Clones

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newi123newi123 Frets: 251
I`m always interested in peoples attitudes to `clone pedals`

Why are clones of guitar pedals great - `yippee I`ve saved money - it`s made in China and sounds virtually the same!` - and clones of clothes, shoes, rolexes, iphones, viagra and BMWs bad? Or do all of the buyers of clone pedals here adopt the full clone lifestyle? 
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  • I build my own clones because I enjoy it
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8868
    I'm not a fan of straight clones unless they tweak the circuit or give better practicality (buffers, clipping options, PSU inputs, etc). It's not like most pedals are that expensive anyway (Klon apart). 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    edited March 12
    It's a different thing, a fake watch from China won't be made from the same quality parts as the real thing. A clone pedal can be made from the same quality parts though because the electronics used in the pedals aren't specific to the manufacturers of the real thing ........... so I can build a clone of a Timmy \ Tubescreamer \ Amp 11 etc and it will sound exactly the same as I'm using the same components laid out in the same way as the original

    Where some of the cheap clones do scrimp though is in the quality of the supporting hardware, like the enclosure, the footswitch and the pots. That's because it's these parts that actually cost the most .... the electronics in your average boutique drive pedal will cost less than a tenner but the rest of the pedal might run into £25 or so 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3354

    You can actually make a clone that is "better" than the original.  I had an MXR Microamp that I loved but had the useless MXR bypass and sucked tone horribly when not on.

    I built myself a clone with proper switching, but also with better components than the original.  There was a 1uF capacitor in the signal path that was electrolytic in the original that I replaced with a metal film cap.  That has to be an improvement.  Although looking around online now, I've seen three different values for that cap in different circuit diagrams!

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  • english_bobenglish_bob Frets: 2244
    newi123 said:
    I`m always interested in peoples attitudes to `clone pedals`

    Why are clones of guitar pedals great - `yippee I`ve saved money - it`s made in China and sounds virtually the same!` - and clones of clothes, shoes, rolexes, iphones, viagra and BMWs bad? Or do all of the buyers of clone pedals here adopt the full clone lifestyle? 

    The key difference is that "clone" and "fake" are not the same thing, so you're drawing a false analogy.

    It's worth pointing out that not all "clones" are cheaper than the pedal they're derived from, and that not everyone knowingly buys clones- it's often only hinted at in the naming, design or marketing of a pedal that it's based on something else, using language that guitar saddos like us will understand, but that less gear-obsessed guitarists won't.

    Likewise, many of the desirable pedals that get cloned by Chinese budget brands are themselves clones, or close derivations, of other pedals- very few pedals are particularly original. If you're going to condemn Chinese copies of Tubescreamers that cost half what an Ibanez pedal does, surely you have to condemn the "boutique" copies that cost twice as much too. 


    I build my own clones because I enjoy it
    Also this.

    Don't talk politics and don't throw stones. Your royal highnesses.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12791
    Danny1969 said:
     so I can build a clone of a Timmy \ Tubescreamer \ Amp 11 etc and it will sound exactly the same as I'm using the same components laid out in the same way as the original

    And it can be just as good but less money because you don't have to run a factory or support a load of employees.

    Some of the bedroom cloners aren't even making any profit - they're basically subsidising their sales with the income from their day-job, but don't look closely enough at the numbers to realise...
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3354
    edited March 14
    Sporky said:
    Danny1969 said:
     so I can build a clone of a Timmy \ Tubescreamer \ Amp 11 etc and it will sound exactly the same as I'm using the same components laid out in the same way as the original

    And it can be just as good but less money because you don't have to run a factory or support a load of employees.

    Some of the bedroom cloners aren't even making any profit - they're basically subsidising their sales with the income from their day-job, but don't look closely enough at the numbers to realise...

    It probably depends on how you look at it.

    They don't have to pay rent/rates etc. on a workshop, but they have to pay for somewhere to live anyway, so not counting that as a cost is probably fair enough.

