What was your first Boutique pedal? | The Canadian Guitar Forum

What was your first Boutique pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by devnulljp, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. devnulljp


    Mar 18, 2008
    Following on from the nostalgia-fest of the what was your first pedal thread...what was your first "boutique" pedal (depending on how you define that nebulous term)?
    Strictly speaking, mine was a Righteous Tones tubescreamer clone, but I hated it so much it barely touched down before hitting craigslist.
    So, I'm going to count my Fulltone 69 as the first, to date it's my favourite Ge fuzz. That was closely followed by a Retro-Sonic analogue delay (the Canadian "EHCO" version:)
    What about you folks?

    My most boutique pedal has to be this: A clone of the old Boss Dimension C DC-2, but with true bypass and mixable modes, full stereo, made by John Fromel from the TGP. I have #3 of I think he said 50.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  2. KoskineN

    KoskineN Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    Québec, Qc
    Mine was a Fulltone OCD. It was followed by a Fulltone '69 and Clyde Deluxe.
  3. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Brantford, Ontario
    I only got in to boutique pedals a few months ago. First one, Keely compressor, followed by a Wampler Hotwired overdrive, followed by a Diamond Halo chorus.
  4. Ti-Ron

    Ti-Ron Gold Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Longueuil, Québec
    Mine was a Goudie FX 808+ still have it and still rock it! :)
  5. Define boutique. Because I personally wouldn't call anything Fulltone does "boutique" -- it's available in large quantities and many locations and Fulltone is far from a small company. It's just expensive, top tier gear. Is my '80's CS-9 boutique? You don't see many of them around these days. So it's limited in it's use in the general population. Does that define "boutique"?

    Edit: I clearly woke up this morning on the bitchy side of the bed. I don't intend to be argumentative but I really would like to know what you think "boutique" means. My feeling is its something different to everyone. Maybe it's best described as: That piece of expensive kit you always wanted and had a hard time finding.
  6. Scottone

    Scottone Gold Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Well they were small when I bought my first 'boutique' pedal from them :D

    Orange Fulldrive - serial # 412...bought in '95 or '96. Sold it a few years ago when i got a taste for less compressed OD's.
    Sneaky likes this.
  7. Catalin Bread Super Chilli Picoso great buffer boost that I still have and use ,then It just snowballed!:rockon:
  8. Tin Type

    Tin Type

    May 10, 2008
    Mine was an Effector 13 (now deviever) Torn's Peaker. A fantastic fuzz pedal that i regret selling every 3-4 days.

  9. LowWatt

    LowWatt Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Crowther Hot Cake. Bought it used about 6 years ago at Song Bird.
  10. Wounded Paw

    Wounded Paw

    May 1, 2008
    Crowther Prunes and Custard
  11. devnulljp


    Mar 18, 2008
    Yes, I kinda agree, and Fulltone was the reason for the "however you define that" disclaimer. I really think that Mike Fuller has set the bar though, so I still count Fulltone as 'boutique', despite the success and multiple thousands of units he's shifted over the years. He certainly started off as an individual builder and shouldn't be knocked just for his success.

    I wouldn't call a CS9 boutique regardless of how hard they are to find -- who designed and built it? Ibanez. Not a person, a company. That for me is the dividing line. Righteous Tones gear is all built in a factory in China, but he still slips in under the bar as boutique-ish to me because of the lack of involvement of a monolithic entity...not that I'm claiming absolute authority on this. I think it's one of those things where it's easier to define what isn't than what is...Boss isn't, Line 6 isn't, Dunlop isn't. I'd call Catalinbread, Retro-Sonic, Goudie, BJFE, DAM, FoxRox, Paul Cochrane, and a host of others boutique. What about Lovepedal? he's shifting insane amounts of gear too, and he's using machine built boards now too. I don't like his stuff, and I don't much care for him either (I'm sure he's crushed!) but does LP count? All or only LP hand-wired? (I don't think Sean's doing his own wiring these days anyway, which is fine, he's a designer--and a great marketing guy obviously) . it's just a definition for convenience. I guess my definition includes the person with the initial vision still being actively involved in directing the company, rather than a board of directors-type situation with a bunch of MBAs and an engineering division ;)

