Like the majority of the guitar playing community, I’m a player who’s open minded to using various guitar effects to enhance the musical soundscape. Usually, the lack of cash flow puts an end to building an effects arsenal, and there’s nothing worse than spending hard earned cash on a new pedal that doesn’t compliment your rig.
Fortunately, help is at hand. “Pedals For Hire” is a new UK based company providing guitarists the opportunity to simply hire guitar effects for short periods of time. Guitar Jar catches up with Managing Director Richard Pasco to quiz him on the vision of the company.
… I plugged it in and it sounded flabby, fizzy and horrible – what a waste of my time. There had to be an easier way to try these great pedals without all that hassle…
- Hi Richard, before we get into the details of Pedals For Hire, can you let Guitar Jar readers know if you play guitar and if so, who or what inspired you to start learning the instrument?
I do indeed play, I’m a classically trained violinist by trade and played that until my early twenties when I fancied a new challenge. My main gigging experience is with the Half Arsed Heroes, a dynamic acoustic duo based in Bath with a penchant for Bonnie Tyler covers 🙂 I seem to have started collecting purple PRS too, but as I keep telling my wife, you can never have enough guitars!
- Pedals For Hire seems an interesting business idea. What inspired you to start the company?
It was a personal experience – I spent hours and hours trawling forums, watching videos and reading reviews for a new drive pedal. I narrowed it down to one perfect pedal, just what I was looking for. I got it imported from the States, waited for weeks, paid the import duty, plugged it in and it sounded flabby, fizzy and horrible. What a waste of my time. There had to be an easier way to try these great pedals without all that hassle. I had the idea of hiring out pedals about a year ago but started collecting stock early in 2011.
- Can you guide us through the hire process? How do we get our hands on a particular item?
It’s designed to be very easy! You browse the site by type of effect or brand. Once you’ve found something that interests, you can pay via PayPal for a week long hire. We want you to really enjoy testing the pedal so a week means a week. If you order on a Monday and the pedal is in stock, we’ll aim to have it with you no later than Wednesday. You then post it back to us by the following Wednesday. A full week to fiddle all the dials, try all the options and turn it up to ten!We also offer 25% off for anyone that hires more than one pedal at once, perfect for testing two pedals against each other in a straight shootout. And if you need a pedal for more than a week, just let us know and we can arrange that for you.
Once your hire time is up, stick it back in the envelope, attach the return address and pop it back in the post to us. Simple as that. The Royal Mail now offer a system for printing your own postage so you can just log on to their website, print the postage receipt and drop it into the mail. Or just head into your local Post Office. We ask that you use Recorded Delivery to make sure everything arrives as expected and in good work order.
- What about the pedals you do not stock? Can we request that you source them?
We want to keep updating the site with interesting pedals covering the whole range of sounds, but do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are after something in particular and we’ll see what we can do.
- Do guitarists have the opportunity to purchase the item after hiring the item?
At the moment we are staying in the hire business, we like to stock rarer pedals so don’t always have lots available. There are lots of great suppliers in the UK that we can point you towards if a pedal really works for you.
- Are the items insured or will guitarists have to lay-down a deposit?
Our Terms and Conditions lay out the rules, but in essence we don’t ask for a deposit – however, you agree to return it in good condition or we will ask for reasonable compensation.
- How has the guitar playing community responded so far the Pedals For Hire idea?
We’ve had very positive response with lots of interested forum posts and plenty of visitors to the site. Some local guitarists are also keen to try the process for themselves.
- Do you plan to loan additional guitar items, such as amplifiers?
There are a few other potential items we are considering, pickups being one. Amps might be a bit heavy to post frequently but I think the concept of trying gear within your own rig is something all guitarists will enjoy. There are so many elements within the sound path that can affect your tone, it’s worth chasing the sound in your head.
- Do you have a favourite effects pedal?
My BB Preamp by Xotic Effects is a great lead pedal, really cuts through and adds a great “hair” to the tone. Andy Timmons uses one, and I’m a sucker for anything AT does.
- Is there a particular brand of effects you consider to consistently manufacture top quality items?
ZVex have always drawn my attention, for the high quality but unusual stomp boxes, fantastic paint jobs and stellar customer service – Zachary Vex himself is always on the forums offering advice and tips.
- In your opinion, what guitar effect is over-rated?
Being a fan of 80s stadium rock, chorus might have to be up there…
- Your house is burning down. What’s the one guitar item you would save?
Tough one; I was going to say my PRS Hollowbody II with Piezo but recently I’ve been blown away by my Fractal Audio AxeFx. This is a rack sized effects processor that is all the worlds amps, cabinets and pedals in one box. It really does live up to hype, I continue to be stunned by the sound quality and it’s perfect for those with young families 🙂
- If you could form a super group using famous musicians past or present, who would you have on drums and why?
Neil Peart from Rush, has to be. For someone to go away and re-learn his whole technique, only to come back better? That’s something.
- Lager or Cider?
Stowford Press all the way.
- What’s the plan for Pedals For Hire for the next 12 months?
Well, we want to build up our stock of really great pedals – we’re currently hunting for a Klon, a King Of Tone and a few others. Keep adding other types of effect as well, we recently added a delay section to the site.
For more information about Pedals For Hire, please visit: