New to pedals: Choice Paralysis help

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by SleepingSG, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. SleepingSG

    SleepingSG Member

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    Recently jumped ship from modeling to a Lone Star and I’m looking to get some pedals and have some fun. The problem is this pedal market is pretty cancerous. Reminds me of wine since California wines blew up.

    Everybody has a pedal for everything and they are all doing flashy colors and art work to try to get you to spend money.

    I’m not a believer in tone wood or magic pedals or whatever. It’s all pretty simple circuits.

    my question for you guys is can I just pick a brand and buy the effects I want be ok? What brand?
    I’m eyeing Fender and Wampler becuase they don’t have annoying designs or anime ladys or jokes or pop culture on the box and I could make a clean-ish looking arrangement for my home, which I don’t want to clutter. Simple designs and the Wampler guy in particular is pretty no nonsense. He’s got videos explaining circuits and what his pedal is. He’s not trying to tell me that African babinga double cuts with phase 2 bridges have better tone than mahogany.

    Please use this thread and share your approach to buying pedals and insights or how you would do it different. It’s an expensive hobby and time consuming to sell if you end up not liking something. I don’t want to spend all my time researching the differences between tube screamers when really they’re all the same if you get what I’m saying. Or if they aren’t I guess let me know.
     
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  2. Jim Marciano

    Jim Marciano Supporting Member

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    I would start by figuring out someone's tone you like and aim for it, see what they use and how these use it, normally I would check to see what works with your amp but I think mesa is not very finicky, pick a base tone and find something to boost it with like maybe a boss blues driver and whatever tube screamer you find first the Wampler clarksdale will probably do anything you want from a tube screamer ... Or you could check out the Wampler paisley drive it's a Marshall style pedal with a tube screamer built in
     
  3. TheoDog

    TheoDog Member

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    I don’t recommend shopping by brand.
    Different builders have products that are stellar and some that are adequate.

    Keeley and Diamond are my personal faves. But if I were in the market for fuzz or modulation, I might look to Matthews or Analogman.

    so many options. It would be short sighted to limit by builder.
     
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  4. Kevy_Metal

    Kevy_Metal Member

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    For my first 30 years of playing guitar, I really wasn’t all that interested in pedals or effects, probably owned around 4-5 pedals here and there during that time.

    After spending close to a decade stripping back to just my acoustic, I eventually rebuilt my electric setup by keeping my two guitars (Strat, Tele) and working up from there. This is where my interest in pedals began.

    For me, it was a lot of research, trial and error, and experimentation that got me to where I now with what I use and what I know will work for me. Lots of buying, selling, trading, and learning. I didn’t have an endless supply of cash, but I was smart with how I used it to work my way up.

    There are a lot of great companies out there making some exceptional tools and I’m not going to tell you or anyone that this or that pedal is the magical solution to your tone chasing needs.

    Read, listen, build up your own tone library in your head, and try not to get lost in it all. Find what works for you, first and foremost.
     
  5. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    What modelling platform are you coming from? You could try building out a physical version of whatever your most-used virtual rig was.

    I wouldn't go for brands either... There are too many good things you'd be passing up on if you limit yourself like that. And potentially some duds you'd be purchasing! (Unlikely, but possible)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  6. Johnny Fuzz

    Johnny Fuzz Member

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    Maybe you can start exploring the MXR/Dunlop/Way Huge stuff, because they make everything and you can get pretty much any of their pedals used for a more than fair price. And if they don’t satisfy you in terms of form, function, feel or sound, upgrade to something else.
     
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  7. slide13

    slide13 Supporting Member

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    Honestly, if you like Fender and Wampler you could easily build a killer board using those two brands. I've heard great things about a lot of the new Fender pedals. I'd grab the tre-verb and their delay and then add in some Wampler drive pedals and you'd be off to a good start.
     
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  8. SleepingSG

    SleepingSG Member

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    Also, what’s the deal with digital pedals? Are they bad or good?
     
