Let's talk the truth about pedals. Are they all really the same ??

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by thunder58, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Great point, Tavo.
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  3. J Bird

    J Bird Gretschie

    Dec 2, 2016
    On a impulse, based on a random recommendation, I got this DonGeoMac Fuzz Face clone with germanium diode. A fantastic fuzz housed in a junction box that sounds like it looks (if you don't like the looks, then it sounds the opposite of its looks). Sturdy, stable (especially with germanium diode) and dependable, I definitely recommend it.
    Ricochet likes this.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Short answer is NO - not all pedals are the same imo.
    I would never have bought more than 1 if they were :)

    Metal cases are definitely better than plastic - I won't buy a plastic case pedal - deal breaker
    I also won't buy another buffered pedal - already have 1 as first in line so the rest are true bypass.

    My fuzz doesn't sound like my delay and it has different controls.
    I won't buy non versatile one trick pony pedals - another deal breaker

    I also won't buy el cheapo pedals with poor quality plastic parts, switches, cases etc.
    I find it a false economy cos on average they have a short life span, especially if you gig.
    And all of the el cheapos I've seen have plastic cases, are buffered tone suckers and are non versatile.

    Cos I've played/owned 100s over the years I've become very picky with pedals :D
    TSims1 and thunder58 like this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Best answer so far ........straight and to the point
    TV the Wired Turtle and Waxhead like this.
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I think my Rangemaster Treble booster clone(as used by Brian May and Rory Gallagher at one time) has 21 parts including case and knobs... the Van Weelden Royal Overdrive, 400 parts. So no, not every pedal is the same. ;)
  7. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    I have a swollen Pickle,, like it enough I ain’t even gonna go to the doc for a cure! :)
    thunder58 and dak55 like this.
  8. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    thunder58 likes this.
  9. rze99

    rze99 Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2017
    London, England
    Frankly, in my mid 50s, I'm at the stage where I tend to make make pretty much everything sound the same.. . like "me". It's what my senses expect. I thin out fat things and fatten up thin things.... need I go on? It all ends up just like me.

    When I buy a new pedal I'm hoping for a better "me".

    Isn't that how all products are pitched?
  10. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Now your talking!

    I don’t know how much of that is over the years some of us are just born knowing what we want and we go for it without much give.
    TV the Wired Turtle and Waxhead like this.
  11. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    I’ve tried some of the cheap stuff, and they work fine. Usually. But I never quite feel confident in them.

    I think some of this is predicated on your circumstance. Are you a bedroom dweller without a lot of extra money, or are simply frugal? Plenty of super fun inexpensive options to totally get you into any tonal ballpark.
    Or are you a weekend warrior gigger? You may spring for the solid mid-range stuff. Or multi-effects like Helix or Headrush etc etc.
    Are you a pro who wants and frankly deserves the best cause you make all or some of your income from playing? Then you may want to choose and use the higher end stuff that you know is built to the highest quality and has quality tweaks/mods built in.

    I tend to fall into the latter camp, and over time have decided I really like builders that tweak things in the ways that I appreciate when I’m onstage. I love NOCTURNE stuff for that reason. Tavo is a player who plays out and appreciates a wide variety of music. Me too. His tweaks and mods that he builds into his circuits paired with his purposeful component choices leave me feeling confident and satisfied when I’m onstage.
    Neunaber is another I dig. And my new Source Audio Collider is so well thought out and practical for my situation that it’s WORTH spending $400 on it.

    Everyone’s situation is different and willingness to spend is different. But IS there a difference? Yes. Of course and absolutely.
  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    You forgot one group, the talentless guys who love the good tone but can't play for crap. I fall into that group. I could go for entry or more cost-effective options and did at first. But as my tone tastes developed I got sucked into the more costly options, because they had a specific option or tone I had liked. I am odd I can sit in a room and play the same line for hours playing with pedals without pedals perfectly happy in my ignorance and just enjoying the tones. I think if your a homebody like me and the pedal sounds good to you and it is inexpensive then go for it, if it is expensive it sounds good to you then go for it. No rules just be happy in your tones.
  13. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Y'know, Rich, you shouldn't troll the forum you moderate! :p

    I'll admit, I have more money than free time. I do my research and get the pedal that I feel will least likely be set aside. I dont want to try pedals, I just want pedals to do what I want them to do. All this means I wind up spending way to much on pedals, but whatever, it's fun and I love my board.

