madbeanpedals::forum

General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: Jamiroking on March 09, 2012, 08:37:26 PM

Title: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Jamiroking on March 09, 2012, 08:37:26 PM
So with all my recent builds, I've been having a lot of people start asking me to build stuff for them.

Now, I value my time since I'm a pretty busy guy so I don't want to be building stuff at cost, especially since I spend a lot of time and effort on the aesthetics of my pedals. But on the other hand, I don't want to do anything to disrespect the community and especially Brian who has put so much work into this and given so much to all of us.

So basically, what should I do to be most respectful to all the intellectual property that I've been working off of so far?
Title: Re: Selling/ building for others
Post by: culturejam on March 09, 2012, 09:00:14 PM
Not sure about how the B-man feels about IP, but I personally can't stand building stuff for other people.

To quote Mall Rats: "The customer is always an asshole!"  ;D   :D
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: timbo_93631 on March 10, 2012, 12:20:17 AM
If I build something and grow out of it I try and sell in the buy and sell subforum here.  On ebay I sell modded/repaired wahs and Rangemaster clones at will, on the build doc for the Rangemaster the disclaimer states that you can freely use the PCB for commercial applications.  I will give away stuff to friends that play if they don't have the ability or skills to build it themselves or the money to buy an equivalent.  I really try and encourage friends to give pedal building a go and give assistance where necessary, that might be the best route for you.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 10, 2012, 02:03:24 AM
The disclaimer on my site pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter:

A note on clones & DIY stompage

First things first. No I will not make you a clone of a pedal if it's currently in production and not a glaring rip off of something else. This is a hobby for myself and Mr Clegg. Yes we do make quite a few pedals for friends, so in that respect it's a self funding hobby (to a degree... at the time of writing it's very much in the red by some hundreds of pounds). But it's in no way a commercial venture.

Moving on to the nature of clones. Because of the wide variance of components, the accuracy of the schematics and how they're built, no clone is going to sound exactly like an example of the original pedal. As such when I say something is a clone, I say it's 'based on' whichever pedal it's a clone of. It ain't the same!

I also try and credit the peeps I've got PCBs from and the like. I'm not claiming credit for anything. Even the Boobtube which is a lot of our own work was based on an idea that someone else came up with first, which we then tweaked quite a bit. Plus we've thrown that one straight back to the DIY community to build should they wish to. Which is the whole point of this. As without that community, we'd have no cool pedals to build.

My parting thought is thus; the pedal market is full of contradiction, hypocrisy, deception and ever so inventive marketing bullshit. Yet within that same market there are some really good guys turning out some great gear. There are also a lot of DIY enthusiasts, and I like to think that we can co-exist. So I really don't want to piss off the enlightened guys who are currently supportive of the DIY scene. The rest though.., well they can just suck my hairy balls.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 10, 2012, 02:06:02 AM
...and on that note, we have a surplus honey dripper that I should maybe shove in the classifieds here!
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: madbean on March 10, 2012, 07:54:15 AM
Jamiroking, I appreciate you bringing that to a public discussion. Since you are posting it here on the MBP forum, I will of course remind everyone that the majority of the PCBs and PCB artwork that are available here is for non-commercial/DIY use. I've always tried to be reasonable about how much control I can actually have over that sort of thing, and I think the policy of doing "one offs" now and then (and of course, selling of your own personal builds that you don't want) is a fair attempt to keep customers and community members happy (while maintaining some ethical standard for how my own work is used).

But, I do have to draw the line somewhere, and the line is no commercial production. That's pretty easily defined by 1) being a commercial pedal maker, i.e. you advertise, have an online presence through a website or through eBay or 2) offering yourself as "work for hire" on a regular basis. If you fall into either one of these categories, you need to bone up and do the work yourself, i.e. create your own layouts or hire someone to do them for you. And, you should want to do this anyway if you are going to be a legitimate presence in the pedal business.

Also, let me be clear that my main concern revolves around the projects that are clones of current production, "boutique" effects. Stuff like the Klon, ZenDrive, the zVex stuff, etc. I don't care if people use Mudbunnys or GreenBeans to build Big Muffs and Tube Screamers, or Fuzzes and Rangemasters, etc...even on a semi-regular basis. I haven't been more explicit in stating that because 1) I don't offer bulk discounting and 2) if anyone planned on doing those kinds of effects in quantity they will pretty quickly figure out that it is much cheaper to have their own design made in bulk by a PCB manufacturer than to buy my PCBs.

Just to give you an example that I mean what I say: a few months ago a very well known pedal maker asked me to remove a certain PCB I was offering for sale. We came to an agreement since he was pretty nice about it, and the pedal maker offered to buy the remaining PCBs to build some one offs for his customers. I refused, reminding him that the PCBs were for DIY use only. IOW: I'm serious!

Personally, I don't care who builds clones or what...my only interest as far as MBP is concerned is that people understand that the restrictions I place on usage is for the good of my business and reputation. When I see folks (and there have been a few but none of the regular members here, thankfully) selling Klon clones or the like on eBay filled with MBP boards it really frustrates me. And, my overall tone here is probably a little negative only because I've gotten pretty hardened to this sort of thing. I guess having people outright lie to my face (which has happened) about what they are doing with the MBP stuff has made me a lot less trusting, in general. Even further: I have no financial interest in the boutique clone stuff because I don't sell those anymore....the only ones currently offered for sale are the EgoDriver and LaVache (both of which have been modded from the original design). While I could just take all the other stuff down, I haven't because I think it would be a real disservice to community members. MBP is not just a commercial enterprise---it's also a DIY resource.

Obviously, that has nothing to do with you...you are being honest and totally upfront. So, while I do not want to drag you into the muck here, I do want it to be clear and unequivocal: If you want to be a commercial builder or a work for hire I totally support you, but please do not use MBP artwork or PCBs to do so. Build what you want, of course, but do the work. Anything less is a short-cut.

Now, on a positive note, I very much hope that MBP will be a sort of "training ground" for future pedal manufacturers and king-makers. I would be honored to play some small part in influencing the future careers and endeavors of pedal hobbyists as they make the transition into their own small business. It's actually a training ground for me as well, because it has allowed me the opportunity to learn a lot about effects design and building...stuff that I will take with me when I launch my own pedal company someday. So, we are all very much in this together and that's something I care deeply about.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm doing two "one offs" myself right now (a "two off?)--a delay and a phaser for two different customers who approached me. I agreed because both sounded like fun and were not the standard "will you build me a Klon" type request. These are actually the only two pedals I've built for money in about 4 years. Of course, I don't expect people to limit their "one offs" in terms of years...I'm mentioning this to illustrate that I do my best to follow the rules, too. :) These are not even boutique clones---they are classics.


Anyone reading, please feel free to give feedback if you think I've missed the mark here in this (incredibly long) response. I always welcome comments so long as they are honest and fair.

Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: gtr2 on March 10, 2012, 08:33:34 AM
This response should be a sticky.  It clearly defines the purpose of this site and pcbs!

Josh
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Diamond on March 10, 2012, 08:47:36 AM
But, I do have to draw the line somewhere, and the line is no commercial production. That's pretty easily defined by 1) being a commercial pedal maker, i.e. you advertise, have an online presence through a website or through eBay or 2) offering yourself as "work for hire" on a regular basis. If you fall into either one of these categories, you need to bone up and do the work yourself, i.e. create your own layouts or hire someone to do them for you. And, you should want to do this anyway if you are going to be a legitimate presence in the pedal business.

Sorry to cut your entire post down to this, but this is what is essential to the topic starter, I think. Building effects for yourself is what this site is for, and Madbean helps the community with his great PCB's, PDF's and forum.

If, for instance, you bring a DIY pedal to a band rehearsal and the other guitarist of your band really likes it and also wants one, you should be able to build him one as well. Same goes for a guitar playing friend who wants a type of certain type of effect he otherwise can't find/afford. For instance, a friend of mine is a big Steve Albini fan and he really wanted a Harmonic Percolator because nothing else can get that sound, so I built him a clone. I don't think Madbean would/should mind if I'd have used one of his PCB's for this project. This all happens in the family/friend circle and is not of negative influence to the Bean at all.

The area starts to get dark grey, however, if a friend of a friend who you may not know so well asks you to build him a clone of a commercial pedal he doesn't want to shell out the cash for. Where the exact line between this example and the previous one is, I do not know. It's a pretty foggy area and I think you should trust your gut. How well do you know the person, what is the effect he wants, what will he do with it, etc? But like you said, you don't have lots of time to keep building stuff for others, so I'm sure you will make the right decisions.

But to get back to the quote, when you start a website or eBay profile offering services and make money based on the hard work of the Bean or others when selling to strangers, you definitely know you're in the wrong.

