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New builder. Questions for the pedal users of the world!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BassManMike73, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    Hey everybody! So I've been getting into building pedals for the last couple months (check the for sale board) and am starting to expand more into making my own designs instead of just doing kit builds.

    So I have a few questions for my pedal loving brethren of TB!

    Whats your preference on:

    Top mounted jacks vs side?

    Is having the option to run from a battery really that important to you or is a power jack really enough?

    If you do want a battery, do you hate having to remove the screws of the pedal to get to it? Would a battery door be a significant improvement?

    Would you like to receive a pedal in the mail and it have velcro in the box with it for you to apply?

    Do you like having printed materials in the box (manual, stickers, etc.)?

    DO you prefer multi-color designs with full art? Or is a single color and basic design preferable?

    Any other opinions on what you wish pedals were like or how they came to you? Any if anyone has a custom project they would like built, feel free to PM me!
  2. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    Battery compartments are a huge waste of space IMO. Never used em, never will.

    Everyone on this board seems to think Top mounted jacks are superamazing, I don't really have a preference, I've got both.

    Small snip of velcro is handy to include, I can instantly throw it on the board vs having to leave it flopping around until I'm...unlazy enough to get some from the store lol.

    Art's a subjective thing. Options are awesome to have. Etched is the way to go methinks.
  3. Hmmm... Side jacks, for sure. Batteries don't matter to me, but it is a nice option just in case. I prefer to not need tools to access the battery if there is one, so a door with a clip is preferable. Velcro in the box would be kind of cool, but it's really neither here nor there. A sticker with the brand logo would be better. A hard copy of the manual is nice, as well as online. I love the graphic designs on some pedals, but solid colors are fine too. I don't buy a pedal based on the color or design, but given the choice between two identical (internally) pedals I'd choose the one with full art. Hope that helps!
  4. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    I'm thinking of going with top mounted jacks for the ease of building, and then just offering side jacks as a custom option to anyone who wants it.
  5. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Except for the 1290A that I built, top-mounted are the way to go to me.

    I prefer a hardy paint job or powder coat with a bit of a logo -- doesn't need to be all Picasso or anything.

    I've developed an unhealthy obsession with LEDs. Can't get enough of them. My next pedal build is going to be Christmas tree's worth of LEDs pointing in every which way direction, not even connected to the signal chain.

  6. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    I love the idea of adding extra LEDs for decoration!
  7. Side input seem to work better when making the stretch around the pedalboard corner.

    I could care less about batteries. I don't use them.

    Velcro? I have my own specifically for my board. It is clear. I would rather to continue using this. But I could see why other people would be happy with having it included.

    Sticker is cool. Hard copy paperwork? Not needed, for me atleast. Unless you going to start building amps or naming the controls really crazy names like a "Zen" knob. (Of course, I won't know what the hell that is.) Could be nice in that instance. Otherwise, just tell customer you are saving the environment and a downloadable manual is online.

    Art is very subjective. You want your design to be easy enough to duplicate. I will also agree that I forsee more and more etched pedals. That said, I still think that good art will always have it's place in music. Genre appropriate of course. You don't want a bluesdriver pedal with a pentagram on it...or do you? ;) My current pedals are a mix on the art. Some are single color cases with single color graphics. Some have multi colors and others are very plain.

    My most important priorities are: does it sound good? and, is it in my budget? Everything else will take a subjective backseat to those two questions. Good luck!
  8. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    Very good point there!

    In my research I've found a countless number of boutique builders, and many offer the types of effects I plan to offer on my site. The problem is that most people cant afford to shell out several hundred for a pedal! My goal is to offer the best quality pedals with the features that everyone wants, but at a price that is comparable to mass manufactured pedals.
  9. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    Top mounted

    No battery

    No battery

    No velcro

    Yes swag, manual, stickers

    Good art is good, bad art is bad

    If a pedal has special power requirements other than 9v center negative it should come with an adapter, or have the option available at checkout.
    Even though I velcro the bottom of every pedal I own I try to preserve them as best as possible for future resale if needed, please no serial number sticker or power requirements sticker on the bottom of the pedal. They get in the way of adding/removing velcro.
  10. Exactly. I'll never have $400-500 to spend on a Strymon, but I will enter every single giveaway they have cause their stuff is really cool.

    One thing people will pay good money for is a fuzz. That was one thing I knew I couldn't really skimp on. Phaser = Behringer, Synth = Behringer, DI pedal = Behringer, Delay = DOD, Fuzz= Heavy Electronics.

    Get it? The other effects are so novelty, I don't expect to get really awesome results without spending MOOG money. Fuzz is the one thing in my chain that is always on. I spent the $150 for the botique, 3 knob fuzz box. IMO, it is the most important part of my band's tone. We are a three piece so we need all the tricks we can get to sound full live. Especially when the guitar player cuts into a solo.

