Robben Ford's Open Letter Regarding Vertex Effects

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the-tone

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My statement of it being $100 overpriced is just referring to what the pedal actually does, that is, just makes your signal louder. I guess you could also say well it's got a great buffer included, but unless you're all TB, there's likely a buffer on your board already. Even Robben says there at the end, "No change to your sound, thanks to this." So is louder worth $250? Not in my opinion. Once you throw in an always on buffer, maybe you get into $150 territory, but you get both of those things and volume control with an EB MVP for under $100, for example. I'm certainly not knocking the Vertex Boost as far as quality or anything, just clarifying my position on the pricing. :aok

I totally get it. All good man! :agree
 

the-tone

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Robben Ford is a living legend and one of the best players on EARTH! HE loves this boost! Go ahead TGP.... dig around.... dig dig dig.... it won't really matter. Robben is a grown ass man and he chose to give Mason a second chance. I think Robben could play any pedal he want to and he chose the Vertex boost!

Get over it! Some of you guys are looking desperate, confused and worried and it's not helping your case. 9 month ago, you had your well deserved chance for a public lynching of Mason and you all took it and you LOVED every second of it! Maybe now it's just time to stand back and respect Robben Ford for being a VASTLY superior musician and a decent human being. If you still want to trash Mason, express that you don't trust him(as an adult, and in one post) and move on. No need to try and throw more dirt and drama. This ain't the Beverly Hills Housewives on BRAVO.... or is it?
 

ademus

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Thank you so much. It doesn't get much better than opening for your heroes, and I've been a Robben fan since the early 70's. My Mom clipped the review of that gig from the local paper and displayed it in her house for many years after (GRIN). The reviewer, inexplicably, was underwhelmed with RF (they were 'freakin AMAZING that night), and titled his review "Ford's an Edsel", and raved about the 'local opening act ". Totally embarrassing for me, but it's hard not to smile about it.

It's true that Mason screwed up bigtime. That said, he's made great strides in making restitution - that doesn't make everything OK, but it does make it better.

One thing about this that gets overlooked or maybe buried in our anger and disappointment toward Vertex is that aside from the big Axis Wah lie, Mason does excellent work in pedals and pedal boards. The Vertex Boost, to the best of my knowledge, has a feature that no other boost pedal has - that you can control the volume w/ a TRS cable and an expression pedal through an expression port built into the pedal itself, so the volume control part is never in the signal path.

AFAIK, it's the only one that works like that. It's both unique and sounds great, and the expression pedal works that way whether or not the Boost function is engaged. It totally removes the volume pedal itself from the signal path - so like him or not, that's a genuine innovation in pedals. It's the best sounding boost AND the best sounding volume pedal I've ever heard.

I understand the trust issues. When I examine my relationship with Vertex, I've had great service, great pedals, and one really bad lie that stings me deeply. Examining the totality of my experience with Vertex has to include the good with the very bad, and we all have to evaluate and decide for ourselves whether to continue with him or not. Mason has made a huge effort toward restitution, and I haven't heard of any unpaid claims - knowing TGP's interest in this, if clients of his were denied restitution and reimbursement, we'd have heard about it. Still, I understand why some folks are done with Vertex.

People make mistakes, they make what restitution they make, or not, and we move on with our lives, hopefully with our eyes WIDE OPEN. I'm not trying tell anyone what to do, I'm just trying to tell what I'm thinking.

Thanks, Dana O.
I was there for both shows, Dana. And, my favorite part was when the breaker blew, and Robben and Tom improvised around it.

I applaud you gentlemans loyalty. However, I think that there are others more worthy of support.
Cheers!
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
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Hey Joe -

My understanding is that the expression port completely isolates the expression pedal from the signal path, so that the actual signal never sees or passes through the expression pedal.

That's different from the guitar signal running through the vol pedal, which adds another potentiometer that the guitar 'sees' because it's directly in the signal path, and that interferes with or colors the signal. I can't explain, and I don't know, how he accomplishes that.

My board has a buffer - switches the signal to low impedance and all that. I don't honestly know if the Vertex Boost has an always on buffer - if it does, it's a very clear one that I can't hear through the main pedal board buffer.

I think that Robben does use his vol pedal as an expression pedal with the boost, so he's using it the way I described above. To my thinking, being able to use the expression pedal as vol pedal with the boost is the truly innovative part.

I'm sure Mason would explain it in an email or on his web or FB page if he's asked. I think it's unlikely we'll see him posting on TGP, so writing him and asking him is the only way I know to get that answer.

Sorry I can't explain further. I'm better at the music theory part than the electronic theory part (GRIN).

Thanks, Dana O.

I was trying to help ensure that no more misinformation about Vertex pedals gets out into the wild. I know you're trying to help, but if you don't really understand circuits, then it's probably a good idea to avoid describing how (great and/or uniquely) they work.

