ProGuitarShop

Five OVERPRICED Stompboxes…

November 9, 2013

...that retained their value!

The used pedal market is a fickle one; most pedals lose a great deal of value immediately (how much did you wind up getting on eBay for that old Boss XT-2 Xtortion, anyway?!) but if you play your cards right, you can wind up in possession of a great investment. Today in Andy’s Corner, we’re looking at five pedals that will cost you an arm and a leg but that will likely hold their value and possibly even increase—you could wind up getting two arms and two legs back! That means an extra hand for your 256th note tapping sequence and another foot to stomp on your pedals! Win Win!

 

 

photo from gpguitars.com

 

Arbiter Electronics released the Fuzz Face in ’66 and instantly created a legend. The round metal enclosure, the smooth germanium fuzz—everyone grabbed a Fuzz Face and rocked the hell out. Later editions of the pedal bore the Dallas-Arbiter name, once Dallas Music Industries paired up with Arbiter. Whether the Fuzz Face is an original Arbiter or a Dallas-Arbiter, they’re still fetching a good amount of coin in the used market: late 60s/70s era Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Faces fetch close to a grand, sometimes exceeding a thousand dollars if the pedal is in fine condition.

 

 

 

photo from slash.gnrfrance.net

In the 70s, Tycobrahe released the Octavia, an octave fuzz pedal based on Roger Mayer’s Octavia which was originally designed for Jimi Hendrix in the late 60s. Though many replicas exist, the original Tycobrahe Octavias have retained great street value and used to regularly sell in the $1000 range;  however, a recent eBay listing and a current listing at a European music store show the Octavia to be trading in the $2,000 range currently.

 

 

 

photo from analogman.com

Ampeg is mostly know for their bass amps, but they also have a gem in their past called the Scrambler. The Scrambler came out in the late 60s, mixing fuzz with octave up and even some slight ring modulation. It was, in all fairness, totally weird for its time and it was NOT a success for Ampeg at that time. But weirdness and rareness can lethally combine to eventually form: VALUE! The Scrambler now commands $800-$1100 on the used market and has inspired a handful of clones.

 

 

 

 

photo from kitrae.net

You’d think that Big Muffs were a dime a dozen considering how ubiquitous they are—PGS currently sells ELEVEN different Electro-Harmonix Muff pedals. The O.G. Big Muff Pi hit the market at the beginning of the seventies and-- said as modestly as possible-- it changed everything! It was affordable and it sustained for days. And days. It is certainly one of the most cloned pedals around, but there’s still something magical about those early units produced in the seventies: a rare “Black Violet” Big Muff recently sold on eBay for $1500, and several other “Ram’s Head” early 70s version of the pedal are selling at or close to the one thousand dollar mark.

 

 

 

photo from wikipedia/creative commons license/Art Bromage/ http://artbromage.com

 

Last but not least is our only modern entry on this list, and you already know we’re going to say it. No matter what side of the Klon Centaur fence you are one, you can’t deny that this pedal – through the magic of supply and demand—is completely overpriced but: still holding its value. Gold and silver versions of the Klon are regularly trading hands in the $2,000 neighborhood, depending on condition. The best we can tell, you can’t get into a Klon right now for less than four digits, unless it’s your lucky day. This is the one pedal that we can’t quite get a safe read on; the other four pedals are vintage units sure to retain their value over time, but the Klon?! It’s a modern masterpiece for sure. As long as Bill Finnegan doesn’t up and flood the market with new Centaurs, you should be good to go—the originals will likely retain that mythical je ne sais quoi for a long time to come.

 


Don’t necessarily dig up that coffee can full of money from your backyard in order to put it into these pedals, but if you HAVE to HAVE an Octavia? Go for it and sleep well at night knowing you put your scrilla into something of substance. ☺


If anyone has any tales of making a (small) mint off a pedal, let us know in the comments! Thanks again for reading—see you next week in Andy’s Corner!

Comments

  1. ckfoxtrot says:

    I wonder if/when any Analog Man pedals will wind up among the awesome pedals listed above (like the Sun Bender or the Dark Peppermint Fuzz).

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  2. mesadude says:

    I had a TycoBrahe Octavia & its wooden box for years. Bought it new. Used it quite often. Back in the mid-90’s, when the internet was coming into vogue, I sold it to a guy in Japan for around $600. I now have quite a few newer replacements, which actually work & sound better. A Voodoo Lab Proctavia. A Fulltone Octa-Fuzz. A few different Roger Mayer units. Back in the ‘90’s, the $600 went a long way. I’d still like to have it though today, just as a collectible.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm
  3. Josh G. says:

    How about the original big boxed Fulltone Fuzz ‘69’s?  They weren’t overpriced originally, but they became overpriced selling in the $400 + range.  Great pedal, but there are plenty as good fuzzes for half that.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm
  4. Fano Boss says:

    Yep…And the Prescription Electronics Inc. and the Vibe Unit and the Sweet Sound Ultra Vibe. That is, If you like Hendrix and Machine Gun.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm
  5. Tim Mungenast says:

