Robben Ford's Open Letter Regarding Vertex Effects

Discussion in 'Builder's & Retailer's Forum' started by kendog, Feb 23, 2015.

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  1. kendog

    kendog Supporting Member

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    As many of you know, in 2014 I was working for Mason of Vertex Effects. For the record, he is my friend and I have always supported him, even in the midst of his struggles. Along the way we produced some product videos with various artists. One such video was of Robben Ford demonstrating the Vertex Boost.

    Recently, Robben got in touch with me to discuss what happened with the entire Vertex situation. Following this conversation, Robben requested that I post a letter on his behalf, where he addresses his feelings about Mason and Vertex (below), in addition to permitting the release of the Vertex Boost video.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

    Ken

    Robben Ford's Open Letter Regarding Vertex Effects

    https://www.vertexeffects.com/robben-ford-vertex-open-letter

    "After some time and a lot of thought, I've decided to publicly endorse a boost pedal designed by Mason Marangella for his company, Vertex Effects.

    Many of you reading this know that Mason was exposed last year for having put his label on some cheap, Chinese-built, Wah-Wah pedals and sold them as his own design. This act came back to bite him severely, and most turned and distanced themselves as far as possible. Especially those of us who had endorsed him personally. Understandable.

    I myself kept a distance. He called to apologize to me and posted an open letter online to apologize to everyone who might have been injured from his deceit. And, since then, he has been making good on his promise to refund, rebate, credit and/or exchange anyone who had purchased one of his fake pedals(not a small feat). Perhaps more importantly, he is addressing what turns out to be a problem akin to alcoholism in the same way an alcoholic might, with a twelve step program, as well as ongoing therapy and giving back to his community.

    Many might just choose to hide after such a public humiliation, but I see Mason making every effort a man can make to clean up the past and make a new life for himself.

    I use Mason's Boost pedal. It's the most important pedal on my board and it would feel a little hypocritical to me to use his pedal and, otherwise, put him down. Besides, as said, the guy is seriously trying.

    Mason has of course offered me a royalty for my endorsement of the pedal. I will have that royalty paid directly to a charity and will profit not one dime from sales.

    Everyone has told me not to do this. Why stick my neck out? It's a good question. I'm counting on human decency.

    - Robben Ford"


     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Ken. I'm in agreement with you and Robben. I think there are still some folks who aren't willing to go this far re: Vertex Effects - but that's their individual decision.

    Thanks very much for bringing this to our attention.

    Best of luck, Dana O.

    EDIT: I bought a Vertex Boost last month - it's excellent IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  3. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Member

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    Robben is a very sweet man.
     
  4. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Robben is a good guy, but if I were him, I'd collect on those royalty checks and send them to charity myself, rather than trusting that Mason is going to send them "directly to a charity." That's way too much trust at this point in time.

    The pedal seems (to me) to add some high-end, which would give the impression that it's not changing the tone, compared to most other pedals. I could be wrong on that. It does sound good.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow, that's a change. I hope Mason stays on the straight and narrow!
     
  6. Steve Snider

    Steve Snider Silver Supporting Member

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    Awesome. Good to see Robben step up. I think Mason has done as much as anyone could possibly do who lived in a world of lies and deceit. I think he surpassed expectations by taking care of the people who wanted refunds etc., combined with his total admission of guilt and his desire to do the right thing going forward. He deserves a fresh start in my opinion.

    The boost is great and I hope he sells a bunch of them. Hats off to Robben for helping Mason take a big step forward.
     
  7. sdlogan9

    sdlogan9 Gold Supporting Member

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    Robben Ford is a classy human. He laid out a firm foundation for his reasons regarding the continued endorsement of Mason. It would not surprise me if there were some more endorsements to follow Robben. And by the way this is a great pedal.


    -Shane
     
  8. the-tone

    the-tone Member

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    It's a boost pedal and it's great! And it's not another "rip-off", so who cares who's building it!

    Robben is not making big money on this boost! He's using it because he truly loves it! I know that this may sting the eyes on many TGP'rs, but they'll just have to grow up and deal with it. If Robben dig's it, then he dig's it and we should respect that.

    I know for a fact that Mason has done everything in his power to make due on his promises. He sold most of his guitars and amps, even his Audi! He's now driving an older '06 Accord with over 150000 miles on it! From new luxurious Audi to and old Honda.... come on guys, Mason is certainly not riding high on the hog no more. Guys, he IS really trying and I think he's done more than most anybody else would have done who would have been in a similar situation.

    "Many might just choose to hide after such a public humiliation"

    Exactly! ...and it has happened before in this market. Mason could also just have taken the money and told everybody to go f**k themselves, but he actually didn't.

    The man was kicked down, beat up and his whole life suffered harder than anyone did who happened to spend $150 too much on a "rip-off" BBE wah pedal and a few Belden cables. Fact is that Mason has paid and amount in the five figures back to the community and sold most of his cherished possessions to do so and that does count for something I think.

    I'm with Robben on this, though I FULLY understand AND respect if some people can not forgive Mason. Still though, there's no reason to keep dishing dirt in his face.
     
  9. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm all about redemption, and I think it's really cool of Robben to see a way to help a man out who is trying to help himself, and follow through with it.
    That said, it's $100 too expensive, imo
     
  10. PSaulino

    PSaulino Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks Ken. Always great to hear from you, we go back quite a ways :)

    I am VERY supportive of Mason, and that he is doing the right thing. I could say "Robben and I are supportive..." but my hubris is not that excessive!

    The fact remains that Mason's gear (even the controversial) was always spot on sounding great.

    Call me some time when you get the chance, PM me and I will shoot you my #.

    Paul
     
  11. peskypesky

    peskypesky Member

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    :agree
     
  12. Route234

    Route234 Member

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    With all the other people out there making pedals and effects Id never buy one from Vertex ever. Id never endorse him either. Big difference between forgiving a guy and spending my $ on his products.
     
  13. v-verb

    v-verb Supporting Member

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    Thanks Ken for posting Robben's letter. Mason seems genuine in redeeming himself and I hope he succeeds
     
  14. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Oh tgp you never cease to entertain.
     
  15. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    Looks like Mason has two new pedals.
     
  16. beorn

    beorn Member

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    Well, we all love a redemption story.

    Though really, if you have Robben Ford demoing your pedal through a Dumble, I'm not sure it's fair to the other pedalmakers of the world. Just flat-out anticompetitive.

    If he was using his Sakashta Noupaul I think the FTC'd have to crack down.
     
  17. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    I could loop that demo all day...what an amazing clean tone. Good for Robben on the letter and hoping Mason does a 180 with his life/business.
     
  18. Carltone

    Carltone Gold Supporting Member

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    :agree True 'dat!!!!
     
  19. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    Regardless of who is endorsing the pedal or what company is selling it, $250 seems high for a boost/buffer pedal. It looks like it has a folded enclosure and probably has a smd circuit board. Paul C and Dave Barber can make pedals by hand and sell them for under $150, other people should be able to do the same.
    It's his choice to set the selling price. I'll pass.
     
  20. dag2000

    dag2000 Member

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    We all make mistakes, big and small, public and private. What makes us different is what we do in the wake of those mistakes. If this gentleman has done what many claim, more power to him.
     
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