We're not going to lie to each other, we love effects pedals! 😀 And the more original they are, the happier we are! Unfortunately, in the race for the ultimate effect pedal, some manufacturers have given birth to products, how shall I put it? Completely failed! So. In this article, following our video Youtube below, we are going to present to you 5 completely failed effect pedals!
To satisfy our desires, manufacturers of effect pedals are ready for all kinds of madness, aren't they? 😅 Or should I say, to sell as many of their products as possible, manufacturers are able to pass off the slightest effect as something revolutionary. We agree ?
Sometimes they do it brilliantly! How not to mention a brand like Strymon which has upset the perception of digital effects? Or the Jam Pedals brand with its ultra vintage and qualitative pedals?
The problem is that behind great successes hide less stellar pedals… the worst part of all this? Some come from prestigious brands! Come on, it's over there 👇
1. VHT MELO-VERB
Ah, what annoys me with this brand…. Basically VHT is heavy. In the 90s this brand offered extremely qualitative amplifiers, in the tradition of Soldano or even Bogner! Great artists have collaborated with the latter, in particular Steve Lukather (guitarist of TOTO, not a foot type). The VHT PITBULL was an amazing machine…
Unfortunately in 2009 VHT was bought out and the creator of the brand left to found Fryette. The new owners, wanting to surf on the fame of VHT have started to produce low cost amplifiers in China… Apart from the Special 6, well the result is not super interesting… Necessarily going from boutique amplifiers to more than 3000€ piece to mass-produced amps sold 10x cheaper, the gap is obvious.
But didn't I promise to talk about pedals? I'm coming young rogue!
When making Low Cost, the effect pedal is ideal! It's simple to produce and frankly it costs nothing if you use common components. The brand did not hesitate long before laying effects pedals. And guess what? The VHT Melo-Verb is one of them!
So what is this pedal? It is quite simply a double pedal, offering a reverb and… a tremolo! So I know that I got bashered in the comments for this reflection but I still have trouble with this type of effect… As much as a reverb and a delay yes! But a tremolo and a reverb I have a little more trouble! But I understand the interest in certain styles.
Well what's the problem with this pedal? Already the Reverb! The latter is anecdotal as possible! If you want to feel a semblance of reverb you will have to push it all the way. And yet the rendering is not the most convincing. But it helps.
Let's engage the tremolo and there… it's the catamaran! The general volume will drop and especially the modulation is RIDICULOUS. Again, you'll have to push a max to feel the tremolo! Forget the Boulevard Of Broken Dreams effect (tmtc we all did it with a Boss TR1). In the test video, the settings on the passage of the tremolo are at the maximum! Not phew no?
2. Red Witch Seven Sister Ruby Fuzz
We're going to start strong: Red Witch, I'm really having trouble with your effects.
Although this New Zealand boutique brand offers original effects (if that's important!), well, these have always had a hard time convincing me. Indeed, the rendering of their pedals is often good but the ergonomics are not there... And then there is always this concern of lowering the volume once activated! And that I found on 3 of their effects! No no it's not cool
In short, a few years ago the brand wanted to surf on the “compact” pedal fashion. I've always hated this tendency to reduce, but hey… This should reassure some frustrated people! 🤓
Red Witch has therefore developed its compact range under the name Seven Sisters (inspired by the film/book?). This range therefore offered 7 pedals, with a different effect. The Ruby Fuzz is therefore one of the siblings. The concept was cool on paper: These pedals did not have a traditional power supply or a battery but a battery! Yeah Iphone way. To use them, you had to recharge them. After that no need for power supply, it's too good!
Yeah yeah, except that the charge didn't last more than an hour, see half an hour. And another stupid point? It was impossible to recharge it and play at the same time !!! Even though you had a power supply, you couldn't plug it in and play: it was up to you… Great?
Ah and while I'm at it, the sound was disgusting. Everything you can hate about fuzz: a real honeycomb no matter the setting.
