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Mertay
post Dec 16 2014, 01:40 PM
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I have a friend we met on web about 1-2 years ago, he approached me for a need of a beta tester and I gladly accepted. Since then we've been helping and learning a lot from each other.

Since last year he started building analog equipment for studio use (preamp, eq etc.) and planing on guitar gear too. He also plays guitar and has a good sense of tone and guitarist expectation.

So I asked him about 1-2 small pedal builders in my country, they simply clone and sell those clones for very affordable prices compared to the original unit. I never bought one but watching/listening demo's always felt something wasn't right about them, too sterile or "basic" sounding. They aren't bad by the way, probably makes less noise than even original units.

He explained me that parts vary depending on expectation. He describes the affordable parts as non-musical, and the price differences are extreme. Like; non-musical parts can be a cent while the prefered can be 5-10 dollars! keep in mind these parts do the same job...

And then turns out the local builders are actually ripping of their clients smile.gif they make them so affordable the profit is huge, while the customer likes to think his custom equipment rocks smile.gif

Sure there are amazing builders out there which even the clone can sound better than the original unit in a subjective manner but there isn't much escape on budget vs sound when expectations are high.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 20 2014, 09:45 AM
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Hey mate smile.gif

I think I posted the movie sometime ago in a thread in which I was discussing things with Gabriel, but I will post it again:





These are my friends from Riot Devices who build custom made pedals and amps, they also make clones but man, I think the sounds are pretty darn amazing and I know they are using quality parts. I will ask them if they are willing to talk a bit about the aspect you mentioned, as it would be interesting to find things out from their perspective as well smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2014, 07:47 PM
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It really comes down to the ears right? IF a cheap pedal "sounds good" it's probably ok that it contains cheap bits smile.gif The real problem it seems is when a pedal "Sounds bad" at which point it doesn't matter what type of bits were used inside.

Many vendors use cheap bits an effort to maximize profit. Who can blame them? We all gotta eat. As long as the outcome is good sound I personally don't care what bits are used but that's just me smile.gif


Speaking of!! I'm working on a new project with a BRILLIANT dude creating a new line of STOMP BOXES!!! It will be based on a small computer platform eventually but will start out pure Analogue.

More info as we go!!

Todd


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 21 2014, 09:56 AM
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There's an additional aspect to sounding good - if the bits used sound good but aren't reliable due to being cheap and you end up with a broken piece of equipment sooner then it should, that's a problem as well.

There are plenty of things that one should take into account when being happy over cheap things - that's what I think, at least smile.gif Looking forward to hearing the good news, Todd!


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Chris S.
post Dec 29 2014, 01:43 AM
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Whenever I see a used "boutique" pedal at my local music store I always ask to see the guts.

9/10 times it's just another fuzz face/tube screamer clone with a $100-250 price tag.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 29 2014, 08:59 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Dec 29 2014, 12:43 AM) *
Whenever I see a used "boutique" pedal at my local music store I always ask to see the guts.

9/10 times it's just another fuzz face/tube screamer clone with a $100-250 price tag.


For a moment, I didn't really understand what you meant smile.gif But after that, I realized that you are referring to the circuits and I immediately remembered you are into this stuff and luthiery - correct? smile.gif Can you also repair/build circuits?


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Mertay
post Dec 29 2014, 09:15 AM
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Cool replies as usual smile.gif

For the better or worse sound, I think this is getting less personal day by day cause the can be compared at store or youtube videos. I bought 2 pedals recently;

1-A boss mt2, which has its emulation on guitar rig besides other pedals and I knew I wanted that sound long before I even checked youtube.

2-Ibanez bb9, took my attention just because of price and watched the youtube videos. Figured would do well with the mt2.

In the 90's I had to go blind, bought 1-2 pedals and hated them so went with a processor which is the main reason I stayed away from analog for such a long time.

Oh I also found this blog sometime ago, really liked it!

pedal review site


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Darius Wave
post Dec 29 2014, 01:45 PM
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I'm afraid some prices are true and related to a small, one-person manufacture where people do not get that high discount because of not ordering tons of elements for a massive production. Let's add a local taxes and consider different true valume of money in some particular areas.

Of course that's a part of the story. second side is simply some people taking money for....I wonder what tongue.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 30 2014, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for sharing this one, mate! I always thought that a pedal encyclopedia would be useful smile.gif If they would add some video links to reviews done on those pedals, this would be the absolute encyclopedia!

QUOTE (Mertay @ Dec 29 2014, 08:15 AM) *
Cool replies as usual smile.gif

For the better or worse sound, I think this is getting less personal day by day cause the can be compared at store or youtube videos. I bought 2 pedals recently;

1-A boss mt2, which has its emulation on guitar rig besides other pedals and I knew I wanted that sound long before I even checked youtube.

2-Ibanez bb9, took my attention just because of price and watched the youtube videos. Figured would do well with the mt2.

In the 90's I had to go blind, bought 1-2 pedals and hated them so went with a processor which is the main reason I stayed away from analog for such a long time.

Oh I also found this blog sometime ago, really liked it!

pedal review site



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Mertay
post Dec 30 2014, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Dec 30 2014, 10:38 AM) *
Thanks for sharing this one, mate! I always thought that a pedal encyclopedia would be useful smile.gif If they would add some video links to reviews done on those pedals, this would be the absolute encyclopedia!


