Are boutique pedals a scam?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CoreyT, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    417
    To be honest I have been lucky, I have not had any pedals go bad or have faulty switches in them.
    Anyone here have new pedals they bought and were duds?

    It is a shame he is having a problem with Voodoo Labs.

     
    #1 CoreyT, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
  2. IKnowALittle

    IKnowALittle New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    570
    Well, yes and no. If you're a guy that gigs cover stuff like myself (a lot), doesn't make any difference.
    I use a G5 and can guarantee that no one in the audience could ever tell ... like ever.

    If you're recording and sense a difference, then different scenario ... but, they are overrated
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,928
    Likes Received:
    22,693
    This guy is a real creep for doing that video.

    Why is he so weak and passive that he's had these problems unresolved by the dealers for weeks, but his solution is to make a freaking video and put it on the internet?

    It doesn't make sense to go making generalizations like "all boutique pedals are a ripoff" simply because he's gotten bad service from a couple of vendors and had bad luck with a few pedals. That can happen. So he's had a little bad luck, all of these builders will replace the pedals, but generally it'll be done via a dealer.

    The problem is not with a group of pedal makers, it's with the dealers who aren't solving his problem.

    Hardware and switches sometimes fail. The solution is to buy from a good vendor who will take care of the problem for you. Heck, I've had little problems arise with my PRSes, and my dealer, Jack Gretz takes care of me, as does PRS.

    The solution is not to make a video to whine and try to tar everyone with the same brush.

    I've had the Bogner pedals, yes the switches are stiff, but they work fine, and more importantly, they sound great. If a switch is defective, I have no doubt that Reinhold Bogner will replace it.

    The guy dealt with some online vendor I've never heard of, and he's been stiffed re: the service. Well, why not do a trashing video on the vendor then, instead of the pedal? And why didn't he take it in for an exchange? Oh, he bought from someone remotely that is probably a guy in a garage or warehouse who doesn't take care of customers at ALL.

    And why doesn't he go to a local store and TRY BEFORE HE BUYS?

    Voodoo labs, for one, stands behind their stuff, they're a good company, and I've had lots and lots of experience with their products without problems, as have the many, many studios I've seen their pedals, switchers, and power supplies in use in when I do sessions elsewhere, and when session guys come to my place.

    I've never had a problem with lots of manufacturers' pedals, such as Fulltone, Suhr, VL, and the list could go on for miles.

    This kind of video is the work of a real asshat, in my opinion. What a passive-aggressive, baby-ass POS.
     
    #3 LSchefman, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Dusty Chalk likes this.
  4. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    417
    Yeah, all the pedal I have ever had Les not one has failed.
    Even old pedals from the 70s I use to use.
     
  5. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,727
    Likes Received:
    2,817
    Les, keep that blood pressure down!

    In general, I don't think boutique pedals are a ripoff - far from it. I've gotten what I paid for with brands like Wampler, Bogner, and TC Electronic. The construction is good, and the tone surpasses any cheaper pedals I've used. On the other hand, I had a Lovepedal that I didn't care for at all. I won't say their whole line is crap, but this specific pedal was a disappointment tonally. Functionally it worked very well. I guess it just goes to show, you can find a great pedal, or a bad one, in any price range, but in general you get what you pay for.

    I do agree with the gent in the video, and Les, about the Bogner switch, it's too stiff. But my Wessex is a FANTASTIC sounding box, and the switch is by no means a deal breaker. Definitely doesn't warrant a bashing of the pedal overall.
     
    Dusty Chalk likes this.
  6. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    417
    I guess that Angus Young In A Box (Schaffer Replica) would be considered boutique, as it is very expensive, but very well made.
    However they do not respond to email, may have to call them.
    There was supposed to be stickers in the box, but I only got the pedal.
    Stickers are very important you know.
    When you put a sticker on your vehicle, it adds around 20 extra horsepower.
    I thought if I put one of the stickers on my big case that holds cables and other stuff it would make me play like Angus.
     
    andy474x likes this.
  7. tbp0701

    tbp0701 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    44
    I didn't watch the video, but I do have a Sparkle Drive which had a bad switch after a year. I contacted the company, which immediately responded, had me send in the pedal and fixed it. It's been fine ever since and the company's response was great.

    But in general are boutique pedals a scam? No, as I think most of these designers and companies are genuinely trying to make something special. And they have to buy supplies which can be unreliable, and they're using manufacturing techniques that many of us musicians say result in a superior sound but are often not as reliable nor inexpensive as using a machine that can print a thousand circuit boards in a day (especially by percentage of failures). So, no. I don't think it's a scam, but I also don't necessarily believe that they are always worth the additional cost (although I feel they often are, especially as they're easier to repair and can last much longer than many mass produced pedals. I also like at least the idea of helping innovative, creative people to earn a living doing what they love).

    I have far more of a problem with a company that, say, takes others' innovative designs, reverse engineers them, finds the cheapest components and labor, then floods the market with $25 versions.
     
    #7 tbp0701, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Boogie likes this.
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,928
    Likes Received:
    22,693
    No worries!

    It does make me nauseous that this guy should get one single click (that's money making for him) for this kind of childish, passive-aggressive nonsense. But there are obviously worse things in the world that I have stronger feelings about.

