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

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

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

  1. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma

    I'm unsure why you seem instantly defensive. That has happened more than once in this thread. I was just alerting you to his very special guitar, and offering a way for you to learn more, and maybe more about the guy you've been back Andy forth with.

    To be clear, I too think the "boutique pedal" thing is out of hand, and I chose to purchase pedals with a lot of thought , consideration, and prudence. The real estate on my board is hogged by mxr and digitech, I think those companies offer great value and solid products. I've played with the China clones and I'm not sold. I'd pay moreover if there was more of an assurance of pedal performance. That being said, I like my tone city bad horse and it has kicked the Jekyll and Hyde off my board.

    Tc electric does it right, I have their spark mini.

    I bought one pedal that could be considered boutique, though I think they were around long before it was a buzz word--the fulltone '70. They put a great sounding fuzz face circuit into a box that doesn't suck. That was worth it to me.

    I think that is the question you have to ask when making these purchases, does this pedal fit a need another doesn't, is it innovative enough to claim the asking price? Is there a less expensive alternative?

    If you just buy pedals to buy them, you will surely be dissatisfied.

    I do want a catlinbread formula 55, but I'm not yet willing to shell out 180.00 smackers to get a pedal that I don't really NEED, and I don't know how often I'll use.

    There are innovative companies like EQD and Catalinbread, and others that aren't as innovative but may be making higher quality gear. The market supports what it supports; you just have to decide if you want to be a part of it.
     

  2. brobar

    brobar Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    I don't think he meant any offense in calling out the similarities. I do see them. And that HD Jackson is one cool guitar. I never was into WASP, but I did watch The Decline of Western Civilization and I'm glad to know that between then and now Chris Holmes has sobered up. He has/had some cool guitars.
     
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  3. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma

    I guess I didn't need to go on the defensive for you then, and I did say, "I don't think this is the case." I hope wetbandit did go cruise your thread and see how cool that guitar is. I want acces to your leather tooling dude. (Can't remember if that happens to be you)
     

  4. brobar

    brobar Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    492
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    Thanks for going on the defensive. I appreciate it. =)

    I'll PM you the leathersmith's info.
     

  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 4, 2009
    atlanta
    wtf?

    All I'm saying is that re-packaging or cosmetic alterations of existing products and then re-selling it, is a mainstay of the economic system and has been going on for ages.

    And to rant about this is basically screaming at clouds.
     

  6. The Guy

    The Guy Tele-Holic

    593
    Sep 15, 2016
    Guitarsphere
    I wasn't being sarcastic. I think those practices are detestable from a business ethics standpoint.

    And the timeframe of bad practices does not constitute their justification. It only explains the naivity or weakness of the average consumer
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  7. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

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    Funny thing is at the time I made it, I didn't think I would use it much...other than for a boat anchor or a door stop....

    Turns out I use it almost daily!

    I named it "the persuader"
     
    Pixies2005 and The Guy like this.

  8. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

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    I haven't looked at the thread yet, but I will.

    And I wasn't being very defensive, I was just unsure of why you were making it seem as if my HD Jackson post had some sort of underlying ill intent, or why it even seemed that way to you to begin with?

    Not hostile friend.
     

  9. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    Well, good. If you read through the thread, you might see why I was concerned. This community has been good to me, I try to return the favor.
     
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  10. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    Thanks. The KoT was worth the 18 month wait. At one time I debated about whether I would pull the trigger when my name got to the top of the list but I'm glad I went through with it.
    I agree that the real cost of R&D has to be considered for something truly new and innovative. I just can't imagine what it would be. I liken the difference in overdrives to be like the difference in various root beers: A&W, Barg, Hires, IBC, etc. They are all a little different and you may have a preference but they are all root beers. I doubt anyone is going to tweak the formula of sugar, glycyrrhiza, sarsaparilla or artificial flavors but it's still root beer. Someone may blow the doors off of the OD market with something new and innovative. I just don't know what it would be.
    I went through 5 different delays before I finally settled on the Flashback. It's not necessarily better than the other I tried (including a Wampler, a Carbon Copy, DM2 Waza) but it's versatile. It's my last delay.
     

