Hand Made Guitar Pedals. Are They Worth It?
Custom build stompboxes have a great tradition and are here to stay.
Guitar effects have been around since 1930's when Rickenbacker made mechanical adjustments to his guitar bridge, to create a more vibrating sound to his guitar. This has become to be the first guitar modulator, by name of vibrato.
Ever since his invention, musicians became obsessed with enriching their guitar sounds to add new flavours and more personality to their sound. In the early 50's, guitar pedals erupted in the music scene, simultaneously to Rock'n'Roll music, which would not exist without them.
Guitar pedals have meanwhile emerged into all genres of music and are here to stay. Overdrive pedals brought rock to the world, distortion pedals unearthed metal genre and fuzz pedal made expression guitarist such as Jimmy Hendrix, an uncrowned kings of their age.
Trait that many famous musician have in common is that they are always looking for the best sounds they can create to express themselves. Guitar players don't like to be limited with the possibilities of factory made pedals. That's why they are reaching out to custom effect builders, to bring their artistic vision to reality.
Reason why hand made guitar pedals are popular to this day, is the uniqueness of the sound. Many people are great at expressing themselves musically and therefore they need the right tools. Custom builders are always finding new ways of sound modulation they are presenting to the world.
Distortion and overdrive have taken the world by storm. Right now, you can shop more than 600! different distortion effects on thomann.de by builder from around the world. With this amount of products, it's easy to get overwhelmed by choices. Therefore you should consider getting one of the most prestigious ones. This list might help you to decide why to do so.
Here are 6 reasons why you need to buy a hand wired guitar pedal
Sound never heard before
With factory guitar pedals, musicians are often finding themselves struggling to find new sounds, as majority of pedals are already used and loved by many famous players. Pedal builder are always experimenting with new sounds for weeks before they are confident to release their new creation to the world. As with many artists, pedal builders want to express themselves by offering the world a new sounds and modulation possibilities. You can be part of this and make sure that your guitar tone stand out in the crowd.
I can only speak for my own company, but I am sure other pedal builders will agree. We are always willing to eat dirt, to offer exclusivity and only the very best components to include in our builds. Perfection is achieved by the small things and we understand that. Components that you use in the pedal are the building stones of perfection. It is impossible to achieve desired sounds without doing that. For example, we used only the best vacuum tubes for our tube pedal collection, from Electro Harmonix and J-Electronics. This way, sound is more crisp and what is most important, lasts for ever.
Life long warranty
Unlike pedals produced by big brands in China or Taiwan, hand wired pedals are undergoing much higher level of quality control and every single build is much more precise. That makes sure that there are no mistakes made and that the components will not break in their lifetime. That is also a reason why we are offering a lifetime warranty on all effects we produce. We believe in the traditional way of making circuits. The way, that lasts for life.
Eye catching design
Stompbox builders are artists, as well as electricians. They aim to not only satisfy your ears, but your eyes too. You have therefore possibility to chose minimalistic looking pedal, abstract and colourful pedal, vintage looking or futuristic looking pedal. This is the result of the creative freedom all smaller brands have. And all of this for prices that you would actually not believe. Check out some prices here.
More value for money
There are many brands today, who forgot about musicians and focus only on business. We all know who those are and especially when receive our pedal in half broken cardboard box, or when we want to get their help on some specific issue. This is where small pedal builders get their edge. It is very often that you will receive your pedal in an excelent state, packaged in maximum protection, with small accessories such as guitar picks, strings and stickers. This is something that make you happy and you know you are dealing with people like you and me when shopping for new sound effect.
Every one is slightly different
As every pedal is build by hand by an audio engineer, there is always a little difference in each and every pedal made. The components that are wired onto a PCB board can have slightly longer or shorter routing, resulting in a special sound in each individual pedal. In our 1969 Fuzz we are using transistors made from germanium. These are not only great sounding, they also change their physical properties ever so slightly, based on the room temperature and altitude. If you are interested in reading more about it, follow this link.
These reasons convinced many people to try hand wired guitar pedals that are using traditional methods of wiring. Once they tried, they never went back to the big corporate brands, as they enjoyed being part of something more unique and personal.