    The Big Muff, although best known as a ‘70s pedal, was actually introduced in late 1969.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm
  6. BassDude says:

    waste of money. I can build each of those pedals for only $10 - $20 in parts. the Fuzz Face is only $5 worth of parts. the schematics are all over the web. There is no “voodoo” involved. if you’re into that “voodoo” mumbo jumbo you can buy NOS components which aren’t that expensive either. plus my pedals sound better because I can pick and choose the components and tweak everything to my ears. I can even make them true bypass.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm
  7. ron grande says:

    anyone notice the mini germanium fuzz by Dunlop jumped up thirty bucks over a weekend at most shops online? . . . I bought two with fifteen percent off and free ship at the original price because I had it in my cart at mf just for and then, I went back five minutes later and it went up.  within a few days it went up at most places.  I have a few gems in the closet that I think may go up, but they are so rare no one knows about them . . . Pedalworx Benderoverunder; jhs surpo man a great low gainer, and a lovepedal kalamazoo . . . etc.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm
  8. Stan Hulsey says:

    I purchased an Electro Harmonix Holiest Grail reverb pedal and it went obsolete a month later when EHX released the Cathedral.  I sold the Holiest Grail on e-bay for more than I purchased it and bought the Cathedral because I wanted the presets and the infinite reverb feature.  Glad I did.  My dream e-bay pedal has been for a while and still is the Lovetone Ring-Stinger.  Radiohead used it for spaceship noises on OK Computer and because the company is obsolete, their pedals like the Meatball, Big Cheese, and the Ring-Stinger catch a hefty price on e-bay and other sites.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm
  9. TheStratGuy says:

    Sorry but I have to agree with BassDude above, huge waste of money IMHO. Unless you’re a collector of sorts, you can build clones with either vintage exact spec parts, or upgraded BETTER parts and mods for nothing almost. Why spend thousands on pedals? I dont personally know any REAL musicians with that kind of coin. Most of us starve to do what we love.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm
  10. Matt S says:

    I do not understand the obsession with the Klon. Its a buffered tubescreamer-style OD. Granted, its a nice buffered TS, but its not some mystical magical voodoo godbox. Its the sort of thing where I imagine some dark deal with an old deity was involved in getting the market share up on it. If offered one, I would be happy to take it sure, but only because I know I could trade it for half a dozen other great pedals on the open market.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm
  11. SlopeRocker says:

    The dirty little secret is many Fuzz Faces just sounded plain terrible due to mismatching of the transistor components. Even Mr. Jimi had to “audition” many of them to find one that worked properly for him.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm
  12. Alan says:

    Someone gave me an original Dallas Arbeiter Fuzz Face years ago.  I had to rewire it,  But it has the original Circuit board intact.  I also had a Dallas Arbeiter Trem Face.  It never worked well from the beginning.  The Trem Face had a good sound when it worked, which was the first few minutes then the effect went to a straight signal.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  13. Derek says:

    I wonder how well the Custom Tones Ethos Overdrive pedals wiil hold their value? At one time I got on the waiting list to get one, but only lasted about six months before I cancelled my order and purchased a Zendrive. I kind of wish I had held out for an Ethos.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  14. Screamingsloth says:

    I agree with “Bass Dude”. I’ve never understood the prices people pay for “vintage” effects.  There is no magic just aging caps and resistors in an old box.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm
  15. Rick says:

    Every pedal on the the planet is overpriced! I have a hard enough time forking over a $100 bucks for anyone’s pedal…it will never reach the thousand dollar mark…and while I do own a few pedals I only run 3 at a time…Wah-Wah, OD & Delay. The big money was spent on American made guitars & a few different tube amps…pedals are overrated…the magic or mojo comes from the players fingers…

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm
  16. guitslinger says:

    I have an original “Ram’s Head” Big Muff that I bought circa 1972.I have bought many distortion and fuzz pedals since with some costing obscene amounts yet I always come back to the old Muff. Despite all the modern advances with digital electronics and sophisticated circuits,it almost seems that Electro Harmonix must have had magical components in their early products that no pedal makers could come close to bettering their unique tones.I have an original Bad Stone,Electric Mistress and Frequency Analyzer and none of their competition have come close to their unique and addictive tones since.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm
  17. Tom says:

    I bought a TS 808 tubescreamer about 8 years ago and sent it to Analogman for a vintage upgrade. I also replaced the crappy flat switch witch constantly failed with a true bypass switch. It sounds great and is probably alot more reliable than the old ones.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm
  18. Alan says:

    The 3ed effect that I ever bought and used was the Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 I used it for overdrive and it was the best effect that I owned.  The sound could not ber beat.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  19. Jim says:

    “waste of money. I can build each of those pedals for only $10 - $20 in parts.”

    I love those sorts of ignorant comments.  Or maybe just “sour grapes” because they can’t even afford a Chinese copy of any of the above.

    Dude, you can’t buy a quality 3PDT footswitch for $10!

    Are some of them ” overpriced”?  I think it depends on perspective.  Sure, the guts of a Fuzz Face are inexpensive - but the case and switch cost more than the electronics!  Are there cheap copies?  Sure. Of most.  But what’s lost in this entire thread is that these are “collector’s market” items - same thing as vintage guns, old coins (how much copper is in an $800 rare penny? etc.

    SOME people got lucky and bought these gadgets before prices skyrocketed.  What I dislike are those who buy them and shelve them strictly as financial speculation items.  Every one of these is special because of what it *does*, not just who might have used it.

    And as far as the Klon goes - it’s not a glorified Tube Screamer.  Those who think so are either upset that they don’t have one or don’t understand its nuances - even Bill’s new version is not quite the same as the original, and they have never been “production line” products - each is hand-made and slightly different, with small changes in parts values to get the best possible results.

