#1
Hello everybody! Hope everyone had a great weekend

Anyways, I am drawing out my ideal pedalboard. But I was wondering how long do pedals live before the hardware dies? I plan on getting all different brands ranging from Boss, EHX, TC, and Strymon. I won't be able to afford many pedals at once and would have to buy them every couple months depending on price. It will take me a long time to get all the pedals I desire for my complete set and was worried if some of them would begin to degrade.

I plan on keeping them above carpet (no static) and they should just stay in my room (air conditioning plus I use a fan to keep my room cool)
How long should I expect a pedal to live if I use it everyday but still take care of it?
#2
decades
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#3
Pedals are "expected" to last as long as you own them, basically. I have a 33-year-old Ibanez 9 Series EQ that took a tiny bit of cleaning up on the contacts when I got it but works absolutely as good as new (and those are pedals which are known for unreliable switching). So yeah, decades. They're not a disposable that you'd be preparing to replace on a schedule or as part of your monthly budgeting or whatever.

I'm going to put a "however" on that, then a "however" on the first "however". The first "however" is that, in practice, components can fail on occasion. That especially applies to very cheap pedals, but can happen to any pedal if it's used a lot or kept in bad conditions. Also, no pedal will look pristine after a lot of heavy use.

The second "however" is that, with all the clever bits safely on the inside of the pedal, 90% of the time, if something goes wrong in normal use, it's the jacks, the switch or the pots. All those things can be replaced on most pedals with minimal trouble.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jun 26, 2016,
#4
I've noticed that some pedal manufacturers explicitly talk about certain components- like switches- being guaranteed for "10,000" uses or more. Unless you're a gigging musician or a nervous tapper, that should last quite a while.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 26, 2016,
#5
i have had one pedal die in 10+ years of owning probably 50+. and it was used before i bought it.

plus, as stated, things on 'good' pedals aren't too much of a bitch to fix if a jack or pot was to go. most of them are little things that can be replaced, not a massive failure.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#6
So far the only pedal that I've owned that has failed as been AMT.
Some I've fried based on my own stupidity by hooking up the polarity wrong but have managed to get them serviced/fixed for not cheaper than buying them again. In some instances even the manufacturer responded and fixed them for me. Kudos to Tech21 and Voodoolabs mainly for their amazing cust. service.
#7
bought my DOD FX65 Stereo Chorus in 1985 still have it still works fine. my Ibanez TS-9 did crap out after 30 years of hard use. I sold off my vintage fx a few years back but I had a script face MXR Phase 100 from the mid 70s that still worked fine and a Thomas Organ Cry-Baby from 1973 that again worked fine. if you take reasonable care of your pedals then you can expect to get many years out of them. oh my brother has the first pedal I bought back in 1978 (mxr distortion+) and that still works fine as well.
#9
Several years ago I discovered that quite a few of the pedals I have in my #1 Pedal Bin have achieved "Vintage, Dude!" status. We're talking half a century in some cases. So there IS some benefit to buying old used crap for cheap.

In most cases, the weak points are the switches themselves and the jacks/connectors, and those are generally easy to replace/fix.

If there's any "caution" I'd have, it would be that spending a bit more and buying decent stuff the first time is probably better than buying cheap. Avoid buying stuff that's been amateur-modified. I've got Keely-modified pedals that are an obvious exception, and some early Wampler things that came out of his DIY background. Now that's good stuff, right there.
#10
I agree with K33nbl4d3 and dspellman.

I have a Ibanez SD-9 that was given to me used in 1987 and still works great, but occasionally decides it won't get any clean at all but will work when turned on. Electronics forum says it's the FET switching, right now it's been working perfect the past 4 years. Arion Analog Delay made in mid 80's still works fine, Schaller volume pedal probably 40 years old works perfect with a shot of contact cleaner now and then, Marshall Bluesbreaker Overdrive I've played for 20 years, same thing, contact cleaner and had to replace a input jack a few years ago.

