Biggest Pedal Letdown

guitar_paul1

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Nobels ODR1. Everybody was going crazy when they first came out. Not for me. Anymore I don't buy unless I hear it first. Everybody's ears are different.
 

brown2bob

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Tampa, FL
TS9, didn't click at first due to it's nasally sound, so I sent it to Analog Man to make the silver mod. Now it's perfect! Much fuller tone overall and a lighter touch of mid boost.
 

MyLittleEye

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Bad Monkey
Rat

Both sounded absolutely awful. Although to be fair, the monkey sounded worse.

Have to say the Bad Monkey was a disappointment for me too.
It's grown on me a bit since though - I just don't use it for gain! I understand it plays better with a valve amp which is where my setup's lacking so I still give it the benefit of the doubt.
I have two applications for it now: one is as a cleanish boost into my Behringer Blues Overdrive (BD-2 clone); to fatten and shape the tone with the Low and Hi EQ's. Alternatively I put it at the end of the chain, clean, as a budget splitter. Used there it divides the signal between my amp and my MAC. I do this mainly for playing my own tones along to Rocksmith software. While the much hyped Monkey didn't meet my expectations as an overdrive, I've come to appreciate it in other ways so I'm happy to hold on to it.
 
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MyLittleEye

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Back in the 90's I splurged on a Zoom 9000 multi effect pedal that promised it could do everything in just one box. I was pretty a total newbie to guitar but I figured the Zoom was versatile enough for other applications (I wanted reverb or delay for my harmonica too) so it seemed a worthwhile investment. Well it was fiddly to use and the "out there" exotic 90's effects left me cold. especially combined with my inept playing. I gave up at guitar not long after and thereafter it sat in a box in the attic for 25 years.

So Mid Life Crisis creeps up, I pick up the guitar again and this time I get it!
I got a few cheap pedals before I retrieved the dusty old Zoom and I've used it to fill a few gaps in the chain. Using it again after so long has really made me aware how ignorant I was of pedal lore back then. The Zoom's naff in so many ways but I'm able to appreciate what all that mid 90's tech offered a bit better now in 2021. I've learned to get the best out of it by ignoring ALL presets, starting from scratch and adding in only what I want. I've also come to value its numerous limitations (It's versatile in so many limiting ways). In an odd way it's quite liberating to have to make do with the levels of effect it offers (none, Some, More! LOTS!!) It allays decision fatigue which in turn has made me a lot less fussy about the settings on my other gear. Close enough-good enough lets me just focus on playing!

Perhaps the Zoom 9000's not SO bad after all; that's what I keep trying to tell myself.
More likely I'm just digging the 90's Zeitgeist it conjures!
 
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TeleCarlos

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Once in a while I'll think that I need to try one. Then I listen to a Youtube demo and the feeling goes away. :)

I wasn't interested in the RAT sound ever, but for some reason I got into my head to get a RAT clone so I got me a Chicago Stompworks Vermin since the price was right. Plugged it, strummed a chord and was like "Whoa"! Why didn't I try this before! I was super suprised about liking it so much. It felt right. Now I want to try other RAT flavors available.

Go figure!
 

DeckerPhan92

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I feel that way about every pedal i've ever owned then later sold/trade/gave away.
Straight into an amp or acoustic is the way i always end up playing no matter how badly i want a pedal to work.
 

darkwaters

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Newfoundland
I wasn't interested in the RAT sound ever, but for some reason I got into my head to get a RAT clone so I got me a Chicago Stompworks Vermin since the price was right. Plugged it, strummed a chord and was like "Whoa"! Why didn't I try this before! I was super suprised about liking it so much. It felt right. Now I want to try other RAT flavors available.