Then there's also the issue of what to do with a pedal you built that you've used, but don't have a use for anymore. Lots of people here have built several, evens dozens of pedals and you can't possibly keep them all. Is it okay to sell them on eBay or Craigslist or whatever? Where exactly is the line in this area? I don't know. I usually re-use boxes, switches, pots, jacks, etc for other new projects and take the guts out. But I'm wondering how others forum members look at selling built clones on Madbean PCB's that you don't use anymore.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: djaaz on March 10, 2012, 09:06:36 AM
I would add another argument:

Don't make money out of it, it helps draw the line in a very clear way. It's either a hobby or a side job.

Then, if you want to sell personalized & ready to use enclosures and advise your friends to build their own stuff, i can't see any issue with that.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: madbean on March 10, 2012, 09:27:05 AM

Then there's also the issue of what to do with a pedal you built that you've used, but don't have a use for anymore. Lots of people here have built several, evens dozens of pedals and you can't possibly keep them all. Is it okay to sell them on eBay or Craigslist or whatever? Where exactly is the line in this area? I don't know. I usually re-use boxes, switches, pots, jacks, etc for other new projects and take the guts out. But I'm wondering how others forum members look at selling built clones on Madbean PCB's that you don't use anymore.

Selling off the unwanted stuff is perfectly legit. I'm going to have quite a bit of unwanted stuff for sale here very soon, myself. I think it's okay to go the eBay/Craigslist route for this if that's your only choice. But, don't ignore the possibility of selling those types of things through the DIY forums, too, and here. #1 - most people are already familiar with you, maybe your work, and maybe the project itself so they know what they are getting, and #2 - when you sell a DIY pedal to a DIY pedal maker, they can always fix it themselves if it ever breaks (no joke, this is a HUGE advantage).

Also, I think people SHOULD make money off their work. It's very easy to tell when someone is looking to make back their money and time invested in something they built and when they are trying to make a gross profit. You only have to look at the asking price.

Here's an example. I built two Sunkings for a fellow DIYer a few years ago (actually the last pedals I built for $$). He wanted one but could not build it at the time due to a hand injury. So, I built a nice little Sunking and I charged something like $75 for it. A couple months later he wanted to give one to his brother for a birthday present as a surprise. So, I built one more and charged less the second time.

Anyway, these are just examples to illustrate my thought process in all this---don't take them as "instructions on how to sell your boxes". That's up to you. IOW, I believe a lot in people's ability to make their own judgement calls in this area, and I've been proven just how awesome and honest folks in the DIY community are time and again.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Ang3lus on March 10, 2012, 09:39:15 AM
i only sell mine if i need to fund another one, money is always tight here in Israel.

I would love to keep most of the pedals to myself, but if i want another one, I gotta get rid of another one.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 10, 2012, 09:52:30 AM
Then there's also the issue of what to do with a pedal you built that you've used, but don't have a use for anymore. Lots of people here have built several, evens dozens of pedals and you can't possibly keep them all. Is it okay to sell them on eBay or Craigslist or whatever? Where exactly is the line in this area? I don't know. I usually re-use boxes, switches, pots, jacks, etc for other new projects and take the guts out. But I'm wondering how others forum members look at selling built clones on Madbean PCB's that you don't use anymore.

I tend to recycle a lot of pedals. Doesn't stop me having a set of drawers full of the though ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: pickdropper on March 10, 2012, 11:23:30 AM
I think this is a great sticky to have because, frankly, I think this scenario pops up a lot.

I'll tell you about the one I hit recently.

I am good friends with the guys down at a local Mom and Pop guitar store.  I sometimes bring down pedals I build because we BS about gear all the time and it is fun.  The owner has a decent pedal selection there and usually finds the stuff I build interesting, but nothing more.

The one pedal that really captured his attention was the Chunk Chunk (Dr. Boogie).  He directly asked me if I would do some builder for hire stuff for him.  To my knowledge, this isn't a commercially available design, so the water is a bit murky, but in the end I decided that, if I ever decided to pursue this (I haven't thus far), that I would do my own board layout with some modifications I want, NOT use a madbean PCB.  I have even thought about hunting down the person who did the original layout from the Boogie preamp and discussing a small royalty.

In the end, the two main reasons I would consider doing it:

1.)  I really enjoy pedal building
2.)  Building for store credit would allow me to trade some pedals for other cool gear.

I am relatively new here so most of you don't know me, but my day job is working R&D so intellectual property (as it pertains to commercial sales, not DIY) is something I pay attention to.  There are clearly no patent issues at stake with a freeware design such as the Dr. Boogie, but I still haven't totally reconciled how I would feel about doing a modified version, even if I do my own board layout.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: jkokura on March 11, 2012, 05:54:52 PM
I'll chime in, cause my story may help a lot of you. I hope Brian is okay with me sharing, and I think he is.

I'm one of those guys who has transitioned from DIYer to Commercial builder. I started in DIY, and part of my reason was wanting a good music hobby, and another part was getting some pedals to use that I couldn't afford to build. I made a mistake thinking that I would save money building my own, but we all know that one right?

So that's how I got in touch with Brian. He had some PCBs that he was doing that kept popping up on DIYstompboxes, and I asked some guys who were using them where they were getting them and they pointed me to Brian. I ended up ordering from him, and started watching his one page website that listed the boards he etched.

When he launched this site, I was there and probably among the earliest registrations. At the time, I had started selling off or trading extra builds that I wasn't using or didn't like. I was learning how to build, and learning how circuits work was the next step. I became really involved on the forum, and it wasn't long until I was the guy with the second most posts, and because of my experiences and my own talents, I was now helping a lot with the Tech and education parts of the forum, and then one day Brian makes me a Moderator.

In the process of my own DIY thing, I was getting requests to build, mostly from guys who saw my stuff I was trading and selling. Brian shared the one off/extra build info with me, and I agreed with it. I wasn't launching a Commercial building company, I was funding my hobby and that was cool. However, there came a time when the cloning and one off work began to become more demanding, and it necessitated a decision on my part - quit doing it, or go full in.

Brian mentions this above - he WANTS to promote the process of going from DIY cloning to innovative creativity. I may not be very innovative, but there's small niche for what I LOVE to do, which is the process of building custom pedals for people who want solid products on their pedal boards. I rarely build for myself anymore, and there are a growing number of clients who seek me out.

In the process, Brian has helped me with learning about how circuits work, how to build and understand schematics, how to use Eagle to create my own circuits, and even in some ways how to market and provide solid customer service experiences. He passes business my way when it's appropriate, and I'm always yaking about how DIY is the way to go if you have any inclination and Madbean is the place to find projects, learn to build, and get primo tech help!

Now pretty much all my products are designed and produced by me. Brian is part of that process. I recommend that if you have any desire to build, get working on learning to do it ALL yourself from start to finish. Madbean's PCBs should not be a crutch for you to avoid the very rewarding experience of finding a community that will help you learn to TRULY DIY - from design to manufacture to production.

Jacob
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: jkokura on March 11, 2012, 06:05:47 PM
The disclaimer on my site pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter:

A note on clones & DIY stompage

First things first. No I will not make you a clone of a pedal if it's currently in production and not a glaring rip off of something else. This is a hobby for myself and Mr Clegg. Yes we do make quite a few pedals for friends, so in that respect it's a self funding hobby (to a degree... at the time of writing it's very much in the red by some hundreds of pounds). But it's in no way a commercial venture.

I have a similar answer to the question in my FAQ's on my site Juan. I don't build current production clones. I do build past production clones, and I build modified versions of current production stuff. I'll build you a modified Fulldrive 2 that doesn't include the boost section and with hardwired Mosfet clipping, but I won't build you a Timmy, or a modern Hotcake, or whatever. People who want those things want you to undercut, and I think that's the true ethical dilemma in this business.

Truthfully, I hate it when guys come at you expeciting you to build something they can get from another manufacturer. They can usually get it cheaper from them actually! Thos places set up their production in such a way as to reduce the cost to the customers to something reasonable. I cannot build a Timmy for less than Paul C.! No really, he sells them for 129 plus shipping! My custom work starts at 180 plus shipping BECAUSE each pedal I build is a one off. I don't get bulk prices on enclosures, I don't do silk screen pedals by the hundreds, and I don't buy only 20 parts in the thousands. I have a huge stock of a large variety of parts, I buy enclosures one at a time as I need them, and my process of getting graphics on my pedals is both individual and expensive to do.

I can't undercut, but more than that I won't. Too many DIY guys think, "I can get in on this and make a few bucks." So they get some stuff together and do a run of some sort of Muff, or screamer, or more commonly some klones. They sell them for $50-75, and if they were to really think about it they actually make almost nothing after considering their time, effort, and of course their materials. But then some guy emails me saying, "well this guy will do it for this much..." and then I have to explain what my costs are and end up not getting the sale anyway.

These guys undervalue the true work that goes into pedals, and they teach others to undervalue us as builders. My caution to ALL of you who get into building, do not simply price your product haphazardly, truly think about the VALUE of the product that you offer. Doing things for your friends is one thing, but if you ever build for a stranger add up the cost of parts, time, effort and overhead you put into your work before you actually sell that box.

