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Dealing with a boutique maker: How would you feel if...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mrmega, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. mrmega

    mrmega Member

    May 23, 2007
    Wherever I am!
    I just received a highly coveted and respected pedal that has a LONG LONG wait. The knobs look like they were thrown on the concrete and bounced around and dragged around for a while.

    It kind of botheres me. I tried to not let it bother me, but it does bother me a little bit. Everyone who knows me or has traded with me knows I keep my gear in the best shape possible because I like having nice things whenever possible!

    I waited for this pedal for a VERY long time (one of the longest waits out there), I paid a lot of money and when I open the package the knobs look awful, I mean damaged in an obvious way so just to be clear, we arent in the "nit picking" camp of scuffs, we are in the "Oh wow, that knob is chewed" camp. :(

    I contacted the builder (who will remain anonymous), shared my story (briefly) and asked for some new ones. He said he would send me whatever I needed and (I quote) "We get them pre-scuffed (they come in huge trays) so may be hard to find really clean ones".

    When I read this I just got kind of puzzled.

    Yes the purpose of pedals is tone and sound. I get it.

    I might expect this kind of event to happen at a chain store dealing with floor models (at a discount), but with hand made, boutique pedals with a long wait? I don't know. I kind of like new things to look.. well.... new! ;)

    How would you feel if this happened to you, and do you think that is acceptable? Unacceptable? No big deal? The end of the world?

  2. rewog

    rewog Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    I think you have the right to expect decent knobs.
    If the ones they buy come beaten up, it's their responsibility to find a different supplier or a different knob... how hard is it to buy a good looking knob these days ?
  3. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2005
    Forget about the knobs...how's the paint job?

    ...it's even more shameful that we now highly covet and respect our brand new pedals.


    In all seriousness, you should have received an as-new condition pedal. Obviously, your pedal builder is not concerned about ugly knobs...when his customers might be put off after spending so much money.
  4. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    Basically it should look exactly like it does in the pictures on the website.
  5. Caretaker

    Caretaker Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    It seems to be the case that the longer the wait and more expensive the product(most, not all) the worse the customer sevice is getting and the more the builder feels he is doing you a favor by taking your $$. I would demand that I got what I paid for and that MY issues should be addressed before he continues work on another product. I commend you for not making his name(or the product) public. This is not the place. However, there are review sites(you know where they are) for honest opinions and reviews of what your experience has been. If you had a great experience, let the business man reap the rewards of a positive review. But that also applies in the other direction. You may keep someone else from going through a similar or worse problem.
  6. Steven

    Steven Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    To me sound is more important than looks.
  7. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    Sounds are more important than looks, but at the same time if I waited for a while and got something that was scuffed, I'd be upset. I don't really get waiting periods either. If you have such a demand for a product that you cannot keep up with, why not get some help assembling pedals??? I really think its just marketing anyways.

  8. tonewave

    tonewave Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    Sydney Australia
    sound is more important than looks no doubt
    but I still think its disrespectful to the buyer when its a high wait/high price item
  9. majorledhead

    majorledhead Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Slippery Rock
    Did you choose the "RELIC" option by mistake ? You deserve like new cosmetics on a NEW pedal. Sound is #1 yeah, but if the sight of the pedal causes your blood pressure to go up, or distracts you from getting into the zone, then its effecting your tone in a negitive way. The best tone comes from within and if anything gets in the way of that your doing yourself a disservice by not addressing the issue.
  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Northern VA
    I'd feel exactly as you do now.
  11. PremiumPlus

    PremiumPlus Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    It happened to me, with paint.
    Mine came with chipped paint around the enclosure edge where it meets the bottom of the pedal. After putting it on my board I decided to touch it up myself because I didn't want to wait for another one, you know?
    I should contact the seller and inform him so he can perhaps upgrade his quality control (there was another issue that I fixed, an electrical one, and he knows about that, but we agreed that I was qualified to do the repair). I think that at a certain point things can get away from a boutique seller when volume of sales gets too high for the individual to handle personally, and has to have help. Good help is hard to find and expensive! I'm not giving a pass to these builders, but I do understand how it (qc) could get away.
  12. TweedBassman

    TweedBassman Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Milford, CT
    unacceptable. doesn't matter who it is or how much mojo is in those NOS knobs, if you paid a lot of money and waited a long time, i mean c'mon.

    only thing that would make it different would be if they were a really cool, vintage knob that is no longer available, annnd if they tell you the knobs may have small defects. otherwise kinda lame.
  13. wichita

    wichita Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Don't put up with anything short of top notch care from Boutique builders of any product.
    If they don't do the right thing, don't work with them. There are plenty of others out there.
  14. gregory49

    gregory49 Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    Newfoundland, Canada
    okay but you really don't want to receive a product that has the **** beaten out of it either now do you?? espechially not while waiting god knows how long!:BITCH
  15. IRG

    IRG Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    I would be pissed. Sounds like the builder though, is willing to accommodate you, which he should. If he gets his knobs scuffed up, maybe he needs to look for a new supplier.

    I would be pissed if I bought a cheap Behringer pedal and it was all knocked up, so I would be doubly (or doubly quadrupled) pissed that a high end pedal with a long wait was assembled in such a way. Post an update if/when you get the new knobs. If you don't get them, I would order some from somewhere else, and then out the builder.
  16. Joses

    Joses Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Singapore & Australia
    i'd be less than satisfied too if i was in the threadstarter's situation...

    firstly, cos i don't dig the relic thing (tastefully done on guitars - yes. but definitely not on my pedals) and
    secondly, cos it just ain't cool to get stuff that ain't spanking new when you pay for it to be exactly that - spanking new.
  17. starfish

    starfish Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I'm finding as more years pass I'm becoming disillusioned with the vast majority of boutique pedal makers. I've bought from nearly every one of the worshipped makers discussed at TGP.

    What I have found is that many of the pedals sound great but many run-of-the-mill pedals sound nearly as good. Normally I would favor the last 5% of tone in what is deemed better, but I have had problems with several boutique makers. Everything from lost orders, to researched lost orders that were then lost or dropped again, to poor soldering to broken switches, to whiney crap customer service to ZERO customer service. I won't even mention the preorder list abysses.

    Many of these are well documented by others so you don't have to guess too hard in *most* cases but even the most cherished have managed to really F#$% things up, like paying lip service to investigating a three-year-old order.

    So, as time goes by I try new builders and some are better than others, "the sum of the parts" as it were. But in several cases I'm finding very excellent sounds and QA satisfaction from the most unlikely mass producers. I won't bother to name names though for fear of starting a rarified air pissing contest.

    Let's just say I have the disposable income to make a small builder quite happy as a repeat customer, but some would rather live day to day on crap service in hopes they can turn flavor of the month into flavor of a career. Best of luck to you. I famously vote with my money and praise the good builders regularly. For the others, I don't even bother to comment on their pedals anymore even if i own/owned them and like/liked a particular pedal. Let the hype circus run its cycle.
  18. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    W. Mass
    How about posting the initials of the builder ; ^ ]
  19. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    One place at a time
    In my opinion - it's unacceptable. Even china made pedals come with brand new knobs. How hard is it to get proper knobs?
  20. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    May 19, 2003
    Scuffed knobs? I have an Emma Discom and the knobs were perfect. I've ordered 2 BYOC kits and the knobs were perfect. But at least the guy says he'll send some good ones. I don't buy the scuffed up in the tray line. Do the other builders get them shipped individually?

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