Go figure!
It always pays to be open to new ideas, but I've listened to a lot of Rat and Rat clone demos on Youtube, and I've never once heard a sound that would be of any use to me. I realize that all demos have to be taken with a grain of salt, but without anything to grab my interest it just never seemed like a worthwhile investment.
 

zeke54

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For me it was the Way Huge Swollen Pickle , I guess I was searching for a fuzz sound like I had in the '70s . Didn't happen , the only way I liked it was with another OD in front of it . To be honest I have , or had a lot of the pedals talked about here ... OCD , Rat , TS , Monkey , Soul Food , Blues Driver ... and on and on . Seems like it depends on my amp and guitar combination how good/ bad they sound . Another one I was disappointed in was a Carl Martin DC Drive , just didn't click for me .
 

J. Bonkosky

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Honorable mention to the Peterson Strobostomp strobe tuner pedal (earlier blue box version - circa 2007-ish). It was advertised as "true bypsss" -- NOT. With the pedal OFF it was major tone suck. Sold it and got a KORG Pitchblack pedal tuner and never looked back. IMHO, the best pedal tuner out there...

Honorable mention to the MXR Micro Amp... white box, one knob, one switch... yeah that guy... When the pedal is kicked in, all of the guitars tone is there, works great... turn the pedal off and its like turning the tone knob down on your guitars. aka "ssvere tone suck" when the pedal is OFF... It was not advertised as "true bypass"... Later I replaced that boost pedal with a Cusack More Louder... chiclet-sized boost that has plenty of headroom if you want BOOST its got BOOST... Its now been on my board for many years. Zero tone suck...

Back when I had the MXR Micro Amp I didn't know anything about "true bypass" versus "buffered bypass" -- The Micro Amp was sort of my introduction to the world of learning about buffered bypass. My ears could definitely hear the difference. When the pedal was ON... full tones including all highs/treble tones from my guitars. When the effect of the Micro Amp was turned OFF, I learned a new phrase "tone suck"... notice-ably the treble produced by the guitar had disappeared.

At the time, I was giving guitar lessons and so my students could learn about effects I had bought several (cheap) effects types from the "Digitech X-Series" line
- Digitech Turbo Flange,
- Digitech Digidelay (with printing so small you'd need to turn the hubble telescope on it to read the font size),
- Digitech CF-7 Chorus Factory,
- Digitech Hyper Phase

I had all of these from Digitech (around the year 2007-2008) and they all had "tone suck" when the effect was OFF... thus I learned the difference that year about "true bypass" versus "buffered bypass"...

Then it was like searching for steel in the Conan the Barbarian movie... I was on a quest for "True Bypass"... and as I watched the world around me erupted into advertisements that "...and this pedal is true bypass"... Pretty soon it was the catch phrase of the millennium...

Until articles came out stating that you needed ONE buffered bypass pedal on your board so you could have a bit longer cable run... hahaha... so tone suck pedals are back... and now companies even make a single doo-dad pedal thing that is JUST a buffered bypass contraption... hahahaha... who-da-thunk-it

MXR micro amp isn’t buffered bypass. Sounds to me like you need new cables or your cable run is very long. I had the “tone suck” thing happen to me once with a pedalboard full of true bypass pedals. Wound up being one patch cable with a bad solder joint. Just enough resistance to kill the tone when no pedals were engaged.
 

skaz

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Strymon Sunset overdrive for me. Love the El Cap delay and Flint, but was very disappointed in this one. All the overdrive choices sounded too processed and digital.
 

dswo

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I'm glad I wasn't the only one on the oceans 11. So much variety and some settings were really fun. In the end, I don't like getting too far away from the sound I put when bypassed. That said, now I'm getting sentimental gas. I kind of wish I could noodle around on it again. Maybe I can find a used deal...

I too was disappointed with the Oceans 11 for everything but the spring. Lo-fi (used earlier) is the right word. I ended up getting a Fender Marine Layer, which I’m happy with.
 

dswo

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I was disappointed with the EHX Soul Food for the longest time, and then I discovered I wasn’t using it correctly. I’ve read everyone’s comments on various gain pedals they didn’t like and I bet your disappoint was similar to mine. You were judging that pedal on its own merits alone, not how it interacted with other pedals.