/rant

Jacob
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 12, 2012, 02:59:51 AM
Yup, agree totally. I've a couple of requests to make Catalinbread stuff for people and refused. I don't really see the point and mention to them that you can get the real thing for fractionally more than I'd charge for a pedal of that type with the added bonus that they could re-sell that one and get most of their money back, which is unlikely with mine!

The Klon clones are the contentious issue as they're OOP and stupidly expensive second hand. So there's a demand for them. Rightly so, they're a great pedal (if needlessly over-complicated). I think Brian's problem is that his Sunking board was so damn tight and good that really, if you wanted to make one, it was by far the best choice for a tidy, robust and professional looking build. Hence that Monk fella took the piss and we're in this situation. Shame really as I didn't mind knocking out odd one's for friends ( kept me in capacitors ;) ).
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: culturejam on March 12, 2012, 06:31:31 AM
Call me a heretic, but I really don't see any ethical issues with selling a clone of a current-production pedal. I've always thought that "being in production" is an odd benchmark for ethics. I suppose mainly because it is so inconsistently applied. For example, the Rat has been in production continuously from its introduction, and yet nobody gives a shit if every boutique brand offers their own clone of it. Same for the Tubescreamer. The Muff did cease production for a bit, but it's been back for ages, and it's one of the most cloned circuits in the boutique world. The Fuzz Face, I believe, briefly ceased production, but obviously it is now owned and produced by Dunlop.

I think people *really* view it as big company vs small guy builder, even if they won't admit it. It's okay to clone some big company, but small guys are off limits.  

I see it playing out  like this:

Don't clone the Klon! You're stealing food from the mouth's of Bill's kids!!!!!

Fuck ProCo! They're rich greedy corporate bastards. They deserve to be cloned!!!!

 ;D


You know, another possible reason that Rat, Muff, TS, and FF clones are so popular might be because the owners of the brands aren't very likely to sue a cloner. But the boutique guys seem to be a lot more litigious...or at least they like to threaten it. Trust me on this (first-hand experience).
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 12, 2012, 07:57:23 AM
I see it playing out  like this:

Don't clone the Klon! You're stealing food from the mouth's of Bill's kids!!!!!

Fuck ProCo! They're rich greedy corporate bastards. They deserve to be cloned!!!!

 ;D


You could only steal from Bill if he actually sold the damn things. ;-)

Muffs are so insanely inconsistent that god knows what it's going to sound like. Fuzz Faces are the same to be fair, there have been so many varieties of them that chances are that one you make will sound nothing like a 'real' one.

The Tube Screamer I accept, but if we stopped making that, would we actually have any pedals to build? ;-)

I get what you're saying, which is why it's all so contentious. I also get what Brian is saying. Brian is wanting to support the DIY community and not be exploited by some wankers get rich quick scheme using his parts bought at a discount using deception then sold on using further deception as to what the circuit is.

The biggest threat to low volume builder IMO is the high volume builders that rip of circuits that are reversed on FSB, make a clone in China and sell them for peanuts. The DIY community turning out the odd pedal for mates isn't a big threat, but when it's purely sold to undercut an in-production pedal and not offering anything different then ethically I find it a little dodgy. Custom on-offs are exactly that, I have no issue with these. Doing a production run of a clone becomes a different matter.

It's an odd debate, as I've mentioned the pedal industry/DIY community is full of hypocrisy, bullshit, deception and downright lies. So it's all a very grey area seeing as there's so much of it about already. I suppose it comes down to your own personal morals and what you're comfortable with doing. How you're viewed from this point is more than likely going to piss someone off who's point of view differs. I don't think you can appease everyone.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: madbean on March 12, 2012, 08:14:35 AM
Hmmm, I can see your point CJ. I certainly try not to grandstand or moralize....but the line is murky to me  (in terms of commercial clone production). I guess I can sum it up as "if you are gonna steal, do it from the best, but put something of yourself into it and make it your own".  :D

That said, I definitely reserve the right to express some disgust with well known boutique companies who mercilessly clone their peers (you know who I am talking about), use whatever shortcuts they can (i.e. other people's PCB designs) and get away with it. I find that very distasteful.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: eldanko on March 12, 2012, 09:01:17 AM
That said, I definitely reserve the right to express some disgust with well known boutique companies who mercilessly clone their peers (you know who I am talking about)...

Actually, I'm blissfully unaware.  I think you should name them.  All. 

 ;D
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: djaaz on March 12, 2012, 09:50:36 AM
I have a question i should probably know the answer for:

Is there some time before a particular design/circuit falls within the public domain?

And then, where is the IP stuff? Within the circuit and/or in the PCB? How are these two different objects relates?

For instance, if i want to build & sell massively a basic fuzz face pedal using the publicly available circuits, am i allowed to do so? Should i negotiate royalties with Dunlop even if i use my own layout & materials?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: jkokura on March 12, 2012, 10:01:31 AM
Call me a heretic, but I really don't see any ethical issues with selling a clone of a current-production pedal. I've always thought that "being in production" is an odd benchmark for ethics. I suppose mainly because it is so inconsistently applied. For example, the Rat has been in production continuously from its introduction, and yet nobody gives a shit if every boutique brand offers their own clone of it. Same for the Tubescreamer. The Muff did cease production for a bit, but it's been back for ages, and it's one of the most cloned circuits in the boutique world. The Fuzz Face, I believe, briefly ceased production, but obviously it is now owned and produced by Dunlop.

I think people *really* view it as big company vs small guy builder, even if they won't admit it. It's okay to clone some big company, but small guys are off limits.  

I don't call you a heretic. However I will say, as I said above, that the real ethical/moral issue I see in this is the undercutting and undervaluing. It's capatilistic in nature I guess, and if you can make a product cheaper than there's some merit to it, however, I don't see it as a big guy vs. little guy debate, I see it as an undercutting issue and that's where I draw my moral line.

I do see what you mean about cloning the big corporations, but my thought is that if you can improve something you have something to offer. Part for part clones aren't exactly ok with me from big companies, but if you can take a rat and improve it, or remove/improve the buffer in a TS and offer that with some different clipping configs, that's enough to set your product apart.

My problem is that a lot of these cloners I've seen out there aren't very innovative, but guys like Austin at Coldcraft are creating some unique products that are heavily based on other designs that are innovative, as is Taylor at Iron Ether. Both of them started in the DIY community, and both of them produce PCBs for public consumption while still selling their own designs.

Jacob
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: jkokura on March 12, 2012, 10:07:18 AM
I have a question i should probably know the answer for:

Is there some time before a particular design/circuit falls within the public domain?

And then, where is the IP stuff? Within the circuit and/or in the PCB? How are these two different objects relates?

For instance, if i want to build & sell massively a basic fuzz face pedal using the publicly available circuits, am i allowed to do so? Should i negotiate royalties with Dunlop even if i use my own layout & materials?


Generally, as soon as it's in the public. The only protection on a circuit available is copyright protection on the artwork of the schematic and PCB. So in other words, if you draw your own copy of the circuit, copying it, you now have a schematic you own the artwork for too.

I'm not sure what you mean by publicly available. Most of the time, manufacturers do not make their circuits public. If they are in the public, those schematics have been provided by reverse engineering, or by the manufacturer's service package being released.

What do you mean by IP?

As for building and selling, yes. There is nothing to keep you from making your own schematic artwork, making your own PCB, and then manufacturing and selling a direct clone of almost any pedal. There are a select few circuits that have been patented. In those cases, if you change ONE part value incrementally, you can still make that pedal.

Jacob
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: culturejam on March 12, 2012, 12:19:19 PM
You could only steal from Bill if he actually sold the damn things. ;-)

Yes, of course. But that just ties back into my position that people see it as big guy vs small guy. Bill discontinued the Centaur Professional Overdrive. By the prevailing sense of ethics, that would me it's now fair game for cloning. But yet people still get fired up that there are guys out there cloning this now-discontinued circuit. So it's NOT about a given pedal not being available. It's about the "small guy" getting a bit more bias (har-har) than the big guys.

Quote from: juansolo
Muffs are so insanely inconsistent that god knows what it's going to sound like.

See, I see the opposite. There's so much feedback built in to the Muff that you can just about throw any parts in there and it will still sound like a Muff. Different strokes, I guess.


I guess I can sum it up as "if you are gonna steal, do it from the best, but put something of yourself into it and make it your own".  :D

That said, I definitely reserve the right to express some disgust with well known boutique companies who mercilessly clone their peers

I guess I wasn't really talking about *your* PCBs being used so much as cloning in general. I'm definitely in the "make your own shit" camp when it comes to taking your pedals pro. And honestly, I can't think of anything more boring than straight-up cloning any given circuit. So we are in agreement all around. :)

I don't see it as a big guy vs. little guy debate, I see it as an undercutting issue and that's where I draw my moral line.

Well, as you've already pointed out, that's just business. I'll bet that in many areas of your own purchasing, you go with the undercutter rather than the original. I don't know anybody that pays as much as possible for everything they buy. I buy store-brand medication, crackers, soda, deli meats/cheeses, etc. It's cheaper than the big-name brand, and as far as I'm concerned, it's practically identical. We all do it. And I don't see why pedals should be a special case with a special set of ethics. But, I can see where some people would feel that way.

