Are you a pedal pessimist or optimist??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by josiahmac, Aug 12, 2019.

Pedal pessimist or optimist?

  1. They all suck...

    9 vote(s)
    10.2%
  2. So many amazing sounds, how do I choose?!

    79 vote(s)
    89.8%
  1. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    I started with an SD-1, MANY years ago.

    I went down the OD pedal rabbit hole, spending a fortune on all kinds of "fantastic" pedals.
    40 + overdrives later, I found one to FINALLY replace my SD-1.

    It's an SD-1w
     
  2. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    I think a lot of guitar players tend to consider themselves some sort of purist who just plugs into an amp and makes “pure” sounds.

    Frankly, that’s largely BS. Once you are no longer playing acoustically, once you add ANY electronics, you are no longer pure. You are shaping sound. Fenders sound different than Marshalls, we all know this, many of us can recognize it by sound alone, so what is pure here?

    Really, we are all just shaping sound in various ways. Just because we don’t think of it that way, doesn’t make it untrue.

    Once you get over that, pedals are just tools in further shaping your sound. Personally, I don’t dwell overly on brands. I pretty much exclusively build my own these days anyway. But what I look for is what the pedal DOES and how useful it might be in shaping sound. What does it do that is interesting? It’s really not all that different from modular synthesis.

    In that sense, I’m a pedal optimist. I think most pedals have SOMETHING they can add in the right circumstance. Perfection remains the enemy of the good in guitar gear.
     
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  3. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Yeah, thats a great one. When I say 'digging' I mean more so in terms of just overall research - I actually haven't bought that many ODs at all, in fact I own 3 now and have only owned 5 and many of them I simply returned if I didn't like it. Its actually pretty easy to narrow down after a while because you sort of just know what you want after a while or at least thats how it worked for me.
     
    Johnny Moondog likes this.
  4. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Member

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    You must either
    a) have unrealistic expectations
    b) be buying the same thing over and over
    c) have GAS burnout. Forget about tone and go back to playing.

    Seriously. GAS is a phagocytic disease and it feeds off your dedication to music.

    This is true for all gear. I've had my Vox AC15c1 for two whole years before figuring out how to work the EQ on the Top Boost channel (bass and treble on 0, add as needed) I'm in love with it now - I wasn't for a long time.


    The funny thing is everybody plays electric guitar differently. The electric guitar is not a classical instrument - there is no proper way to play it. I wonder if some clasically trained pianist out there is angry that some dude is happy making music with a synth keyboard and pedals.

    Playing is a means to an end, and that end is music.
     
    StratmanSteve and Glitch Magnet like this.
  5. guitarslinger21

    guitarslinger21 Member

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    In life, I'm a pessimist.

    In pedals, I'm an optimist. 95% of them sound great in the right room with the right amp, assuming you can play ok.


    If all of your stuff sounds bad, the culprit is most likely the room. Does it have concrete walls?
     
  6. MemphisMod

    MemphisMod Member

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    After subscribing to Pedal Genie for about a year, and playing through dozens of popular pedals across various categories, my impression is that most pedals are more alike than I realized. The ones that lots of folks rave about on TGP tend to be excellent; get 1-2 of those in a given category and I think I'm sorted.
     
  7. Glitch Magnet

    Glitch Magnet Supporting Member

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    Sh*t incoming!:mad:

    In the interest of staying on topic, I write this in support of effects pedals. Count me as an optimist.

    I deeply respect players proficient in music theory and technique. But like it or not, all approaches are valid in music and art. Whatever skill or effort is involved, if it makes an appealing noise, it's justified. I appreciate and sympathize with your resentment, but my deeper appreciation goes to those who produce music that moves my soul. Whatever went into that production is valid to me.

    The last two decades have seen a re-imagining and re-invention of what music can be, and what a guitar can do. Guitar music was getting pretty stale by the end of the 20th century, until players and manufacturers stepped up with new innovations for music creation and sound sculpting. Not all of it appeals to me personally, nor should it. But I would be completely numb to music by now if blues and jazz purists, or general guitar rock imitators, ruled the world. In fact, I believe guitar would be dead.

    Hats off to you for mastering your instrument and respecting its purity. Likewise to all those who defied convention and made something new and interesting.

    One last point: I've yet to find a pedal that made me play or sound like any of my guitar heroes. I still have to put in the work if that's my goal. But when I'm expressing myself as myself, whatever works works, whether that's a carefully constructed chord progression or a noisy "soundscape."

    To the OP: Every pedal I've owned has dissapointed me in some way, but I like what they offer as a whole. Nothing's perfect. I'm just happy when I can produce a beautiful alternate noise or texture from my primary instrument rather than reaching for a keyboard synthesizer. Love for pedals doesn't preclude my love for guitar.
     
  8. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    Hahahahaha!!!

    I was a little ways in before it clicked.
     
