Are Behringer Guitar Effects a Bad Investment?

There is a whole line of Behringer guitar effects that are somtimes not held in the best regard in the guitar community.  Yes, Behringer guitar pedals are very cheap and known for not being exactly built tough.  That doesn’t mean there are not some legitimate times when maybe you should give a Behringer pedal a try.  In this article, we will look at reasons it may not be a bad idea to have a couple of these in your guitar arsenal.

A Great Way to Try Something New

Behringer has a whole line of low-cost effects options.

Let’s say your primary stomping ground is good, old-fashioned classic rock.  Maybe you have an overdrive pedal, a little distortion, and maybe even a compressor or something like that.  Then, you are out one night and you hear a funk or R&B band jamming and you are all about that chorus, phaser, or flanger sound.  Well, there are pedals that go into the hundreds of dollars for each of these categories, but maybe you are just getting your feet wet and want to give it a try.  A Behringer pedal can be a good entry level to a new effects style.  A Behringer chorus pedal won’t set you back more than thirty or forty bucks, and it can give you an opportunity to see if that sound is right for you.  Maybe it’s just not your thing, or maybe it opens up a whole new dimension of guitar playing for you.  At that level of investment, it’s no big deal if you ultimately decide that you want to graduate up to the big leagues and drop some big money on a chorus pedal from a better brand.  Most guitarists can’t afford every pedal out there, and a couple of hundred bucks may be a major investment.  Picking up a Behringer pedal can be a great way to try something out, and you’re not out that much if you change your mind or decide to upgrade.

More Expensive Doesn’t Always Equal Better

The difference between these two pedals is about $80 for one thing. But is it worth it?

We all know the age-old saying… you get what you pay for.  Well, we’re not gonna try to fool you here.  In the real world, you really do what you pay for in most cases, and guitar effects is no exception.  Chances are a $250 distortion pedal is going to be better than a $29.95 Behringer special.  However, it’s not always the case.  Remember, there is personal preference involved here as well.  Maybe that Behringer pedal just gives you a sound in configuration with your particular equipment that you just can’t get anywhere else.  Probably not, but it could happen.  Also, sometimes you have to look at things from functionality.  For example, a Behringer tuner may cost a fraction of the cost, but at the end of the day, if it tunes your guitar, then what’s the problem?  Of course, we all know that even tuners can have many different features, and we will be getting into that in another article soon, but still, if the Behringer can do the job, then what of it?  More expensive doesn’t always mean better.  Just most of the time.

Build May Not Be Important to You

The first thing you will hear about Behringer pedals is that they are all plastic and one stomp away from being in the trash pile.  No way that thing can stand up to life on the road.  These arguments are absolutely, 100% true.  However, not everyone is living the gig life.  Maybe you truly only want the Behringer for jamming out in the bedroom.  Maybe you simply aren’t planning on taking it anywhere and it’s going to be perfectly safe.  Then, the toughness of the construction of Behringer guitar effects pedals may not really be an important issue for you and your particular situation.  That’s okay.  There’s also a trade-off involved for that lack of construction.  Most Behringer pedals are as much as 60-70% cheaper than their better built conterparts.  The cool thing about that is that if you like Behringer, you could actually buy two or three of them for the price of a more expensive pedal.  So maybe it tearing up still doesn’t end up costing you as much in the long run.  These are all things to consider when trying to decide if Behringer pedals might be a good fit for you.

Behringer Pedals Hold Their Value Too

Like most products in the guitar world, Behringer pedals hold their value just fine.  They may not cost that much to begin with, but you can count on being able to sell it pretty easily and not to lose that much of your original purchase price.  That’s just another reason to give it a try.  Maybe there is a Behringer pedal that suits your needs just fine for a fraction of the price.  If it works for you, then who cares what anyone else thinks?  We certainly wouldn’t want any up and coming player to never experiment with different effects because the cost is prohibitive.  We would rather you try out some funky new effects on a Behringer than not at all for sure.  And when the time comes to trade up or trade away, you can rest easy knowing that most of your investment will be recouped without any problem.

The Verdict

Behringer guitar effects are not the cream of the crop.  We know this.  However, these inexpensive pedals serve their purpose in the marketplace.  They are great for beginners and great for players that want to branch out and try something new without breaking the bank.  They aren’t built all that well.  It’s true.  That isn’t a major consideration for everyone, however.  The bottom line is that it is your sound, and you should try whatever you want to on your journey to find that guitar tone that will define your own personal style.  Behringer effects can be a good gateway to bigger and better things.