    You have to be a player with sensitive touch and one who knows how to use an amp and guitar’s controls as well - the Klon is NOT a “plug ‘n play” stompbox for everyone, and if you don’t know your equipment inside-out and how to “massage the tone” without a Klon a Klon won’t help you.  Learning how to play will.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm
  20. DENIEL EDWARDS says:

    I’M A FULL TIME PRO GUITARIST WRITER PRODUCER,WHY WOULD ANYONE SPEND 2 GRAND ON A PEDAL,WHO IS THIS PERSON WHO SAID THIS PEDAL SOUNDS BETTER THAN ALL THE REST??? THERE FOR IT’S WORTH 2 GRAND,SOUNDS LIKE A BUNCH OF STUPID BABIES WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GETTING A GREAT GUITAR TONE.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm
  21. ChopItUpBuryIt says:

    Hey Daniel Edwards, I’ll tell you who—the same yuppie lawyer-accountant-managierial-you-name-it-yuppie careerist retards who spend $8,000 on a “Masterbuilt” (BOLT-ON-NECK! SOLID BODY!) CS fender strat/tele who can barely string together two root-inversion barr chords and who are trying to validate their lame existences going through a mid-life crisis with expensive gear.  NOT working musicians, that’s for sure. 

    But, um, I digress….

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm
  22. Fletch says:

    One aspect of this conversation that is not being discussed is the fact that most of the pedals produced back in the day were made with “off the shelf” components. I seriously doubt they were looking to use the best of type in resistors, capacitors and all the other components involved in the majority of pedals produced back then.

    Yes, some did consider the qualitative aspects of what they were doing. But apart from “quality control”, which consisted of making sure the individual components met the spec, which means worked the way they were supposed to, I’m pretty sure most manufacturers did not use the highest priced components. The bottom line was to make a profit.

    That the pedals ended up being “magical”, well, that’s just good design… in most cases.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm
  23. Sydney Dude says:

    Give me a simple OCD over a Klon any day. Further to that, the best pedal I have played is an Ethos overdrive, which is not a pedal per se, but an pre-amplifier channel strip.

    So tell me do pray, which modern rock guitarists obtain a better classic tone using all the ex ordinate boutique rubbish than Jimi, Robin Trower, Jimmy Page or Frank Marino, Ritchie Blackmore et all?

    That being said I absolutely LOVE my new Lovepedal echophonic.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm
  24. Travis says:

    I had one of those Boss Xt-2 pedals years ago.  I sold it forgot about it, bought another one, sold it as well.  What is th DS-1 market like nowadays!!!

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm
  25. CBJ says:

    Um, yeah, said it before and I’ll say it again . . . you will never find a more narrow minded bunch of musicians than guitar players.
    Honestly, you boneheads agonize over verifying which year your idols SG had six screws on the pick guard as if that would make a difference in the sound and then want to complain that someone else (mind you, NOT yourself) spent too much of their money (again, mind you, NOT yours) for a pedal because it’s an original.
    Why should YOU care?
    Unless you’re envious and secretly wish you could either have these pedals or the ability to spend whatever without thinking.
    Really, if the brand, age, type quality doesn’t matter than why not have a complete Behringer pedal board with a Rouge guitar and amp?

    Do I think that these pedals are worth the long dollar?
    They are worth whatever the market will sustain. Anyone who says different is simply jealous.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm
  26. ChopItUpBuryIt says:

    ^^^^^  Lol!  Thanks Ben Bernake for the insightful analysis, now pull the dildo out of your ass and go practice your guitar for a change, maybe work on something other than a pentatonic scale for a change.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm
  27. Sergio says:

    Most of these stompboxes were just lucky to appear back in the days when there was a rather poor choice of stompboxes. That’s why they were used by many standout players whose tone is now considered STANDARD and is sought after. And that is the reason that nowdays many manufacturers try to get closer to that original sound. But original effects are the closest, of course, ‘cause they are the same.
    And a modern fuzz or an overdrive or etc. can be great sounding, more durable, more versatile, but it’s not the thing that was used by Hendrix or Page. So it’s they who we are to thank for the overpriced effects.

    And the Clone is just an example of perfect marketing strategy:)

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  28. mone says:

    How bout a Bixonic Expandora? I love mine for different sounds but I only use a couple of effects at a time. Still though I’m only a hobbyist and swap out Strat parts to get the feel I want. As for effects I wish I still had my Small Stone and the first chrome Morley I had playing through a Pignose 30/60 amp that screamed. I too don’t understand how stuff goes up in price unless it’s those last minute overbidders on eBay. And rich bastards of course. Slightly off topic but whats the deal with parting out Strats for outrageous sums of cash. 30 bucks for a jackplate off an Eric Johnson Strat?

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm
  29. Triad999 says:

    Although I normally enjoy a good romp through history and vintage items (ranging from guitar porn to WWII items) I have to cal BS on most of this “vintage effects” garbage. First of all any small group of individuals can push the value of “vintage ” items through the roof manipulating the value of their own possessions. Ask the Japanese, thats what they intentionally did in the 80’s to the vintage guitar market after purchasing enormous amounts of vintage gear. But effects?!?! This is the only arena where obsolete electronics garner more value than when they were state of the art. I was around when all of these were new and owned quite a few of them, as it was proposed earlier they were very hit or miss. I owned 10 or 11 TS9s, all bought within a 2 year span, and every one of them sounded different. And they broke ...a lot! (the reason for buying that many) I love it when I hear younger people covetting vintage effects and amps to play gigs. I love vintage gear as well but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to trade my Rivera or my Fargen for a vintage amp to gig with! They all had reliability issues and no consistency (except for maybe Leo’s stuff)  in one. Anyone that ever owned more than one original JCM800 or JCM900 in their lives will tell you that!  $1500 for a Big Muff? Seriously? C’mon folks wake up, just because its old doesn’t make it worth a ton of money. As for the “legendary” sounds of the Klon? Take a look at who is playing them, usually some of the finest hands in the business, did we all for get where the real magic in tone comes from?