  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    It's hard to follow what exactly your understanding of how business works is when you say things like "My $17 pedal marked up...".
    The product "markup" is not from the materials cost.
    Maybe you could explain how much you feel or presume a pedal manufacturer spends building one compressor, including customer service before and after the sale, and some reasonable amount of advertising, followed by however much warranty repair you feel is reasonable.

    A business needs to pay someone to compare, select, negotiate, purchase, inspect, stock, inventory and distribute those materials to the workers.
    Sometimes the materials arrive and are not usable, so must be returned, which may involve negotiation after the inspection to determine the extent of the problem, along with some management rearranging of the manufacturing because the next product on the line cannot be built due to bad parts being returned.
    In your business model you did all that for free.

    In my own businesses and those I've worked for, I have refused a lot of materials that I felt were not up to the use or the suppliers promise.
    Inspecting large quantities of materials while the driver is unloading them is a PITA and hurts my popularity with truck drivers.
    In addition to the fact that the company owner might blame me for refusing stuff we need to continue our work, if the owner didn't see for themselves.
    Alternatives include sorting and discarding half the shipment, building substandard product at risk of warranty costs, subbing different parts, putting off the product run, or repairing the bad parts of possible.
    This is just one (or two) very small unplanned cost that a business has to eat and/ or charge for.

    How much do you calculate that as costing?
    And whose pocket should it come out of?

    Seriously, if you want to convince musicians that pedals over $200 are a ripoff, you need to present a viable explanation.
    If Boss gets $90 for a mass produced pedal Joyo sells the equivalent of for $29, isn't Boss ripping us off even worse than the boutique builders?
    Where do you want us to draw the line?

    I'd guess that you condemn Fender and Gibson for charging big bucks for an old product too? Amiright?
     

  12. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Holic

    898
    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    There is no lie here. This is all part of making stuff for a living.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  13. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

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    Fender and Gibson... guilty as charged.

    You are right.

    If I paid myself $20 an hour then my pedal cost $57 dollars for me to make including parts.

    The way I see it, advertising/marketing would be the cost of a few units...that I could give to "gear demonstrators" on YouTube and elsewhere ....so that's out of the way for a small business anyway.

    Not to mention if I'm buying parts in bulk I would get a decent discount...

    Not hard to get a customer service/tech support person who works from home on board for less than $10 or so an hour...

    And even of I hired 4ppl at $15hr and added another $5 for taxes and workmans comp...thats $80 an hour so we are looking at total employment of around $100 an hour....so even at $800 a day for 365 days a year that is $292,000....before material costs.

    And if we built 15 pedals a day...and sold them for $250 we would have the sales potential of $3750...and if we sold them all for 365 days that would bring in roughly 1.4 million dollars!

    So let's subtract that 292,000 from the exact number of $1,368,750 we get a total of $1,076,750

    Now obviously I didn't put any effort into this little scenario and I didn't pay my own taxes yet but we just made over a million dollars by selling 5,475 pedals at $250 a pop

    And no one is getting rich?

    Please point out the massive flaws I have made... (no sarcasm)

    Obviously we wouldn't work 365 days a year and we would probably build more than 15 pedals a day once we got the routine down and streamlined...

    And that was given that we sold ALL of them...which judging by the clamoring that's going on wouldn't be an issue.
     

  14. brobar

    brobar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    492
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    If it were that easy and lucrative, why isn't everyone doing that?

    I take it all four employees (and yourself) are all working out of your respective homes so you don't have to account for a shop and assembly line... rental of that shop, electricity, insurance and all that? Once the pedals are done you are just storing them in your basement so you don't need a warehouse attached to your shop/home? I take it you aren't offering your employees any health, medical, dental, retirement benefits... anything other than maybe an employee discount? Obviously you are selling direct only and not putting your products in any stores or online shops because they have to make a profit and you aren't going to be selling them to retailers for $250 just for them to turn around and sell them for you AT $250. What kind of warranty are you providing with this operation? Any R&D costs? I imagine you don't need engineers at all since you are only paying $15-$20 an hour. You checking out your factories over in Asia or just trusting their work and doing everything via Skype? Nevermind, you don't need those factories doing PCBs for you since you are doing it all "by hand" here in America. You gonna travel around and setup booths at NAMM and other industry trade shows? Have you thought about travel costs? Booth rentals? Hotel and food costs? Or are the few Youtubers your only marketing? I guess that saves you money so you don't have to advertise in Guitar Player and Guitar World and other industry publications.