    So,what's your first boutique pedal according to whatever definition you use for that? Mine were the RT overdrive (which I hated; designed by one guy and built offshore in a factory), a FT 69 (Fulltone...), and Tim Larwell's delay. I've also got an Xotic AC boost (do they count?), a zendrive (yes, I bought another one - definitely boutique), a couple of analogman (he shifts a lot of units too -- is he still boutique?), an RMC wah (boutique), a couple of older Boss pedals (definitely not BTQ), DAM, BK Butler, some other stuff....too much other stuff actually. :food-smiley-004:
  12. Well, companies don't design anything -- people do and there were people (or even a single person) behind the CS-9 even if we don't know their names. And Mike Fuller sells his stuff through a company, it just doesn't happen to be as big as Ibanez. Very, very early on you might have bought a Fulltone "out of the back of his car" but he incorporated pretty quickly.

    I disagree here: The DC-2 isn't boutique? Rare, hard to get your hands on, expesnive, coveted. That's the very definition of a successful one-man-effects-shop, isn't it? Why can't Boss call that pedal boutique? Dunlop has a "custom shop" now: why can't we call what they produce boutique?

    I think I have an answer and I'll get to it in a second. But first:

    If it's hand built I think that's a big help in getting called boutique. But I know some boutique manufacturers who use wave soldered boards and simply finish assembly and testing by hand. And a factory can certainly hand assemble products as easily as wave soldering them. So that really destroys "hand assembled" or "hand wired" as test for "boutique-ness".

    And you say something interesting here:
    This is the very definition of how Ibanez operates: someone designs their products and it's built off shore in a factory. The difference is: you can name the person who designed your RT overdrive whereas most can't name the people who designed the TS-9 or the CS-9. But I'll bet someone like Mark Hammer knows so that makes naming the person who designed the pedal a tough measure of "boutique".

    Ahh, here's an idea: maybe being able to interact directly with the designer makes it boutique? If I can speak to the designer on the phone, have a conversation with him or her directly, it's boutique.

    Could it be "boutique" is not so much about how it's manufactured but how visible and accessible the actual designer is. That's feeling like a pretty good definition to me.

    We're converging here for sure. I think the salient point is that the designer is accessible by the customer. The above statement makes it sound like being a successful, well run company, destroys your "boutique" label. That you have stay below a threshold of success and muddle along in order to keep your mojo. Running your company well shouldn't be connected with "boutique" or or non-boutique. Is Way Huge no longer boutique now that Dunlop owns the name? I don't think you can say they're not a boutique manufacturer. They just have a good distribution channel and some backing cash now. Jeorge Tripps seems reasonably accessible despite being a Dunlop employee.

    More than shifting units the majority of what he sells is modded stuff. So how does a non-boutique Boss pedal cross over to being boutique? Because one man touched it in the process? Again: good support for the "can you contact the person" definition of boutique-ness. Mike imparts the aura of boutique-ness on a Boss pedal because once he's modded it you call him, not Boss, to discuss the pedal.

    Yea, I'm pretty happy with that definition of boutique, you? That certainly takes a stock CS-9 out of the running. But mine was modded by Greg at Solid Gold Sound Labs recently. Does that impart "boutique" on it? I think so. So it wasn't bouique when I got it in 1992, but it is now.

  13. Greenbacker


    Mar 28, 2007
    Prince Edward County, ON
    Zvex Super Hard On
  14. Buzz

    Buzz Gold Member

    May 14, 2008
    Cranbrook, BC
    Got my first one today and its great!

    Retroman NU fuzz. I think Retroman is the pedal King! I think I need an Uber Vibe, and a kopy kat.

  15. Stratocaster


    Feb 2, 2006
    Mississauga Ontario
    I still don't have a boutique pedal:mad:
    Cups likes this.

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