December 9, 2011

Wanna See Some Bullshit?

by Chris Randall

Exhibit A: The Akai Analog Custom Shop Analog Delay. Available here. $122. This is one of several pedals in the Akai Custom Shop line of analog effects, about which Akai says the following:

"Building upon this history of quality and ingenuity, Akai Professional is bringing a new generation of boutique-quality effects to guitarists. Each one delivers everything that discerning guitarists demand: rugged all-metal construction, premium internal components including germanium transistors, and true bypass signal paths."

Exhibit B: The Biyang AD-8 Analog Delay. Available here. $66. This is one of several in the Biyang line of inexpensive analog guitar pedals, about which Biyang says the following:

"Tonefancier series effects,which have used the high-class handwork effects as standard, with a high cost in adopting a lot of high-quality and well-known HI-FI audio parts and combined with classic circuits and good internal structure, have reached a very high quality level!"

Yes, that's correct. Every single pedal in the "Akai Custom Shop" line is a Biyang "Tonefancier" pedal with an Akai-flavored coat of paint, for twice the price. These Biyang pedals are readily available on Amazon and eBay. They're shitty. Everyone knows they're shitty. I mean, they're fine and all, for shitty pedals. They are in no way "custom" or "boutique." These are sharted out of a big-ass factory in China by the bajillion.

This is the kind of shit that drives me batty. Akai can't even be bothered to come up with their own shitty products? They're just rebadging _other_ shitty products now? Come on. At least put some fucking effort in to it, guys!


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Dec.09.2011 @ 3:25 PM
Nothing much to say about this, other than 'Biyang' sounds like a reference to alien genitalia.

Dec.09.2011 @ 3:49 PM
raoul duke
If you think that is a scam look at the whole Freekish Blues bullshit on

They were buying JoYo $20.00 pedals and re-badging them as boutique 'handmade in the USA' $200.00 pedals.

Dec.09.2011 @ 4:21 PM
Yeah but the Biyang only goes to 1100, the Akai goes to 1200.

Dec.09.2011 @ 4:43 PM
Chris Randall
I'll bet they both go to, like, 1150 or so.


Dec.09.2011 @ 4:44 PM
I have a Biyang distortion pedal and really like it. I thought they were sort of hidden gems, and kinda wanted the delay. I'm not sure I'd like to pay twice as much for it to say Akai though.

The whole pedal fetish thing is weird though. I got some great handmade pedals from a guy on ebay for about $50 each, I don't know about the $300 ones. There's just not that much going on in there.

Dec.09.2011 @ 4:47 PM
Chris Randall
You want to really get crazy? Have a look at a Pete Cornish TES. It's a Boss DD-2 that has been... uh... modded. Probably the pinnacle of the "pedal fetish" thing you describe.

link []


Dec.09.2011 @ 4:53 PM
I'm not a pedal buyer, but this reminds me of the same shit Leica is doing with their digital camera line.

Dec.09.2011 @ 4:57 PM
Chris Randall
In Leica's defense, they actually do alter the firmware of the Panasonic cameras they start with, and give them (much) better glass. I've seen dozens of shootouts between a Leica digital and its Panasonic parent, and the difference is obvious and undeniable.

And Leica never implies that they invented these cameras, or designed them from the ground up, like the Akai marketing lit does.

As to whether that's worth the Leica-brand-name premium is up to you.

That's different than this Akai thing, where the only difference is a coat of paint, and probably a certain amount of quality control that wouldn't otherwise be in the production line.


Dec.09.2011 @ 5:17 PM
Ok, I'll give you that it isn't quite the same situation as Leica for some of their cameras. I'm more thinking of the D-Lux-5 and such, where the Panasonic LX5 has the same Leica lens from what I understand. Still, the Akai's got germanium resistors!

Unrelated: have you pedal connoisseurs heard of Pefftronics? This pedal talk got me thinking of a college visit I took in the late 90s, where I met with the owner and he showed me this pedal he was working on that had a rather crazy (to me at the time) randomizer function. He was using some space at the university's research park to come up with his prototype at the time. Anyway, just curious if anybody heard of it, I think the company got acquired shortly after he started shipping them so he didn't sell them for very long.

Dec.09.2011 @ 5:39 PM
With a bullet point like " Using high quality stuffs such as German WIMA audio capacitance " *
You know you are buying quality !

* See amazon page for hilarious typo **

** warning hilarious typo can cause rib and lung pain and or sadness .

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