Stomp box snobs



“My Harley is too loud” is a valid complaint. Loud pipes are for jerks.


Dave Davies of The Kinks wrote about electrocuting himself, resulting in his being unconscious for a few hours, while wiring together amplifiers.

I’m just saying be careful. Creating a whole new sound can be risky.


The main risk from using PedalGenie is falling in love with a pedal and having to own one.

(Not that I bought a Red Witch Fuzz God II after trying it, oh no.)


How do you like the service?

This is the first I’ve heard about it, and I’m drooling to try it.

Despite having once received Netflix DVDs in the mail I utterly failed to understand the concept of Pedal Genie at first. I thought it was a pedal that you hooked up to the internet so you could download effects to it. “How silly,” I thought before I figured it out.


I’ve had a DOD Grunge pedal for years. So dirty and abrasive it blistered all the paint off my guitar.


I’ve never heard of this service, and now that I have, I’m wondering why I haven’t heard of it years ago. I’m not nearly enough of a stomp-box aficionado to try this out, though I know a guy who may be getting a gift subscription. My first pedal was an Ibanez FL9 flanger pedal, and I paid $150 for it not knowing exactly what it did (I had been operating under the misapprehension that it was some kind of distortion pedal).

Man, did I hate it. Eventually I acquired and managed to live with a Boss DS-1 distortion, a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone, and (my personal favorite at the time) a DOD FX56 American Metal.

But after years of dying batteries and bad contacts (and a short and disastrous flirtation with a Boss SE-50 effects processor and the craptastically futuristic and sonically unlistenable Zoom 9002),

I finally got around to getting my first Marshall JCM-900 head, and didn’t need any effects processors for several years, until I got my Line 6 Pod 2.0 a few years back. And now my ears just aren’t picky enough for me to bother with pedals anymore.

But this is a pretty cool idea, for a guitarist willing to do the research.

I have mixed feelings about it – but I’m about 90% synth geek, 5% drummer, 3% bass player and less than 1% guitarist. I had a specific, limited set of pedals I wanted to try out. And trying pedals in a music store is almost useless to me; trying them on my home rig gives me a much better feel.

With Pedal Genie you add at least ten pedals to a wish list, and they will ship you one of them at random. There didn’t seem to be any way to specify priority, though some of their documents mention it. In the time I spent with them I wasn’t able to try everything I wanted to, and got to try some pedals I was much less interested in. I did get the chance to try several different pedals over a few months though.

Their website was (is?) a bit misleading in places but their customer service was really good; for instance they held off shipping me a pedal while I was out of town – and when I inquired about buying the Fuzz God from them, they pointed out that Amazon had them on sale for less than they could have sold it to me for.

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The guy I work for has many, many vintage pedals for sale, mostly Colorsound, with a few others - a Dopplatone and a few Jens, just from memory. If anyone wants em, I am happy to put you in touch.

I’m curious @bobparks what that pedal in the picture is - is that the one-off from Caroline Guitar Co? Love that artwork on it… not seeing it on the Pedal Genie site.

An email came back in response saying it was actually a “one-off,” “hand-wired” “work of art,” implying that I didn’t appreciate such a fine custom pedal.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

Boutique pedals are usually extremely simple analog circuits, and in a lot of cases, outright CLONES of other commercial pedals. I’ve seen schematics for many of them. Works of art? Maybe the paint. The things are tools, treating them like artisanal cheese is ridiculous. The laws of physics work just the same on their bench as they do at Ibanez.

As for Pedal Genie, the first reply I got like that would have been answered with a request for a refund, and a suggestion of where to stick their “handwired” “work of art”. Having an actual question about how a pedal works is legit, and they ought to learn how to answer them with good information, and not with a heavy dose of condescension.

That being said, the Caroline people are great…I’m sure if you asked THEM how to operate the pedal, they would have answered your question without the load of BS.


Well, they are artisanal, and they are cheesy too.

Here’s some information on the Caroline Cannonball.

The Cannonball pedals are very limited, one-off unique or custom order pieces. Each begins with the acclaimed Wave Cannon pedal distortion circuit, but with a couple special tweaks inside to make each pedal unlike any other. Then we load the Havoc switch, but this time we put it on a rugged latched or momentary footswitch that you can activate with your foot.

Here’s a demo that explains the features, though if the pedal is as unique as they claim, it may not be applicable to the instance recieved by Parks.

The description continues.

Each Cannonball also includes the following extra treats:

A signed card of authenticity replete with preposterous levels of pomp and circumstance
An invitation to the original owner of the pedal to join us for a drink at one of our favorite watering holes on our dime. should they ever have occasion to visit Columbia, SC. The bearer of this certificate is expected to have a conversation topic; should they be unable to afford one, a conversation topic WILL BE ASSIGNED TO THEM.

Very Serious business.

Now, Since I know. nothing of guitars, I’ll butt out now.


Hey, thank you for the kind words. I’m not sure why Pedal Genie would have replied with our marketing copy (which is meant to be a little bit preposterous). Simply directing @bobparks to our Cannonball page or us would have been better.

The circuit is based on a pretty straightforward distortion/fuzz, but there are some tweaks and mods we’ve done for each of the pedals, and the enclosure is definitely art - we hire artists like Laura Bennett (who’s done work for Z.Vex, Secret Seasons, Fuzzhugger and others) and Thomas Crouch (who did the piece in the pic and has been featured at different exhibits here in South Carolina). Every one of the pedals is handwired, we give a damn, and they can sound really great.

What this does convince me to do is post the manual online at our page, so hopefully it’s a bit more clear for the next person. Thanks again.


@lakeicychill That is one of the Cannonball pedals by Thomas Crouch, an artist we hire to paint the enclosures.

Heh. based on the original post, I just signed up for PG. When I called them, they said, “yeah, we see you have the cannonball at the top of your list, unfortunately we don’t have any at the moment. We do have a wave cannon though if you want that.”

I’m left with the impression that a) there’s lots of demand for caroline pedals and b) PG knows and loves them pedals.

I look forward to what the PG lotto sends me.

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The Wave Cannon was pretty cool when I tried it.

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That would have been my only suggestion to improve an otherwise unimpeachable idea. Thanks!

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How would the Wave Motion Gun version work? Turn it to eleven, and blast the audience away?