Great Expectations

Great Expectations

In my recent review of the Arion SOD-1 Overdrive, a pedal which is generally well thought of but I found to be very disappointing, I raised this point:
"Perhaps the good reputations enjoyed by budget pedals such as the SOD-1 are partly, or largely, due to the Value For Money factor and lower expectations... but that’s a debate for another day."

Well, today is that day.

While I personally don't (consciously) base my expectations of pedals (or other products in general) on price alone, I often read reviews or hear people say things along the lines of "it's great for the price"...

I admit that - like probably everyone else - I have been guilty of this myself, but it is something I don't really understand; either something is good or it isn't...

Having read many Harmony Central User Reviews of budget pedals where the reviewer has stated that the effect is great for the price, then given it a 9/10 or 10/10 rating, I find this absurd...

It raises the question - for me anyway, that, if the pedal was more expensive, would the rating be lower? Even though the sound is the same?

Conversely, if you spend £200 on an overdrive/fuzz/whatever, and then only rate it at 6 or 7 out of 10 for sound, would it suddenly become 'better' and worthy of a higher rating if it only cost £20?

By all means say a budget/mid-priced/expensive/boutique pedal is great and give it a high rating, but leave it at that: Price is irrelevant in terms of whether an effect sounds good or not.