Do you care about who the pedal builder is as a person when buying an effect?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cosmicevan, Dec 4, 2021.

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  1. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Supporting Member

    As the big holiday deals were wrapping up, I saw a pretty disgruntled post from some smaller pedal builder I follow that kind of felt like he was yelling at his customer base for not buying more products or something (I don't remember the specifics). I scrolled a bit to look at a few other posts and saw they were mostly negative so I promptly unfollowed this builder as I make a habit of unfollowing the stuff that seems to be targeted at negativity. I mean, who wants to glance at their phone when they are in a good mood and put it down being in a bad mood?

    It got me to thinking about how the world has evolved to such a place where small businesses are selling themselves as much as their products. Most people like the concept of shopping small and supporting the little guys, but with that comes the scrutiny of the little guys and how they run their businesses etc. Many of these smaller businesses really give you a glimpse into who they are and what their life is about...I definitely find this to draw me in particularly to the personalities that feel like friends and that I have come to interact with over social media platforms.

    Cancel culture aside, do you care who is behind the product or the product is the product?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  2. I'm ignorant to the personalities of a lot of the builders I buy from, but if a builder makes it known that they're great or horrible it absolutely influences my likelihood of making a purchase (so long as the product is one I'm already interested in).
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    All things being equal, I'd rather help a little guy - same as I would prefer to buy from my area/state/country. I also won't window shop local, then buy on line. But I want the best product.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Absolutely, unless something similar is not available from anyone else. But, let's face it, for MOST effects, something similar is almost always available.
  5. Raoul_Duke

    Raoul_Duke Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    I like to support small businesses. They take some effort to find and they’re usually more expensive. That being said, there are a lot of options. I can think of ten envelope filters I’d love to own, and they’re all top shelf. Why not buy from a builder who seems cool, as opposed to buying from a douchebag?

    Just my philosophy.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  6. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    If you think the builder is a hoser, buy used
    MikeMig, groove pump and RJ like this.
  7. gh0st42

    gh0st42 Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2019
    Curious which builder this was now…

    Shoot me a PM if you are so inclined @cosmicevan

    A pedal has to be pretty amazing for me to buy it if the builder is an A Hole.
    Killing Floor, kranahan and RJ like this.
  8. revd


    Apr 11, 2020
    I like to support smaller builders and I am happy to be blissfully ignorant about what they're like as people. I don't use social media - apart from here - and I'm happy if they don't either.

    However, if I do find about them as people then I definitely would be put off from buying if we disagree on the fundamental life stuff.
    the baint and 31HZ like this.
  9. gh0st42

    gh0st42 Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2019

    I don’t seek the info out about a builders personal life and character, but if they insist on throwing it in my face, and are in fact toxic towards their customer base, or other builders for that matter, I absolutely factor that into my purchasing decisions.
    bongomania, amper, 31HZ and 2 others like this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    sometimes, it depends.

    i also don't think i can get a good glimpse into a lot of businesses/people via social media (face to face or personal interaction is always better, IMO). "herd behavior" in the digital age requires 'extra' scrutiny IME/IMO.
  11. RJ

    RJ Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco

    I don’t think I actually know any builders on a personal level but if hear or see behavior on display that I don’t want to support or be associated with I look elsewhere.

    I’d been eyeing an HM2 style pedal from a builder for a bit and was about to pull the trigger when I read a number of reviews of poor craftsmanship and them being a jerk to other builders and customers. After that I did some further research and bought a pedal from Blackhawk Amps instead. Blackhawk has been really, really cool and communicative. A company I’ll now recommend. That’s a company I’d way rather having dealings with in the event something goes wrong than someone who is actively a jerk.

    I have a pedal I really loved for a long time that was a key part of my sound. This was in the days when there weren’t a lot of low gain bass drives on the market. That builder has since made a number of comments that I can’t get behind and I won’t be repping their product, even if it’s just to strangers on a bass forum. I have other options now. There are so many other options, and ones I can feel good about.