  9. HomeInMyShoes

    HomeInMyShoes Member

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    They are neither bad nor good. Don't believe people. Go try stuff.
     
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  10. Saltbath86

    Saltbath86 Member

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    Boss and MXR are good starting points, they offer almost infinite options and won't break the bank usually.
     
  11. Saltbath86

    Saltbath86 Member

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    There are so many great digital pedals and so many great analog ones, I've got both on my board and it all comes down to personal preference
     
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  12. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    Some of them are spectacular, some of them are not.

    A lot of them make sounds that are flat-out impossible to make with exclusively analog devices.
     
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  13. Bonhoeffer

    Bonhoeffer Supporting Member

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    Great thread. My two - well ten - cents (and forgive me, I'm not trying to be pedantic).

    First, I have too many pedals; it's fun to shop, try, play etc., but once you start going down the pedal rabbithole, well, look out; keep your wallet close and try to be disciplined about your approach. So there's a part of me that might want to warn you - as friends of mine once tried to warn me - just to stay away from pedals in the first place ;)

    Second, learn from my mistakes and research like crazy. If I'm honest I've probably made far too many mistakes in acquiring pedals and several I wish I could un-do - BUT my mistakes have also been part of my learning. Although I now research obsessively, in the beginning I'd pretty much decide that I wanted a particular pedal, which I may or may not have even tried (yes I'm an idiot). :bkw

    As you know there's a ton of great information online - obviously including TGP - and fantastic youtube options. I think That Pedal Show has some great videos about pedal types and specific models, as do Just Nick, Dawsons, Andertons, Prymaxe, In The Blues, Sweetwater and Reverb etc. - there are many other great resources. Gilmourish.com, for example, has amazing insights that, while targeted at getting David Gilmour sounds, also provide fantastic information about pedals that should be helpful even if Pink Floyd or David Gilmour are not of interest. :bonk

    As silly as it may seem, if I'm thinking about, say, another univibe, I'll start off by searching online for "best univibe pedals" and see what different reviewers and websites have to say. To be clear, though, that's just a starting point: for one thing, each reviewer has his/her own criteria about what constitutes "good" - e.g. the sound they're looking for, the gear they already have, whether they're buying for live setting, home recording or for no reason other than just to play. And of course I ask friends about their gear, try to and I learn a ton on this site. :idea

    Third, go slowly and, if possible, try different pedals made by different manufacturers. By all means try Boss and MXR since, at least in my experience, they make very solid pedals that should last for years, won't break the bank and will likely work quite well for all kinds of musicians. But what about EHX or TC or "boutique" makes such as Earthquaker Devices, JHS, Fulltone, Wampler and so many others - the list goes on. And then there are some very good and (relatively) inexpensive manufacturers such as Mooer, Joyo, Behringer etc. :dunno

    And to be fair, sometimes you really do need to spend time with a pedal in order to figure out what works for you, or doesn't, and why. And sometimes your perspective on a pedal changes over time.:omg

    One challenge with relying on a particular brand is that, even if the brand makes the type of effect pedal you want, it may or may not be the best option for your particular needs. My favorite pedal manufacturer, on the whole, is EQD, but I've sold a couple of their pedals that ended up being not quite right for what I was seeking. And while I love and cherish my EQD Grand Orbiter phaser, it is different - not better, not worse, just different - than my MXR phase 90, 95 and 100 (and each of them is different than its siblings).
    :rockin

    In this regard, try to prioritize what you want your pedals to do and what you think you need. I made the mistake of suddenly wanting one of each type of pedal and then, like an addict, buying too many different pedals that, if I'm honest, I didn't really need. For example I bought an amazing envelope filter - however not only will I never be Jerry Garcia but I only very rarely use the effect; I would have been far better off buying an inexpensive clone that likely would have been good enough for the handful of times I might want that effect. :bkw

    Last point re analog vs. digital: as others have noted, it just depends. I generally prefer analog, but that's just me and not always. For example, while I love my analog delay, in some situations my two digital delays are vastly better choices. :phones

    I've blathered on far too long. Good luck with your search, have fun, take your time and focus simply on what your needs are rather than brand or what a reviewer or salesman may like.
    :band
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  14. Franklin

    Franklin Supporting Member

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    If you can't decide for yourself where babinga and mahogany belong on the tonewood scale, wait until you have to decide between germanium or LEDclipping diodes. Should your OD pedal have haunting mids or be transparent? lol. Just kidding of course! 1/3 of the fun for me is the research of the pedals I want.

