Underrated cheap pedals. | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Underrated cheap pedals.

Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by chuck_zc, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. chuck_zc

    chuck_zc Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    Hr.Grace, NL
    Had this on my board for the past couple of days. If ya ever find one in the clearance bin at L&M, grab it and give it a try. Works amazingly well with singles and humbuckers. The overdrive is a nice added bonus. The compression is actually a mix knob. Works really well.
    Any cheap stuff that goes under the radar unnoticed?? 20190728_211455.jpg
     
    zontar likes this.
  2. Arion SCH-1 Stereo Chorus. I bought one used for $20. I did find the buffer sucked a bit of tone. MHammer built me a nice true bypass blend knob with an active volume. That is a great way to handle pedal suck.

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    RickKotzen, Sneaky and chuck_zc like this.
  3. CDWaterloo

    CDWaterloo Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    St. John's, NL
    Boss Metal Zone - cheap in the used market.
     
  4. CathodeRay

    CathodeRay

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto
    Joyo's Sweet Baby OD w/ the 'Focus' knob.
     
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  5. cboutilier

    cboutilier

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    Last one I had got traded for a flat of beer. No regrets.

    The Visual Sounds Garagetone lineup are sweet budget rigs. I currently have the Drivetrain OD and the Axle Grease Delay.
     
    Spinedriver likes this.
  6. Verne

    Verne

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I had the Joyo California pedal. It was a very good pedal. Was dubbed an "amp emulation" but I found it seemed more of an EQ and overdrive to distortion pedal. At least that's how I used it. Couldn't go wrong for $39
     
  7. Granny Gremlin

    Granny Gremlin Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Location:
    Toronto - Riverside
    Let us know how that is holding up a year from now. To me part of being underrated is build quality and in my experience the super-mini, MIC with surface mount parts and those no-knob pots just don't hold up. Joyo and Donner are the worst for this - they all sound fine, sometimes even great, but I wouldn't take them on the road without a couple spares (and for that price, get a better built pedal - they are usually clones of something, sometimes with a mod). This is the one disagreement I have with the JHS guy.

    Yes cheap, but hardly underrated (it is meme-legendary). The price isn't due to people not wanting them, but their ubiquity - there's hundreds of them on ebay at any given moment.
     
    NB_Terry likes this.
  8. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I'll give both Josh Smith (JHS) and Brian Wampler credit for not simply using their YT channel to plug their own products.
    As for those pots, my experience is that the the smaller the diameter, the crappier the wiper (the moving part that moves against the resistive strip inside the pot). The old large ones we used to see in '70s MXR, EHX, and large Boss pedals were 24mm across, and had lovely smooth wipers that made good contact while scraping less. The little black plastic shaft ones we see in mini pedals are 9mm across, while the small-ish split-shaft ones we see on many standard-size pedals (and in many guitars) are 16mm. There are two general types of 9mm pots. Both are mounted to the PC board, but one is threaded and has a retaining nut to secure it to the chassis, while the other relies on the precision of the machining of the chassis, and mounting of the board to minimize the amount of "wiggle room" it has. The one on the right can take normal set-screw knobs, and the one on the left now has a selection of knobs available that can slide over them. Both, happily, are affixed to the PC board not only by the three solder tabs for the resistive strip, but by two additional side tabs (you can see one of them in the pics). Both have the same wiper, but the one held in place by a retaining nut is likely subject to less lateral stress by movement of the shaft, and will probably enjoy a slightly longer lifespan as a result. Smarter manufacturers know to use the kind on the right for controls the user is likely to use/adjust more frequently, as well as using at least one such pot to secure the board to the chassis, and use the kind on the left for controls the user is less likely to futz around with frequently, in an effort to provide less stress for pots that are more easily stressed. Not having used the push-on knobs yet, I can't speak to whether they might play any role in reducing lateral movement of the shaft.

    I'm sure plenty here have seen pedals with clear illuminated versions of the 9mm pots. As it was explained to me, the current line of Fender pedals uses such pots, and had knobs made for them with small clear inserts, so that the light shining up through the bottom makes the indicator insert glow, but not the whole knob. Nice trick. Many of the recent Tech 21 Fly Rig strips use illuminated 9mm pots to show that a given effect module is active or bypassed, although they do not light up an indicator strip like Fender.
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    Dorian2 likes this.
  9. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    SCH-1 choruses are considered very desirable pedals, and are preferred by a number of "name" players (e.g., Scott Henderson, Michael Landau). I can't speak to whether they are a more musical-sounding chorus than the CE-2, but their design doesn't seem to be a whole lot different than the Boss CE-3. That's not a diss; just a comment on needing to hear both at once to know if there are audible differences.