    Hope you are getting the advice you are looking for. Keep rocking :bassist:
  11. If I could get every pedal on my board with top mount then I'd do that. Unfortunately though the sounds I want come from pedals with different jack configurations. Batteries don't matter much to me.

    Batteries don't matter to me, though I do prefer pedals that run on Boss style plugs at relatively normal power requirements.

    I have a 20 ft roll of velcro... I'm set, but it could be a nice thing to not have to cut some for the pedal. May be a waste for some.

    Stickers are sweet, manuals are very useful but if it's online that's all I need. More importantly to me, I want controls that are intuitive and labeled according to what they do. If your compressor's "Attack" knob is labeled "Llama" then I'm gonna really be irked. But that may just be me.

    I like simple artwork the best. The artsy stuff is a cool option for custom stuff, but I like simplicity. Also since I play all over (bars, churches, corp gigs etc) I'd really rather not have profanity or nudity on the pedal.
  12. I just stumbled across your "Pedal Branding" thread too. I really dig the dinosaur idea.
  13. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    This is great! I love getting this type of feedback! Thanks for everyones input so far!
  14. Top jacks would be nice, although not a priority.

    Boss style power jack only. It seems odd that someone would seek out boutique pedals without considering a onespot or some other more efficient power supply,

    Included velcro would be a nice touch that i think a lot of people would appreciate.

    Same goes for stickers, manuals, etc. Shouldn't cost you very much at all as the builder, but adds to the whole "boutique" experience of buying from a small run pedal builder. May seem trivial, but its little personal touches that go a long way in separating small boutique one-man operations from mass produced effects like EHX, whether your kid is finger painting the enclosures like Fuzzrocious or tossing in lollipops and stickers like Devi Ever.
  15. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Alien Audio Fanatic!! Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Top mounted is great if the pedal next to it also has top mounted jacks.

    Boss 9V input only. No batteries!

    Don't include velcro, it's just an added cost for you.

    I prefer minimal graphics. Just make it functional and easy to see on a dark stage.
  16. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I see little need for battery compartments - maybe they could be added as an optional extra for a few extra *insert currency type here*.

    I like both side and top mounted depending where they sit on the pedal board. Call me crazy, but perhaps you could be a real innovator and have both! However, what does irk me is side mounted DC sockets. They get in the way of jack plugs.

    If you're going to go for side jacks, make them offset so multiple pedals can snuggle up nicely with each other. I hate the space wasted by 2 jack plugs sitting next to each other not offset.

    I like to keep my pedalboard as compact as possible, so I have a real liking at the moment for the slimline 1509A enclosures. (which obviously puts the above idea of top and side connectors out of contention). I really don't see the point of oversized, cumbersome pedals with massive toddler friendly knobs (IMO of course). I'd rather a small enclosure, with regular size knobs for frequently adjusted parameters, and smaller knobs for parameters that are only occasionally asjusted - a la Mooer.

    What would be the icing on the cake is some kind of locking mechanism to prevent knobs being moved in transit. Ibanez will obviously hold a patent for the tone lock system, but perhaps a bespoke clip on shield would suffice.
  17. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    The cost of bulk Velcro is something I can easily afford within my current packaging budget.

    I'm thinking about including a one sided postcard with an intro "thanks for buying... Blah blah blah" a basic overview of the controls and the URL of where you can download a full manual. Anything else that should be included on this card?

    And I use boss style power jacks. So that is already covered! :)
  18. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Me too. It reminds me of those cars that glow with a blue light from underneath.
  19. BassManMike73


    Apr 20, 2011
    Portage, MI
    They make "light plates" to put in between the enclosure and base plate that glow like that too!
  20. AllenLee


    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    Though I am still pretty new to running effects, I have found that I prefer running off of a power supply. I took out all of the batteries in my pedals once they died and haven't looked back.

    Of the four pedals I have, two are side mounted and two are top. At first I had trouble with the power supply getting in the way of the cable/coupler on the side mounted units... but after some rearranging this has been a non-issue for me. I would have to say that I would prefer top mounts.

    Art is entirely subjective. So far, my pedals are mostly bland, but I don't have any boutique pedals either... I have been turned off by the appearance of some pedals if that tells you anything.

    Personally, I would like to see a printed manual. If something happens to you or your business, the URL for any online manuals will likely be lost as time goes on, and then... no manual. Adding a strip of Velcro is a great idea, along with stickers/ personal touches.

    The most important factors, to me, are sound quality/versatility, durability, and affordability. Most people, I think will agree..

    So, to your questions:
    Top mounted power supply
    No battery
    Printed manual with other goods
    Keep the deco classy.

    Good luck. :)