    This operation you described might be a better deal than your sandwich shop. I'd jump on it!
     

  15. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

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    Na, sandwiches is where it's at!

    And yea you don't start at the top, you're gonna have to "grass roots" it for a while until you can do better...same with sandwiches or any business.

    You don't just assume your position as a successful business by going all out on the whole operation....thats a great way to go down in flames.
     

  16. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Holic

    898
    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    This just isn't realistic at all.
     

  17. brobar

    brobar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    492
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    So if selling 5,500 pedals a year at $250 a pop is just starting off... how many pedals at what price do you see yourself doing when you become successful?
     

  18. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    896
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    It sounds like you just need to support the cheap China pedal companies. If all you are bellowing about is price.

    Hand inspection and matching parts costs time and money. Design and RD costs money that there is no guarantee you'll get a return on. Customer service and replacement is a huge make or break issue for companies. If I had an issue with one of my tone City pedals what recourse would I be allotted? If wampler sold me a bad pedal, I'm confident the issue would be resolved. Sometimes you pay for assurance. If a pedal costs 80.00 labor to make (by your model,) and 17.00 in parts (by your model) and they sell it for 150.00 which is roughly average of most pedal prices, I'd say. Your return is 53.00, not counting R&D, overhead costs (electric, facility, rental, sales staff, etc). That's not a lot of meat on the bone in the end.

    Now let's talk about the return policy yet again. I want to be assured that I will be taken care if if I am buying a product at a higher price. I will pay more for insurance of quality. I sit a two home CS rep is not that. A person who knows the product and gets the issue fixed must be more qualified than that. And I'd be upset if a company valued CS at 10.00/hr.

    These boutique pedal companies, and smaller, quality companies, in my experience have backed their products even when I've bought them second hand. That's beyond reasonable and something to be noted. I doubt China clones would be so willing.

    I also think many people have chimed in on this thread offering valid and varried viewpoints, and you have tried to carry on your rant, which is ok, but I think these manufacturers, like all of us, are trying to get by, as best they can.

    I don't like the repackaging of products to generate sales. And I do think that happens. I don't like the ambiguity in the boutique label. I don't like what we are seeing on the marketing side with sponsored reviewers portraying all the best sides of a product. To be fair, this is happening with guitars too. If you follow andertons YouTube channel, you'll see a mess concering chapman guitars right now.

    Anyway, there are some frustrating things about pedals, but I do think it's unfair to say it only costs 17.00 to produce a pedal.

    That being said, I've been really frustrated with the high prices on fuzz pedals that contain the simplest circuit in the effects world. This thread has opened my eyes to things I didn't account for, and I hope you can be open minded enough to see some other viewpoints too.
     

  19. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

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    I agree with every single thing you said...

    You and Boil managed to make the argument that I myself couldn't, so my hats off to both of you.

    Wampler did agree to fix my foot switch on my Vlevet Fuzz that I bought used and that was way cool...

    I said earlier, I'm not bashing Wampler, I just used him as a widely known example.

    My main issue was with the repackaging and raising the price for no reason other than they can...

    And as you said about Fuzz circuits...why on earth shl7ld anyone pay that much for that type of circuit? You can literally make one in a coffee can in under an hour with $2 or $3 dollars worth of parts....that you could probably jack from an old alarm clock.

    Lack of innovation is a major problem I have...And as along as people are buying $300 tube screamers and $300 Fuzz faces then that innovation will be unmotivated.

    Really I'm just preaching responsibility.

    I do agree with you, I just have trouble articulating certain things. But you put it nicely.
     

  20. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    494
    Nov 22, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    I can't hate on that, but I also don't own any bespoke Savile Row suits.

    And much of the time, the guys and gals building stuff are just trying to earn a living, not necessarily demonstrate their excellence of assembly. If we're talking one-off or small run cottage industry items, be they guitars or amps or widgets, then yeah, sure, I'm positive that that level of attention to detail is evident.

    The human touch is quite pricey and out of reach for many people.
     
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