    Less costly pedals are not necessarily a reflection of poorer quality, poorer design, or fewer components. As I've noted before, large companies with extensive product lines can afford to keep production costs down, and simply aim for a given markup and profit margin for each product, based on market demand. Boutique builders and small manufacturers with limited product lines, and limited production scale, work backwards from their total overhead costs (rent, health insurance, car payments, salaries, food, etc.), figure out how many units they can produce/move in a month, and calculate what they need to charge to meet all those overhead costs. The build quality, parts, and design on a $40 Chinese-made mini-pedal may be not a bit different than the build quality, design, and parts complement of something put together in the U.S., Canada or the UK, but whoever is cranking out all those mini pedals that are marketed under multiple names (Caline, Donner, Mooer, et al) is most assuredly not thinking "If I can only make 500 of these in a month, how much do I need to charge?".
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  10. Chitmo

    Chitmo Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada
    It’s Josh Heath Scott (JHS), probably the only time I’ll ever have a chance to correct you on something pedal related! Haha
     
  11. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Ha! You are correct. Thanks. I went to the JHS site, because I wasn't sure if it actually was Smith, but couldn't find any clues. So, despite the nagging feeling that maybe it wasn't Smith, I just went with Smith. But I'm not alone, Dan and Mick at That Pedal Show have had both Josh Scott and guitarist Josh Smith on the show, and have mixed up the names on several occasions. So I'm in decent company.

    I'm confident you'll have plenty of future chances to correct me...on a wide variety of matters. My wife seems to have no difficulties in that area. :D
     
  12. Here is our own Robert from 2006 demoing the SCH-1

     
  13. zontar

    zontar

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere around here
    I got two Dano pedals used for $10 each
    The Fab Chorus wasn't a whole lot more new (I usually saw it for about $25-40--making a new one also a candidate for this thread.)
    The Fish N Chips EQ was more when new.

    Both do what I ask of them.
    The Fab Chorus is a nice subtle chorus--and can go beyond subtle--but I wanted a subtle one--especially for my bass.
    It works great with the fretless bass.

    the EQ works for clarity or to muddy things up--whichever I want at the time. (Mostly clarity though)


    Hard to beat $20 for two pedals that do what you ask of them.
     
  14. Granny Gremlin

    Granny Gremlin Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Location:
    Toronto - Riverside
    Yeah, I just built a fuzz factory with all 9mm pots ( solid shaft Alphas) and i think I will stay away in the future. At least they have the mounting nut.

    Boss Digital delays all use 9mm pcb mount too ( the mode pot is irreplaceable due to weirdo custom part - detented at 6-11 points forget now exactly; non detented works as a replacement tho and thats not hard to find).

    Most guitars use 24mm pots with notable exceptions of 70s-90s imports ( asian and european) and more modern stuff with high end conductive plastic pots ( e .g. Bourns) which feel awesome.

    Getting back to JHS and not just promoting their products on YT... reeeeeeeeeally? lets be clear, he IS promoting his products and brand in all those vids even if not talking about a specific pedal. Im not saying he's a bad dude, or doing something wrong; Im talking basic media literacy here. Also, my main bone with his vid on outsourced to asia surface mount products ( like some of his own) being just as good as through hole is exactly that it was using his platform as a respected pedal guru to promote his products indirectly as not being worse now that he does that on some of them. Sure it does sound the same ( assuming equivalent parts avail in that format), but they are not as reliable as he claimed AND the kicker is that they are much more of a bugger to fix which was completly ignored. Nevermind the issues of outsourcing to less developed nations and other politics around all that.

    Not trying to vilify him; in the grand scheme of things he seems like a decent dude, but I will challenge cannonisation always.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  15. torndownunit

    torndownunit Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Orangeville, Ontario
    I don't know much about current Dano pedals but I have the first versions of the Cool Cat Transparent Overdrive, Fuzz, Vibe, and Trem. They are all great and I bought then as new old stock for next to nothing. I know the Transparent Overdrive gets it praises, but I would consider the other pedals in the line under-rated.

    I have an Eno Myomorpha Rat clone I bought of Amazon for about $40 that I love as well. It's basically a switchable Rat/Turbo Rat but also has a bit of it's own tone. There are similar models from other sellers on there that are likely the same pedal with different branding. I've been thrilled with it.

    Another one is the EHX LP-1. It's definitely not a 'clean' boost. So you might love it it hate it based on what you expect out of a boost. I love the effect it has though. If you play dirtier music, it just sounds evil when you kick it in. I consider it under-rated only because some people don't like how it colours the tone, so they rate it poorly. But for some people, they will love that.
     
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