Granted, I don't necessarily like when any given company is a total chicken-hawk on other people's circuits. But it's business, and there's nothing inherently unethical in such tactics. If you stand still, you're dead. You have to keep moving if you're an innovator. Copycats can sit on their fat asses and wait, but innovators have to keep moving forward. It might not be nice, but it's just how it is.

Quote from: jkokura
Part for part clones aren't exactly ok with me from big companies, but if you can take a rat and improve it, or remove/improve the buffer in a TS and offer that with some different clipping configs, that's enough to set your product apart.

I see that kind of thing as a slightly modified copy of the original, and not a new product. But I also see nothing unethical about selling such things. It's just not very creative. In my opinion, of course. ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 12, 2012, 01:26:01 PM
It's a minefield. I don't think we'll ever successfully find a stance that will please everyone. I just don't think it's possible as everyone seems to have a perfectly reasonable defense for their own position (name calling aside on other forums).

I think the pedal ethics debate has reached the same level as religion and politics. Things that are best stayed well away from on internet forums. Life's too short to get pulled into the debate that cannot ever be concluded.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: nzCdog on March 12, 2012, 01:41:09 PM
I think the pedal ethics debate has reached the same level as religion and politics. Things that are best stayed well away from on internet forums. Life's too short to get pulled into the debate that cannot ever be concluded.

+1
/thread
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: djaaz on March 12, 2012, 01:43:07 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by publicly available. Most of the time, manufacturers do not make their circuits public. If they are in the public, those schematics have been provided by reverse engineering, or by the manufacturer's service package being released.

Exactly what you guessed: a circuit that has been either provided by the manufacturer or redrawn in a way or another.

What do you mean by IP?

Intellectual Property.

As for building and selling, yes. There is nothing to keep you from making your own schematic artwork, making your own PCB, and then manufacturing and selling a direct clone of almost any pedal. There are a select few circuits that have been patented. In those cases, if you change ONE part value incrementally, you can still make that pedal.

This is good to know. Thanks. Weird though.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: djaaz on March 12, 2012, 01:46:10 PM
I think the pedal ethics debate has reached the same level as religion and politics. Things that are best stayed well away from on internet forums. Life's too short to get pulled into the debate that cannot ever be concluded.

+1
/thread

There's some distance from religion, politics and pedal building. Actually, there's a link between them.
But guys, good or bad idea, religions are still discussed and so should the pedal building stuff when it comes to these kind of questions.
No need to be afraid as long as respect drives the conversation and this is certainly the case here.

My two cents, ohms, pf (as you prefer)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Jamiroking on March 12, 2012, 03:28:43 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses so far. I'm glad to see this thread get so much action since I think it's something that really needed to be addressed. Even if we don't come to a consensus, its really useful just to read everyone's opinions to get a general feel for the viewpoints that are out there.

I think its been especially useful to hear from jkokura since your move to having a web presence is one of the prime examples that jumped out in my mind. But also hearing how a lot of big name builders have pedals that are basically clones of others sorta complicated the matter for me.

Since the pcb artwork is the copyrighted material, I was thinking I would probably just design my own 1) so I'm not using brian's boards in the ones I'm distributing and 2) so I get some experience doing it and can add that to my bag of tricks.

My other issue is, while I would love to mod circuits to feel more "in the right", I feel my knowledge isn't quite that deep and any mods I've come up with are purely superficial (eg. true bypass toggle on the sunking or creative LED/switching designs) That being said, a lot of the attentino my pedals have been getting has to do with the creativity and effort that I put into the aesthetics of the pedal. For instance, yes, people can buy the commercial version of the krankosaurus, but it won't look road worn and westerned themed and that's one of the main reason people want mine. To me, this conversation gets even more complicated considering that we aren't building standalone circuits but ones that are part of a larger product.; much harder than if I was going to be selling clones in plain metal enclosures but I think also evidence that I'm not trying to undercut anyone and am offering something unique.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: djaaz on March 12, 2012, 04:31:12 PM
What about rehousing services?
I can't see any ethical issue with that and it looks like it may address a lot of what people are actually asking from you.
In the meanwhile, you could jump on your breadboard & eagle and try your own things.


Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: nzCdog on March 12, 2012, 05:38:53 PM

There's some distance from religion, politics and pedal building. Actually, there's a link between them.
But guys, good or bad idea, religions are still discussed and so should the pedal building stuff when it comes to these kind of questions.
No need to be afraid as long as respect drives the conversation and this is certainly the case here.

My two cents, ohms, pf (as you prefer)
Not really when you consider it in in terms of polarity... opinions in this area are irreconcilable, which was my point ;)  (See I made a pun)


Some advice guys... in life some people are not going to like what you do...  Don't make that your problem! 
I lived far too long being 'nice guy' esteeming other people opinions too highly.  Now I do whats right... by my conscience... and that's good enough for me... 
if you don't like it... well thats completely irrelevant!
Opinions are only that, opinions. When someone thinks their opinion is more than just an opinion... then they're a bigot.  In my opinion ;)
Which is why I echoed juansolo's post above...

I think the pedal ethics debate has reached the same level as religion and politics. Things that are best stayed well away from on internet forums. Life's too short to get pulled into the debate that cannot ever be concluded.
+1
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: bigmufffuzzwizz on March 21, 2012, 03:19:19 PM
This has always been a subject in the back of my mind and I try not to let it bother me too much. I must first say Thank you so much MB and CJ for your knowledge, but most of all your gruntbox layout! That's what got me crazy into this hobby and to really want to excel with it. It was such an easy platform to learn from for me. I used to worry but now know selling clones of a big muff is not such a big deal, I'll never ever put anywhat of a dent into EHX's business...and I wouldn't want to, they've made amazing stuff throughout the pedal history.

I wouldn't call myself commercial in any way but I get all sorts of requests all the time. I built a lot for all my musician buddies, a lot of the time getting my parts cost or nothing back for it. I was testing one of my BM that I built at a good buddies house and he just had to have one. Made one for him and soon enough my other good friend in a band and both of their bass players were down my neck for one. I built about 6 on those gruntbox boards before I finally made my own layout. I now have a modded up really unique sounding muff with an ever growing list. When I realized I was gonna be making a bunch I had to get my own layout going. Right now I'm using something simple that I created with DIYPCB layout, works great for my needs. One day I hope to get the hang of Eagle and make something really professional looking.

Even spending years in school I don't know how to design pedals and that's another thing I hope to grasp someday. I know hanging around here helps.

I agree you shouldn't strive to build your entire company off someone else's work but selling a few to get yourself up and off the ground isn't a horrible thing. The ebay jerks are just plain obnoxious!

I guess I can sum it up as "if you are gonna steal, do it from the best, but put something of yourself into it and make it your own".  :D

I like this. That's been my mentality and I'm glad to see you say that!
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: madbean on March 21, 2012, 03:46:42 PM
I agree you shouldn't strive to build your entire company off someone else's work but selling a few to get yourself up and off the ground isn't a horrible thing.

Pretty much this. Since writing down my initial thoughts a couple of weeks ago, I decided to lighten up a little bit. Anyone who has seen the documents for the new Baby Board projects will notice this:

Baby Board Licensing
Baby Board PCBs purchased from madbeanpedals may be used for small quantities of commercial pedal building (keep in mind that bulk discounting on PCBs is not offered).



Hopefully this will help some of you out that want to "get off the ground" like bigmufffuzzywickleman mentioned. So, if some of you want to dip your toe into the shitstorm that is pedal manufacturing, these may offer you a leg up :)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on March 22, 2012, 01:04:11 AM
I wouldn't call myself commercial in any way but I get all sorts of requests all the time. I built a lot for all my musician buddies, a lot of the time getting my parts cost or nothing back for it. I was testing one of my BM that I built at a good buddies house and he just had to have one. Made one for him and soon enough my other good friend in a band and both of their bass players were down my neck for one.

Being a vero guy mostly, I would never have discovered MBP had it not been for a friend asking me to build him a Klone. At the time I had no interest whatsoever in building one for me but I agreed, then looked at the vero that was out there and decided that was a bit excessive. Found MBs board built it, loved it and it all started from there really.

I started keeping an eye on costs not long after and in total I've 'made' (not counting parts and labour) £1243 from making a few things for people. Some straight board drop-ins, some custom stuff, a few repairs and what have you. My outgoing on pedal building for the same period have been £1279...

So from my perspective it just makes the hobby cheaper. I enjoy building them, which is handy as I seem to have this need to build everything... But it does mean that my own and marauder's pedals are pretty much paid for by it.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: radioegg on May 12, 2012, 06:30:30 PM
How would it be if I used the MB Quadrovibe schematic, made a new layout, made 10-100 pedals, and made money out of it? That's one thing. Another question is if a commercial pedal manifacturer took that schem and put it into production (you know the Quadrovibe looks soooo good!!)? Just asking... (I got one board on the way, great expectations, might order a second one and build for my mate if he provides a bottle of single malt scotch whisky...).

