Buying a Guitar Amplifier or Pedal – Remember to Check…

I can not count the times that I have bought a guitar amplifier only to find that the footswitch was sold separately. To add insult to injury, the local guitar stores do not carry the footswitch and needs to order it. What about the electric guitar effects pedals that are designed to run on batteries or a power cord, but the power supply is not included. Often times the power supply will cost up to a quarter of the price of the pedal, and once again, it will need to be ordered.

While I do understand the position of the guitar gear manufacturers who offer these parts as additional equipment so they can make more money, I also wonder if they realize how often such a minor detail can cost them the sale of the main guitar pedal. For instance, if I am going to pay $100 or more on a high-end and best tremolo pedal, I want to be able to use it with my guitar to its fullest potential when I get it home or recording at the studio. I don’t want to wait for a footswitch to be shipped. Sure, I can change channels via the front control panel on the amplifier, but who really does that? You have to quit playing to reach down and make the change. It’s just not efficient.

In the last few years, I have found a few guitar companies who have gone against the grain and included additional equipment in the package. A few examples would be “Crate” which includes footswitches with amplifiers that are designed to use them. “BBE Sound” includes not only the power supply for their effects pedals but also a new battery waiting to be hooked up in the battery compartment. I recently received an effects pedal from “T-Rex Engineering” that even came with a power supply that had interchangeable blades to fit almost all power outlet styles from the US to European styles. All of these mentioned companies offer their main products at around the same price point of their comparable competitors. In reality, there just does not seem to be a price increase for the extra options.

Here is my call out to musical instrument manufacturers around the world. If you build an amplifier that is designed to switch channels with a footswitch, then give me the footswitch. If your effects pedal is made to run on batteries or a power supply, then give me the power supply. It is my choice if I want to use it or not, but at least I have the option. I won’t go so far as to ask you to throw in the first battery too, but I really appreciate that BBE Sound does that for me. You might want to think about that if you are trying to get my business.

There is a lot of good guitar equipment on the market today that I find myself passing up because they are not fully functional out of the box. There are too many other companies that seem to understand this frustration of consumers like myself. These are the products that I find myself leaning toward these days. When possible, I will usually support the manufacturer that gives me what I need to use their product offerings to their fullest potential right out of the box.