    If they can buy parts for £30 and sell something for £70 they will make a small amount of money from it, but if a pedal is 4 hours of work then the hourly rate is nothing to write home about.  By the time you add in costs for tools etc it will get even less.  If you want a pillar drill for drilling enclosures then it will cost quite a lot.  That might be a one off cost but bits will wear out, soldering iron tips will wear out.  If these guys build one pedal a week then they aren't getting rich off of it and they are nowhere near the point they will make a living off of it.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12791
    Izzackerly.

    I was quite deliberate about that with MonkeyFX - going through stuff with the accountant we'd always end up that my hobby had cost me nothing; there was profit even allowing for my time, but it went into things like the PCB machine, software, books and tools, which I still have.
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2721
    I build for myself and occasionally sell some which either don’t suit my rig or if I’ve built a newer version with different specs.  As long as I cover my costs in building it I’m happy as I build for fun.  
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5406
    I don't buy 'clones' to save money but buy clones cos often they sound flippin good and I can have more of them all at once!


    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • Fishboy7Fishboy7 Frets: 78
    If we all just bought clones who would bother designing any new pedals?  
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2721
    Fishboy7 said:
    If we all just bought clones who would bother designing any new pedals?  
    The vast majority of new pedals are often straight clones or modded versions of other circuits though.  It’s pretty rare to see an actual fully original design of anything now there’s only so many ways to clip a signal.  
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  • KeefyKeefy Frets: 64
    Adam_MD said:
    Fishboy7 said:
    If we all just bought clones who would bother designing any new pedals?  
    The vast majority of new pedals are often straight clones or modded versions of other circuits though.  It’s pretty rare to see an actual fully original design of anything now there’s only so many ways to clip a signal.  
    Very true - for example the Wampler Paisley Drive is basically a Tube Screamer with some extra EQ options.

    With clone pedals it is the design that is being copied, whereas with counterfeit clothing etc it is usually the trademark too. Unless a pedal designer takes expensive and time-consuming legal steps to protect their design (or covers the circuit board with goop), other manufacturers will step in with cheaper alternatives under different names.

    I have had fun building a couple of clone pedals - Fuzz Face, Orange Squeezer - and I think I'm right in saying it is fine to do a one-off for your own use. I also bought off eBay a BYOC version of a Boss CE2, which was awful - not only had it been assembled by a shaved chimp, but the design sent the signal right past the clock, with predictably noisy results. After I had re-flowed a load of the joints, re-worked the signal path, and modded it for a faster Leslie-style rate, it sounded great, and now graces my 'big' pedalboard.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8868
    Fishboy7 said:
    If we all just bought clones who would bother designing any new pedals?  
    To be fair, a lot of the big pedal guys in the market now started as home builders. 
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  • CookiemonsterCookiemonster Frets: 216
    edited March 18
    Fishboy7 said:
    If we all just bought clones who would bother designing any new pedals?  
    To be fair, a lot of the big pedal guys in the market now started as home builders. 
    Very true. I watch the Wampler channel on YouTube he is still supporting diy makers.

    I believe that Jamie from EQD also started out making clones etc. 

    Some good interviews out there actually

    Most pedals are clones. 

    Instagram is Rocknrollismyescape -

    FOR SALE - Catalinbread Echorec, Sonic Blue classic player strat and a Digitech bad monkey

     

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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802

    "Most pedals are clones.  " As indeed are most valve guitar amps . So long as the cheap copy does not purport to be something else and is "stealing sales" there is little harm.

    From my experience "they" did not try to rip off the HT series  because I am sure they found it was already made (V well!) at as competitive price as it could be for a very complex device as pedals go. The same might NOT be true for the later "LT" versions?

    I am very pissed off by the blatant copies, down to cosmetics of the HT-5 and HT-20 amps (any others about?) but in this Global market there is very little companies can do unless you have Fender's lawyers on the payroll.

    Dave.

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