    On a related and more positive note, I just bought a limited Muff style pedal from Caroline Guitar Company, who seem like nice folks. I had a question about the tone control and the owner personally responded to my email in short order. AND they’re donating a portion of sales to mental health care. That’s a company I can relate to and care to represent.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  12. Mostly yes. I have two Behringer pedals that say no. But everything else says yes.
  13. lol The Lone Wolf guy has been a complete jerk for many years. I'm surprised he's still in business now that his behavior has been exposed so much.

    For me it just depends. Lone Wolf, along with Lovepedal & Vemuram are on my list of builders I'd never buy from just from their behavior and questionable ethics in regards to acknowledging they build clones. The guy who runs Abominable Electronics is another one a lot of people have a problem with.
    RJ likes this.
  14. TeaTime


    Feb 8, 2020
    There's a builder who has done some custom items for me. Custom like I went to his facility and hung out, chose components, etc. Phone calls, video chats. Turns out he believes some things that I find fairly horrible. I wasn't aware of making a specific decision to stop interacting, but on some level I did because when next I needed something I went elsewhere.

    His product is top-notch, but there are others in the same class. Are they also people I wouldn't associate with? Maybe, but if so i don't know it. There is much to be said for being open and genuine, but also sometimes there are benefits to maintaining a professional facade.
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Everyone is entitled to their voice.
    But if they are smart, they separate that voice from business. I’m pretty opinionated but I have never engaged in a conversation about politics, sex, or religion in any work context. Heck, even something like college football can tick off the wrong person.
    If you’re marketing your business, pedal or otherwise, just don’t break those cardinals. Nobody is asking the superbad hand wired fuzz builder who they vote for or how they’re gonna act when they meet their maker. So rule 1 is Don’t Tell Me. Save all that for Thanksgiving dinner.
    If I like your pedal I’ll buy it Unless you go out of your way to tell me you don’t want my business. There are some people who just do not get it.
  16. For me I couldn't care less about how the builder portrays themselves on social media.
    Social media only has the power you are willing to give it.

    Comically I see similar butt hurt happening in the software VST world as well, consider Steven Slate. ;)
    OnTheDownLow likes this.
  17. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Why should gear acquisition be any different from the rest of life. I gravitate towards compassion, love, ingenuity, and humor.
  18. Being hyper aware of the people behind every small business and their personal views on everything is annoying and unnecessary. Why should someone else's personal views have any impact on whether I end up with the correct product or not? Why should I be limited by arbitrary factors like a company's size or proximity to me? I'm not here to support someone else's business. People are not more entitled to my money because their business is small or they happen to be closer to me. I'll buy the product that affords me the most advantageous solution, and the only factors that play into that are my own. My tastes and my finances.

    I happen to go to my local music store most of the time rather than ordering online simply because Manchester Music Mill kicks ass. Yes it's right down the street, but it's also a legitimately great store with tons of stuff in stock that I can try first, and they have a great return policy. I go there because it's the best option for me. And I think that's a much better compliment to pay a business - to support them based on merit rather than arbitrary factors or the personal views of the owner.
    cosmicevan and Killing Floor like this.
  19. Peaveylover

    Peaveylover Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2019
    Ah, the good old days when all we had was Boss and DOD and we just got on with the business of making music.

    I absolutely stay away from builders due to what I consider their questionable world views and what they do with their profits. The biggest offenders for me are Electrofoods, Lone Wolf Audio and Abominable Electronics. There are plenty of other builders who are equally objectionable as well and I stay away from them. Even used. I really don't care to know a builders politics, but in this hyper divided age we live in we can't seem to stay away from it.
  20. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Yeah, I get it. Dude puts a bunch of negativity out there, it's a turn off. I might not buy from them, unless it's something I really really want.
    Eric Cioe likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 28, 2022

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