Mason took advantage of the fact that few guitar players understand how pedals and amps really work...... That's how you get someone to believe that a wah pedal that costs $350 must be filled with magic parts, and that no $100 wah could possibly sound anywhere near as good.
 

JoeB63

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Robben Ford is a living legend and one of the best players on EARTH! HE loves this boost! Go ahead TGP.... dig around.... dig dig dig.... it won't really matter. Robben is a grown ass man and he chose to give Mason a second chance. I think Robben could play any pedal he want to and he chose the Vertex boost!

Get over it! Some of you guys are looking desperate, confused and worried and it's not helping your case. 9 month ago, you had your well deserved chance for a public lynching of Mason and you all took it and you LOVED every second of it! Maybe now it's just time to stand back and respect Robben Ford for being a VASTLY superior musician and a decent human being. If you still want to trash Mason, express that you don't trust him(as an adult, and in one post) and move on. No need to try and throw more dirt and drama. This ain't the Beverly Hills Housewives on BRAVO.... or is it?

But there's a difference between RF using the Vertex pedal, and endorsing the Vertex pedal. By choosing to actively endorse it, as he has now done, he risks tarnishing his fantastic legacy, should things with Vertex go south again. He decided to go for it -- I just think many of us are questioning the wisdom of that move. Robben's statement even said, everyone told him not to do this.
 

ELmiguel

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Robben Ford is a living legend and one of the best players on EARTH! HE loves this boost! Go ahead TGP.... dig around.... dig dig dig.... it won't really matter. Robben is a grown ass man and he chose to give Mason a second chance. I think Robben could play any pedal he want to and he chose the Vertex boost!

Get over it! Some of you guys are looking desperate, confused and worried and it's not helping your case. 9 month ago, you had your well deserved chance for a public lynching of Mason and you all took it and you LOVED every second of it! Maybe now it's just time to stand back and respect Robben Ford for being a VASTLY superior musician and a decent human being. If you still want to trash Mason, express that you don't trust him(as an adult, and in one post) and move on. No need to try and throw more dirt and drama. This ain't the Beverly Hills Housewives on BRAVO.... or is it?

Robben Ford is thought very highly of here. You will find very few people critical of him. When someone of his caliber decides to "endorse" a product by someone who has such an unsavory past, it causes people to question what is going on. That leads to discussion. Sometimes those discussions require more than one post. So, I think you may want to reconsider asking people to limit their posts.
I think Mason made a mistake by having this thread created by his friend. If his intention was to use a TGP thread for free advertisement, he probably made a mistake. Had a TGP member found this "Letter From Robben" on Mason's website and started a discussion about it here, it might not have been as big of a deal. But by doing it this way, a lot of people who would like to forget about Mason and Vertex are now using this thread to pass their feelings directly to him. Anyone who checks can see that Mason "Desperado" has been logging on here since this thread started.
There are people like yourself posting positive things about Mason in this thread as well. That's the way it goes in a situation like this. Not everyone is a fan.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
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29,938
For the volume pedal to control volume when the "boost" is switched off, the boost pedal has to have an active circuit that attenuates the input signal. Easily done with an Op-amp, and the signal doesn't have to pass thru the pot in the volume pedal. In fact, using the same logic, the boost could be implemented by a second stage or by just adding more gain to the first op-amp. Either way, it's not rocket science and still seems to be overpriced compared to the more broadly capable Moog version.
 

the-tone

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I just think many of us are questioning the wisdom of that move. Robben's statement even said, everyone told him not to do this.

I get that, but then folks should describe that as gentlemen, just as you just have. Anything else is just pointless grade school bullying tactics. TGP have had their turn... BIG TIME too!

Mason showed good on his word, and no matter how much some folks here may hate that fact, they'll just have to wait around for the next f**k-up! They have all made it perfectly clear that they can't wait. Pretty sad if you ask me!

Regarding Robben and "questioning" his move. I also get that, but I choose to give Robben the benefit of a doubt because I personally respect the man. As a musician and as a human being. I'm also pretty sure Robben know a bit more about the "music" business than 90% of the people on this forum. That's where I'm coming from at least. And that shouldn't be offensive to anyone here btw! Let's keep it real for once. Yes, "every one" told him not to do this, but the majority is not always right. I think Robben made the right move and if not, his humility and compassion should not be looked at as weakness or foolishness.
 

the-tone

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There are people like yourself posting positive things about Mason in this thread as well. That's the way it goes in a situation like this. Not everyone is a fan.

No one have to be a fan, but no one also needs to be a d**k about it. Nobody here is gonna "change" Robben's mind....lol! He's an adult and is perfectly capable of making his own decisions and certainly doesn't need TGP's "blessing". We can talk about it as you have, as adults, and I'm fine with that, but it needs to stay that way I think.