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm
  30. IvS says:

    I have an original 70’s Script Logo MXR BLUE BOX (Jimmy Page used one of these for the “Fool in the Rain” solo) - I’m amazed to see what these are selling for today (around $300; someone on Ebay even wants $450 for one, yikes, I think he may be dreaming) - I play through mine a few times a year; it has that cool fuzz/double-octave/pitch-shift sound - they don’t track well, but I guess that’s what makes them quirky - Regardless, I honestly don’t know what makes them worth that kind of money; I believe it was a fairly inexpensive pedal back in 1974.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm
  31. Jake says:

    Bought a Malekko spring chicken and a Pgs exclusive spring chicken a couple years back, sold them for $270 and $350, respectively, after malekko discontinued them. Great compact simple reverb pedals, but i liked the sounds i got from my nova reverb better, and the unexpected profit wasn’t bad either.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm
  32. Chris says:

    I have a dark grey 1967 Arbiter Fuzz Face owned and signed by Eric Johnson (!). I even have his original Duracell battery.

    I’ve considered selling it on several occasions, but I’ve always changed my mind - being afraid of doing something stupid. I wonder how much it could be worth in a few years…

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm
  33. Shane Fell says:

    I would have thought the Tonebender would be here.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm
  34. Sprio says:

    I read all the reviews, watch all the vids and hope I get to be able to discern THE pedal and tone I need to sound like those records back in my teenage years only to find that later ‘on the record’ something else was used completely!

    So, I just make sure I am able to dial good tone from the gear I have with often cheap-end pedals (all be they GOOD sounding cheap end pedals!) and know that if I recorded these tones and adjust the mix they would sound great to teenagers today to! The one thing I have learned - ‘There is always more than one way to skin a cat’”

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm
  35. moyo says:

    Bought a few jems at a local Music-Go Round years back and sold recently for some nice prices. i.e.; MXR Blue Box original script logo non-led model. Paid $50 sold for $400. Digitech Bass Whammy and original Whammy pedals. Paid $150 for the pair. Sold the two for over $900. And on and on… Then there’s MIJ Boss pedals. Paid $25 to $50 here and there and sold them for at lest 3 to 5 times as much. I hold out no hope for all those Zoom 505s and such out there though.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm
  36. Triad999 says:

    Anyone know any swag about Scholz “Power soak”? I have two of them in pristine cond.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm
  37. 2ndBakeryAttack says:

    Just to set the record straight, the Klon Centaur is certainly NOT based on the tubescreamer in any way shape or form. It has more in common with a DS-1, Distorion+, or DOD250. I don’t know how that Klon-Tubescreamer association ever got started. It’s flat out wrong.

    That being said, I agree that it’s nuts to pay these kind of prices for a pedal unless you are a collector. If all you seek is tone, there is no secret mojo in these pedals that can’t be perfectly replicated with NOS components for less than 100 bucks.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm
  38. LoveDrive says:

    Let me set the record straight once and for all for those of you who think these pedals are magic:
    You hook up a guitar to a pedal (or series of pedals) and plug it into the amp. You just created a unique circuit. You change the guitar from a single coil to a humbucker. You wonder why it doesn’t sound as good or perhaps it sounds better…confused? You just changed the circuit. There are different input and output impedances to every device, pedal, amp and guitar out there. This is why some pedals sound better with single coils than humbuckers. Many people praise the pedal without considering the guitar or the amp. For instance Hendrix playing through a Marshall Plexi using a ‘59 Stratocaster using a Big Muff and Octavia. It created a unique circuit which allowed him to create an iconic tone which influenced untold generations of guitarists…that being said it still takes talent and creativity above all else. I bet you that EVH can make a cheap Kent guitar scream like his Frankenstein because the real secret happens when your heart becomes one with your fingers. There is no magic secret….

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 12:35 am
  39. Steve Dallman says:

    The KlonCentaur is not based on the Tubescreamer. The TS uses clipping diodes in the feedback loop of an op amp stage. The clipping diodes in a Klon are from signal to ground AFTER the op amp gain stage, as in an MXR Dist+ or DOD 250. The TS creates some compression, while the MXR/DOD has less, BUT the gain control in the Klon is a stacked gain that controls the gain of the op amp stage before the clipping diodes, AND controls some global feedback of the entire distortion circuit, so much more is going on here. Definitely not a TS clone. (The TS is buffered)  There is a mix of clean and distortion as well as a separation of frequencies that does not happen in the TS or MXR.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 12:53 am
  40. JohnS says:

    There’s nothing wrong with collecting music equipment. Its like anything Cars Guns etc. I’d suggest not to turn into a junkie about it - you should participate , play and enjoy your life as well.The old pedals have unique tone (Analog - tone) with higher treble and volume that can be controlled in the studio but that many wouldn’t use on stage due to noise, hum, overheating, non true bypass and many other factors which is why most manufacturers wont remake them. I personally think it makes it exciting especially if Grandpa Jones is selling one in a yard sale and you get lucky, But for now I love all the varied sounds coming out as well as the mountains of variations of OD. I love the EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine Polyphonic Pitch Shifting Pedal - love the Chime and creativity that comes out of it.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 1:14 am
  41. RJR says:

    Gee, the Electro-Haromix Ram’s Head Big Muff pedal…I remember when I was a kid, and that was my first “dirt box”.  After the novelty wore off (I tended to play clean), the thing was just sitting around when me and my friends decided that the box would serve better as an “A/B” box to select the channels on my solid-state Ampeg guitar amp head.  So, we took all of the guts out except for the footswitch and the original jacks on the back of the box, added an input jack on top, and rewired it all.  The guts must have come to a less-than-noble end, where we may have used them for a scrap part or two. The “modded” Big Muff worked really well as an A/B box, until I realized that the hassle in connecting all of this up wasn’t worth calling up two different channels that sounded identical, especially since I never used the amp’s reverb, or God forbid, the amp’s tremolo (NOBODY used tremolo back in the day, now guys go nuts for it, which is still lost on me).  In any event, what is now the world’s most expensive A/B box ended up ignored in a road case somewhere, only to be thrown out maybe 20-25 years ago.  A much greater travesty than that for me was when I had ten original PAF humbuckers in a shoe box (7 double blacks, a zebra, and a pair of double whites, where PAFs were easy to accumulate when they only cost $140-$200 each), but I managed to sell only nine of them (times got hard), as one got lost forever, where it was likely thrown out in the trash.  This second case shows the risks of living with others that don’t understand how precious certain things are.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 1:26 am
  42. RJR says:

    I remember the Klon when they were new back in the 90s.  Although I don’t remember exactly what they cost back then, I do remember it being a relatively obscene amount of money for a pedal.  When I tried one, the first thing I did was turn the gain knob all the way up, and was unimpressed in that it didn’t sound like Van Halen.  I guess I was looking for something different, as I just didn’t “get” the thing.  I would like to try an original Klon now, as I imagine I would have a better understanding of what it intended to accomplish.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 2:04 am
  43. Phil says:

    This is probably the one topic that always seems to polarize and get the most extreme in opinions. Ultimately of course it is a do what you want kind of thing. I have never been a fan of exclusivity and I feel that a lot of effects out there were hand-built with the purpose of creating a self-market. When it comes to pedals specifically, I think this is what is gets absurd. But again do what you want. Personally I would rather spend the money on the “perfect” tube amp for me or guitar config. that I feel works for me regardless of price. That being said I am certainly guilty of shelling out a pretty penny about 8 years ago for a maestro brassmaster that I fell in love with.To me it just had a sound that spoke to me, and I couldn’t get over it.  I admit that I spent the time getting the right guitar set-up and amp to get a tone that I wanted and was perhaps to busy or just plain lazy to explore other ways that I could of achieved the exact same tone without having to spend the money for the maestro.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 2:40 am
  44. BG says:

    I thought this article was called top 5 overpriced pedals not collector’s pedals.  I see many “boutique” pedals going in the 4 to $500 range and whether they’re made with NOS parts or not their still can’t be more than $40 bucks in parts.  I would like to see a showdown between what I would really call overpriced pedals and their more modestly priced counterparts.  With all the OD’s and great Fuzzes out there today is it actually worth paying $400 and are the subtle nuances and differences even noticeable or tangible to 99% of players and more important their listeners.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 2:41 am
  45. JM says:

    Interesting topic. I’m lucky enough to own three of the five mentioned (Klon, Tycobrahe and Fuzz Face (BC108 version)). It’s a pretty poorly researched article. You want overpriced? Number one has to be the Dallas Rangemaster, closely followed by the Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine and partner Treble Booster. I have these too. Silly money? How about early Tonebenders (Mk.1 and 1.5)? Hell, even Bud box MXR Phase 90’s are getting silly.

    Thankfully, I bought all these pedals before the market went nuts.

    I did have a lot of “clones” and, whatever you believe, they aren’t the same. Play a Univibe reiuuse/clone, then play a real one and tell me they sound the same…..with a straight face. The problem is with these threads is that so very few people have actually A/B’d vintage versus clone.

    Having said all that….......I’m using an Axe-FX II….....so I’ll go back to hiding in the corner.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 3:02 am
  46. KstmGtr says:

    I think that the point here is that these pedals are collector’s pieces, and they will hold their value no matter what they sound like.  I’d love to own a ‘59 Les Paul, but I could have a much better playing, much better sounding guitar for so much less.  For play-ability I’d much rather own a Roger Giffin Custom when it gets down to it. 

    I hope that my (number 1 of 3) Zvex red sparkle Kanji Fuzz Factory will someday be worth a fantastic amount of money (crossing fingers).  That’s why I intend to put it on a shelf and leave it untouched.  In the meantime I’m building my own Fuzz Factory clone with vintage germanium transistors and I’m going to socket all of the capacitors and other critical parts so that I can fine tune the sound.  If I ever want to sell it I’ll be lucky to get the price of the parts.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 3:16 am
  47. Tym Johnson says:

    Lovedrive:  Hendrix did NOT use a Big Muff; he was dead by the time they came out.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 3:22 am
  48. KstmGtr says:

    @JM:  You are correct most clones don’t sound like the originals.  But I would also challenge you to A/B two originals, and I think you’ll find most of the time they don’t sound the same!  The tolerances for components were way less tight back in the ‘60’s.  Most clones evolved when someone tried to match the sound of one original unit, and they sound pretty close to that particular unit.  They may not sound like every unit though, and some sound better than others.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 3:25 am
  49. mattyboy says:

    in keeping with the tradition..ill take my turn as being the outspoken guitarist who knows everything…first off,im a better guitar player then everyone else,so my comment is more important…who cares..thats right ,who gives a shit..every time these guys at pgs do an article we feel the need to rip it apart..everybodys right..if you collect pedals and have money to spend..get what puts a smile on your face..if you can build a copy for $20 do that then..i love pedals and gear,but dont have a giant budget so i make do with what i can…i bet if you were all blindfolded that i could put a epiphone les paul in your hand run through a cheapo vox 4watt with joyo pedals and tell you that you had a 57 goldtop ran through a soldano astroverb and you would struggle to argue…tone junkies..thats us..just play its awesome..now send me some free pedals Andy..the good ones not the joyos

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 4:07 am
  50. mmm says:

    @Tym Johnson: Jimi Hendrix died in September 1970.  The Big Muff came out in 1969.  Hendrix supposedly bought one of the first Muffs from Manny’s.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 4:11 am
  51. KstmGtr says:

    Who crapped in Mattyboy’s hat?  Maybe it’s his first time on the internet. :)

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 4:31 am
  52. JM says:

    @KstmGtr: on the consistency question, absolutely, I agree with you 100%. I really like Phase 90’s and they’re a big part of my sound, so I have somehow managed to acquire nine of them over the years. Firstly, they’re not all the same even within a sub-set (i.e. Bud box, script logo). The mid ‘74 ones are much lighter for some reason and sound different to the early ‘75 ones, although I’m told they’re exactly the same. I’ve got one, however, that stands out from the rest by so far it’s not funny. Same goes for early TS-808’s…..they’re different.

    Fuzz Faces are renowned for being hugely inconsistent.

    On value per unit of satisfaction, the single best sounding vintage pedal I own is a Mk 1.5 Tonebender, it’s just fantastic.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 5:39 am
  53. KstmGtr says:

    Wow! Nine Phase 90’s.  You must be very discriminating about your phasers.  I’ve also heard that the Dallas Rangemaster was wildly inconsistent.  I wouldn’t discount a clone for being a clone, but if it’s modeled after one of the weak examples then it’s doomed to fail.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 7:54 am
  54. Greg says:

    I think a lot of the excitement about pedals is kind of mystical being driven by word of mouth and artist usage as well as good old supply and demand. I think some of the new pedals available today will go up in price but which ones is your guess as well as mine. On the whole with all the available choices we have today be it production, boutique ,or homemade effects, it’s a great time to be a guitarist.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 8:11 am
  55. Matt Edwards says:

    I had a silver Klon. bought for £325 and sold for £900.

    I have to say that when I sold it I laughed and cried. Laughed because someone was prepared to pay stupid money for the peal equivalent of snake oil, and cried because he had spent money on something he should not have.

    They are totally over-rated.

    My advice, spend your money on a brand new Pete Cornish at half the price and buy beer with the rest!

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 9:45 am
  56. Stratblues23 says:

    I remember buying my EH Big Muff in the mid ‘70s for $25 @ E.U. Wurlitzer in Boston.  It still sounds great, more than 37 years later.  It’s the one with the black & red screened graphics on the face, that was basically made out of thin brushed aluminum that resembled the sheet metal I used to make things out of in metal shop back in grade school.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 11:18 am
  57. Deeeg says:

    In 90’s my brother buy a Sovtek BigMuff (green, tall font) for ~500fr (~100$). Now I have it, it was in good condition with its wood box, and I can sell this terrible pedal ~250€ (~300$)..

    If my son sell it in 20 years i think he can have a great gain :D…

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 11:42 am
  58. carlos latonga says:

    I just bought my brother an exotic SL after spending a week with mine… I told him I think we are in a golden age of pedals & we are both old enough to have owned a lot of collectibles new. I am going to sell off my last generation of pedals and put my trust in the future… (I’m a liar. I will never sell my 16 bit half rack Boss delays and flanger or chorus). Get your sunglasses…. The future is bright.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm
  59. Giu says:

    I think that Binson Echorec could be in this chart…

    If it’s in good conditions could cost more than 2.200 Euro (approx 3.000 USD). The Echorec 2 unit could go from 1.200 to 2.000 Euro.

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 9:25 pm
  60. Grant Ferstat says:

    I considered the $349 that I paid to buy my Silver Klon back in 2006 to be expensive but not overpriced. As others have pointed out being in business (and staying in business!) selling a pedal is about a lot more than adding up the parts cost.

    I think there are lots of pedals in the $200 mark that are actually far more “overpriced” being very slightly tweaked copies of TS or other circuits in generic hammond or other enclosures. There was significant R & D that went into the Klon.

     

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm
  61. CBJ says:

    How exceedingly dim can all of you complainers be?
    Even the heading is simply dumb.
    ‘OVERPRICED’?
    If anything were truly overpriced there would be NO market for it. Anything that is for sale can be offered at ANY price and the fact that there are not only people willing to pay for it but are willing to wait in line for it indicates an accurate price.
    I had a Korg CH1 chorus pedal. I bought it new in the early ‘80’s and it was OK and served me well but I’m not aware that any ‘famous’ guitar slinger used one and even the Effects Data Base site only mentions it. I suspect it is as rare as hens teeth so there are very few of them so the supply is locked. However the demand? Not so much . . . the last Ebay shows it selling for $50.00.
    The market has determined that is an accurate price.
    Now, if only I could pull the wool over someones eyes and overprice my Digitech DSP-128 (with “+” upgrade) I’ll have it made!