In other words, the majority of well made pedals should last for decades with little more than a shot of contact cleaner now and then. Always unplug the input jack when you stop playing if you use batteries, most are always ON when a cable is plugged into the input jack, that drains batteries. Never leave a dead battery in a pedal, if you use a power supply make sure all batteries are removed. I just found out I still had a battery in one, I forgot about it, been there 2 years but hadn't started to leak yet, I got lucky...

If you leave your pedal board out on the floor for practice, throw a towel over it to minimize dust.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#11
Unless it's a plastic Behringer. I picked up a cheap tuner (new), it lasted one practice session IIRC.
#12
Quote by luke.g.henderso
Unless it's a plastic Behringer. I picked up a cheap tuner (new), it lasted one practice session IIRC.
Fair point. Get a cheap crap anything and it's not likely to last long. That said, even something very cheap can have the most failure-prone parts replaced relatively easily. Plenty of people still seem to use original run Arion pedals.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#13
I think that anything that's decent will last though., as everyone else has said. Even cheaper brands can often provide well-built pedals.
#14
Hell, I have a Behringer PH-9 - cheesy rip-off of a Phase 90 EVH model - and it still works great. Pedals will last as long as you don't douse them in cat pee or use a sledgehammer to hit the buttons, don't ask where those came from either - baaad memories - THERAPY!!
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)
#15
Some manufacturers really do care about durability:
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Some manufacturers really do care about durability:
Some would argue that it's not an unreasonable precaution to avoid driving any vans over your pedalboard Impressive stuff, nonetheless.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#17
Quote by K33nbl4d3
That said, even something very cheap can have the most failure-prone parts replaced relatively easily. Plenty of people still seem to use original run Arion pedals.


Totally.


My first pedal was a Danelectro Fab Distortion. I sold it a few years ago but had it ever since and man, I have no idea how that thing kept running after all the abuse it went through. I recon it's had probably a couple of cases of beers worth spilled on it and it has been stomped on by people that could probably double for a gorilla with how ham fisted and rough they are. Never broke once.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#19
If you take good care of them they would last. The biggest problem is that you buy a cool pedal, and by time when you are about to finalize the board, the pedal become out of fashion or something significantly better is released. If you like pedals that are not new releases, but older classic pedals, I would get these first. If it has lasted for so long in the industry and you also like it, it is less likely that you would outgrow it. Like a TS9, phase 90 etc.. New pedals with cool features now would be surpassed in future with cooler pedals with more features. Like the Line 6 DL4 was cool when it was released, but now there are so many big delays that it is just another one. I would not say that the DL4 is a bad pedal, but there are other options now.

Lastly the power-supply. A good power-supply is critical for any pedal-board. It would reduce noise in the system. Those are expensive and if you buy a supply but in future it may restrict your purchasing due to its restrictions or you may need a second one which would be not ideal. I would suggest, get a cheap one or use a tuner to supply the pedals to get you going and then get the supply at the end to make sure that is is able to accommodate your needs.

I understand what limitations of money are and I would try to advise anyone not to do the same mistakes I did. Another great strategy is to never try a pedal and buy it if you like it on the same day. Make sure that you go for the second time to buy it. Sometimes you may try a pedal and think its great, you take it home and once you get to your senses you realize you wasted the money.
#21
FlawlessSubZeroYou know I don't even know for sure how long ago it was that I got the majority of the pedals I currently have, but I'd say about 6 - 8 years now. So far not a one has totally failed me. I do have a Boss switcher pedal that has issues, but it has not totally failed. I just wouldn't use it on stage as it is. It has "switch bounce" that makes it fail to properly switch sometimes. Other than that one single pedal, all of mine work great. I have Boss, Seymour Duncan, Dunlops, Ibanez, Keeley Modded Boss, and a few randoms. Almost all were bought new, but a few used ones as well. So far in the maybe 8 years I have owned them, not a one has failed me. I am not a real heavy player, but to be honest, I would expect most of my pedals to out live me, and I'm hoping I still have 20 years in me.