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Who makes best QUALITY pedal effects?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Holliwood, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Holliwood


    Sep 13, 2011

    I've been looking at a few.

    All look the same to me.

    What company makes the best QUALITY pedal effects in terms of sound and reliability?
  2. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Many do. Some that I am aware of, and have had good experiences with personally, are Keeley Electronics, EBS, Boss, and Source Audio. Way Huge/Dunlop and T-Rex too.
  3. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    That's like asking what state has the bumpiest roads.....and there's actually more than three states.....

    What sound, band, song are you looking to get your bass to sound like?
  4. This is a bit of a hornet's nest - some people find big box Guitar Center brands like Boss and Electro Harmonix totally fine, others go with builders like Retroman for choice selections of high-quality components and extensive quality control.

    It's about your price oint and your priorities - do you mind a little noise on the cheap (my experience with Boss and EHX), or do you want something that has period-correct capacitors and whatnot for a very, very specific sound that only a small portion of the population (and perhaps not even yourself) will be able to truly appreciate.

    Smaller builders can also provide quality pedals while riffing on originals like the Big Muff and you end up with something much more versatile, like Fuzzrocious' Grey Stache. And then there's customer service to factor in - I've had no luck with Dunlop/MXR, and great success with smaller builders like Endangered Audio (high quality, high cost, excellent and unique sounds) or Fuzzrocious (also, first rate customer service and excellent build quality).

    So... what's most important, how much are you willing to pay for it, and how much will you appreciate it when it comes down to performance time?
  5. Laurent


    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Barber Electronics, Homebrew Electronics, Fuzzrocious, Wren and Cuff and MXR Dunlop have impressed me.

    Boss is impressive for the sheer crushing number of pedal they've put out (6 million pedals+) and for the decent quality.
  6. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    As you read responses here and around the web, think about how long the company has been in business, and how many units they produce, versus how devoted the fans are. :)
  8. ranjam


    Sep 4, 2008
    This sort of reminds me of my son. As soon as he gets a new video game, he's online looking for cheat codes. Spend time learning the game? That's for sissies.
    It's far better to spend time, making mistakes, and get to know what makes one pedal 'better' than another. Because what is 'better' for me may not be 'better' for you. If you can't answer 'Who makes the 'best' bass?' how do you expect an answer for who makes the 'best' anything.
  9. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    ime wmd is the best

    have had problems in the past with dod, boss, and joyo
  10. +1.

    I was gonna say Ibanez Soundtank pedals. Y'know... the black plastic ones.
  11. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Pigtronix, Diamond, Empress, Fulltone, Blackstone, and MXR are all worth checking out for serious tone and hard-as-nails reliability.

    Can't beat Moog(erfoogers) if you have the cash.

    Going for build quality and reliability, you might not find something better or something worse than BYOC...but the reliability side of things would then depend on YOU.
  12. RenorCordic


    Nov 12, 2009
    Check out the For Sale:Effects and Pedals forum for used gear on the cheap (and not so cheap). It's a nice place to try out pedals to see if you like em'. If you don't, post it back up for sale. It's not necessarily cost effective, but it's FUN!!!


    On a side bar. What are some smaller/independant/boutique pedal makers that you folks know. Just from this thread I've come across some that I didn't know before. (I'm not sure if these are all 'small companies')

    Retroman Endangered Audio
    Fuzzrocious Wounded Paw
    WMD Iron Ether
    Empress Lightfoot Labs
  13. +1... surprised you didn't say FEA :p

    Even though I have a few boss pedals, I don't like the quality of the components.

    Someone has a sense of humour :D
  14. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    Yeah, I was obviously being silly, but I'm sure that somewhere in someone's world, that is an honest answer.

    Really the OP's question doesn't have an answer, or at least not a short one. There are probably hundreds of builders out there-mass and boutique-who make quality pedals, both in terms of sound and build. Just gotta experiment and find the ones that work for you. For me right now that seems to be Source Audio and Eventide doing most of the heavy lifting, with a little help from FEA, SFX and Aguilar. :)
  15. There are so many outfits making great pedals nowadays... Some are well-known companies, while some are just one person in a garage, and some others are just a small business. Two that I've been most impressed with recently are Strymon and Wampler.
  16. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I've been impressed with Wren & Cuff, Fulltone, and Durham Electronics.
  17. SFX has some of the cleanest work I've seen.
  18. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I've gone through my fair share of effects (more than your average bassist, and less than the effects' forum regulars :D) and, oddly enough, I've found my home with Boss pedals. They're built to last, they're consistent, they're readily available, they're priced well, and (to me) they sound great with bass.

    That said, there are plenty of other great manufacturers out there. It's really a matter of going out there, playing everything you can find, and landing on what sounds best to you. I basically stick with Boss for everything, but you can definitely mix and match brands as you see fit. There's no right or wrong :)


    Also! I highly suggest buying pedals one at a time. Each pedal out there has a learning curve to it that will take hours (if not days or weeks) to figure out so that you can get the full potential out of a pedal. I went gun-ho my first time delving into effects, dropped about $600, and ended up selling off everything and maybe re-cooped $450. This can become a very expensive hobby, so definitely take you're time with it and be smart. I highly suggest buying used so that you at least cut even in case it turns out you don't like something.
  19. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    I think it really depends on the type of pedal and the type of sound you look for.

    I take your point when you say: “All look the same”. In the majority of case they do but in my opinion, inside, they can be very different. I repaired a few pedals and I can assure you that regarding quality, sometimes things are not how people think they are...

    Regarding the reliability, it depends what you plan to do with the pedal. Did you have any problem in the past?

    Could you be a little bit more specific?

    I agree: FEA makes great pedals. The building quality is excellent.

    Thanks also for your kind words about [sfx].

    Thanks MuthaFunk.
  20. Holliwood


    Sep 13, 2011
    I've only ever owned 1 pedal. a Zoom B1.
    I't ok but I'm not a fan of th all-in-1 pedal.
    too fiddly.

    I like 1 pedal-1 function. Lite on=active, lite off=defeat.
    real simple and easy to read on stage.

    I plan on getting an eq first, the maybe some compression and a volume pedal.

    by "quality sound" I mean not buzzy or noisy or picks up interference from everything around it.
    by "quality construction" I mean reliable switches, roadworthy chassis, well made pots and plug ins.

    I don't mind payin if i get good value for dollar.

    Mostly thinkin about major brands as that is mostly what's available around me. ie: MXR, Boss, Danelectro etc.

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