Custom build gone bad

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I could use some advice here... I'try to give a concise picture. Please hang with me.

    A few months ago I commissioned a custom looper/mixer job from a builder... I was pretty specific on how I needed it to function and gave a make and model of a manufactured one for reference... I shell out the $175 upfront, he says it will likely take a couple weeks.... it ended up taking about a month, not a big deal but there was a bit of room for better communication. He tells me he had a bit of trouble with the circuit that delayed it, that's understandable... I get the pedal and spend three days trying to figure out why I'm having trouble with it... Contact him and he assures me that the pedal is fully functional and tested but later confirms my troubleshooting that something is shorting out... I open it up and fix the shorting issue... Not a big deal, it can happen... Few more days of messing with it and I discover some weird behavior indicating channels aren't in complete parallel has specified but in parallel being fed with a series signal = muddy blending instead of clear separations of effects... Contact him again, he says he thought that's what I wanted (I thought I was specific and the reference I gave should have cleared up any confusion, but... Ok). I ask him if it can be fixed and he admits that mixers aren't really his thing... Nice to know now. Of course a refund is not going to happen now... He tells me i can try to sell it and he'll build something else for me.

    I dig into the pedal more and figure out that there is substantial signal loss as you activate each channel. With all four on there is a 20db loss... I can't sell that to anyone! I'm getting pretty frustrated now cause i don't see how that was ever "good to go" as he assured me, he said he tested it quite a bit... really? and didn't notice a 20db drop??? Its hard not to feel like he just shipped a piece of crap and crossed his fingers...

    By now I realize that I'm passed the 60 day PayPal dispute period and just offer that a different (lower priced) pedal and a partial refund would work, he says he'll build two pedals... then pulls back to just one (lower priced) with no partial refund... Then asks me to ship the other one back... I tell him that, given the price difference in his resolution I'm not very inclined to pay for the shipping back... I shot a video to verify the signal loss.

    I have no real choice but to shell out the money for the manufactured version so I'm now into all of this over double my budget. Now he tells me that he is not sure when he'll get to the substitution pedal and just feels like he is pressuring me to ship the other one back so he can use it for parts... If I pay to ship it back to get my substitution pedal moving along I'll be into a reverb pedal $190... That's a darn expensive reverb!

    I know every story has two sides and have acknowledged that this is probably frustrating for him as well, but I'm having a hard time not feeling like a victim here... And have the slight concern that if i ship the pedal back i wont even have a box of parts to show for my money and still may have an indefinite commitment for the substitute that he may half-a#%.

    So how do you think I should handle it?
  2. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    IMO…If you gave the builder all of your specifications up-front and he agreed to it, then the builder is responsible to deliver what the two of you agreed upon or give you a refund.

  3. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    Did you pay for the pedal out of your PayPal balance or did it come from your bank via PayPal? If it's the later you can dispute the charge with your bank. Also, make sure you send the pedal back to the builder and have a return receipt for it. Your bank will most likely not reverse the charge if you are still in possession of it.
  4. Abrasive would not be sufficient to describe my response to that sort of treatment. Other side of story presumably bogus.
  5. doubleohnodj


    Mar 25, 2013
    That's ok. I ordered from a small builder recently who has now taken 3x the quoted time to make a clone that's sold as a flagship product on his website and refused my request for a refund after he went over by a month...and also trash talked me on his Facebook page for doing so. I even offered to take a partial refund to pay for the parts...sometimes things are complicated in pedal land.
  6. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I'll check into the bank reversal tomorrow. Thanks for that advice.

    The most off putting thing about this is that he said he was capable of the project and that he would bother shipping me a pedal with a more than noticeable signal loss... 20db drop is hardly any signal left. I have tried and can only draw a couple conclusions: either he is inept at testing a routing pedal for basic functionality or he was trying to take advantage of me when the build didn't go as expected...

    I can admit that some of my correspondence probably displayed some of my frustration but I think it's warranted after such a fiasco whether he feels 100% responsible or not... A simple "nah, I don't do mixer pedals" could have saved us both a few headaches...