New here, btw, been over at the byoc...

Cheers
Tor
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: gtr2 on May 12, 2012, 06:56:00 PM
Welcome to the forum Tor.  I always forget about the byoc forum, good guys.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: mandrewbot3k on December 06, 2012, 02:46:52 PM
i'm in no way at the level of most folks on here. I havent built that much, but I have built for friends.

I enjoy the process of building and don't have the money to build all the pedals I want to for myself. I was etching my own boards using Brian's layouts before, because it has caused me more heartburn trying to trouble shoot this stupid egodriver.... lol. 3/4 of my first etched pcbs not too bad, but I'll leave it to the pros until I come up with my own circuits and layouts in the future.

What do I charge my friends for them? $50. It barely covers the cost of the parts for most overdrives, sometimes. When I set out to make a pedal, I usually buy 4 times the amount of parts needed for it, just in case, you never know what you may bend or fry. I don't usually order enclosures or even pots, 3pdts, just the stuff to populate the boards. That leaves me with extra 'kits' i can put together for later builds or friends, or to play with later on.

I've only made 5 pedals (4 on the way) for myself, and 3 for others. populating the board is the only part I actually enjoy. haha. i hate stripping those tiny wires and trying cram everything in the enclosure. I'm awful at best.

I made myself a Timmy on vero using Paul C's schematic from DIY Stomp. Why did I do it? Because I didn't want to wait 18 months for one of his and I didn't want to spend $350 on ebay for one. It was my first non kit build and it stays on my board and will always stay with me. I show it off to everyone and tell them where to buy them (from Paul). I have a kit waiting to be built for one right now, but I've decided I just really dont want to build it for anyone, i'll use it for something else for myself. I feel they should have more patient than me and get on the waiting list. At least they get to play mine first. Hypocrite, i know.

Another story,
I built an egodriver for a friend and also an RC booster. He loves them both. He loved the egodriver so much he bought two more Fulltone OCDs (seems excessive, but he does a lot of cover band stuff and he likes how they stack up with each other). He runs them all on his board with very few other pedals. He loves the egodriver more than the OCDs, so props to Brian. While it doesnt help brian that he went out and bought two OCDs, I think it shows that not everyone does it just to save money. They are just intrigued by it. And I think knowing that he liked the ego more than the ocd should drive up brian's ego a bit anyways :-D

I think all of us have that knowledge of 'morality' and we know what lines we arent supposed to cross. There are the select few that cross it anyway.

My suggestion is if you are going to build one for a friend who isnt capable of building, have him help you put it together. Let them watch you. Guitarists are nerds. They love watching that stuff. Drink some beers over it. Enjoy the company. Let them try to solder a few bads on some IC sockets. You don't need to be charging friends for labor.

I DIY everything, to a fault even. Not because its cheaper. Not because it's easier. But because I like to learn how to do things. It is quite the rewarding experience.

End rambling...
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: leftwing73 on January 28, 2013, 08:57:05 PM
Hey gang.

I've been lurking here for a while and I have my own microscopic company 73 Effects. This is a great discussion by some very intelligent level-headed dudes (until I started posting...) So thanks everyone for that.

My take on all this is pretty simple. if you want to be your own company or brand your pedals, do your own layouts or pay someone to do it for you. If you offer a production pedal with its own unique name, I think it lends more credibility to the builder if it's not based on a DIY project like from Madbean. Although that's even a gray area because you can get pretty creative with some of these builds enough to make it your own.

I've built some one-off pedals for people who want a Phase 90 or a chorus pedal or whatever and I'll use a DIY project. These I sell for a profit because they'll finance my own production builds with my own board designs.  I don't see anything wrong with that, and neither do my customers. They get a cool custom-build one of a kind pedal, I get funds to make more pedals. Win-Win.




Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: culturejam on December 11, 2013, 09:30:12 PM
I just read through this thread to see if my views had changed from 2012 through right now, on the eve of launching a pedal company with my partners madbean and pickdropper...

Nope.  ;D  I still stand by my comments, even though my financial stake in the pedal business is now radically different.

*pats self on back*
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: sdlogan9 on June 08, 2014, 05:43:04 PM
I really like this discussion.  It has helped me sort out for my self how I want to approach this hobby..  Which I use to fund some guitar gear purchases every now and then.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Mojo Fandangle on January 06, 2015, 05:07:13 PM
Great discussion.

It's pretty low that people who are too lazy to get involved with DIY will ruthlessly scrounge a bargain out of a DIY'er and will even try to barter between builders to save 5 or 10 dollars.

I'd say just stick to building for friends to help support your own pedal building costs.

You might only make about $20 per build but it helps build experience. At least that way you get satisfaction knowing that people like what you do and benefit from it rather than the stress of dealing with assholes who just want to use you to scam a bargain.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 08, 2015, 02:57:14 AM
I just read through this thread to see if my views had changed from 2012 through right now, on the eve of launching a pedal company with my partners madbean and pickdropper...

Nope.  ;D  I still stand by my comments, even though my financial stake in the pedal business is now radically different.

*pats self on back*

Likewise. It's impressive (as I keep accounts) as to how much has gone through this hobby in the 1.5 years since I last posted to this thread, vs the sheer amount of profit I haven't made. Over £11k has come in since I started keeping accounts and I have made a grand total of £50 during that entire time. All the rest has gone back into the hobby (as will that £50). I'd make a crap businessman!.

Then again I've become much more picky with what I will build for people and turn away far more people than I build for. I've also become a lot better at not giving stuff away... As in charging what I consider to be a fair price for my time. Again, that turns a lot of people away, but has got me a very small group of return customers who appreciate the work and the result.

For example I really stick strictly to my rule these days of I'm not going to build you something if it's a production pedal by people who don't take the piss in some way. I also won't build people multis (which is what I get the most requests for these days) that don't make sense. I did one that was just a pedal board in a box and it was the least satisfying build ever. It had no coherence, it didn't have a purpose other than being a bunch of unrelated effects in a box. I didn't like it, so I won't do another like that.

Otherwise it's the same old thing. I honestly don't think in the UK you can make a business of making low volume, high cost, high quality handmade pedals. There's just no market for it. I wish there was, but there just isn't and selling to the States, where there is, we're buggered by the cost of parts here and the exchange rate back to the US. The only choice here would be to make it cheap, make it in bulk and sell at a very low margin. I could see that becoming tedious fast!

All I would say to people who do sell is don't sell your work/time/expertise short. Too many people give it away and it's wrong. The quality of DIY work, certainly on this forum, is often WAY beyond the shat that's pedalled on the boutique circuit, yet when we do make them for other people we charge them barely more than the parts because we are not just in it to make a quick buck. Because we enjoy building pedals. I'm not saying we should take the piss, just charge a reasonable amount for your time. Let DIYers be regarded more like a good luthier, rather than some geek in his basement hunched over a card table.

Anyhow, waffling now. Got a pedal to build ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Cortexturizer on January 08, 2015, 05:22:21 AM
Let DIYers be regarded more like a good luthier, rather than some geek in his basement hunched over a card table.
This is what people see me I'm afraid to confirm...I've given up on making pedals even for friends, I've made one for a friend just a couple of weeks ago and I've composed a sheet of all the parts used and links to where one could find em on the interwebz with prices and all, with the total for all at the bottom. Then I told him "this is what it cost me, you are free to give me ANY amount over that amount". After a lot of hassle where I've lost many hours of repairing a pot that he had killed due to abusing the pedal the next day he got it, and answering his many questions why his crappy adapter won't work well, why is there noise when he stacks eleven overdrives on top of my pedal etc etc, in the end he paid me only the amount that I've put into it that the sheet showed at the bottom.
I've lost a lot of patience and nerves while doing this build, even though it was for a friend. I have a nice paying job and when I looked at the amount of hours I've put into the build times how much I make an hour there I could have bought a moogerfooger instead. I mean really.
:)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LaceSensor on January 08, 2015, 05:28:15 AM
I recently changed my policies to include a (modest) minimum bench fee and working off a model of 2x the cost of parts
I do it for fun though and not to make money, just a bit on the side to justify other DIY builds / keep parts in stock

Noone is gonna get rich doing this, and you are right even a small headache makes it not worth it.
One thing that is very clear building for friends and then word of mouth is you do one for a mate at cost, cos you are a pal, and then every fucker else wants a £250 commerical pedal for £50 because they think thats what it really costs.

heck, if I actually charged my pro rata hourly rate from my day job....my pedals would be like Cornish prices (!)  ::) 8)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 09, 2015, 01:16:57 PM
^ this on all counts. I've also taken to charging 2x the parts cost, but I also factor in the effort taken... So for some builds it can be higher.

Impressively after the Gilmourizer I had two people say, if you can build me one of those I've definitely take it. Having been bitten before by this, I offered my build up for £400 (6 effects in one, huge effort required, quite reasonable IMO. I'd then build myself another)... Unsurprisingly I still possess the Gilmourizer and I'm not bothered in the slightest.