3. Carl Martin Contour N'Boost
I really like the Carl Martin brand! We often see it on the site and I think it's worth it. It's not really shop anymore because the manufacturing is now machined in China vs. by hand in Denmark in the 90's… but it sounds good and the quality/price ratio is frankly convincing.
What if I told you that the Contour N' Boost is a pedal of the great era, made by hand and that it rings the death?? You will most likely answer me: “But why is it in your ranking then? ”
There Carl Martin Contour N'Boost actually sounds very good but...this pedal has an integrated power supply!!! Yes, you understood correctly, an integrated power supply like a power outlet! I'm going to put a photo below for it to be more evocative but you have grasped the trick.
So great, according to the manufacturer it helps to avoid parasites thanks to an integrated filter but...hello practicality! If you're using a Voodoo Lab-style pedal power supply or something else, well, you're in trouble! You will need to find a wall socket or power strip.
An aberration, especially when you know that the entire range of this era works on this system. The garland of sockets is yours!
4. Lovepedal Brownface Deluxe
Lovepedal is unquestionably one of my favorite effect pedal brands. Indeed, formerly Hermida and now defunct, Lovepedal produced very qualitative pedals.
Building on their experience with Hermida Audio, the Lovepedal brand had become queen in the “effect pedal sounding like an amp” category. During their short career, the team produced very good emulations of Marshall, Fender as well as original creations.
The model of the day is no exception to the rule: It is excellent. And in addition it emulates one of the flagships of the Fender brand, namely a Brownface Deluxe! A mythical amplifier from the 60's, which tended to become fuzzy when pushed to the max (you were deaf before).
So what's the problem? Well I think the photo below answers the question!
Honestly, isn't that a goddamn idea? As much on a boost pedal with a single knob good ok ... but there on a model with 4 knobs?? Admit that it is a terribly bad idea. The worst is that the knobs interact with each other. The gain and the volume are very complicated to discern and the 2-band eq does not come to simplify the trick. I won't tell you the time I spent on it trying to understand how it works.
A total misunderstanding for a brand as famous as Lovepedal.
5. Old Blood Noise Endeavors Minim
And the palme d'or goes to this very high-end boutique pedal!
To put it in context, the Old Blood brand produces quite rare effects and at elitist prices (Below 200€ there is not much). Either way, they are not the only ones, you would say. In addition, they are not content to copy the great classics of the industry like some brands. Okay, not a bad start?
Most of their pedals are original and the mix of digital/analog technologies brings welcome flexibility. And the Minimum is no exception to the rule.
This is a pedal combining a delay and a reverb and loaded with cool features! the possibility of blending the 2, or even a reverse function. Add to that a pretty well done modulation and you have a relatively competitive pedal. In addition the sound is rather interesting!
Yes, but here's the problem: the sound is interesting when the pedal has decided to work. Holy problem! This pedal does not work on all amplifiers. Some users have paid for it. Especially guitarists who play on vintage amps! In certain configurations, the pedal will generate a hiss worthy of a fuzz, thus rendering the effect unusable. Vox, Fender vintage are perfect examples. During my test, my modern ENGL amplifier absorbed the effect beautifully. On my RIVERA Venus 3 it was unusable...
Isolated error? Bad series? NO ! The brand has been aware of this defect for several years! The noise problem according to the amplifiers was present on the prototype version. So Old Blood is aware of this concern but continues to market the product without concern. I'm sorry, but for high end boutique this is simply unacceptable.
Is this Minim therefore to be thrown away? Not totally. If you have a modern amplifier this shouldn't be a problem. So if you are interested in this effect pedal, I recommend that you inquire before purchasing it. To say that this approach is normal is something else.
That's it for today ! So what can we learn from this foray into the world of effects pedals? Is there an infallible brand? Are the manufacturers always aware of the products they release? Not sure ! The fact that it allows us to test pearls and have enough to make a little video for you! I won't hide my astonishment from you with this selection... Some brands have made incomprehensible mistakes for me! If you liked the video, please subscribe to the channel. Youtube of Effects Area and leave a comment! I'd be curious to know your top messed up effects pedals! See you next time !