Open letter to effect pedal manufacturers

I have a tendency to lean towards companies that design, engineer and manufacture (stop with the light assembly and calling it made in the USA… yes, I do know what the law allows… still…) their products in the United States by Americans. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that there is quality product (depending upon the product segment) made elsewhere (bass players, checkout the Darkglass Electronics ALPHA · OMEGA made in Finland… what a beautiful beast!), it’s just (usually) not my first choice (due to my personal experiences related to quality).

That being said, we all know what year it is and how far technology has come. It’s about time that all effect pedal manufacturers standardize a bit more (yes, the center negative 2.1 mm adapter was a nice start but, how long ago was that???).

One (the easiest and actually the most important), DO NOT SHIP WITH A BATTERY INSTALLED!!! Follow the lead of MXR/Dunlop on this one or better yet JHS who got rid of the battery all together. Many manufacturers are shipping product with the cheapest (Sunbeam… really… Sunbeam???) batteries that have a tendency to leak within a very short amount of time and turns that $200 pedal into a $0 paperweight (which we don’t need either… as we all should live in a digital/paperless world… stop sending STICKERS, CARDS, CANDY (you know who you are), INSTRUCTIONS or anything  with information that can be supplied digitally).

Two (more like three with my paper rant), 9V SHOULD NOT BE THE STANDARD!!! Guess what an electric bass is… it’s an ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR that can easily (I’ll control the EQ to and from the pedal) use guitar effect pedals. The modern basses of today utilize 18V active (we should be at 24V standard) electronics for increased headroom. Effect pedals (especially since the majority of the manufactures are having PCBs made to their specs) should also be capable of this increase in headroom.

Three, USE A QUALITY MADE IN THE USA HOUSING!!! I see many “US” manufacturers using import housings with their US components. Take note of companies like 3Leaf Audio. Their pedal housings are built in Seattle, WA to last! Just to show that I’m not completely bias to US products, you must checkout the incredible quality (build and sound) of Dazatronyx from Melbourne, Australia!!!

Four, PAINT THE PEDAL HOUSING (use a professional paint house if that is not your specialty… we will wait for quality)!!! Raw or clear gloss over raw doesn’t not scream quality or professional… please put more effort here (also, only use stainless steel hardware).

Five, ONE VERSION ONLY PLEASE!!! This one is a bit more debatable but, I purchased a (well, two of the same) “signature” pedal to find out that a “deluxe signature” pedal was released. I’m all for the “specifications are subject to change at anytime without notice” clause but, to market two versions of virtually the same pedal tells me that you didn’t do your due diligence (or this was just a money grab) and I (the consumer) had to pay for that.

Six, WHY CAN’T ALL PEDALS BE MADE WITH SILENT SWITCHES??? Yes, it’s a “stomp box” but the loud sound of turning the pedal on or off with your foot should be a thing of the past. If tc electronic can make a pedal in Thailand that’s quiet… why can’t we standardize this with USA made pedals?

Back to number one… please, no more (alkaline and “heavy duty” is simply marketing) batteries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!