This was my experience with Centaur clones too. Into a clean amp, disappointing (though it might shape what’s behind it in a useful way). But into a dirty amp or another drive pedal, glory.
 

beeflin

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For a year or so I couldn't get a good sound out of it. One day I tried setting the Bass and Treble at max, and there it was: a nice overdrive that added dirt but didn't alter the overall EQ (I'm trying hard not to type "transparent overdrive"...whoops.) To my ears at least, those Bass and Treble knobs were just cut knobs. Once I started maxing them out and then just cutting a little of either as needed for the room, it was pretty useful for me.

Yeah, many EQs are passive "tamers" placed after whatever damage the gain stage has done to your nice round guitar tone. If you happen to have a lovely gain stage that hasn't done anything bad, the EQ isn't really needed unless you're boosting the volume significantly and need to focus the resultant loud noise.
 

Phrygian77

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Btw, how did we make it this far down with no mention of the Metal Zone? I have one someone gave me and I think I've plugged it in a few times.

I went through a period buying Boss pedals, mostly vintage, on eBay around 15 years ago. I tried one out. I kind of forgot about it, and it wasn't a pedal I was expecting to be impressed with to begin with.

On the other hand, I guess I should have added the PH-1r to this list. A lot of people raved about that pedal, but no one mentions that it has a fairly limited headroom. So, it gets really nasty sounding with humbuckers and a boost in from of it.
 

beeflin

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Back in the 90's I splurged on a Zoom 9000 multi effect pedal that promised it could do everything in just one box. I was pretty a total newbie to guitar but I figured the Zoom was versatile enough for other applications (I wanted reverb or delay for my harmonica too) so it seemed a worthwhile investment. Well it was fiddly to use and the "out there" exotic 90's effects left me cold. especially combined with my inept playing. I gave up at guitar not long after and thereafter it sat in a box in the attic for 25 years.

So Mid Life Crisis creeps up, I pick up the guitar again and this time I get it!
I got a few cheap pedals before I retrieved the dusty old Zoom and I've used it to fill a few gaps in the chain. Using it again after so long has really made me aware how ignorant I was of pedal lore back then. The Zoom's naff in so many ways but I'm able to appreciate what all that mid 90's tech offered a bit better now in 2021. I've learned to get the best out of it by ignoring ALL presets, starting from scratch and adding in only what I want. I've also come to value its numerous limitations (It's versatile in so many limiting ways). In an odd way it's quite liberating to have to make do with the levels of effect it offers (none, Some, More! LOTS!!) It allays decision fatigue which in turn has made me a lot less fussy about the settings on my other gear. Close enough-good enough lets me just focus on playing!

Perhaps the Zoom 9000's not SO bad after all; that's what I keep trying to tell myself.
More likely I'm just digging the 90's Zeitgeist it conjures!

I used to have just a Zoom 3030 for many years before I started getting into separate pedals. No way will I ever get rid of it - when I listen to old recordings it's clear it still stands up, especially for delay and reverb. A guitar into a valve amp really isn't hi-fi so the Zoom's limitations are very much non-fatal
 

beeflin

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It's notable how many of these failures are drive pedals. The bottom line is that very few pedals can actually create a sound (with the exception, perhaps, of a good fuzz). I've avoided a lot of disappointment by remembering this and always relying on my guitar and amp for tone, using pedals merely as "special effects".
 

PCollen

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Florida
What pedal did you gassed hard for ,and when you got it, you just didn't bond with it? Which one broke your heart the most?

Mine was the EHX Superego. Andy Martin made it sound so good in his video, playing Shine on You Crazy Diamond and sounding like the recording. I plugged it in and I was totally disassociated with it.

I tried to love it the way I loved it while watching all the videos, while looking for the right deal and finally having the thrill of finally getting my hands on it. But no dice. In two weeks, I was absolutely done with it.

Any stories to share?

Zoom 3030MFX...noisy POS. Trailing OD/Dist. noise sounded like snare drum strings on a trash can.
 

jayroc1

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Apr 16, 2015
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vancouver
Boss SD1.

I loved zakk Wylde in high school and bought the pedal to mimic him but later realized having the Japanese version was why he used it. My Mxr double double became my fav drive pedal after that
 




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