Do those pedals look familiar?
Being in the pedal business, I encounter some pretty weird and funny stuff sometimes. But nothing quite tops the case of Freekish Blues Pedals that I heard about from a customer yesterday on the phone. In a nutshell, Freekish Blues was a brand of effect pedals that marketed themselves on the internet as being small independently designed effects. Some now poor (in both senses of the word) customers started opening up the pedals one day and discovered much to their surprise that the fancy $170 overdrive pedal they paid for was really a $40 Joyo with a new spiffy paint job! The paint job is pretty nice though. It better be. It's a $130 paint job!
So now we've REALLY REALLY come full circle. Boutique pedals started out as modded clones of classic effects like the Tube Screamer. Joyos, Biyangs, Mooers are inexpensive clones of those boutique pedals. Now a professed boutique company took the Joyos and gave them a fancy face lift, marketed them like crazy, and quadrupled the price!
Wait there's more. There are even allegations of cover ups by well known guitar forums like GearPage to silence the revelations. After all hell breaking loose in the forums, the threads were frozen and any further discussion silenced. Sounds a lot like the Snowden NSA case in our little pedal universe!
This practice of rebranding pedals isn't totally new. Akai, the large music maker had been rebranding Biyang pedals as their own and selling them at a markup for awhile now. But the Freekish Blues case is really outrageous for sheer audacity and greed. So there ya go - another day, another reason to stick with the cheaper pedals.
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