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Josh is blown away by cheap Chinese pedals

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by DougM, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ryan, from 60 Cycle Hum, brought a board full of pedals to JHS for Josh to check out, and the whole board cost less than one JHS pedal. But, being the pedal geek that he is, Josh loved them. He correctly identified the overdrive as an Xotic RC Booster clone, which it is. It's a rebranded and re-cased Caline Highwayman, which is an RC Booster clone. And, he was especially blown away by the Donner delay, which is $94 on Amazon, but is only $56 on Donner's website.
     
  2. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    My "philosophy" with these (relatively) cheap pedals made in Asia is that if you want to let’s say try for the first time how a chorus or delay works and you don’t want to spend lots of money for some high end pedal, go with these pedals. Or maybe you want a tremolo pedal, but you only use it once in a while... Maybe you will not like a chorus pedal and in any case, you don’t lose a lot of money, even if you keep the pedal.

    But if you want a gig/studio worthy pedal or even if you will use it for lots of years at home just go with some Boss, EHX, MXR, TC Electronic, JHS etc. pedal. Usually you can find good used ones for 50-70% of full price.
     
  3. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I’m sorry but major pedal manufacturers have their pedals built in China using locally sourced parts. If a Chinese company decides to use the same suppliers to build a pedal, it’s automatically assumed to be inferior? Pre-deciding value based on nation of origin is illogical (and I think — ugly)

    If you want to talk about the durability of different pedal construction techniques, that’s totally valid (it’s physics).
     
  4. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    The big-name pedal brands have been playing us for years. A good pedal should not cost more than a usable guitar, but it often does.

    If someone else can make decent affordable ones, then great.
     
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  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Ive had good luck with Mooer pedals, and the guitarist in a band I’ve played in has had an all-Mooer board for years with no issues.

    No experience with Caline or any other knock offs (have had a few Joyos which have been solid). I’m leery of the really cheap Chinese stuff.

    My only problem with Mooer is their prices have been creeping up to the point that buying a used big brand like Boss or MXR isn’t that much more.
     
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  6. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    durability yes, but also layout and component selection. the joyo/donner tier pedals are generally cost cutting noisy crap. fine for dumb stuff like fuzzes sometimes, but not much else. but analog mooer is basically as solid as boss at this point. they are one of the few that have their stuff together. it's a no brainer with which brand to go with when they're both priced at 50 bucks. i just wish there was more than one company in that lowball tier that did as okay of a job.

    of course there are also a few boutique brands in china and southeast asia. that's really where the bias against them becomes unwarranted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  7. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have used a lot of Caline pedals and have never had a single problem from any of them. I think they're the top tier of Chinese pedals, along with Tone City. But, I've also used several Mosky, Rowin, Joyo, Tomsline/Aroma, Donner, Eno, and Nux/Kokko pedals too, and although I don't like them as much as Caline, I've actually never had a problem from any of them either.
     
  8. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have a Caline paperweight that says fuzz on it. I also have an Xvive Singing Autowah that continues to blow me away. Both were gifts. I’ll spend a little more on EHX as they’re American made and have a ton of pedals, including undisputed classics, for under $100 new.
     
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  9. sdsy1212

    sdsy1212 TDPRI Member

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    As an Electronic Engineer, I would say there is no secret in making these pedals.

    The electronic components are very cheap in China. I remembered 10 years ago when I was a student, the price for 100 resistors is 1 Chinese Yuan (about 0.15 USD). The only hassle is the reading values. It does need extra time to find out which ones are accurate.

    Another cost is on PCB fabrication. You can't imagine how cheap it is to do this with factories in Shenzhen. Compared with those PCB made by Western countries or Japan, the PCB made in China is not in very good quality but usable. However, if you wish to pay more to a good PCB factory in Shenzhen, they can also make high quality PCBs for you. It's all about cost.

    When accurate components and high quality PCBs are used to make pedals in China, you won't be able to tell the differences.
     
  10. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I've had Mooer pedals and like them a lot. It is however a little bit of a generalization to say that they sound exactly the same at less $$. Sometimes, that's the case. Other times, not quite.

    The one Mooer pedal I've used (and love) more than any other is their Bluesbreaker clone, the Blues Crab. I liked the flavor so much that when a Snouse BlackBox has come up on the used market I've bought it. I am not interested in its added versatility, but even just used as a basic Bluesbreaker, the Snouse sounds clearly better to my ears.

    Is it worth the extra $$$? To me, yes. To others not. Is the Crab a bad pedal because of this? Not one bit. In fact I refuse to sell it and it will stay with me as a backup. It's a great little pedal that I would recommend to anyone interested in the BB flavor.
     
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  11. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    I have heard lots of good comments and reviews about Mooer pedals. And since I don’t own any Mooer pedal I cannot comment about this brand.