    I am trying to refine it now and when I think it is in equilibrium, order a custom board.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
    thunder58, gtttrrr, larryb and 2 others like this.
  14. Vrodri1

    Vrodri1 Electromatic

    Mar 12, 2015
    El Paso, Texas
    I have a black Russian that I absolutely love. When I stack it with a mild overdrive I get a cool ZZ top type sound. I also will add a sub n up to get a nice bottom to it when wanted. I don't use it as a fuzz per say, just to make it...dirty. A nice dirty grit,ha. It sounds good on my Gretsch as well as my Telecaster. My Les Paul really dishes out the dirt. I also like that Queens of the Stoneage sound. Basically, you are just going to have to experiment with different pedals. I've had my Black Russian for a long time, but just recently figured how to properly use it to get "that sound. " Good luck and happy jamming.
  15. MrClint

    MrClint Gretschie

    Nov 27, 2017
    Lake Balboa, CA
    Don't overlook the TC Electronic Smorgasbord line of pedals. They are available at around $50 US at GC new and cheaper used. They have re-done Behringer insides with sturdy switches and are housed in a metal "sarcophagus" like enclosure -- sure to survive a nuclear bomb blast. They sound great and top load power and line connectors, as a result they stack nice and tight on a pedal board.

    The fuzzes in this line are the Rusty Fuzz and the Honey Pot fuzz. Tons of great YouTube videos out there. I'm happy with the Honey Pot and have an eye on getting the Rusty Fuzz.
    thunder58 likes this.
  16. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    ... just recently found something I find interesting and definitely appealing:


    This is ... an overdrive, yeah, we all have seen and heard a ton of them, but ... this one has a special feature I see as extremely cool - you can switch between three sets of diodes. The basic circuit seems to be not exotic, but this feature isn't something you see everywhere. I thought of it myself, of modding a pedal to include exactly this, but as I appreciate people coming up with uncommon ideas (she had it long before me), and she lives on building these, I might buy this later this year (budget is a bit tight at the moment). This certainly is one of the things that distinguishes the countless copies of well known circuits under countless brand names with minor changes, or none at all, from the innovative and unique approches you find in one-(wo)man-operations - this is one of those that are not the same as them all.

    She seems to know what she's doing, and I like that this single pedal may even be able to replace more than one of the usual suspects, as the clipping diodes are crucial to how the over reacts to drive and therefore you here have a three-in-one here - those are built to order as I understand, won't be cheap (I'm hesitating to ask her how much it would cost in germany when I can't pull the trigger right now but will have to wait a bit...), but ... in case anyone might be interested, and as I like the approach for the reasons stated above, I thought I might point the interested reader into this direction.

    Anyway - she seems to be cool. The Hi-Ball convinces me to give it a shot, but sadly not today but in 1...6 months. :(, a few unexpectable things happened, on top of Corona... But ... convinced is convinced - me wanna have!

    So, are they all the same?

    Some are, some not. These, it seems, are not.
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The VHT V-Drive might be for you, it is in the TS vein but has 11 diodes which can be combined in several ways by a rotary knob.
    DennisC likes this.
  18. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    Oh man ... 11!

    ... and then, on top, a blend knob like the Sparkledrive has... I really, really, really love this feature - whatever has both options is, like, the jackpot, even for a non-gambler.

    Will have a look into, thanks!
  19. NJDevil

    NJDevil Synchromatic

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    Last week I dove head first into the world of delay pedals......Conclusion? 2 types.....delay....some specializing in slapback and those that bring the spacial/ethereal echo sound. Definitely a wide range for each type and many differences.

    Echo? I want get my "Pink Floyd freak on"........the solution...... Gilmour used the Binson Echorec in the late '60s thru the '70s. My choice now is the Catalinbread Echorec or the Catalinbread Adineko (I have to salute Ruger for introducing me to this). My slapback rockabilly solution would be a Nocturne Brain choice.

    This week has been all lust for the a tube screamer. Most seem to emulate Ibanez TS808 and vary a little from there. Personally, I'm picking up the TS9. Should've grabbed one 15+ years ago.
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