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Berated by Michael Fuller for Requesting His CS MDV ii Work Correctly

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mattymel

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1,416
Im a big Fulltone guy. I have more of Mike Fuller’s pedals on my board than ANY other company’s pedals. In fact, Fulltone was the first pedal company I remember ever being truly impressed with. None of the trendy stuff, just well made classics that sounded the way they did on ALL of my favorite records. That’s all I wanted, and that’s all I ever got from Fulltone pedals.

However, I am reevaluating that at the moment.

Besides a Fulldrive, a few OCDs, a Supatrem, a 69’ Fuzz, I’ve owned 4 Fulltone univibes. The big, white foot controller one, the slightly smaller, blue one, the return to the boxy, white one...and lastly the Custom Shop MDV ii (slightly smaller version of my trusty white one).

Though I am huge Hendrix fan, and will spend whole days playing along with the univibe records, on my own stuff I use the MDV almost exclusively for the vibrato effect. More specifically, the super slow “seasick” effects of dial turned all the way down. It’s something I have used for years and I have sung the praises of the MDV countless times whenever anyone asked “What is that sound???”

However, after selling my trusty MDV (white rectangle version) to fund the newest CS MDV ii, the day I received the pedal from Sweetwater I feared I had made a mistake trying to downsize my pedalboard. The “seasick” was gone. In fact the dial didn’t do anything on the vibrato setting past about 10 o’ clock. I thought that was odd.

As with all the other MDVs I had owned, having read the manual, I knew there was 3 dials inside. I had never needed/wanted to mess with them previously, but I gave it a whirl. They definitely each did different things to the sound. And as was CLEARLY stated in the manual, messing with the dials “isn’t recommended” and overall made the pedal not sound as good. But sadly, no tweaking achieved the same effect that I used this pedal for for years. Not even close.

So, last October, the day after I received the pedal from Sweetwater I submitted a repair request to Fulltone regarding my latest purchase. I didn’t want a different brand, I wanted the Fulltone sound that I had in the past. Hence I decided not to just return the pedal to Sweetwater and get my money back. I figured I would go to the source.

Big mistake.

I submitted a repair request on 10/29/18. I didn’t receive any reply. I waited patiently until January 28th and resent a repair request, this time being required to also send a video demonstrating the issue, which I gladly did. In the attached description I detailed what I perceived to be the issue, along with singing Fulltone’s
praises and letting them know about all the other Fulltone products I own and love.

Then I get a reply from Mike Fuller himself.

Wow. Before reading the contents I thought: that’s reassuring. That was, until the first sentance.

Summing up, Mr Fuller basically accused me of not reading the manual, being a fool unable to understand basic functions, and being a drama queen.

I’ll spare you the poorly worded jibberish he wrote, but basically I was completely shocked.

Enough so that I didn’t respond to him for another few weeks. But when I did, I let him have it and reiterated how the pedal wasn’t working, and he should fix it as was guaranteed in the Warranty.

A few days later the threats began. Basically he said I was crying like a baby but still had to put up with everything he said if I ever even hoped to get my pedal repaired.

At that point I informed him that I was done with him and his company. And that if he didn’t respect his customers much less even honor his Warranties, I’ll bet Sweetwater would want to know about that. Because I know from MANY past experiences that THEY DO. He sent one more email saying I was to be permanently ignored by everyone at Fulltone. Haha.

I am forwarding all of the emails he sent me to Sweetwater, Guitar Center,
Sam Ash, and Musicians Friend. If he doesn’t respect the players that use his pedals, maybe he needs a refresher in Capitalism 101 (his favorite number) in its purest form.
 
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Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
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8,478
I also love the slow vibrato setting, and have had several that work betterthan others. I had the same issue with the CS MDV ii and I chalked it up to "not all vibes are created equal".

That said, while I suppose your post was very diplomatic, it never seems like these forums are the right place to air your grievances with individuals.
 

Radar

Member
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2,143
I'm kind of sick of these threads where OPs don't give actual text or screenshots of the exchange. "I'll spare you the poorly worded gibberish" just doesn't fly when we're talking about someone's character. And this is coming from someone who has no skin in the game because I personally don't care for Fulltone pedals.
 

mattymel

Member
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1,416
I also love the slow vibrato setting, and have had several that work betterthan others. I had the same issue with the CS MDV ii and I chalked it up to "not all vibes are created equal".

That said, while I suppose your post was very diplomatic, it never seems like these forums are the right place to air your grievances with individuals.
Agreed that these discussions often deteriorate into meaninglessness. However, having now experienced Mr Fuller’s “business knack” first hand, AND, not to mention, now being stuck with a $220 pedal that I can’t use, what else is there besides telling Sweetwater about it (and Sam Ash, and Guitar Center, and Musicians Friend...all emailed)?

He straight up told me he isn’t fixing the pedal that never worked.
 

Paleolith54

Member
Messages
3,140
I also love the slow vibrato setting, and have had several that work betterthan others. I had the same issue with the CS MDV ii and I chalked it up to "not all vibes are created equal".

That said, while I suppose your post was very diplomatic, it never seems like these forums are the right place to air your grievances with individuals.
I wouldn't totally disagree, but I see nothing wrong with alerting others to bad experiences with a company, which is really what this is. Then we can judge whether or not we think the complaint is merited. Fuller has a long-standing (though certainly not universal) reputation as being, well, idiosyncratic in terms of dealing with reports of problems. Personally, I appreciate the heads-up on stuff like this as much as when someone gushes about how great Keeley or Tom Anderson were to deal with.
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,416
I'm kind of sick of these threads where OPs don't give actual text or screenshots of the exchange. "I'll spare you the poorly worded gibberish" just doesn't fly when we're talking about someone's character. And this is coming from someone who has no skin in the game because I personally don't care for Fulltone pedals.
Except for TGP won’t allow you to post screen shots. If you want them, I’ll gladly email them to you.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,814
I too had a very recent a-hole email from MF himself. I asked a pretty simple repair question and he berated me for not having simple tools and ability to do my own work. Seriously. He could've just made a quick little one sentence Customer Service style reply, but he wrote five sentences on telling me that I'm an idiot for not being able to do it on my own. Really?!? Wow.

I own an OCD, a Deja MkII and a Clyde. While I'm not going dump what I currently own, I will not be buying any more of his stuff. ymmv

The last thread of similar fashion got nuked... but I remember it! LOL :aok

EDIT - My CS experiences with other builders are night and day in comparison. I'd rather support companies that believe in the customer experience.
 
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earwax

Member
Messages
5,546
Anyone that wants to see the entire correspondence, feel free to message me and I’ll forward it.

Believe me when I say, I’m being KIND.
There has been a lot of these threads lately. Too many to deny there is a problem. It’s too bad because he makes a decent product. Sold my Fulltone SSTE recently cause down the road something is going to break on it I don’t want to have deal with him. I kept a Fulldrive, Octafuzz and an OCD cause they are cheaply replaceable.
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,416
@Radar

I’ve not been able to find the rules either. I’ve just read that on other posts. I’m trying to be diplomatic. Since Mr F has evidently blocked me from further correspondence with any Fulltone employees, perhaps he might care to respond here. I know he has had an account in the past. I welcome the opportunity to debate the facts.
 
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