    Really?
    Overpriced?
    Obviously not enough people think so and just as obviously few here understand basic economics. Maybe we should nationalize all effects manufacturers and institute federal price controls.
    Quit yer whinin’

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 1:29 am
  62. Lixamps says:

    Since I started playing in ‘66 I had some of the vintage pedals. A matter of fact that Big Muff is exactly the model I had along with an original Clyde McCoy Wah, Fuzz Face (terrible-hardly used it) an ADA flanger, Echoplex, Mutron III, LPB-1, etc. etc. But I am a believer in that you should only use pedals as icing on the cake and rely more on your guitar and amp and know how to use them.  Many players out there don’t know how to coax the sounds out of there guitar by using the volume and tone controls and changing the settings on their amp. And no pedal out there is going to make a bad player great.

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 1:46 am
  63. Elliot says:

    How about the Mesa Boogie V-Twin?

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 4:35 am
  64. franziskore says:

    I totally recomend to get the Line 6 DD4 modeler, the distortion yellow one, most of these original are included and as I’m sure many would think it’s digital - can’t equal the original etc, in my opinion is totally worth, you can find one on second hand by a bargain ( $ 100 - 150 or euros ) and you can custom very good settings as you will have extra eq’s and gain and vol controls, the up and down octavers are really powerful and dirty, the fuzzes can be quite decent, high gain or creamy, can’t tell about the overdrives, I know a verylittle about these category but some of the modeled are useful for me. There was a YTB video comparing the vintage with this modeller and if you are not a puritan-vintage-integrist the difference is not so considerable and anyway will work for you.

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 9:57 am
  65. franziskore says:

    ah, I have to add that The Edge from U2 was amazes by that Line 6 DD4 back in the day. I guess many of you dislike him, but there’s no doubt he knows some things about guitar tone and gear.

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 10:11 am
  66. guitslinger says:

    Just like Lixamps did, I bought a Big Muff and a Vox Clyde McCoy pedal (The signature pedal like Jimi and SRV used not the picture model as a lot of people incorrectly assume)back in the day my Muff is the first of the “Ram’s Head” Muffs which I believe would put it in the late 1970 - early ‘71 time frame.The biggest difference between us is that I held on to mine.When I put my old Strat through both of these pedals plus my Tech21 NYC RotoChoir(Leslie simulator) and my JCM 800 2204 model, I can get a very good approximation of the Jimi’s tone,albeit without his tremendous skill level.I have a Roger Mayer Octavia on my Christmas list just in case one of my loved ones win a lottery…lol.If I had one of them I could really get a good likeness of Jimi’s tone but of course without his inimitable skill.

    What makes these pedals so desirable-especially with baby boomers-is they are a link to the past when the British Invasion was still I its heyday and bring back a taste of their youth.Baby boomers are pretty well the age group that buys the most Detroit muscle cars from the same era as well as CDs and vinyl etc. from that time.The rarity of these pedals is also a big factor in what drives the prices up.There are a lot of pedals that can come close to emulating these old artifacts plus many others but it’s the original that a lot of these musicians want because of the “mystique” they held in these days plus even back then they were regarded as being better than most of their type of pedals.Sometimes “fakes” or anything but the real “McCoy” just won’t do,just as you can pick up a fibreglass body of a ‘32 or ‘34 Ford, but a lot of people want the original metal bodied car rather than a “fake” for the nostalgia factor if nothing else.

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 11:32 am
  67. Smokey in MN says:

    How about the venerable Jordan Boss-Tone? It’s a bit too gritty and noisy for my current tastes but it still works after almost 46 years. It was my first purpose-built fuzz. Prior to it, (circa 1966-7), I had been using a recording preamp that I had “borrowed” from my Dad’s Viking 1/4” tape recorder as a fuzz/overdrive. It had a cool green cats-eye signal level meter tube in the front panel and it worked pretty good but Dad was not amused. I had to give it back and I bought the Jordan for about $20.
    Replaced the Jordan in my setup with a UMI ‘Buzz Tone and Volume Expander’ in the Fall of 1968, (It was even grittier and nastier sounding). I also bought the UMI Wah.  About $40 each, as I recall. I’ve not seen other examples of these UMI pedals. I replaced the UMI stuff with an early model Big Muff and Thomas Organ-built Vox Cry-Baby which was a great setup for the early ‘70’s.
    Except for the Viking preamp, I still plug in to these older units occasionally for a few laughs. Generally, I think that the modern pedals, sound pretty darn good, and the choices available are astounding, these days.
    Would I pay $1,000+ for a vintage stomp?…  in my case, no. I’d love to get that kind of money for some of my old gear, were I inclined to sell, you betcha.

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm
  68. bob says:

    Saying you can build one of these for 20 bucks misses the point entirely. Ever heard of collectibles and antiques?

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm
  69. CrashJK says:

    Overpriced stomp boxes ?  Anything over $150 for an enclosure filled with $25 worth of components, a fancy paint job and mystic marketing, is a F’in joke.

