By request - can you guess the cost of the pedal by its tone?

guitarman3001

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10,259
On the "Plexi" pedal thread, which most people seem to have abandoned after it turned into a sh!tshow, a few people claimed there was no way a cheap $30 pedal could sound good and that they could basically tell how much a pedal costs by how it sounds. I made a simple challenge - I'll record clips of pedals of different costs and they tell me how much that pedal sells for.

Someone requested that I do it so here it is.

I posted these clips there but like I said, most people abandoned that thread so I figured I'd make a separate thread for this.

I'll start with these. They are similar voiced pedals. Recorded using a PRS SE Custom 24 > Fender Tone Master Twin (Normal channel, bright switch off, 100% clean) > Zoom L12 mixer/recorder, clips then EQd and exported using Audacity. EQ is just 100hz rolloff, slight bump in treble. I re-EQd them from the clips I posted on the other thread to sound more accurate to what they sounded like through the amp.

::EDIT:: Spoilers!! The results will be posted on Page 2 of this thread. Please make your guesses and comments before jumping to Page 2.

Here goes -

Pedal 1

Pedal 2

Pedal 3

What would you guess they sell for? Bonus points if you can guess what the pedal actually is.
 
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GeorgeNada

Member
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1,653
Great thread, just to warn you, we have had similar ones on here before and the golden eared crowed that will wax poetic about how their vintage, rare, or uber expensive pedals are so far superior to cheaper common mass produced stuff typically are nowhere to be found when their skills are actually put to the test in an objects comparison, or they will get on here and come up with a million excuses why this is not a fair comparison……now don’t get me wrong I love boutique, unique, handmade, and vintage gear and I own quite a bit of it, but I also fully believe you can get really great sounds out of really cheap gear.


Anyway with that out of the way, here are my initial reactions listening through the clips once


Pedal One – sounds nice but something maybe a little brittle or unpleasant in the high end


Pedal Two – I like this one more, a little fuller and sweeter sounding


Pedal three – a little more “lively” sounding than the other two


After one listen my initial though is that pedal one is the cheapest (its my least favorite) so I’ll say $30 for that one. Pedal Three was maybe my favorite and I’ll guess that was in the $100-$150 price range. Pedal two was a very close second to me and I’ll guess that it cost $229 new. Looking forward to hearing what these actually are, thanks for posting.
 
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HeavyCream

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3,154
I’m not a “golden ear” as you say and I’m listening through an iPhone speaker.

I liked the 2nd one best. I thought the first was the worst. The 3rd wasn’t as bad as the 1st but was a little on the thin side which isn’t want you want for this type of tone. I thought the 2nd sounded least like a distortion pedal.

Favorite: 2
Runner up: 3
Yuk: 1

FWIW, setting 3 pedals at their sweet spot makes it tough. I’d like to hear the pedals’ range. Especially lower gain stuff.

How long are we going to have to wait for results?
 

guitarman3001

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10,259
I’m not a “golden ear” as you say and I’m listening through an iPhone speaker.

I liked the 2nd one best. I thought the first was the worst. The 3rd wasn’t as bad as the 1st but was a little on the thin side which isn’t want you want for this type of tone. I thought the 2nd sounded least like a distortion pedal.

Favorite: 2
Runner up: 3
Yuk: 1

FWIW, setting 3 pedals at their sweet spot makes it tough. I’d like to hear the pedals’ range. Especially lower gain stuff.

How long are we going to have to wait for results?
I plan on doing something similar for lower gain pedals. I initially set out to do a wide range of gain with each pedal but I ended up with like a 5 minute clip for each and figured no one would have the patience to sit through 15 minutes worth of the same riffs over and over.
 

Tortex Cortex

Member
Messages
90
1 & 2 were quite close, 3 was kinda thin - like it was running through one of those Lo-Fi pedals, you know, like the Ibanez Soundtank one.

None of the three sounded like they should cost more than 80$ - and this is my honest opinion, I'm not trying to be edgy. They all sound like oversaturated ProCo Rats...
 