As a side note, we would just like to point out one more thing about Behringer.  While it is true that Behringer guitar pedals have kind of become the cheap option for effects, this is not a knock on the Behringer name as a whole.  Behringer makes plenty of good equipment, so we just wanted to make it clear that this article is not passing judgment on their brand name as a whole.  We will revist other Behringer products where it may be a different story (including the price), but that is for another day and another article.  In the future, we will be reviewing many of the individual Behringer pedals and giving our thoughts on how they stack up to the more expensive competition.  Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have had any good or bad experiences with Behringer pedals in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

How to Get a Good Guitar Tone — A Guide For Beginners

Getting a good guitar tone is like the holy grail of the whole hobby/profession.  Everyone in the guitar world is constantly talking about tone, but for beginners, this can be a bit overwhelming.  The oldtimers will throw out all sorts of terminology about amplifiers, effects units, and the guitar itself that can leave someone just starting out ready to throw in the towel.  This is a simple guide for beginners on how to get a good guitar tone that starts by building a foundation by separating the different parts that make a tone unique.

The Guitar (Duh!)

This may seem obvious, and we’re not trying to treat you like your a dummy.  Not at all.  However, it has to be said.  The first step to getting the guitar tone

Those pickups, knobs, and switches are where tone begins.

that you are after is the guitar itself.  Most of the time when you’re talking tone, you are talking about electric guitars.  Acoustic guitars have tone also, but the tone is native to the instrument for the most part.  Meaning that each acoustic has its own tone, and you are going to have to find one that you like (although when you get into amping up acoustics, it’s a whole different ballgame, but we’ll save that for another article).  Electric guitars send the signals to the amplifiers and pedal units that drive tone.  However, there are plenty of features of the guitar itself that are important.

Electric guitars come in all shapes and sizes.  Like most things in life, you will probably get what you pay for.  Don’t let that discourage you if you don’t have a bank vault to throw at your first guitar.  There are plenty of affordable options for beginners that have great tone possibilities.  Within the guitar you have pickups and switches that are very important.  This is where the tone of the guitar is modified at the source.  Evne the volume knob can be important.  Rolling back the knob is a time-honored guitar tradition.  So, the first element of tone is the guitar itself and everything that goes along with it.

Amplification

There are many types of amplifiers, and all influence your sound.

Electric guitars don’t make a lot of noise without an amplifier to plug them into.  All amps are certainly not created equally, however.  There are hundreds of amp types out there, and each has an important influence on your tone.  We can’t possibly touch on all of that in this one article which is only to serve as an introduction, but we will have a quick look at the two major categories.  Solid state versus tube amps.  It’s a debate that has raged on ever since solid state amps came into existence.  Deciding between these two categories will be a huge contributor to how your eventual tone is molded.  Chances are across your guitar career, you will want to try both or some combination of the two.  That’s a great idea.  Experimentation with new things is always a catalyst for finding new and great guitar tones.

Guitar Effects

There’s a Boss pedal for every situation.
Pedals can work together to create something truly unique.

Once again, this is an introduction, so we are being pretty general here.  Guitar effects encompass everything that happens in units either between the guitar and the amp or in an effects loop of some sort.  This can include everything from compression to noise reduction to chorus to delay.  The list goes on and on.  Playing with different effects will be a lifelong hobby if you are serious about guitar tone, and most guitarists are always dreaming about the next effects unit to add to their arsenal.  As we dig deeper into these, we will have good suggestions for where beginners should start out, but for now, we are just laying the foundation.  Effects are certainly important and give you a myriad of options to make your style and tone stand out from the crowd.

Guitar + Amp + Effects = Great Tone

Let’s not overcomplicate things.  This equation is what it’s all about.  While it is possible to achieve great tone through an amplifier only (especially vintage tube amps), effects will probably come into play unless you are playing a very specific style of music and have no desire to ever change.  That’s unlikely, and an attitude like that would probably stunt your growth as a player anyway.  These three major parts of tone are the key to figuring out where you want to take your sound.  Now that we’ve laid that foundation, we can start moving into the more important things, like finding a place to start in each category.

As a side note, a good way to start thinking about how you want to build your tone is to think about what you like to hear.  What artist’s guitar tone really stands out and makes you want more?  Do you like that creamy delay of Santana?  Are you looking for a heavy sound?  Are you more into lead guitar or rhythm guitar?  Do you want to melt the crowd’s face off when you go on your solo or be back in the mix?  Things like this are good to consider before you start collecting the building blocks of your eventual tone.  No, you don’t necessarily want to mimic the tone of someone else, but everyone starts out wanting to emulate something, right?  Finding out what kind of equipment your guitar heroes use can be a good starting point as you do research to find out which direction you want to go in yourself.

It’s entirely possible for one guitarist to employ many different tones for different purposes, but most players have at least one distinct tone that is associated with their playing.  For some, it is love at first sight.  Others spend decades refining their tone.  Finding the tone that is right for you is a great journey that begins here with laying the foundation.

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Boss Guitar Effects

There’s a Boss pedal for every situation.

Every guitar player already has been exposed to Boss guitar effects at some point or another.  They are a mainstay in the industry, and with good reason.  There’s a lot to love about Boss pedals, and I have used many of them over the years.  This article will dispell some of the myths about Boss and back up some of the things you may have heard.

