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Why's TC so cheap?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Vomicamonster, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Vomicamonster


    Feb 6, 2017
    TC Electronics is that company I rarely look at yet somehow always wind up on my board.

    Why is their all analog "Built like a tank" (Cinder and whatnot, top mount plug in) series pedals so cheap? Every one is $60 new. Didn't they just recently (last year or two) come out with those? Are they a bust? Did they lose a bet? The company going under?
  2. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    They were acquired by Behringer. So it's basically a cheap Behringer pedal upgraded with a sturdy metal enclosure branded with the TC name. Nice pedal, though, I have their compressor and it's working very well.
  3. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    And you don't feel the buttons or the enclosure will break easily, as their plastic counterparts.


    Aug 6, 2018
    I didn't know Behringer owns TC.

    I stopped buying any Behringer products since they stock NO parts. Nada. It's throwaway stuff with absolutely NO support. It's as if once a product is discontinued it goes off into the twilight zone...or purgatory.
  5. Vomicamonster


    Feb 6, 2017
    So it's a larger company, larger headroom kind of cost slash? Or are they putting cheapy parts in them now? Hate to see it go that way. The Spark is the only OD/Boost I can get to fully cooperate with an active bass.
  6. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I guess it's the other way around, they upgrade the cheap with good components, but without much added cost due to their manufacturing capabilities. And they seem to keep the brands separate, so I don't think the quality would go down for TC, but improve for Behringer. But I may have an optimistic nature...
  7. Vomicamonster


    Feb 6, 2017
    @Jebberz I'll be optimistic too. I'm always GASing for something old or moddible but TC has always been really dependable for me. I may buckle down and try one out. Hopefully I'll get to open one up and check it out. The Vibrato looks promising.
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    To be more accurate, Music Group, a holding company that is chaired by Uli Behringer owns TC Electronic and TC Helicon. As far as I am aware, TC make their products, Behringer makes theirs.
  9. I think that's exactly what happened. Behringer is a huge company that I think invested more lately in TC than in its own brand in terms of pedals and amps (probably due to its own reputation). I have Behringer monitors in my practice room (small ones) and bigger ones in my rehearsal room, so I think not everything they do is crap.

    Talking about TC, I think they have some serious and good pedals right now. I only use 5 pedals regularly and 3 are made by TC (Hypergravity, Corona and Tuner)
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Call me old school but I'm not about to replace my 30+ yo original SCF with their newest box. Somehow I feel it wouldn't be such an improvement.
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Regardless of whether the TC items are actually made in Behringer City, they are definitely made in mass manufacturing factories in China, where it is extremely cheap to produce electronics at high volume.

    Their older classic effects were made in much more costly locations, at smaller scale, possibly with less common components. A specialized IC back then could cost 100 times what a generic chip costs now, there.
  12. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    They're definitely benefiting from the acquisition of Midas--their X32 line of digital mixers is a fantastic value for the money.
  13. ruju


    Dec 9, 2017
    The new tc pedals are good..cinders isn’t so great on bass but the force field compressor is decent. I’ve had mine since it was released and I’ve had zero issues.
  14. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    I always find it hilarious when people accustomed to paying $200 find that $60 is cheap for a new pedal when it's still soooooo much more expensive than the sum of it parts and the manufacturing combined. You're just used to a higher standard of living.

    When, you know, the actual cost of parts ends up being less than $5 and the manufacturing cost is less than $5

    You're paying $50 to go into marketing and profits. That's how mass produced stuff works. In case of electro harmonix stuff (which is really expensive for mass produced stuff), even if you double the price of parts and manufacturing, you still end up with huuuuuuuuuge profits in the end.
  15. St_G


    Jan 22, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    I had no idea about the Behringer connection either.

    I own a few TonePrint pedals and have been very impressed by them, for the most part*. I've been tempted by their heads and that new preamp as well, but I'm not sure how I feel about putting more money in Behringer's pockets.

    *- The exception, if you care, are any of the patches that attempt to sound like spring reverb. For whatever reason, TC just can't seem to get those right.
  16. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    Parts are not expensive. Even if you'd buy your own parts for your DIY build, you would probably spend more on the casing than on the components. Saving on main components would be pennies instead of dollars. I think under the control of the Music Group TC was instructed to also bring out some more affordable pedals as they feel they would be able to sell them, like Behringer did before. Most likely some of the old Behringer designs where used to create their TC pedals. Possibly without much mods. Sometimes people listen with their eyses, and see Behringer and instanly dislike a pedal. TC is a well respected pedal manufacturer, and doesn't face the same issue as Behringer. Also it was foolish of Behringer to try plastic casings, but again, that's where you can save some money when you build pedals.
    mikewalker likes this.
  17. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Well I'm now super nervous about my Polytune.
  18. Behringer is hardly alone in the music business in leveraging a name, and pumping the production to the Far East (hell, I remember when Peaveys were built in Mississippi . . . . . ). But does anyone know if all these various trade / tariff situations are going to affect the MI business ? ?
  19. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    When you explain it that way it seems sooooo very simple. The part you missed is the astronomical cost associated with creating an infrastructure to "build it for $10".

    To pay a low price for parts, you need to buy LOTS of them, regularly.

    To pay a low price for manufacturing, you have to CONSTANTLY make LOTS.

    To be able to pay people less, you need to hire them for a specific and broadly posessed skill, and have a system that supports success in 98% of their tasks.

    Then you need to diversify the companies ability to adapt to any product. Through standadization, design sharing, and reducing change over you can keep cost per product lower.

    You also need to make sure that you sell LOTS of everything, so you need to market the crap out of it, so that everyone knows that your product exists, especially so people can pick it apart on a forum.

    Then you actually sell it for $25-35 (with a 5-10% profit), someone pays for shipping and further processing at a wharehouse and a store. They each want a cut too, so add another $15-25. That gets to the actual cost, you, the consumer the pays.

    I for one am very happy these designs are available at a lower price, withhigher durability, it saves me the time to fit them into homemade enclosures so they don't break. The time to buy and build a slow gear clone or Dimension C clone and cost to buy a few parts completely justifies buying one of these.
  20. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    Some of the people I've talked to have written off TC and some of the other brands that Behringer has bought. No one thinks that TC, Midas, Lab Gruppen and others are as good as they were.

    The products are being heavily commoditized (cost-reduced) and although they may cost less, they aren't anywhere near as good as they used to be.

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