    What is the first effect you want to try?
     
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  15. RevLoveShot

    RevLoveShot Member

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    I agree with the go slow. I went nuts (5 pedals in 15 years to suddenly without realizing it ending up with 50 or so, between deals and repairs and chasing dragons). And that was after my “I am done, I have everything I need” remark. You can easily find yourself throwing coins into a slot machine. Cha Ching cha ching cha Ching. The next one is the winner I just know it. Get one, and explore it. A lot. I bought 8 in a Black Friday splurge and handed them to family to give to me at cheistms. It’s like too many toys to play with. It wasn’t until I pulled 1-3 off the mothership and spent hours with just those three. A drive, a mod, and a delay. And play and play and discover. I also realized I had 4 amazing drive pedals that I set to sound EXACTLY the same bc I liked that sound. I only wanted (not needed) one. Had I slowed down I wouldn’t have overdone it. And mix and match. I made a DOD board, but found mixing them with others are even better. And be ready for the ones that are amazing at home that may not cut it in the band, or they need to be tweaked. Don’t be afraid to tweak. And take pictures of your settings. It’s way better than the old days of writing in notebooks.
     
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  16. SleepingSG

    SleepingSG Member

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    Well guys, I will say it’s expensive to get in but studying reverb pages it’s pretty clear that resale holds pretty steady so it’s easy to get money back or even make a little off the top.
     
  17. Bonhoeffer

    Bonhoeffer Supporting Member

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    I'd be cautious - from what I'm currently seeing prices on many used pedals (other than vintage or true classics) have been falling since Covid 19. I'd guess that may continue for a while - we're seeing massive unemployment and dislocation already and unfortunately things may still get worse, so I suspect there may be some distressed sellers already; oversupply or forced sellers make it likely I won't get what I think I "should" (which is one reason I'm not trying to sell anything currently, and fortunately I don't have to do so, at least not yet).
    One technical observation too: fees on Reverb end up being around 6.5% or so (I can't exactly recall) on the total price (i.e. cost of pedal AND the shipping cost that you charge as a seller), and they can be higher if you "bump" a listing.
    If I'm honest about what it cost me to buy a pedal, whether new or used, including tax, it's not easy to make any profit even before coronavirus was a problem (again other than for truly unique or vintage pedals). For my own sanity I just attribute any difference to my paying rent to use a pedal until I sold it.
    My guess now - and clearly I could be wrong - is that, for the foreseeable future, individual sellers on Reverb have a lot of headwinds: worsening economy and therefore less disposable income for things like pedals; competing with forced sellers who need to generate cash and may sell for less than what they would have even three months ago; and not a lot of margin to begin with.
     
  18. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    One need at a time.

    One pedal at a time.

    I wouldn't stick to one brand, rather one pedal for simplicity. Refine your needs, because some pedal somewhere will fit them exactly.
     
  19. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon A really hoopy frood. Silver Supporting Member

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    Honestly, I just picked the brand that I thought was the best combination of quality/price and stuck with that. I'm sure there are a hundred good Tubescreamers out there, say, but they're all close enough that I don't think it's worth trying to find the "best." There're only so many ways to bleep bloop an electron, right?


    But top-mount jacks are the best for sure!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  20. tarheelalum

    tarheelalum Member

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    Do not go off of Reverb prices. Many a Reverb seller has delusions of grandeur concerning their equipments real world value. Take those prices and knock 30-40% off and your getting in the ballpark.
     
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