    Smoke and mirrors

    posted on November 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm
  70. Dean says:

    I had an original Big Muff and something just wasn’t right with it, and I didn’t take the time to see what might have been wrong, and practically gave it away.  I recently get a newer one (with the Tone Wicker) and it does a great job.  I also had an LPB-1, and like someone else commented, it did a great job overdriving a variety of vintage amps. But I never thought of stompboxes ever being collectible, they were just gadgets we used for different sounds…. if something came along that we liked better, we sold, traded, did whatever to ‘upgrade’.  These days I have way too much stuff because I’ve been hanging on to everything… just in case I change my mind about how much I like it… haha

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 1:42 am
  71. Frank Capek says:

    What’s cool about these pedals is that they all have a definitive sound.  There are more “usable” fuzzes on the market today but the vintage fuzz face defined that sound - and people are inspired by authenticity.

    Chicago Iron is building great replicas of the Tychobrache pedals - I just picked up the Octavian (great) and the PedalFlanger (totally awesome).

    Regarding the overdrives - I waited 6 months for Bill Finnegan to build me a Klon (SN 845) about 20 years ago and it’s been on my pedal board ever since.  It’s not easy to use because it doesn’t add much compression.  Notes are even more articulate and biting with it on.  As a result, it doesn’t hide sloppy technique like most ODs do.  I’ve used more than 50 different overdrives over the past 40 years.  There are others that get as good a sound as the Klon for specific applications - I’ve been using these are they’re worth checking out:
    Clean boost with a bit of hair and a modest amount of sag:  Fairfield Circuitry Barbershop OD
    Very articulate, high headroom boost and smooth overdrive:  Mad Professor Little Green Monster (hand wired)
    Great tube overdrive with a bit more compression - great low end - very articulate:  Vemuram Jan Ray

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 1:51 am
  72. trebortuhalb says:

    the only pedal i have is the EHX crying tone wah.  it is really kool !  my amp has digital effects built in and that is enough for my needs.  i have an old midiverb that i picked up for cleaning a guy’s bathroom.  it has a lot of kool delays, blooms, reverse effects and reverb.  that is pretty much all i need

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 2:01 am
  73. Nils says:

    I have to laugh at all these jokers with their sour grapes. The truth of the matter is that not one person on here with negative comments has ever played or even seen one of these rare pedals. But you sure know how terrible they some how. Not only that but I am certain not one of you has ever had any success as a musician. So keep on jamming out in your Mommy’s basement!

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 4:03 am
  74. iain mclennon says:

    Apparently, SOMEONE is getting drugs of the quality we had in the Sixties, but they seem to be overdoing them - $1000-$2000 for a stomp box???  I’ve played through all but the Klon (and personally, I think they left the ‘w’ out), and they were all great effects, without doubt.  But I can have any one of them custom made to my specs for a whole lot less.

    If someone needs to feel so much better about themselves as to pay these kinds of prices, they money would be better spent on a shrink.

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 5:58 am
  75. Keith says:

    Better choice of words might have been “Expensive” instead of overpriced.  Expensive boxes that I can think of:

    - Skreddy - Pink Flesh
    - Providence - Delay 80’s
    - Dice Works - Fuzz Epic
    - Musictronics - Mu Tron III
    - Binson - Echorec

      Don’t know if they’re really overpriced… just a matter of ‘how bad do you want them’.  For a lot of players, they become fascinated with playing some guitar riff from their favorite player from ‘back in the day’, and ultimately you find yourself wanting that exact piece of hardware that was used on the original.  Since there’s a limited # of them and people who collect them don’t want to part with them, the price skyrocketing is inevitable.  I have had a few pedals that actually inspired me to play riffs I wouldn’t have played otherwise.. that is what I call a priceless pedal.  That said, if you’ve not tried the Eventide H9, it’s a Swiss army knife of a stomp and even at $500 deserves a look.    I’m in love with mine… sounds incredible and can be updated with new sounds as well.

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:46 am
  76. Monk says:

    Not everybody has the same budget.  What might seem “overpriced” to you is a lark of an impulse buy to someone else.

    Even if your budget isn’t big, it’s a matter of priorities.  I know working guitarists who aren’t wealthy who did what it took to find the vintage Fuzz Face or Klon they wanted.  If, after they got the pedal, they felt it was overpriced or they could get the same tone out of a clone, they would have sold it on to get the money back.

    I’ve compared a lot of clones to originals.  It’s not the $1000 Klon that’s a rip-off, it’s the $250 clone.  The Klon got it right.  The cloners just downloaded a schematic from the Web.  It takes a lot more than a soldering iron and an Internet connection to build a good pedal.

    posted on November 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm
  77. JoshJ says:

    I know you mentioned the Rams head big muff, but the sovtek Civil war muff isnt too cheap either.

    posted on November 13, 2013 at 7:47 am
  78. Raven says:

    The Klon Centaur is not a buffered TS clone. The circuit is totally different.  What it is is a clean boost and a germanium overdrive in parallel. When the gain is down you hear the clean boost. As you crank the gain you blend in the overdrive.

    is it worth the money they sell for? Of course not. But is an old Strat worth $20,000? I don’t think so.

    The new version, the Klon KTR is much cheaper, about 165.00.

    posted on November 14, 2013 at 7:15 am
  79. Raven says:

    I had a Sovtek civil war muff. I hated it. Sold it, in the wooden box for more than I paid for it.

    On the other hand I had a Guild Foxy Lady 3 knob Muff and that was outstanding! Wish I still had it, but it was stolen.  :(

    posted on November 14, 2013 at 7:19 am
  80. Marshall50w says:

    I bought an original Shin Ei Univibe for £500 about 5 years ago and a silver Klon for £500 a couple of years back. These pedals sound/look great and are an appreciating bit of kit - much better than having a f@@king ISA !!

    posted on November 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

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