    He says he doesn't like making negative videos, but of course, that's the very thing he decided to do because he doesn't have the balls/knowledge to confront the folks who are not giving him good service. Again, this kind of thing is - and should be - handled by HIS vendors.

    Posting this kind of absolute garbage on the internet as fodder for the fools and suckers who buy into it is his choice of weapon, and frankly, it stinks.

    His other stuff is hardly worth watching, but this is a new low for this dude's uselessness.

    What's his day job again? Why is this crap something anyone would watch?
     
    #8 LSchefman, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Dusty Chalk likes this.
  9. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules On Double Secret Probation

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,702
    Likes Received:
    10,783
    The title is sensationalism. And, I was put off by the whole tone of the video.

    Foot switches are by far the biggest problem on most pedals. They are like tubes, in that even when tested and working properly at the factory, some will fail quickly and there is no way the dealer or maker could have told ahead of time.

    That said, I agree with Les over the tone of that video. I liked the other vids you guys put up of him and subscribed to his channel but that one is pretty much whining IMHO and not doing things the right way. I had several Voodoo Labs pedals in the past and they were VERY engaging to the point of asking what gear I was using and what tones I was going for, then suggesting settings on their pedal AND the rest of my rig for the tones I was after. Slamming guys like that with things like "I contacted Voodoo Labs, and I haven't heard back. It's been over a week. I don't think I'm going to get a response" is kind of low class, IMHO. If I contact a dealer or builder, and don't hear from them in a few days, I do it again. IF I don't get an answer then, I keep trying but note that, but I don't ever blow them off after one "non-response." Many of these companies are pretty small shops that have a few guys and it's easy to miss one email amidst the spam, or one voice mail that one person took but needed another to respond back. Heck these smaller companies have LIVES and don't have a 24/7 C/S rep waiting to answer the phones. They might even take a vacation of have a wife having a baby. This is not Procter and Gamble we're talking about. Then he said "the reason I say that is... couple reasons" and apparently he had the good sense to edit out what he said after that.

    I was liking some of this guys vids. Wish now I hadn't seen this one. :eek:
     
  10. gball

    gball New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    19
    I agree with Les. This guy is a jerkoff, and I have a hard time believing he is having so much trouble with these pedals.. I have been buying pedals of one type or another, mass-produced and boutique, for over 35 years and have never had one fail out of the box from any manufacturer. And every funky switch I have ever had was easily fixed with a can of contact cleaner, except for the ones that failed because I used/abused them over a period of many years and they wore out, which is to be expected.
     
  11. Huggy B

    Huggy B Whiizzz

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    3,155
    I bought a TC Arena reverb pedal that was wonky from the beginning and although it worked OK, it only lasted less than a year. I don't use stomp boxes much, but when you need one, you'd like for it to be ready when called upon. I didn't go for a TC replacement, I picked up a Boss digital reverb to have around instead.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,928
    Likes Received:
    22,693
    That's true, but TC Electronic hasn't been a boutique company since the late 80s, and are in fact now a subsidiary of the largest music electronics company in the world, Behringer. This guy is complaining about boutique pedals in his video, though since he mentions TC he has no idea what that even might be.

    Boutique pedals are made in small batches by smaller companies, folks like Analog Man, Caroline, Suhr, Barber, etc. Even Fulltone, who sell a lot of pedals, are far less mass market and closer to boutique than TC, a relative giant in the pedal business, probably second only to Boss.
     
  13. drdoom8793

    drdoom8793 THAT guy at Chick-fil-A

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    1,088
    Sounds like you might have just gotten a lemon. I've got several TC pedals and have had no problems with them whatsoever.
     
  14. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    10,158
    Likes Received:
    15,325
    I need to get some stickers for my underwear...

    In all the years I've had pedals, I've only ever had one pedal fail. It was a wah pedal from the late 70s. It failed because I tried to mod it and failed. Otherwise, I don't think I've had a single pedal fail. In fact, I can only think of one footswitch I've ever had fail, and that was the channel switcher on a Budda amp.
     
  15. Anim8me2

    Anim8me2 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    55
    The worst part is this guy owns a shop!
    Can you imagine his reaction if someone trashed him in a video?
    It sounds like he bought from online vendors without really checking on them and is now bitching because things weren't taken care of immediately. How about waiting till you get a response? Or try Twitter. I find that usually gets an immediate answer.
    There are a lot of avenues to take instead of a video trashing "boutique" pedals.
     
  16. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    417
    I like most of his videos, and that he likes PRS guitars, but this one did seem like a bitchin' fest.
     
  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,928
    Likes Received:
    22,693
    If this guy owns a shop, I'd certainly recommend not buying from him....
     
  18. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I like to party, mmm hmm, everybody does.

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    21,398
    Likes Received:
    34,447
    It would be more helpful if he shared his unique perspective of being a small business owner and how they deal with warranty issues and upset customers.

    So please don't watch his video on compression.


    I'm trying really hard to only post positive thoughts on social media, but I'm aware that I'm only human and I'll slip up here and there, so I'll say this: I think I prefer The Tone King videos.
     
  19. helmi

    helmi single & satin

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    87
    I agree fully, sir!
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,928
    Likes Received:
    22,693
    Advice I shall follow!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice