Abominable Electronics, buyer beware

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Blix666, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Blix666


    Dec 26, 2017
    So I discovered this “company” when purchasing a used small rig for use in my house. I use quotes as this seems to be a one-man operation. The guy I bought the rig from had a Hail Satan Deluxe on his pedal board and I had never seen one so I asked him about it and he really gushed about the pedal, couldn’t praise it enough and went into technical details about it that were over my head. He plugged in and started using it and it sounded great. I’m a sucker when it comes to distortion and overdrive pedals so my interest was certainly peaked upon hearing it. When I got home I looked into these pedals and quickly found out that it was not easy to get one. Of the 8 or 10 different pedals in their catalog, only 1 was in stock and at the time there was no in-stock notification feature I could sign up for etc. It became apparent that what people did was basically monitor social media for updates on when pedals would be in stock so this is what I did. Shortly after this time however, an in-stock notification feature was added to the website and I jumped at the opportunity to sign up. After a couple of weeks and 2 or 3 different missed opportunities at ordering one I finally lucked out and got one ordered in December. I had read a few negative reviews in regards to lack of communication from the company but this was not the case in my experience. All messages I sent via the Facebook page were answered within 24 hours. I received the pedal within a week’s time and integrated it into my board. The pedal sounded great. At two times the price of every other pedal on my board though, it made sense. I quickly found an EQ balance that worked and off to the races I was. Shortly after the purchase, another pedal had become available on the site, the Unholy Grail. This is a delay pedal with a built in boost switch. I already had a TC Flashback but wasn’t in love with it so I said screw it and purchased the Abominable delay. As with the first purchase, this one shipped and arrived in a timely manner. This pedal also sounded great with the exception that it was quite noisy but I mitigated this with my NS-2. I was worried about the noise suppressor ruining the delay effect but it actually worked great. Fast forward to June, the Hail Satan just stopped working all together. Simply would not turn on. I reached out to them via Facebook messenger (being that there is no contact option on their website) and the response I got was surprisingly defensive. Immediately blame was being placed on me and whatever power supply I was using. “If it worked for a while then all of a sudden didn’t work, there is a 95% chance something outside of the pedal caused it” was the initial response I got. After a brief back and forth, I was told that the power supply I was using likely caused the problem. Now I will admit, I was not using the best power supply money could buy (Donner DP-1) but I had no issues with any of the other 8 pedals I was powering, some of which are over 20 years old. I shipped the pedal back on my dime and was told that upon inspection, the power circuit was indeed damaged. At this point I bit the bullet and upgraded to a Voodoo Lab Mondo power brick to avoid further issues. The pedal was sent back (on my dime again) in a timely manner and worked great.

    1 month later, the Unholy Grail delay pedal developed an issue of its own. There are 2 LEDs that indicate both when the delay circuit is activated and when the boost feature is activated. The boost LED was no longer lighting up. At this point I’m not sure whether it’s an issue with the LED itself or if it’s a grounding issue or other wiring as I have not yet opened the pedal. I reached out again and explained the issue with the second pedal and accompanied the message with a video showing the issue and received the response “send it back again I guess”. This type of a response after having an issue with both pedals now that I had purchased from him within 6 months was infuriating to me. At that point, I requested a refund and was then denied both the refund and the possibility of a repair because I’m an ******. Over $400 for 2 pedals that malfunctioned within 6 months of purchase date and to top it off, extremely unprofessional correspondence and an insult to boot. I attempted to reply but promptly realized that I was then blocked and could not.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2019
    hatred aside and oZZma like this.
  2. Yeah he doesn't really offer support for his pedals. They're not a good choice for people who can't do basic troubleshooting or fixing at home IMO. Both of the issues you experienced are pretty easy fixes but I understand most people aren't comfortable working on pedals, especially expensive ones.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Is this what happens when you make a deal with the Devil? :whistle:
    BrentSimons likes this.
  4. minddrain