  9. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    There’s a quote around here somewhere by John Suhr that says something along the lines of “if you can’t find a good tone with everything available to you these days, practice more.”
    If your gear is halfway decent and in good working order, you’re the problem.
    Sorry.
     
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  10. Glitch Magnet

    Glitch Magnet Supporting Member

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    What am I missing?
     
  11. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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  12. ThinPaperWings

    ThinPaperWings Member

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    I voted for 'so many amazing sounds' option, although I wish there were others. Generally speaking, I feel this is the golden age of pedals. One could argue that some other age was the golden age, perhaps a time when vintage pedals were very affordable (mid to late 90s perhaps), but IMO the difficulties of using these on a pedalboard hurts the argument. The abundance of compact pedals with standard powering options, true bypass (or buffered) and wide variety of options is really a dream for the pedal shopper.

    On the other hand, having come upon this scene not as a new buyer, but as an experienced one, it's hard not to be jaded by the endless parade of TS variants, Clones, delays or reverbs, many of whom are not quantum leaps forward, but slight variations on a theme who offer one or two features the others don't have, but are otherwise almost indistinguishable. What's truly astonishing to me is how any small builder thinks they can make it in such an oversaturated market. It's a scene that seems to have become a caricature of itself. There's also something a little toxic, in my view, about the constant consumption that MAY be encouraged by the industry, not that any other industries are much different. The hawking of the latest and greatest needs some kind of check on it and though I'm loathe to want the demise of anyone's livelihood, it feels like the healthiest thing from a cultural perspective is to see the bubble burst.
     
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  13. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    CC’s post was a quote from Joe B, when he decided to set the whole gear nerd world ablaze.
     
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  14. Glitch Magnet

    Glitch Magnet Supporting Member

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  15. topperdoggle

    topperdoggle Member

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    So don't watch them and spend the time practicing guitar. I know what you mean, that's modern marketing for you, not limited to the guitar world.
     
  16. josiahmac

    josiahmac Member

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    I agree. It’s similar to the beer industry. The last 5 or so years have been booming for micro-brews with crazy good marketing. I went through a year of only drinking beer I hadn’t tried before, I didn’t really care for any of them. The fact was the big names just tasted better. The small companies are just trying to emulate the popular beers as best they can, then branding it as something new. Sound familiar...

    I was listening to some music I recorded 15 years ago with a couple Boss pedals and a TS9. I would kill for those tones now!
     
  17. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I’m not sure about the beer analogy, though maybe. Taking it a step further that is just your taste, that you preferred the big names. But others (surely with some that claim much more nuanced palettes and others that actually do taste differences) prefer micro, special beer.
    But after the third or fourth beer, it becomes less and less noticeable, the differences.

    But it would be more apropos if say in the future you somehow could drink a beer and adjust the taste on the fly within a limit. Here is where the beer analogy breaks down for me. Some knobs on the beer mug to make them somewhat more bitter, or sweet, or adjust slightly the paleness of the ale...but still basically the same type of beer.

    Though some TS users would be like a beer guy deciding to take a pale ale, and make it more like a Pilsner. (I’m not a beer guy, hope this analogy works) by adjusting the futuristic beer mug knobs. Using a TS as a boost. But if they like that better than a true Pilsner, that’s cool.

    The players that mostly play at home, not so much in bands and have younger ears than mine, will maybe play a bunch of different TS type OD’s and hear very subtle differences, make micro adjustments (see what I did there :) ) and enjoy the different flavors (I’m on a roll!) of the same basic OD. They are taking small sips of “beer” and not downing them,

    Those of us in bands are on our sixth beer...we are playing with (usually) more volume and competing in a mix and many (but not all) of the subtleties kind of get diluted, OR some (like “cut”) either get enhanced or diminished.

    I kind of like the TS-9 now and then, but in general if I’m going for a TS sound I like to have a bass and treble control so I can control the relative mid range.

    Even my old ears can hear difffences between a TS-9, the TS side of my different Jekyll & Hyde pedals (which being different versions have definite different sounds within the TS range), and other TS based pedals. That said, I have a hard time sometimes deciding which I like best, it may be different on different days, but mostly...if I want a TS based pedal I have enough to choose from and don’t feel the need to buy any more. Having a few types of it is enough and I can’t tell at home either, have to try it with the band to decide. Then too, different days (maybe the others use different EQ from one day to another and that affects it too) give different results.

    Mainly I only ever have one TS type, if that, on my board and tend to chose different sounding OD because the nuanced differences of same pedal types give me too many options. Right now it is Zendrive and Purple Plexi.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  18. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    I am an optimist:
    I expect any pedal to have potential.

    I am a pessimist:
    I assume that most pedals will be poorly packed,
    and / or badly handled by the delivery service.

    (this is based on lots of experience)
     
  19. Drew66

    Drew66 Member

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    I enjoy playing with pedals, but I don’t expect them to magically improve my sound or skills. I also don’t spend a lot on any given pedal, I normally buy used and I’m not usually buying boutique.
     

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