Durability

A lot of people complain about Boss products because they tend to be a little on the expensive side as opposed to competitors like DigiTech or Behringer.  This is absolutely true, but you have to consider the durability of your average Boss stompbox when you are trying to make a decision on whether to give one of these a try.  Almost every Boss pedal out there has a sturdy metal enclosure that can put up with years of stomping and the perils of life on the road.  Let’s face the facts here.  A lot of us small-time guitar players don’t have special cases for each of our pedals.  We probably just throw them in a gig bag or carry them along.  Maybe we have a pedalboard, or maybe they will just sit on the floor, waiting for someone to trip on the cord and send the pedal flying.  The bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter whether you are on the road playing arenas or worried that your dog might decide to chew on your stompbox, durability is something to consider.  Boss pedals are built solid, and I have never had one stop functioning before I decided to do something with it.  You’ll get rid of your Boss pedal for one of two reasons:  you traded or sold it because you want to try something new or someone stole it.  That’s about all that can happen.  So, when you start factoring in the price in this regard, you have got to stop and think for a second.  Is the Boss pedal so expensive that it costs more than buying two or three of the competition over the years?  Probably not.

Consistency

I’m not trying to quash the idea that you should try a wide variety of guitar effects in your playing.  Absolutely you should, and I have tried many, many over the years myself.  When I say consistency, however, I’m referring to the concept that there is something to be said for pedals of the same brand working together.  Some of it is just practicality.  Boss pedals generally are set up the same across different types, meaning the inputs and power are located in basically the same setup.  Anyone that’s ever tried to wire up a pedalboard with multiple brands knows the struggle here.  Boss pedals were made to be daisy-chained together easily and effectively, and while you probably will never get the tone you want without venturing beyond Boss in some regard, you could still minimize a lot of trouble by keeping some of your pedal brands consistent.  Another thing to remember is that your battery and power situation is simpler too.  Almost all Boss pedals are going to run off the same type of AC adapter and the same type of battery (almost definitely a 9-volt).

Prince Loved Boss Pedals

If it’s good enough for Prince, it’s probably good enough for me.

Okay, so you were going to find a recurring theme here, so let me go ahead and paint you the picture.  My greatest guitar hero and influence is by far Prince Rogers Nelson.  RIP.  I used to really have to fight people to get them to recognize that this guy was fire on guitar, but after his death, unfortunately, it does seem like a lot more people have gave it a chance.  It’s terrible that it goes that way in life sometimes, but for our purposes here, more guitar players are recognizing the Purple One’s monsterously gorgeous tone, and he got it almost exclusively with Boss pedals.  I know it’s fanboy 101, but that alone was reason enough for me to give Boss a serious look.  Don’t worry if you want more explanation.  Prince will be talked about plenty here at JustGuitarTalk.

Value

I don’t mean value in terms of what you get for your money.  We’re talking about resell value.  Boss pedals can be ten years old and still sell for a pretty good percentage of what you originally paid for them.  They are like the Apple of guitar effects in this regard.  There is little risk in giving a Boss pedal a try with your hard-earned dollars, because if you don’t like it, you can most likely sell it with little loss.  And going back to durability, this holds true even if you don’t keep your guitar effects pedals in clear glass cases like they are comic book figures.

The Verdict

We will be looking at individual Boss guitar effects units in detail in other posts.  We will also look at their multi-effect processors as well.  For now, let’s just say that a lot of people out there will give you a hard time when they see your Boss pedals come out of your bag.  Don’t be fooled, though.  Every one of those people has owned a Boss pedal or two or twelve, and there’s even an excellent chance that if you catch a peep of their pedalboard on any given Sunday, they probably have one in use right now.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to GuitarTalk!

I’m so glad you stopped by GuitarTalk.  There are thousands of sites that cover these topics online.  I realize that.  I’m not trying to be the best or act like know more than anyone else.  What I do try to do is to represent the common guitarist here in my opinions and share some insight on all things guitar related.

WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?

Welcome! Come on in and stay a while.

My name is Brandon Pierce and I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (yes, Roll Tide!).  I have played guitar for over twenty years now.  I’m no virtuoso, but I’m good.  I have played in a few bands over the years, most notably a band called Sundance.  We did a fusion of country and classic rock along with plenty of party favorites.  The band was successful, and we played all over the state of Alabama and even into Florida on occasion.  Over these years, I have gone through many stages with my playing and equipment, and I think my journey will be interesting to others of similar skill levels.

WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

GuitarTalk is part product reviews and partly good old-fashioned blog.  The mission here is to give common sense reviews and advice from a practical standpoint.  This is not geared for professional musicians (although if the shoe fits, by all means), but is catering to the casual player or those just starting out.  That is not to say that the information is inaccurate, but if you are looking for super-detailed frequency analyses, this is not the place for you.  This is about sharing experiences and insights and hopefully having a meaningful discussion.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The topics will grow as time goes along, so jump in and see what we are all about.  Also, you can also use the search features if there is a topic you are especially interested in.

If you ever need a hand or have ay questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Brandon Pierce
justguitartalk.com