Burning Hot Metal Takes

broj15

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Gear review videos are boring and are just dime-a-dozen, at this point.

Me and my friend have been joking about starting a gear review/demo YT channel where we don't actually have the gear in front of us (or even pick up our guitars for that matter) and just base our opinions completely off of what it says on sweetwater, forum & Facebook group posts, and leaning heavily into brand perception and our own personal bias (for example I love boss pedals but am underwhelmed by all the waza craft stuff and he hates boss pedals UNLESS it's a waza craft edition). And of course rating gear & pedals based on the "knobs to dollars ratio" but if it has faders instead of knobs that changes things because everyone knows that faders make a piece of gear sound 10 times better because faders are (easily) 10 times cooler than boring knobs. Also throwing in bits like how through hole & "analog" sounds better or "warmer" than anything with digital or SMD components - a direct reference to some of the promotional material for those new PRS pedals, which featured embarrassing pictures of dry and possibly cold solder joints :lol:.

The working name is "regular guy gear reviews" because it's exactly what everyone does in their head when formulating an opinion on a piece of gear. They just don't want to admit it.
 
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Emperoff

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Also throwing in bits like how through hole & "analog" sounds better or "warmer" than anything with digital or SMD components.

I have two gripes with SMD components. One is repairability. I have an amp with some parts of the preamp SMD based and it was a nightmare to track the problem without schematics.

The other is simply a cost/price relationship. Mass produced SMD boards are a lot cheaper to produce than through hole circuits, so when I see "boutique" pedals with SMD guts selling at several hundreds, I cringe very hard.

Sound-wise I don't give a shit. If it sounds good, that's what matters.
 

ExMachina

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I have two gripes with SMD components. One is repairability. I have an amp with some parts of the preamp SMD based and it was a nightmare to track the problem without schematics.

The other is simply a cost/price relationship. Mass produced SMD boards are a lot cheaper to produce than through hole circuits, so when I see "boutique" pedals with SMD guts selling at several hundreds, I cringe very hard.

Sound-wise I don't give a shit. If it sounds good, that's what matters.
How much do a bunch RC circuits and tubes cost these days? What are the margins on a tube amp?
 

John

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I like the video reviewers who don’t mind conveying their ambivalence about a piece of gear, or at least are realistic about the balance of pros and cons. It seems like most people are quick to decide between fawning praise and absolute condemnation, and it blinds them to nuance and perspective.
Yeah, part of the flack is also on account of how cut-and-paste a lot of them are on top of the lack of said balance (obviously not to be expected out of sponsored videos, but I digress).

ie-
YouTubers and wannabe content creators will say “this is the best, most versatile guitar and amp I’ve ever played” + all of the corny clickbait cards, bells, and whistles on top. Only to spam the same old boring bullshido code riff on the first two frets, nothing else to actually show for. Then they post the equipment for sale a day later at a noticeable monetary loss each time for those big brained stonks moves /s/. Rinse and repeat.

The working name is "regular guy gear reviews" because it's exactly what everyone does in their head when formulating an opinion on a piece of gear. They just don't want to admit it.
Add some abnormal, tryhard brand proselytzing and you're good to go. I've seen that along with the aforementioned stuff you described, as well.
ie- one scrub persistently going at great lengths to shield Kiesel during the 2020 maple-gate debacle despite not owning a Kiesel- only going on literally everything you just described- and some Balaguer brand simp practically to the point of tears + heated gamer moments when he was begging me to sell my old ESP for a janky spec'd Balaguer I was not even in the market for.
 

Emperoff

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How much do a bunch RC circuits and tubes cost these days? What are the margins on a tube amp?

Tubes are quite expensive nowadays, and through hole component prices have gone up in price a lot lately (which is probably the reason so many manufacturers are migrating to SMD). The biggest difference in costs comes from labour, though. SMD boards are machine-made (and plenty of times directly outsourced from china for later assembly).

It is the inevitable future for the the guitar gear industry, though. But after having an amp sitting around for almost a year until I eventually got it fixed, I have little interest in migrating to a tech that only benefits the manufacturer if I can help it. Obviously, I'm no fool and I wouldn't discard pedals I love because of it.
 

Wiltonauer

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I have two gripes with SMD components. One is repairability. I have an amp with some parts of the preamp SMD based and it was a nightmare to track the problem without schematics.

The other is simply a cost/price relationship. Mass produced SMD boards are a lot cheaper to produce than through hole circuits, so when I see "boutique" pedals with SMD guts selling at several hundreds, I cringe very hard.

Sound-wise I don't give a shit. If it sounds good, that's what matters.
Certainly SMD gets no kudos for repairability. I can solder, but I can’t solder like that. I’d have to miniaturize myself like in a Rick Moranis movie and use a straight pin for a soldering iron.

A lot of the stuff we guitarists use these days probably just couldn’t be made at the size and price it sells for without SMD. I often wonder how many pedal brands that occupy the boutique price space do enough volume to realize the kind of per-unit costs that a Boss or a TC probably has on SMD. I try to imagine the same pedal built hand-soldered, with through-hole components. Then I look inside a Wampler pedal and am really glad they are using SMD.