I readed some reviews there, though he does have an understanding of guitar tone and playing he's examining them in more of a tech. view point.

But he did respond to 1-2 messages I wrote quickly, could be really helpful when needed.


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 6 2015, 08:32 AM
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There was a big thread about this a while back as mentioned. YUP! smile.gif Some pedal builders are RIPPING FOLKS OFF, They take cheap chinese pedals and then repaint and "rebrand" them as "custom" hand built pedals and charge a fortune. Several vendors got caught doing this and it had a very negative impact on their reputation.

One of the vendors that still has a good rep is PRO TONE pedals but you have to wait 3 to 6 months for your build to show up smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 6 2015, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 6 2015, 07:32 AM) *
There was a big thread about this a while back as mentioned. YUP! smile.gif Some pedal builders are RIPPING FOLKS OFF, They take cheap chinese pedals and then repaint and "rebrand" them as "custom" hand built pedals and charge a fortune. Several vendors got caught doing this and it had a very negative impact on their reputation.

One of the vendors that still has a good rep is PRO TONE pedals but you have to wait 3 to 6 months for your build to show up smile.gif


I think that the time needed is definitely worth the wait out of what I am understanding from users from everywhere smile.gif Since he is among the few ones doing an amazing job, most likely that he is very busy - thus the long waiting line smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 7 2015, 01:34 AM
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Very true!! DENNIS @ Pro Tone has a very good rep. Thus, folks (including Misha Mansoor and Keith Merrow, Etc.) are avid fans and folks are willing to wait up to HALF A YEAR to get their pedals. The pedals are so good in fact, that folks by them without trying them out since you CAN"T try them out as they are not sold in stores.

I've never seen on in any music store ever. They rarely come up on ebay. They are just rare like that and thus the demand and the waiting line. But I can personally say that the BULB pedal is just killer and I am really glad to have one coming my way again smile.gif



QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jan 6 2015, 08:49 AM) *
I think that the time needed is definitely worth the wait out of what I am understanding from users from everywhere smile.gif Since he is among the few ones doing an amazing job, most likely that he is very busy - thus the long waiting line smile.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 7 2015, 08:21 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 7 2015, 12:34 AM) *
Very true!! DENNIS @ Pro Tone has a very good rep. Thus, folks (including Misha Mansoor and Keith Merrow, Etc.) are avid fans and folks are willing to wait up to HALF A YEAR to get their pedals. The pedals are so good in fact, that folks by them without trying them out since you CAN"T try them out as they are not sold in stores.

I've never seen on in any music store ever. They rarely come up on ebay. They are just rare like that and thus the demand and the waiting line. But I can personally say that the BULB pedal is just killer and I am really glad to have one coming my way again smile.gif


Indeed - the quality is doubled by the 'rare and exclusive' factor - do you think it's some well thought of strategy?


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klasaine
post Jan 7 2015, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 6 2015, 04:34 PM) *
I've never seen on in any music store ever. They rarely come up on ebay. They are just rare like that and thus the demand and the waiting line. But I can personally say that the BULB pedal is just killer and I am really glad to have one coming my way again smile.gif


I 'think' the non-custom color versions are less rare. Here's a few on Reverb.com (I assume they're legit) and I think they're 'blems' ...
https://reverb.com/item/264880-pro-tone-ped...H4kkaApp48P8HAQ
https://reverb.com/item/424689-pro-tone-ped...E9FQaAg6U8P8HAQ
https://reverb.com/item/264996-pro-tone-ped...e4NsaAtZK8P8HAQ

As for long build times on the custom color pedals ...
It's very labor intensive when you're doing everything in house. In order to turn any profit at all and yet still keep the price reasonable you can't hire a bunch of folks to build and paint. I assume Pro Tone does runs of one pedal, then another, then another, etc. So yeah, it'll take some time.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 7 2015, 07:02 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 10 2015, 03:02 AM
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Bingo!! smile.gif These are really good prices on these. The ones without the custom graphics are a bit quicker to produce and a pinch less sought after just for the "cool factor" of having one of the custom graphics bits on your board. But the guts are the same and they sound the same and they are a bit cheaper!!!

That said, the custom graphics Pro Tone pedals hold their value and often go up in value! I bought a Bulb peal with graphics and sold it for more than I paid for it and was able to buy an entire 11 RACK with what I got for one pedal!!

I do miss that pedal though so I broke down and ordered another custom graphic pedal!! Which should be hear some time next year or so smile.gif

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 7 2015, 12:12 PM) *
I 'think' the non-custom color versions are less rare. Here's a few on Reverb.com (I assume they're legit) and I think they're 'blems' ...
https://reverb.com/item/264880-pro-tone-ped...H4kkaApp48P8HAQ
https://reverb.com/item/424689-pro-tone-ped...E9FQaAg6U8P8HAQ
https://reverb.com/item/264996-pro-tone-ped...e4NsaAtZK8P8HAQ

As for long build times on the custom color pedals ...
It's very labor intensive when you're doing everything in house. In order to turn any profit at all and yet still keep the price reasonable you can't hire a bunch of folks to build and paint. I assume Pro Tone does runs of one pedal, then another, then another, etc. So yeah, it'll take some time.


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