    Dec 17, 2018
    Goatrope and Blix666 like this.
  5. Blix666


    Dec 26, 2017
    I really wish I'd seen this prior to my purchases. I too have been annoyed by his posts on FB but am willing to sideline stuff like that if the product is good.
  6. He is definitely a weird dude. He has a lot of fanboys who have inflated his ego big time over the years but he's always had an aggressive personality IMO. He's releasing a cheaper line of pedals later this year which will supposedly be "mass" produced... it will be interesting to see how he handles supporting them.
  7. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    ...and then posts about it on Instagram

    Blix666 and cataract like this.
  8. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    Yeah I just saw that myself. Kind of dumb IMO (dude must HATE MONEY)
    Blix666 likes this.
  9. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Honest face-value question, and I'm not blaming you at all but: Are you 100% sure that it wasn't a power supply issue. I'm not talking about: "I had no issues with any of the other 8 pedals I was powering, some of which are over 20 years old", I'm talking about this specific situation, with these specific pedals.
  10. Blix666


    Dec 26, 2017
    Nope. I can't be sure whether or not it was the power supply. I bought the original power supply based on the rating score of 4 out of 5 with over 1000 reviews. Worthy of note is that the LED is not burnt out, it works when it feels like working. So, wiring/grounding seems to be likely.
    SunnBass likes this.
  11. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    I like the designs/art on the Abominable pedals, but I've never bought anything from the dude for many of the reasons linked/mentioned above. It's an intuition thing based on how he interacts & carries himself online, for one. I also get the sense that he's purposely choked the supply of his pedals over the years to inflate demand and make them seem more 'unobtainable'. That's his choice as a business owner, but it just seems like he spends more time marketing, hyping, and redesigning his graphics than he does supporting his actual products.

    His stuff also seems a bit overpriced for what it is. The visual designs may not be as over-the-top or demonic, but I would much prefer to buy from Dunwich or Electronic Audio Experiments for 'boutique' pedals that do doom, sludge, and metal well. They've proven themselves to be sane, attentive to customer needs, and very supportive of the products they sell. They also seem more innovative in terms of the design/features they implement compared to AE. All my opinion here, but AE has been on my radar for a few years & I've steered clear.
    Blix666 likes this.
  12. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    I am aware of the other side.
    Was the warranty not valid?
    How about a link to the Redit thread?
    There is information being withheld.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    cataract likes this.
  13. He increased prices around 2017 or so. Before then most of the pedals were $125-150 which I thought was more reasonable for what they are.

    But yeah I agree with SunnBass there is some stuff being withheld. The guy is pretty aggressive but I also get the impression OP was pretty weird in the exchange as ell.
    SunnBass likes this.
  14. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    All customers are idiots when you’re selling in retail. That’s like customer service 101
    cosmicevan likes this.
  15. Blix666


    Dec 26, 2017
    I've not withheld information. On the contrary, I actually feel I've done my part in including as much as is relevant to the issue. If you compare what he wrote in IG to what I shared above I don't see how you would assume I'm the person whitholding.

    I wasn't even aware of what the warranty was, technically I still don't know. It isn't on the website nor have the conditions of it been shared even after the first warranty repair that was apparently gifted me the first go-'round. Perhaps there was a card explaining it in the box the pedals come in but I doubt it and don't remember if there was.

    The Reddit post is the exact verbiage as above copy/pasted.

    I didn't share this as a "don't buy this guy's products" thread, only a warning that although the pedals sound fantastic, future customer service after the purchase is questionable at best, hence "buyer beware".

    I spent a decade in a customer service role between 2 large retail stores earlier in my life so this gave me a chuckle. Customer service in brick/mortar stores, especially larger ones is completely non-existent at this point.
    cataract likes this.
  16. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    I am not going off of what you posted vs. instagram. That's just hearsay.
    Email exchange with exact wording?
    You don't owe it to anyone, but that would be full information.
  17. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    usually takes 2 to tango
    dudeguy and his fb and Insta posts turned me off hard. plenty of amazing builders out there and he doesn't seem to be doing anything terribly different, aside from debil graphics and evile names.
    PWV likes this.
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