Overpriced 'Boutique' Effects Pedals

Boutique Effects Pedals

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Rant: Overpriced 'boutique' effects pedals

OK, anyone of us who's ever opened up a fuzz box knows how few electronic components are inside one of those things. A couple of transistors, a couple of diodes, and a few resistors & caps for signal conditioning going in & out of the circuit plus the usual footswitch and a couple of pots & jacks....that's it.

So, WTH is the deal with fuzzboxes that cost $200-$300, just because they have a 'name' on them of a 'boutique' effects builder?

I can see something like a digital delay or multimode digital reverb costing that much for a (presumably) handbuilt unit. But a simple fuzz or a simple OD or distortion unit? Nuh-uh...

To my ears, there are mass-produced OD's out there for $50 that sound as good or better than any of the 'boutique' OD's I've ever heard. Without naming any specific brands, ('misbehaving simians' notwithstanding), they're most definitely out there. Tube Screamers are pretty good, but when they first came out, they were pretty much dirt-cheap, too. So what's the deal with those commanding prices well upwards of $100 these days?

Fuzz? What's wrong with a good ol' Big Muff Pi or its little brother that cost generally less than $100? They clip the signal into a nice square-wavy tone the exact same way their 'boutique' counterparts do, i.e., with diodes & transistors, most likely the exact same types of diodes & transistors. Even the good ol' Fuzz Face, with literally no more than 6 or 8 'giblets' on its teeny-weeny little circuit board, is being sold for prices that just seem exorbitant for the tiny amount of relatively inexpensive parts inside them. I think their pricing must include consideration of the 'mojo factor' they supposedly have. Huh?

I guess I just don't get the whole 'boutique effects' thing, especially when most of those that I've heard don't sound appreciably better than some of the mass-produced units.