I even expect it now. This is purely because I won't give away the huge amount of effort building these effects costs. I'm sorry but that's my time and if I'm not getting compensated for it then I'm going to spend it building something for me instead.

I've also found that customers can be funny buggers. So there's always that initial contact thing with them where I try to figure out whether they're going to be more hassle than they're worth (knowing what margins I'm dealing with) and whether to discourage them or not... I discourage a lot. Mate, I don't need your £30 that badly...

heck, if I actually charged my pro rata hourly rate from my day job....my pedals would be like Cornish prices (!)  ::) 8)

Honestly I don't see a problem with that. You're not doing anything that he isn't. He totally charges based on the fact that he has some very famous users, that's all. Same goes for DAM and any other boutique builder.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LaceSensor on January 12, 2015, 08:10:52 AM

heck, if I actually charged my pro rata hourly rate from my day job....my pedals would be like Cornish prices (!)  ::) 8)

Honestly I don't see a problem with that. You're not doing anything that he isn't. He totally charges based on the fact that he has some very famous users, that's all. Same goes for DAM and any other boutique builder.

Thats kind of you but I am not an expert pedal maker, electrical engineer or have any qualifications :P
Conversely I am a subject matter expert in my branch of day job (genomics, microarray), with academic qualifications and real world experience to back that up.
Plus, if I actually charged £35 an hour or whatnot noone would pay it ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 12, 2015, 08:41:32 AM
Yet I see people peddling their wares that aren't as well made as yours for much more...

You may not be qualified but you have experience and skill. That counts easily as much as qualifications in my book. Thankfully that was also the case in my last real job as I had no qualifications, just experience.

Agree though, people wont pay for it because they expect you to build something by hand, that's a custom one off, for the price of something mass produced and made in China in the cheapest possible way.

People are arses.

I think I've reached a point, I shall call it the Meh-Point. It's like an epiphany wrapped in lethargy. The realisation that people are arses and the fact that I've ceased caring. I wish everyone the best and all. But you know what, I just don't care any more. At some point I'll have to again. But I'm using the theory that the sale of the race car keeps me going for 10 months and if I sell the Porsche this year also, that should keep me going at least another year. During that time I can chill, make some pedals and not care about working for arseholes in a company that is intrinsically evil, or indeed having to appease demanding/awkward customers.

I feel the civilised world, society or whatever you want to call it, is doomed. Greed, selfishness and corruption are rife and go unpunished. That and this generation's sense of entitlement will see it all go to hell before long.


Edit: I may have gone off on a slight tangent there...
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LizardKing on January 12, 2015, 09:39:59 AM
Yet I see people peddling their wares that aren't as well made as yours for much more...

You may not be qualified but you have experience and skill. That counts easily as much as qualifications in my book. Thankfully that was also the case in my last real job as I had no qualifications, just experience.

Agree though, people wont pay for it because they expect you to build something by hand, that's a custom one off, for the price of something mass produced and made in China in the cheapest possible way.

People are arses.

I think I've reached a point, I shall call it the Meh-Point. It's like an epiphany wrapped in lethargy. The realisation that people are arses and the fact that I've ceased caring. I wish everyone the best and all. But you know what, I just don't care any more. At some point I'll have to again. But I'm using the theory that the sale of the race car keeps me going for 10 months and if I sell the Porsche this year also, that should keep me going at least another year. During that time I can chill, make some pedals and not care about working for arseholes in a company that is intrinsically evil, or indeed having to appease demanding/awkward customers.

I feel the civilised world, society or whatever you want to call it is doomed. Greed, selfishness and corruption are rife and go unpunished. That and this generation's sense of entitlement will see it all go to hell before long.


Edit: I may have gone off on a slight tangent there...

Yet, I feel exactly the same way.
I think quite a few others on this forum do too though I do hope that I do not ever have to care again.
Those worth caring about are few and far between, may God give me the grace to tolerate the rest....

Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: pickdropper on January 12, 2015, 10:37:25 AM
Yet I see people peddling their wares that aren't as well made as yours for much more...

You may not be qualified but you have experience and skill. That counts easily as much as qualifications in my book. Thankfully that was also the case in my last real job as I had no qualifications, just experience.

Agree though, people wont pay for it because they expect you to build something by hand, that's a custom one off, for the price of something mass produced and made in China in the cheapest possible way.


There's certainly truth to both of those statements (quality and customer expectations), but there is a third factor if you look at it from a customer's point of view: resale value.

A lot of people buy pedals with the intention of trying them in their rig and seeing what happens.  If they don't work out, they flip them and (usually) take a bit of a hit, but can still reclaim there money and move on to the next flavor of the month pedal.  Resale value on pedals from unknown builders can be tough, in large part because people have a difficult time quantifying exactly what it is.  This is often even worse if it's a direct copy of a commercial pedal. 

I think most of us take these things in consideration to some extent as well. I'd certainly pay more to try out a name brand pedal knowing that the market has set a reasonable used price for it than for a custom pedal that I knew would take me a long time to sell, and likely at a significant loss at that.

I think this changes a bit when people can try the pedals out in person.  That takes a bit of the guesswork out of it and people are more likely to make an informed decision.  It also gives people the chance to judge in person the quality and the uniqueness of the pedal.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 12, 2015, 10:54:17 AM
Oh resale is god in the pedal world. Of this there is no doubt. The intrinsic value of ANYTHING guitar related is not how it sounds, how it plays, or how well made it is. It's how much you can sell it on for. That I suspect is where a lot of my angst comes from. Because what is the point in building the best, something you can take pride in, when no one actually cares.

It's why I don't like building for most people. There are a few who appreciate this and actually just want really good effects, and those guys I have a LOT of time for. But they are in such a small minority it's depressing.

But I also understand it from their perspective. Guitarists go through gear like addicts, so that's how they've got to think.

What it does mean is that if you want to get established and be the next Klon, you have to play the game. Hype, waiting lists, TGP, etc. It might involve selling your soul a little, but maybe that's what has to be done now?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: midwayfair on January 12, 2015, 12:03:25 PM
That and this generation's sense of entitlement will see it all go to hell before long.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3438/4593531893_f67a757fa1.jpg)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 12, 2015, 12:26:53 PM
;) You know what I mean.

People are used to getting their own way, they've been brought up like that, schooled like that and it makes it through to adulthood.

You're allowed to be grumpy when you're old too. It's one of the benefits.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: thesameage on January 12, 2015, 12:33:40 PM

What it does mean is that if you want to get established and be the next Klon, you have to play the game. Hype, waiting lists, TGP, etc. It might involve selling your soul a little, but maybe that's what has to be done now?

I sympathize and don't mean to offend, but this is and has always been the case with success with few exceptions. No one is pure. Name of the game. Might as well embrace it! :)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 12, 2015, 12:35:20 PM
Indeed :) Doesn't mean I have to like it ;)

Don't mind me, I'm in a funny bloody mood today, it'll pass...  ;D I have a feeling I might be turning into some sort of hippy.

I really should be doing some decals, but I'm not feeling it right now.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: thesameage on January 12, 2015, 12:52:50 PM
Most people don't like it. It's why you have so many successful people who have drug issues.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 12, 2015, 04:41:05 PM
Nah, that's just because they're weak. ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: alanp on January 12, 2015, 10:00:28 PM
A lot of people buy pedals with the intention of trying them in their rig and seeing what happens.  If they don't work out, they flip them and (usually) take a bit of a hit, but can still reclaim there money and move on to the next flavor of the month pedal.  Resale value on pedals from unknown builders can be tough, in large part because people have a difficult time quantifying exactly what it is.  This is often even worse if it's a direct copy of a commercial pedal. 

This is wholly alien to my mindset -- I don't think I would be able to bring myself to do it.

My mindset is --

1. Research, research, research. Ask around what other people think of it (people whose opinions you respect), find out historical information (this doesn't always happen, depending on how it strikes me), nerd out a bit.

2. Assess. Do I have something that covers this already? Will I enjoy building it enough to negate that? (I still have no idea why I've built so many big muff pedals.) Is the cash outlay worth it?

3. Save up. Save save save. I hate getting loans, hire purchase, or lay-by.

4. Buy.

5. Wait for the goddamn shipping.

6. Enjoy!

7. Hang onto it and never sell.

I think the only guitar pedal I've bought is my Pitchblack tuner.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: pickdropper on January 12, 2015, 10:51:18 PM
A lot of people buy pedals with the intention of trying them in their rig and seeing what happens.  If they don't work out, they flip them and (usually) take a bit of a hit, but can still reclaim there money and move on to the next flavor of the month pedal.  Resale value on pedals from unknown builders can be tough, in large part because people have a difficult time quantifying exactly what it is.  This is often even worse if it's a direct copy of a commercial pedal. 

This is wholly alien to my mindset -- I don't think I would be able to bring myself to do it.