SubApathy

Supporting Member
Messages
1,516
No, I did not intend to trick anyone. They are three different similarly voiced pedals.
I was just messin' around. Kind of poking fun at myself for not knowing better. Other than the scratchy bits here and there or the "fullness" here and there. I just closed my eyes and swung. As far as price...

1st Place: Pedal 2 - $120
2nd Place: Pedal 1 - $180
3rd Place: Pedal 3 - $80
 

guitarman3001

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10,259
1 & 2 were quite close, 3 was kinda thin - like it was running through one of those Lo-Fi pedals, you know, like the Ibanez Soundtank one.

None of the three sounded like they should cost more than 80$ - and this is my honest opinion, I'm not trying to be edgy. They all sound like oversaturated ProCo Rats...
Fair opinion and I get it. None of them are uber-expensive but they do run a pretty wide range in price. Interestingly enough, I did pull out a Rat but I didn't have time to add it.

I initially started out with almost 15 pedals and started recording them but I quickly realized that by playing the same riffs through pedals voiced differently, I wasn't doing the pedals justice. The Stone In Love intro for example wouldn't do a Tweed or Dumble pedal justice, etc... so I ended up with three Marshall-esque pedals that would sound OK with the same riffs.

I will add one comment though, some have said that pedal 3 sounds a little thinner - if you listen to isolated guitar tracks from famous songs or guitars in a band context, they tend to be light on bass so they fit better in the context of a live mix. Pedal 3 definitely had more bass on tap if I would have wanted to add it.

Obviously this isn't a high-quality controlled scientific study. I didn't have a lot of time and rushed through this as fast as I could. If I do something like this again hopefully I can spend a little more time getting everything dialed in.

I'm also expecting a couple of "your playing makes everything sound like crap....instead of wasting all that money on pedals and time doing crap like this, you should invest that time and money on lessons" comments. I welcome those too!!
 

Johnny Fuzz

Member
Messages
1,837
To me pedal #3 sounded more expensive than the first two, both of which sounded horrible.

So I´ll say, for the benefit of the game (which is kind of fun!), that

pedal 1 costs $50
pedal 2 costs $49
pedal 3 costs $120
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,259
I’m not a “golden ear” as you say and I’m listening through an iPhone speaker.

I liked the 2nd one best. I thought the first was the worst. The 3rd wasn’t as bad as the 1st but was a little on the thin side which isn’t want you want for this type of tone. I thought the 2nd sounded least like a distortion pedal.

Favorite: 2
Runner up: 3
Yuk: 1

FWIW, setting 3 pedals at their sweet spot makes it tough. I’d like to hear the pedals’ range. Especially lower gain stuff.

How long are we going to have to wait for results?
I'll post the results within the next few hours. So far the results have been very interesting. A lot of completely opposite opinions. If anything, this proves that what constitutes good tone really is 100% subjective.
 

shawnerie

Member
Messages
721
I preferred pedal 3 - pedal 1 had some weird artifacts at the high end that were not so nice whereas pedal 2 was a bit fuller at the bass but seems to lack some clarity.
to be frank none of the pedals sounded great if I were being honest ...
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,259
I love this thread and have no idea what any would sell for, or which one is cheap or expensive etc. Unfortunately the golden ear crowd will have a hundred rationalizations, be prepared for that.

I liked #3 best, then #2, lastly #1. I hope #3 is cheapest. :)
I'm counting on that being the case. I expect most of them will probably just avoid the thread rather than risk their entire world view being shattered.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,259
I preferred pedal 3 - pedal 1 had some weird artifacts at the high end that were not so nice whereas pedal 2 was a bit fuller at the bass but seems to lack some clarity.
to be frank none of the pedals sounded great if I were being honest ...
I can honestly say that that's more a reflection on my playing and recording skills (or lack of) than any shortcomings the pedals may have.
 

Lung plunger

Member
Messages
3,398
Both 2 & 3 sounded too bright for me. I am listening on a phone though, so the little speaker isn't going to pass along any of the pedals nuances or dynamics etc.
 




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