older = better?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by slyzspyz, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. slyzspyz

    slyzspyz Member

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    this thread could easily be about guitars, amps, cars, light bulbs (I'm serious, do your research!), but pedals are as fitting an example as any.

    why is it we guitarists steadfastly assert that the "old model" or "original one before they changed the colour of the second knob etc" is always better?
    I'm not arguing against it, I think in some cases it's true, in others complete BS;

    I have a few pedals in my collection that people swear are better than the new ones, eg Boss DD-2 (no it DOES NOT sound 'warmer', it's a frickin' digital delay), 80's Pro Co Rat, original TS9, Roland Bee-Baa Fuzz.
    Honestly they are just dumb pedals that sound the way they sound, I bought most of them close to new at the time because they fullfilled a purpose, or they were affordable. I will read threads that go on about this chip and that chip having the tone....seriously if you are counting on a chip giving you your sound, maybe you should get some lessons or pick up an acoustic for a few days!

    But in some cases of mass manufacturing (particularly electronics) this is obviously true, where the first generation of a unit has really high QC and better components. When it is proven to be successful in the market, the manufacturer may say, "ok now that we know this is going to sell, we'll use cheaper parts and mass produce it", for example Boss multi FX units with all metal casing, then the next model uses plastic.

    But then it doesn't matter how new or old the technology is, we get nostalgic for the originals. eg " the nasty ugly harsh digital glitch of the original Whammy Pedal is way cooler than the new one...."

    Anyone else interested in this? Are we astute consumers or sometimes deceiving ourselves? Personally I think a bit of both but would like to hear other views.

    I'm sure somebody out there is searching for an early release software version 1.0 amp modelling plug in, you know it drips more soul than the 1.1 version......
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  2. jstone

    jstone Member

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    Older is not always better.
    But sometimes the earlier models are made of better parts.
    Matching and pairing of components for some circuits does is time consuming and often this is only done in the early production phase.

    My theory (on electronics) is that newer is always better as long as high quality components are used and no unit is better than its weakest link.
     
  3. xroads

    xroads Member

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    This really depends on the specific situation and pedal.
    Sometimes, an updated newer model has undergone some cost cutting or replacement procedure, which might result in lower quality or different parts in it. 95% of the customers don't notice this, and the margin goes up. However, the 5% on this board will notice...
    In other cases, your xyz hero guitar player used this pedal in the 60s or 80s or whatever, and you think you can only get his sound by having the vintage pedal.
     
  4. slyzspyz

    slyzspyz Member

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    It's something that's always been around I guess, but starting to bug me when I get teenagers or cats who have been playing maybe a year trying to educate me on gear choices (amps, pickups, pedals including true bypass vs buffered etc). I would venture they have no other source of information other than the good old 'net, they sure haven't got any experience of their own, and forgive me if I judge too harshly, they would not be able to hear the difference themselves.
     
  5. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I'm glad this drives someone else:banana:banana:banana. It's a constant theme here and some of posts asserting the automatic superiority of the old model are so assinine.
    Me, I'll take shiny and new most of the time. Electronics deteriorate, esp in our hot humid coastal climate.
     
  6. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    It's the same thing with albums. "Their first album was great, until they sold out." I'm sure some psychologist has a good answer to this question.
     
  7. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    I think it's almost a part of the human condition to nostalgize everything from the past - people who sell things are aware of this and people who buy things also demand it. It's all based around: "they don't make them like that anymore," or "those were the days" types of mentalities. Maybe it relates to our fears about the future with all its "scary/dehumanizing" new technologies.

    Anyway, this nostalgia applies to guitar equipment too. But, it always gets me that in this day and age when a lot of people are looking for some long-lost-vintage sound that all the guys they are usually trying to emulate, like say for example Clapton, Hendrix or Beck, just about always used the latest technology available to them in their heydays. I doubt that Hendrix went looking around for late 1940s guitar amps to get some tone that one of the old blues guys had - he generally used Marshalls and Fenders made in the same decade he was playing in. As far as I know, Hendrix, and many of his contemporaries, used the latest and most advanced equipment available to them at the time. There was no retro market. I mean 50s Strats and LPs didn't even really start to get valuable until the 70s. I guess in the 60's and early 70s rock 'n roll and electric guitar playing didn't really have enough history behind it then to generate a nostalgia market - like we have now in spades.

    It appears to be a way of selling the past, or some conception of it, to a whole new generation. It happens in nearly all entertainment sectors - washed up bands make comebacks, whole decades of music are compiled into compilation CDs, old films (i.e., Star Wars) are re-hashed and re-released, some films even use certain decades (like the 80s - think The Wedding Singer) as a retro backdrop etc.

    I'll be the first to admit that things made on a smaller scale are probably better quality, and mass-produced stuff doesn't have the same type of human labour invested in it but a lot of the marketing and other hype about vintage stuff is really tied up in some fascination with trying to bring the past back to life. Guitarists, generally speaking, are really taken by this concept - look at the mass obsession with valve amplifiers. It's a pity they don't make valves or valve amps like they used to either.
     
  8. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    big companies tend to devolve over time based on various financial and operations pressures. So older stuff from big companies is often better. Plus, it's aged (wood, magnets, finish). Plus,nthe designs are proven and have great cultural associations.
    But I believe new stuff from small companies is now better than ever before in history.
     
  9. Fixxxer

    Fixxxer Member

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    horse's on pedals sound better..........
     
  10. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I guess that's why the boutique market has grown the way it has. People want old sounds with new reliability and affordability. Me, I'll take a good boutique amp or pedal most of the time because I can get amazing quality at a decent price compared to vintage stuff.
     
  11. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    I think if it sounds good, it IS good period....regardless of age.

    That being said, I have gone thorugh a few stages in my "gear maturity". When I first started playing electric guitar (1987, age 13,) I only wanted cutting edge stuff...Jackson guitars and rack gear, solid state amps. Now, I really like tube amps and less fx; I sort of value more "classic" tones. I used to think newer gear was better, simply because of newer technology. Now, I think older tube amps sound the best to my ear, whether that means an original 59 Bassman, or a Reissue of vintage amps.

    I can't say that only vintage pedals are great, however. Some older stuff I love, sometimes it's the newer gear. My favorite pedal now is a Yamaha MagicStomp circa 2003.
     
  12. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    It's really a case of natural selection. The reason all the old stuff you hear sounds so good is that the rest of the stuff made at that time that sounded like sh** has been made into firewood. I remember a lot of the gear in the 70's and it was just awful. I wonder where it all ended up? Is there some huge electronics junk pile in my town that I don't know about?
     

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