I'm not complaining about MY pedals...
    I've said that over and over...

    I am complaining about the pedal industry at large!

    Why is it OK to literally clone something else or "mod" it and then mark up the price a few 100% and then give it to someone on YouTube or elsewhere to show it off to the masses as if it has descended from heaven to make everyone sound the way they want and that it can all be had for the small sum of several hundred dollars!

    At least until the next thing comes out...perhaps a deluxe version of "last months" offerings that is infinitely better than the first time around and only costs MORE money...

    It's an old trick called a "bait and switch"...kinda of like guitars at NAMM....they are all gussied up and ready to be shown...only when they show up at the retailers for sale do they present themselves as the turds they sometimes can be...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017

  20. Ex-riverman

    Ex-riverman Tele-Holic

    Jun 17, 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    Keep a analog fuzz, overdrive, and a simple delay and trade the rest for an Eventide H9. For the price of a few boutique pedals you can have a studio ready arsenal of effects. You'll never use even half of them but you'll have almost anything you might want if you need to scratch an itch.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.