My mindset is --

1. Research, research, research. Ask around what other people think of it (people whose opinions you respect), find out historical information (this doesn't always happen, depending on how it strikes me), nerd out a bit.

2. Assess. Do I have something that covers this already? Will I enjoy building it enough to negate that? (I still have no idea why I've built so many big muff pedals.) Is the cash outlay worth it?

3. Save up. Save save save. I hate getting loans, hire purchase, or lay-by.

4. Buy.

5. Wait for the goddamn shipping.

6. Enjoy!

7. Hang onto it and never sell.

I think the only guitar pedal I've bought is my Pitchblack tuner.

I tend to be more of a researcher as well, mostly because I really don't enjoy the process of flipping gear.  But lots of folks seem to like it just fine.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LaceSensor on January 13, 2015, 02:49:58 AM
I dont flip stuff either
thats for fools
you almost always lose money...

a notable exception was buying a pack of 7 lovetone pedals to get the 3 I didnt have, then flipping the 4 duplicates. I actually almost made money on that (what a bastard I am!) I had to outlay over £2250 to get the 7 of them so I took a big risk on getting some money back. In the end I sold the other 4 for £2000 shipped, so for about £350 I got a Wobulator, Brown source, Big Cheese and the pedalboard... which by ebay rates are "worth" about £1000+

I prefer to try before I buy or at least have researched / listened to enough youtube and read all the reviews prior
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: playpunk on January 13, 2015, 09:13:21 AM
I am squarely in the "hate flipping" category. I hate selling stuff, I hate shipping stuff.... It is hardly ever worth it.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: flanagan0718 on January 13, 2015, 09:36:57 AM
Here is where I lay with this. I sell to fund and sell to friends/mutual acquaintances upon request. I DO NOT and probably won't EBay a pedal I built. The fees are outrageous and I don't want the sh#tty customers. I try my hardest not to say "clone" when I am taking about a build that a "customer" wants, only because I don't want them to be disappointed if it doesn't sound like the one they played. I try to use this hobby to self fund its self. Sometimes it doesn't work and I need to sell a video game or something to pay for bits or an enclosure but those days are becoming less and less now. As for shipping, it's a necessary evil sometimes. USPS FTW. They are always under $6 and gets there in 2-5 days. I haven't sold many builds (about a dozen) but I personally find it a solid practice to stay in my "back yard" or group of friends/mutual friends. So to sum up,

-I don't say clone, I say "designed like" or "similar to X"
-I sell to fund (with a little labor worked in)
-I sell to people I know (or people they know) and keep it as local as possible.

I also am not trying to make a business out of it. Just "feeding the beast" if you will.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 13, 2015, 11:33:21 AM
Just "feeding the beast" if you will.

Is that like grooming the wookie?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: flanagan0718 on January 13, 2015, 11:52:41 AM
Just "feeding the beast" if you will.

Is that like grooming the wookie?

Kind of like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONyIPkJ5ftM

Disclaimer: this is 100% my dog! she is a dope!
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LaceSensor on January 13, 2015, 04:29:33 PM
thinking more on this, the "real" money to be made is with PCB design
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: alanp on January 13, 2015, 10:12:31 PM
Limited market, depending, for that. You have to be flogging stuff people want (had to give away my minimoog pcb's, for example!)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: LaceSensor on January 15, 2015, 07:22:21 AM
Limited market, depending, for that. You have to be flogging stuff people want (had to give away my minimoog pcb's, for example!)

well yeah clearly; but thats the same as anything in the music related market
unsuprisingly, there is more market for strats, LPs, teles etc than the more esoteric shapes
likewise, the majority of effects offered by PCB marketeers are OD/Drive/Fuzz...
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on January 15, 2015, 12:24:06 PM
Just "feeding the beast" if you will.

Is that like grooming the wookie?

Kind of like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONyIPkJ5ftM

Disclaimer: this is 100% my dog! she is a dope!

Gorgeous dog  8)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: lightsoundgeometry on February 14, 2016, 04:15:49 PM
any regulations on making 9 volt dc analog pedals ? like a fuzz box ?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Mojo Fandangle on June 13, 2016, 11:36:58 PM
I've never felt there's anything unethical about building popular designs like Tube Screamers, or even Klons. People don't tend to want clones of pedals from smaller companies that struggle to make a living. I'd probably try to direct them towards buying the original if that's what they want.

However, I've recently stopped building for freinds because I also "value my time" and "don't want to be building stuff at cost".

Which leads me to the following rant.....
 
My issue with ethics and selling, is that friends expect "mates rates" and think they're doing you a favour by allowing you to devote 10 hours of time and effort to build them a pedal for $50 to $100.
Most of my friends even ask If I can drop it off to them, and never have any cash on them when you get there.
Then you have to remind them a month or two later, that they still haven't paid for their pedal.

Then they tell you that now their mate wants one, so you tell them it'll be about $30 more because you don't know them, but once you get even close to a tripple digit figure they lose interest.

I've sold most pedals at a loss. I'm not gonna do it for strangers, and I'm not so sure how much I value my friends support anymore. Sure, I think they mean well, but only if it's cheap enough for them to be getting a bargain.

End Rant
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: juansolo on June 14, 2016, 12:33:28 AM
This is common throughout all hobbyists who sell pedals. Unless you're prepared to dedicate a tonne of your time and actually build yourself a brand and market it, you'll remain a hobby builder who sells the odd pedal to friends. The thing is that your friends and musicians by the fact that they want pedals and musicians are, how can I put this nicely, frugal and not particularly wealthy. That brings the value of an item down to how much they can sell it for when they need the cash to pay the bills or buy cigs.

Hobby made pedals second hand sadly do not sell for anywhere near as much as established brands. These can be poorly made rip-off merchants, but if they're established and have a name, they'll sell for more than yours and therefore intrinsically have more value to purchasers.

I sell the odd builds to fund the hobby and in all honesty, I just about break even. But that's mainly because I'm just not building a lot of stuff lately as sales have dropped off to a tiny trickle. I charge, relative to established builders, much less than them per pedal. I like to think that mine are built well and robust, but it doesn't matter because I'm unheard of outside this forum and one in the UK.

I had a little bit of an idea to make a selection of pedals for sale that we sorted boards for to make them particularly easy to build, to maximise profits because I absolutely can't charge what established brands charge. I haven't sold a single one since and that was about 4 months ago. Musicians are also fickle buggers ;)
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: cajone5 on November 15, 2016, 03:11:16 PM
I read this a few days ago but wanted to post my thanks for the awesome conversation here.  I have taken the "build for yourself" route as well after a miserable effort of trying to sell some things I didn't "need".  Despite my best efforts, building is not a self funding hobby and I can accept that.  But I do love to do it and love having the ability to tweak things and make designs my own.  It's discouraging so many are willing to shell out crazy money from "big builders" and only look to DIY people to undercut them and "get a deal".  I am not playing anymore.  Yes, I'll sell things that I don't see myself using or no longer want but building to sell isn't worth it, unfortunately. 
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Davesax1965 on August 04, 2017, 06:11:44 AM
Just joined the forum.  :)

Just to add something here - I'm building four pedal kits from a firm here in the UK. They're my first pedals, I have a background in (modular) synth DIY and normally build modules. I design my own, too. I'm really enjoying pedal building, it's a lot more hands on, drilling enclosures and wiring up 3PDT switches.

From a commercial point of view, I've thought about modifying existing designs but there's obviously a moral element of not directly copying anyone. Going back to synth DIY: it's 70's technology, there is only so many ways to skin a cat or build an LFO. If you're going to design a voltage controlled filter, you will invariably refer back to a few vintage designs, such as a Steiner Parker or Moog ladder. A lot of synth designers blatanty rip off old designs, such as a 1970's Polivoks, and add a few modern touches - "new design". Well. Perhaps not.

There is almost no resale market for (Eurorack format) modular synth gear as the market is flooded. I can't afford to buy new every time, and that's what started me with making synths. Now, that's not quite true with guitar pedals - the world has infinitely more guitarists than modular synth owners. (Pic of PART of my synth below, incidentally.)

My attitude is pretty simple: my time does cost money. I'll build stuff for people who ask BUT I'd like to know why they want it, first. I normally find the rates I charge are high enough to put the dreamers off and make it non resaleable by anyone I sell it to - not at a profit, anyway. ;-)



Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: cajone5 on August 04, 2017, 07:55:35 AM
Yea -- I suspect many of the folks here have similar experience with dreamers.  I get contacts once a month or so for complex or odd custom builds that will cost ~$50 in parts and take about 6-8 hours (min.) to research, source, and build and another $13 or so to ship and 9 out of 10 times when I say it'll cost $150-$200 they disappear.  Most are just looking for a way to undercut existing production or high prices of vintage or out-of-production products.  I think it's funny when people balk at a $200 pricetag to clone and tweak a $400+ dollar complex pedal.  Just crazy IMO.  But maybe I value my time too much?
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Davesax1965 on August 04, 2017, 09:29:08 AM
Well, I think that most people think you're going to work at Chinese sweatshop rates. ;-)

Looking at the economics, if I design my own pedals, get the PCBs manufactured (in China, 4-6 week lead time and the quality is ... interesting, lifting pads, anyone ? ) - I then source the parts as cheaply as possible, take 3-4 hours to build, I spray my own cases, take them up to the local UV printer and pay a small fortune to get logos etc baked on.... yes, I can make a profit, as long as the buyer is reasonable.

