Originally Posted by cnltb
Aren't most(possibly all) pedals made pretty cheaply for the price charged for them?
Not all pedals are as inexpensive to manufacture as you might think. For example, my DBD pedal in parts alone (electronics and hardware) was over $105. Then I paid $10 for CNC milling and $10 for powder coating. That’s approx $125 invested in the pedal before taking into account the hours of labor and testing.
Small builders do not have the economy of scale that the big boys have. For example, the opto’s that I use in my compressors cost $2 each from a distributor. When I emailed the opto manufacturer last week and inquired about buying them direct, I was told that I need to buy 25,000 pieces annually. That means that I would have to invest $25K to get them for a dollar a piece. Most small builders do not have $25K to invest in stock for one item. So, they have to pay more for parts. Also, some builders have custom enclosures, knobs and other hardware manufactured for them that adds to the costs.
A lot of small builders were high value engineers and technicians before getting into the pedal business. So now you need to put a value on that labor for the pedal. The engineering job that I left to start this business paid well… I was salary, but it worked out to be over $50/hr + great benefits. Can I charge my customers $50/hr for labor? Nope! How about $25/hr? Nope! Should I make less than $10/hr? I don’t think so, but that’s about what it works out to be right now.
Granted that some pedals out there have less than $30 in hardware and a few hours of labor and the builder will get over $200 for them. But the same can said about a $3000 bass… what is the value of the wood, hardware and electronics? Even at the highest end there will be less than $1000 in wood, parts and labor. Is the bass worth $3000? If you own one, I think you would say yes.