Five OVERPRICED Stompboxes…
...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!