Landau had a friend post his letter for him and now Mason have Ken post this letter for him. That doesn't make it any less sincere I think. If Mason had personally done this, he would have been ripped a new one and been bombarded with questions. I believe the main reason it was posted, was not to "re-gain" business for Mason, but more for Robben to get it out there why he still uses his Vertex pedal board and the Vertex boost. I get it!

"Desperado" has been logging on here since this thread started.
I don't blame him!
 

bluesmain

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Robben has class, and Mason is a human being with a few issues he is trying to work through. I will root for the under dog and hope he pulls through and gets his reputation management squared away.
 

stairs

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331
Raped multiple times and just ask for more. Only on TGP. And, of course, make an art out of it. Then, blame others for not understanding it. That is logic, I say.
 

UncleStric

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I find it a bit exaggerated to say that Robben Ford is "risking his legacy" by being linked with someone with bad reputation. 50 years from now or a 100 years from now, Robben's legacy will be defined by his music, not by which pedal manufacturer he endorsed in the 2010s. These things only matter within this fairly small community/industry of guitar players and guitar-related equipment manufacturers and dealers. Robben's music, while not that commercially broad, reaches further than that.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
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Robben has class, and Mason is a human being with a few issues he is trying to work through. I will root for the under dog and hope he pulls through and gets his reputation management squared away.

I looked up underdog in the dictionary. It was not defined as "former scam artist" or "con man" or "serial liar."

How do you feel about Bernie Madeoff? You rooting for him?

Seriously, I understand you guys hoping that Mason fixes his personal problems, but I can't understand rooting for the recovery of the Vertex business. If anything, I would think that trying to recover the business/brand is going to make it much more difficult for Mason to fix his personal problems. The temptation to lie/cheat again is going to be very strong.

And you're making the assumption that he has cured his long-term problem in only 6 months. Would it be a good idea for a 6-month recovered alcoholic to get a job as a bartender? I don't know.
 

shallbe

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No one have to be a fan, but no one also needs to be a d**k about it. Nobody here is gonna "change" Robben's mind....lol! He's an adult and is perfectly capable of making his own decisions and certainly doesn't need TGP's "blessing". We can talk about it as you have, as adults, and I'm fine with that, but it needs to stay that way I think.

Landau had a friend post his letter for him and now Mason have Ken post this letter for him. That doesn't make it any less sincere I think. If Mason had personally done this, he would have been ripped a new one and been bombarded with questions. I believe the main reason it was posted, was not to "re-gain" business for Mason, but more for Robben to get it out there why he still uses his Vertex pedal board and the Vertex boost. I get it!


I don't blame him!

No.

Mike Landau had the letter posted for him by a friend that would not benefit at all by the posted information. In fact, it was a dealer that had been betrayed as well by Mason. Just like Landau, Mason's boyhood idol, had been betrayed. And that is when everything really came apart for Vertex.

Ken is a business partner with Mason, and has been for some time. They both benefit from the endorsement from Robben. This letter is to be an official announcement of "Vertex is back, give Mason a second chance."

Totally different situations, with totally different motivations.

Lastly, your over the top endorsement and behavioral directions to members of TGP actually do Vertex more harm than good.
 
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" Mike Landau had the letter posted for him by a friend that would not benefit at all by the posted information. In fact, it was a dealer that had been betrayed as well by Mason "
.................. Exactly ! Thank-You Steve Hall

And believe me , Michael Landau sure didn't relish having to write an open letter AND spend so much of his time and energy while he was at sea with JT researching all before penning his open letter . And again ...Mason didn't learn a damn thing from the whole episode , maybe to just be craftier ?
 

slopeshoulder

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Seriously, I understand you guys hoping that Mason fixes his personal problems, but I can't understand rooting for the recovery of the Vertex business. If anything, I would think that trying to recover the business/brand is going to make it much more difficult for Mason to fix his personal problems. The temptation to lie/cheat again is going to be very strong.

And you're making the assumption that he has cured his long-term problem in only 6 months. Would it be a good idea for a 6-month recovered alcoholic to get a job as a bartender? I don't know.

Finally! A reasonable, fair and calmly expressed articulation of the anti-Vertex concern. Props. You may be right. Time will tell. We can agree that we'd like a good outcome.

Ken is a business partner with Mason, and has been for some time.
I've known Ken for 40 years. He is one if my closest friends, none closer. And I'm all but certain that Ken is not a business associate any more. He just doing Mason a solid.

Mason didn't learn a damn thing from the whole episode , maybe to just be craftier ?
To be fair, that is simply conjecture.
 
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shallbe

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Ken is a business partner with Mason, and has been for some time.
[/QUOTE)
I've known Ken for 40 years. He is one if my closest friends, none closer. And I'm all but certain that Ken us not a business associate any more. He just doing Mason. a solid.



I read the original post from Ken. The business separation is not stated, just his past dealings and continued support. Perhaps Ken can clear that up so this can be seen correctly as a helping hand vs a dealer promotion.
 
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