Trouble is, they're not. They mainly (experience with synth DIY here) want something for nothing.

That's a lot of work for nothing.

Sorry for taking the thread slightly off topic. I generally find that the moral issues don't crop up if you can't find a decent market for your goods, anyway. I was going to build an add on box for the Korg MS20 Mini reissue synth. Korg originally made some expander boxes in the 70's, they haven't reissued any with the new MS20. I thought yep, design a few bits, box up, there's a market. Then I bounced it off new Korg owners and they basically wanted to pay less for a hand made box than the actual bare enclosure would cost. ;-)

A volume manufacturer can always undercut you.

By the same token, here's a moral argument as well: how can so many pedal manufacturers justify such huge markups ????
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: BrianS on August 04, 2017, 01:42:43 PM
I believe I posted this in another thread but I've had several people ask me why I don't sell pedals.  Most of them are people I play with or musician acquaintances.  Some of the pedals I make are uh.... and some I think are pretty nice as far as graphics are concerned.  And it seems the uh.... pedals dont get the why don't you sell them as much as the nicer ones do.  Then as Cajone said, when you start totaling up the parts, research, labor, shipping, etc..... it gets expensive.  Most people don't want to pay you for your time.  There's just no money in it unless you can get a following and this is my own opinion.   I've built one pedal, a combo, for one of the guys I play with (I given several away as gifts). I charged him for the parts and materials only.  I believe that came put to around $75.  How much of my time was in it.  Probably 4-5 hrs.  How much is your time worth?  It all adds up.

"Well I think most people think you're going to work at Chinese sweatshop rates." Quoting Davesax1965.

This is just a side bar that sort of goes along with this.  I build custom cabinets on occasion, not for a living, and I do a fairly good job.  My son's in-laws asked if they provided the materials would I build some kitchen cabinets for a house they were remodeling.  Labor cost for custom cabinets can go for up to $175 a linear foot (from my research) if you put a finish the cabinets depending  on where you live.  They offered to pay me $250 a cabinet and I would not put a finish on them.  I told her I wasn't trying to gouge them but a cabinet with 2 doors and a drawer is certainly less time consuming than one that has a run of 6 drawers in it and they would have to pay for that.  I'm not some hack who uses a skill saw to cut all the pieces.  People don't understand that a good router bit set to make raised panel doors cost $125.  A good 10" combo table saw blade is $60 and if you use a rip blade and crosscut blade instead of a combo blade  you're up to over $100. A good 12" miter saw blade $70-100.  These blades/bits don't last forever and getting them sharpened is not exactly cheap. I could continue on but people do not think about all the associated equipment costs that go into making a good quality "Anything."  So in a lot of cases, people do want you to work for Chinese labor rates, but do you think they're going to sell the house on those terms? Of course not.  Are the cabinets I make as good as ones made at a professional shop? No, but they're pretty close. 

So, is the Alpha Dog I just completed worth the same as a VFE pedal that sells for over $100? It was built with good quality components(Mouser, Newark and Arrow. Oh the switch came from Tayda along with the LED), it works and I hope it sounds the same.

Title: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: flanagan0718 on August 05, 2017, 07:17:59 PM
I've had a couple of moral "shifts" over the last year or so. I used to be afraid of the word "clone" but it's really nothing to look over your shoulder about. Yes schematics get copied, and redrawn all the time. I find myself doing it (see my latest B/S/T post, there are 3 "clones" in there). I redraw the schematic, make a component change if needed (mostly reverse polarity diodes), and design my own board. So the only thing I copy is 99% of the schematic. Which isn't copy writable anyways (I pretty sure...don't quote me on that). I do still sell to fund. And I do take a lot of custom build orders.

Here is my quick pricing.
$100 bench fee (includes 125b or 1590b plain box) no knobs, no art, simple circuit (2 knobs or less, one stomp switch, no toggle switches).

Add 25$ for 3-4 knob circuit, or toggle switch. With plastic knobs.

Add 25 for a more complicated build such as delay, chorus, or phaser.

Add $50 for paint and decal or etched enclosure or face plate.

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!

I leave most stuff up for negotiations. Most people either except this or walk. I also tell them that I am not a manufacturer. I'm a Dad and this is a hobby not my full time job. So build time varies from 4-6 weeks. Most people are cool with that as well.


I also tell them that it's warrantied for as long as I'm building pedals. So if it breaks (mechanical failures and manufacturing defects) I'll fix it for free, they just pay to ship it to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: BrianS on August 05, 2017, 07:35:46 PM

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!


I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: pickdropper on August 05, 2017, 09:30:54 PM
Well, I think that most people think you're going to work at Chinese sweatshop rates. ;-)

Looking at the economics, if I design my own pedals, get the PCBs manufactured (in China, 4-6 week lead time and the quality is ... interesting, lifting pads, anyone ? ) - I then source the parts as cheaply as possible, take 3-4 hours to build, I spray my own cases, take them up to the local UV printer and pay a small fortune to get logos etc baked on.... yes, I can make a profit, as long as the buyer is reasonable.

Trouble is, they're not. They mainly (experience with synth DIY here) want something for nothing.

That's a lot of work for nothing.

Sorry for taking the thread slightly off topic. I generally find that the moral issues don't crop up if you can't find a decent market for your goods, anyway. I was going to build an add on box for the Korg MS20 Mini reissue synth. Korg originally made some expander boxes in the 70's, they haven't reissued any with the new MS20. I thought yep, design a few bits, box up, there's a market. Then I bounced it off new Korg owners and they basically wanted to pay less for a hand made box than the actual bare enclosure would cost. ;-)

A volume manufacturer can always undercut you.

By the same token, here's a moral argument as well: how can so many pedal manufacturers justify such huge markups ????

There are a lot of good questions and comments in there.  Here are my random thoughts on some of them.

- Most people don't really consider the cost of time to build a one-off.  For most, I don't think it's willful ignorance, just unfamiliarity and a more simplistic "what will it cost me" viewpoint.  There's also the issue that custom builds usually have very low resale value, so gear flippers will usually want a really low price or will go elsewhere.

- I think a lot of players used to approach DIY builders as a cheaper alternative to the pricey boutique models.  With the influx of cheap, Asian built pedals, the cost of entry for a lot of these circuits has changed and now it generally works out only when customers want a true custom option not something that is simply less expensive than a boutique pedal.

- The pedal manufacturer pricing is an interesting one, and one that I have a bit more insight into as a small volume manufacturer.  Certainly, if you build in quantity, it gets cheaper, but not necessarily as cheap as you'd suspect.  I've long leveraged 100 piece price breaks for components in my DIY building, so that doesn't actually change all that much.  Plus, you need to factor in the cost of components + the cost of running the business + dealer markups (and distributor markups if you go through distribution).  As the company gets larger, you need to hire more employees to help build, or you need to automate, both of which cost money.  Certainly, it's a lot more efficient than building a 1-off, but it may not be exactly as you'd expect.  For the small guys, it gets thin pretty quickly.  Without going into brutal detail, by the time everything is factored in, the raw cost of building a FFX pedal is more than I can build a single pedal myself for, although that's ignoring the amount of time spent.  If I really priced out the time I spend on one-off customs, I would certainly go do something else (basically anything else would pay better).  That's on me, because I am somewhat slow and methodical.

For the bigger companies making 500-1000 pedals at a time, the costs definitely come down, but they still have to deal with dealer/distributor markups and the costs of running the business.  Of course, I'm ignoring the really silly $400 3-knob overdrive types.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: pickdropper on August 05, 2017, 09:31:41 PM

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!


Ha, that's basically 90%+ of anything I do that isn't FFX related.
I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: BrianS on August 06, 2017, 06:00:53 PM

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!

I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.

Ha, that's basically 90%+ of anything I do that isn't FFX related.




That's why you're a pedal guru extraordinaire!!!!!
Title: Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
Post by: Ekimneets on October 08, 2018, 02:05:53 PM
Wow, Iím such a babe in the woods I donít even know what space I occupy in this argument. I have less than six months into pedalbuilding, but I am technically minded and good with my hands due to assisting in neurosurgery. I have gotten many compliments on my builds. After reading this thread though I wonder if I should even be attempting to start this to make a little money.

First off, I donít have my own PCBs yet but I have an arrangement and blessing of someone who does. Secondly, I use ultra high quality parts and my pedals are extremelyexpensive to build. Third, I do small runs of 10-20 as finances allow and tbh I have yet to sell my first pedal.

 I do this because I love it and find it extremely gratifying for someone to appreciate something I made with my own two hands.

I thought I was doing everything on the up and up, but there are so many opinions. I honestly donít know what to think.
M-Mike