    On the other hand I have heard lots of bad stuff about Joyo. Once again I cannot judge this since I don’t own any of this pedals.

    But I had a Chinese looper pedal. It cost me 60€ + shipping, so hardly a cheap pedal (New Boss RC-1 is 90€, only 30€ more). This Chinese looper it worked perfectly for 3 weeks and then it just stopped working. I wrote to the store where I bought it from and they then sent me another one for free. Same thing happened after 3 days with the new one!

    So then I wrote to them again saying look… this is not gonna work. I don’t want this pedal. Please send me a new TC Flashback II (delay which has a 20 sec lopper) and I will pay you extra 50€ or so.

    After more than a year this pedal works perfectly. It also has so many options... And I know that it will work as it should for many years because it is built like a tank.

    What I wanted to say with my first post is that I don’t want to spend any of my time and money in the future with buying and trying some pedals that might fail me. I prefer to go with stuff that has been tested through decades by many musicians. And like I said you can get good used pedals for dirt cheap (sure you have to be very patient any you can not always get the exact model you want). I bought almost mint Boss SD1 for 30€, almost mint DS-2 for 35€, very good CH-1 for 30€, very good EHX Neo Mistress for 35€, good Dunlop wah for 35€… Do I need to go on?

    I know that everybody has their experience and everybody has a right to share them.

    Peace.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  12. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Josh loved them, but I bet NONE wind up on his board. Nothing more than internet hyperbole click bait.
     
  13. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    These days I only use JHS pedals. Fulltone and Barber get honorable mentions in my book based on positive experiences. I'll just wait for another JHS pedal to be released, or not.
     
  14. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Only for the fool that buys it.....
     
  15. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have probably 15 pedals from Donner, Joyo and Caline (and several expensive name pedals too). Never any problems. I like them all, whether the clones sound like originals or not. If I was a gigger, I probably wouldn’t use many pedals cuz I’d be good enough to get what I wanted without them. But the few I used would probably be proven-solid pedals by name makers just to be more sure I’d not have any issues. As a home player the cheap ones are an absolute no-brainer.
     
  16. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have 3 pedals that fall into the "cheap Asian origin" category: Donner Yellow Fall & Stylish Fuzz, and a Joyo American Sound. Say what you want, but my specimens are rock solid & quiet enough to record with. The fuzz may not stay on my pedalboard. Not because it is junk, but because I just don't care for fuzz boxes. The Yellow Fall delay is as good a delay as any other stomp box for my needs, the Joyo is my always-on pedal.
     
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  17. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got 3 of those pedals: Cuvave Fuzz, Mosky Spring Reverb and the Twinote branded Amazon Distortion. It may be 4 if that Donner delay is the same as the Ammoon delay I have. The only one I used a lot was the Spring Reverb. I didn't particularly care for the fuzz or the distortion. The delay is good for certain ambient sounds but, based on what I've heard in demos, there are some newer inexpensive digital delay pedals that are better, such as the new Joyo one.

    I did go on a bit of a cheap (sub $60) pedal binge between 2015 and 2019, buying nearly 60 of them. It was an interesting experience and I may still buy some from time to time. But recently, my primary board has gotten a lot more expensive, adding in a Keeley Caverns and Orange Kongpressor to displace the cheap ones that were there.
     
  18. MojoTrwall

    MojoTrwall Tele-Holic

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    What some seems to misunderstood is :

    China manufacture cheap stuff because we ask them to do so, since they're the few having the supply chain to do so, cheap and higher grade stuff.

    If they became leader in semi-conductors production there's a reason.

    It's been at least 10 years since the made in china is not ambiguous with cheap, paint with lead stuff that'll poison child stuff.
     
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  19. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Two pretty good ideas that I just got on the cheap ( $56 each):

    A Donner RevEcho, which mates Reverb with Delay
    ( the pedal is very small, the knobs too- so a little rotation on the knobs go a long way, gotta watch it!- but good sound)

    And the new Caline Sundance Special,
    which pairs their Orange Burst ( Xotic BB clone) with a pretty clean ( and works independently!) Boost
    I like the sound and features on both, but need a gig to really hear them!
    ( can't really do this in an apartment)
    20210211_144224.jpg 20210227_125934.jpg
     
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  20. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Here’s his take on the Joyo R-series. I bought the Uzi based, in part, on this. (It is excellent; I did a NPD thread on it a couple weeks ago and it didn’t get a single like or comment, but whatever, ya cork-sniffing snobs;)). I’ve got the Aquarius on my wish list because multiple reviewers, including JHS, rave about that galaxy mode.
    https://thejhsshow.com/articles/joyo-r-series-the-perfect-budget-guitar-pedals
     
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