When you look inside a product that’s made with through-hole, discrete components, it’s somehow more impressive than a pedal that sounds about the same but has a seemingly infinite number of vanishingly small, surface-mount components all perfectly machine soldered to something from an Intel commercial. Something that complicated and high-tech should do something impressive, damnit. When I opened up my first pedal all those years ago, what I saw looked like the inside of the toy walkie-talkies I had when I was a kid. It was a bunch of bent-up, crooked resistor legs and capacitors glued down and leaning every which way, dicey-looking solder joints, rats’ nest of wires going everywhere… The fact that it both worked and did something I really liked to the sound of my guitar, well the only obvious explanation was that it was magic. All this ugly crap that looked like it was made from the guts of a clock radio from the 1970’s, and there were people who knew how to use the same kinds of parts to make what Steve Vai was using. I found out this magic was really something called electrical engineering.
 
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Emperoff

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Certainly SMD gets no kudos for repairability. I can solder, but I can’t solder like that. I’d have to miniaturize myself like in a Rick Moranis movie and use a straight pin for a soldering iron.

A lot of the stuff we guitarists use these days probably just couldn’t be made at the size and price it sells for without SMD. I often wonder how many pedal brands that occupy the boutique price space do enough volume to realize the kind of per-unit costs that a Boss or a TC probably has on SMD. I try to imagine the same pedal built hand-soldered, with through-hole components. Then I look inside a Wampler pedal and am really glad they are using SMD.

Yes. For example a through-hole version of an AMT-SS11 would be twice the size at least (it's crammed enough even for an SMD pedal). You just need to take a look at something like a Victory V4 or a Koch Pedaltone to see what a full tube/thru-hole preamp looks like. They're huge.

What I despise are companies waving the "boutique" flag while selling TS clones with SMD guts at 230$.
 

crushingpetal

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My first post on SSO and here it goes:

Fallujah's _Undying Light_ is their best (and a really great album).

:wavey:
 

bostjan

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Much of metal has cringe ass lyrics that are rooted either in being way too obvious (Five Finger Death Punch) or is so rooted melodramaticism that it's hard to take seriously. That's just the way it is for my favorite genre.
Right now I'm struggling with this exact problem. In my new band, whenever we talk about learning a cover, it seems like the bass player, other guitarist, and usually the drummer agree on a song with awesome instrumentals, and then the singer vetoes because the lyrics are too embarrassingly cringey to perform in public. Then I'll look at the lyrics, which I usually don't know that well, and agree that I don't really even want to be standing there on stage next to the guy singing at that level of cringe. :lol: Between that and the low tolerance for cheese and schmaltz (which means all power metal and speed metal are right out), it's really making it hard to find three songs that don't have some major flaw.

My first post on SSO and here it goes:

Fallujah's _Undying Light_ is their best (and a really great album).

:wavey:
Not familiar enough with their catalogue to agree or disagree, but, I'm thinking you'll fit right in with the rest of us opinionated nerds. :lol:
 

KnightBrolaire

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Right now I'm struggling with this exact problem. In my new band, whenever we talk about learning a cover, it seems like the bass player, other guitarist, and usually the drummer agree on a song with awesome instrumentals, and then the singer vetoes because the lyrics are too embarrassingly cringey to perform in public. Then I'll look at the lyrics, which I usually don't know that well, and agree that I don't really even want to be standing there on stage next to the guy singing at that level of cringe. :lol: Between that and the low tolerance for cheese and schmaltz (which means all power metal and speed metal are right out), it's really making it hard to find three songs that don't have some major flaw.


Not familiar enough with their catalogue to agree or disagree, but, I'm thinking you'll fit right in with the rest of us opinionated nerds. :lol:
He means their worst album is their best. He's going for the throat for a first post. :lol:
 

beerandbeards

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synth and symphonic bits in metal make a song sound cheesy as fuck 95% of the time.
Jordan Rudess is the worst part of Dream Theater (not technique wise but I hate the "haunted house music" vibes his synth parts give every song)
I think he’s one of the most insanly talented musicians ever, but I hate when he does some goofy ragtime or distorted synth with a bunch of pitch shifts solos.
 

TheBolivianSniper

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synth and symphonic bits in metal make a song sound cheesy as fuck 95% of the time.
Jordan Rudess is the worst part of Dream Theater (not technique wise but I hate the "haunted house music" vibes his synth parts give every song)


symphonic shit can fuck off since it usually drowns out a really good heavy technical riff, but if done well synths like the stuff on the new Varials album are god tier

otherwise if it's just playing leads you could do on guitar, no
 

LordCashew

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I hate the "haunted house music" vibes his synth parts give every song
At least that's better than the "carnival music" solos he pulls out occasionally... Beyond this Life, for example. Even as a teenage DT fanboy that pissed me off.
 

BlackMastodon

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synth and symphonic bits in metal make a song sound cheesy as fuck 95% of the time.
Counter point: depends on the genre. Synth in post-metal like Isis, Cult of Luna, or Rosetta is always tastefully done and does bring together the whole package.

But yeah, gtfoh with that Dragonforce-level cheese.
 

KnightBrolaire

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symphonic shit can fuck off since it usually drowns out a really good heavy technical riff, but if done well synths like the stuff on the new Varials album are god tier

otherwise if it's just playing leads you could do on guitar, no
Counter point: depends on the genre. Synth in post-metal like Isis, Cult of Luna, or Rosetta is always tastefully done and does bring together the whole package.

But yeah, gtfoh with that Dragonforce-level cheese.
good synth:
any industrial esque stuff
ambient synth bits



bad synth:
every symphonic power metal band
most symphonic black metal
70s loving prog nerd music (see: Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, etc)
 


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