Ever think about throwing in the towel on boutique gear?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bluntage, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    I know this sounds like heresy around here, but bear with me.

    Last year, I sold/replaced every piece of gear I had. It started with my guitar,then my amp, and finally my pedals.

    Since starting down this road, I have had nothing but problems. Some could be expected, such as tubes and switches. However, the majority just seem to be associated with pieces of gear not getting along well with others. This applies particularly to nearly every "boutique" pedal I have tried in my rig. I have considered this problem to be associated with my amp, but after a complete set of new tubes, plugging the Les Paul directly in sounds blissful!

    I've been playing since I was 15 and have used tons of "mass produced" gear... never have I had so many problems with my rig till now. I am very close to selling all this floor gear for a few cheaper "mass produced" essentials so I can get back to playing rather than troubleshooting!

    /end rant
     
  2. jb1911

    jb1911 Member

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    No. I might consider getting down to 3 or 4 nice pedals, that's about as far as I'd go. I was really digging my Zendrive into my Disaster Transport last night. I think I could live with just those 2 if I had to, but I don't have to.
     
  3. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    no way. my old gear never actually made me giddy and lightheaded, and this new stuff indeed gives me a headrush of great tone and musicality and totally inspires me to play whenever i get the chance.
     
  4. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    Wish I felt like you gents! Perhaps it has been my poor choices or bad luck that have lead me to this point...

    :puh
     
  5. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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    i'm selling most of my stuff this upcoming week. going in to "write a record" mode.

    gonna be playing acoustic on most of my new stuff, so i'm focusing on that.

    might even leave TGP for a while.
     
  6. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    Jon,

    Good luck with everything (school, recording, etc.) and keep us updated on how things are going from time to time. By the way, I received the FB2 today. Thanks!

    Brad

    :dude
     
  7. JoeYello

    JoeYello Member

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    I try to keep what's on my gigging board to a minimum. For me it's hard enough switching on one pedal while I'm singing, moving around, etc. I think the boutique OD's are all pretty cool.....it's just hard figuring out which is the right one for you.
     
  8. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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    well ... this isn't goodbye yet. but maybe the beginning? :crazy

    i'm still keeping quite a bit ... just scaling down. there's absolutely no reason for me to have 6 amps. i'm gonna tone it down to 2 ... 3 TOPS, and that's only cuz I need an amp in my apartment too.

    i'm selling most of my pedals ... gonna use a tuner - something swirly - something dirty and a keeley dl4 for a bit.
     
  9. soulsonic

    soulsonic Member

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    What do you mean exactly by "not getting along well with others"? I'm just wondering. Are we talking impedance mismatches?
    One thing that's really great about mass-produced pedals like Boss is that they are consistent, and even if the actual effect circuits are different, they all share common input/output buffer impedances which help keep a very consistent signal chain. Now, it is true that some effects traditionally don't sound good when preceded with a buffer; but, this is because they weren't designed to sound correct with a buffered signal, where in contrast, the Boss pedals are. I think in the quest to simplify the circuits for a more "pure" tone, some important utilitarian factors may have been overlooked by the builders.
     
  10. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    If I did throw in the towel, it would have to be 800 thread count Egyptian cotton in sparkle red hand signed by Bjorn Juhl and serialized.

    I only throw in boutique towels . . .
     
  11. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Are CS strats considered 'boutique' or mainstream? If mainstream, then my VOX amps qualify as well and I only use a few boutique pedals.

    dave
     
  12. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    An OD and compressor would do it for me if needed: Blackstone into a Keeely 4 knob comp plus maybe a delay. Can't say I have found ANY mass produced gear that would give me that quality tone.

    I do turn them all off and play gust guitar -> amp and it does sound "natural" and sweet though!
     
  13. HurricaneJesus

    HurricaneJesus Member

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    Nah, the boutique stuff always surprises me. Granted, I try to go in with a realistic view and have used cheaper stuff for the first ten years or so I played. Now when I get a little box from Mike, Alf, or Bob it's like "Ah, so THAT's how it's supposed to sound...."
     
  14. vintage66

    vintage66 Member

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    Nothing really beats a Les Paul into a Marshall, but sometimes I feel like playing some Trower, or some Hendrix, or some U2 or Pink Floyd-especially since I'm in a cover band. So no, not really an option. I haven't actually had many problems with my boutique pedals anyway-just the usual switch here or there which Voodoo Lab fixed under warranty-not sure that counts as boutique, but less reliable than Boss. I've yet to find a Boss pedal that did anything for me-I've only owned one in my 30 years of playing-a Flanger that's mediocre-it was $29 at a GC sale used. Just saying, there is something to the boutique pedals in a lot of cases. I would like to try an OD-3 though-not bashing Boss-my TU-2 is great.
     
  15. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    I certainly don't discount anyone's views or the quality construction of boutique gear, but, at least in regards to my overall setup, the particular pedals (all boutique) I have cycled through in the last 6 months seem to cause one problem or another.

    All I am really looking for is a wah and a vibe at this point, maybe a delay down the road. I might have to go back to using my previous pedal selection (a Vox 846 and a Rotovibe)... worked for 15 years with no problems and sounded just fine to my ear.
     
  16. scott1568

    scott1568 Member

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    Frankly, I think there has to be a happy medium between spending so much money on gear and what works for you.

    I haven't played out so much but really, when was the last time a guitarist got kudos for their playing because they were using a mid 60's vox instead of a AC30cc?

    I think collectively, we can over-analize things a bit. And since I have joined this board, YES I have learned a lot and this board had allowed me to waste much less money. And I truly think I have a damn good rig....

    However, I have 3 pedals to build, and my playing has not improved in about 6 to 8 months because I have been screwing around and getting anal about stuff that my listeners could give a sh*t about.
     
  17. improv4

    improv4 Member

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    I' ve only owned an Arion stereo chorus, a cry-baby and a Soundtank tubescreamer as far as the non-boutique pedals go. I wouldn't trade my current equipment for 30 mass produced pedals. My bassman isn't really boutique, but it sure beats the little Gorilla I had 20 years ago. I do think though that it's easy to get carried away with the boutique pedals and lose playing time. The truth is though, pedals are a ton of fun and really enhance my playing experience and I think the boutique aspect is a large part of that.
     
  18. gregc

    gregc Member

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    I donno; I never owned a boutique pedal. A Boss tuner,delay, & chorus along with a Vox wah is all I need to gig.
     
  19. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    Great question! Due to my unhappiness with my old 92' Dual Rectifier I started visiting Wilcutt's in Lexington and eventually bought my Orange Rockerverb 50. They have a smattering of boutique pedals which intrigued me. Research eventually lead me to this board and from there it was all down hill. The old wah and "vibe" were working for me, but I thought I could "upgrade" and do much better. So far, that hasn't been the case.

    Also, for the record, I enjoy pedals for enhancing my playing experience and also haven't found many Boss pedals that particularly excited me. By and large, I agree with almost everything you guys are saying. I just wish I had found the right combo of pedals for MY RIG by now.
     
  20. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    I understand your point. I have done a lot of research. All of the gear I have bought is reputable and the reviews here and elsewhere seemed to meet my criteria.

    Maybe there is some other unknown problem with the circuitry in my amp causing the noise/distortion issues.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I just need to go sort this out and quit venting my frustrations to you guys. :AOK
     

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