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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Are Boutique pedals worth it?

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Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 19th, 2019 04:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nothing boutique on my board. And I won't get into the number of clones I have (that sound great to my ears).

I *do* have one hand-made pedal from a dude in Greece that is pretty special.

It's a dual OD with tweaked versions of the Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive and the Marshall Bluesbreaker Mk I.
It's all point-to-point wiring and a work of art to look at the guts! Oh... and it sounds awesome too!
I've been meaning to pull that one back out, maybe this is the weekend!


Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Apr 19th, 2019 08:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

Sometimes I have a boutique pedal going because there simply isn't a major manufacturer making a cheap one that does the same thing. It's not necessarily a "boutique quality" issue, just that some of the boutique places make some pedal designs that others don't.

For example, there is only one pedal to my knowledge that truly does the Echoplex thing, that's the Catalinbread Belle Epoch. It has the original preamp circuit in it so you can drive it the same, and really does that sound. Dunlop also makes an Echoplex but I haven't researched it to know if it includes the preamp section you can drive or not. I think it does.

In any case, the Dunlop is $199 at Sweetwater, the Belle $209.

That's definitely boutique pricing. However, despite there being plenty of great cheap delay pedals, my argument is that they actually function differently. If boss made an EP-3 pedal, I bet it would be hard to tell apart from the other two. But, they don't.

Overdrives are another story, I think.

But, to answer the question - are boutique pedals worth it, IMO, sometimes definitely.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 10:02 AM, Apr 19th, 2019)

RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Apr 19th, 2019 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

On the other side, watched an interesting video where Behringer pedals are compared to the ones they copy. Seems the analog copies are dead on, while the digital are lacking. Hmm, might get me a vibrato clone, and a Butler tube driver copy.

JHS

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Apr 19th, 2019 09:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

Neat video, RDR.

Some of the analog ones were closer than others. I am amazed at the tone of the Behringer TO800. Gotta get one. May do the funky vibrato, too. Neato.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Knuckleheading
Apr 19th, 2019 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve become a big fan of Wampler pedals. So I guess that’s boutique. On the used market they’re usually reasonably-priced. I let someone else take the first hit - like buying a nice used car.

What hasn’t lived up to the hype (for me) is the newer Keeley pedals. I’m not taking about the good old days of Keeley-modded mainstream pedals. Most of these newer Keeley’s have left me “meh.”

And even the mainstream offerings have gone high-end. I have a Boss Waza SD-1w and BD-2w that really float my boat. Especially the SD-1. Again, I bought minty-new used pedals and saved $.

M Tracy
Contributing Member
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Lafayette IN

Apr 19th, 2019 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have an Ethos overdrive on my church board because of the silent stage thing. I think that qualifies as boutique and I don’t know of anything that comes close. Also a mythical overdrive as well, although there are a number of clones that would probably do that just fine.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Apr 19th, 2019 03:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Eric,

I know what you mean. I'll try the Wampler's sometime.

I like Earthquaker devices as well. They are boo-teek, but they also do wild things that you just can't find in another pedal.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 19th, 2019 06:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

I do have a Wampler Dual Fusion, which is a Paisley Drive and a Euphoria distortion in a single pedal. I got it because it was small and it fit on my board. Gave me a crunch tone and a lead tone in a small format.

LeftyMeister
Contributing Member
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Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Apr 19th, 2019 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Along with sounding good, the other factor in choosing a pedal is build quality. Some of the lesser expensive pedals may have a reputation for sounding good, but they can also be less than reliable.

Some pedals that were once considered boutique are now fairly mainstream. Is Fulltone still considered boutique? I dunno! If so, there is only $30 difference between a new BD-2 and an OCD or Plimsoul. So the lines are becoming somewhat blurred, except for the pedals costing multiple hundreds of dollars.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Knuckleheading
Apr 19th, 2019 07:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

I really am not sure what is “boutique,” these days.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Apr 19th, 2019 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good points. The lines are very blurred now.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

She hath it all,

& hath no need of thee.
Apr 20th, 2019 12:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

If the pedal does what I need, then..I buy it.

Despite the world-destroying mess I require, the vast majority are off-the-shelf items.

The only thing that really, honestly does something in the boutique realm is one I had custom-built that destroys sound beyond sanity - there's no market for it, even on "boutique" levels.

That and a properly-tweaked, selected germanium fuzz is a thing of beauty - and well, that's something the big boys aren't going to spend the time and energy doing right. Nothing against them, but again, a case of realities.

The one thing I can say past all this though: once the 'hip' status of a particular brand or pedal wanes, the resale takes a MASSIVE bath, fast. Yea, there are exceptions, but...as someone who couldn't give away some of what were 'must-haves' in some circles a couple years after they were on everyone's board, think long and hard about going down that route.

langford
Contributing Member
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Toronto, Canada

Apr 20th, 2019 12:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

@RDR... I was going to post a link to that video, too. It's a keeper. Glad you got it higher up in the thread.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Ocala, Florida

Paunchy and goatee'd
Apr 21st, 2019 11:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

If the search, find and use yields confidence and joy then yes, it's worth it. Even if the occupants at the back table can't hear anything magical as we're skippin' and a-jumpin through the intro of Brown Eyed Girl.

The most elusive thing imo for a guitarist is understanding where the line is between tone and a ability.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member
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St Peters, MO USA

Busy doing something close to nothing
Apr 25th, 2019 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I really am not sure what is “boutique,” these days."

Neither am I. I hoped to see opinions on the subject in the comments.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Apr 25th, 2019 02:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

For me, "Boutique," when it comes to gear, means a small company that specializes in one or a few things: such as pedals.

Thus Keeley, Strymon, Wampler, Earthquaker Devices, Walrus Audio and others fit the bill.

The official definition of the word "boutique" is no help, I looked. (:oD

kbraker

findlay ohio

Apr 25th, 2019 03:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ha! I have Behringer all the way. play at home or the singular spot every few months at church. Sounds good enough for me.

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member
*******

IL USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Apr 25th, 2019 06:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

LOL, I bought a Blackstone Overdrive. My early TS 9 sounded better. And with a rotovibe, you get a nice gristle edge on the swirl! Now I'm think inking of a Moore Hustle Drive!

(This message was last edited by rfrakes331K at 08:03 PM, Apr 25th, 2019)

LHW

Southwest Florida

Alone in my principles
Apr 25th, 2019 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

"The most elusive thing I'm for a guitarist is understanding where the line is between tone and ability."

Quote of the month!

pcalu

usa Thumb area Mi

Apr 25th, 2019 07:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

rfrakes331K

That's what I'm exactly talking about.

It's all about what our ears wanna hear. Comes down to that and nothing else.

An Ibanez TS9DX and a MXR FET Driver thumped off a J Rocket Blue Note and a J Rocket Dude from my Pedal Board. No disrespect meant towards J Rockets they are great pedals & no disrespect towards Boutique pedals in general.


I think the rig which one is playing through has a lot to do with it too. I play all Fenders and the TS9 varients totally gell with Fender BF type amps
and the MXR Fet Driver is like a cross between a TS and a Fuzz.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Are Boutique pedals worth it?




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