FAQ

How long will it take to get my pedal?

99% of the time we have all parts and components available to assemble the pedals.  The 1% is for custom one off orders where there may be a custom coloured enclosure that needs to be special ordered.   Assembly times fluctuate depending on order volume but a safe estimate is 4-6 weeks to ship.   Please be aware that I am a one man operation and assembling pedals takes time.  Shipping times vary depending on location but within Canada usually 1-3 days, to the US 10-14 days, and other countries 2-4 weeks depending how efficient your country's Customs office is.

What is your return policy?

We do not give refunds on pedals.  All pedals purchased from Master Effects come with a 7-day period from when the tracking information indicates that the pedal has been delivered where in the unlikely case of the pedal being damaged during shipping or not working, we will repair or replace the pedal at our discretion.  The customer is responsible for the return shipping charges which should be less than $25 USD at the time of this writing if being mailed from the continental US.

Why don't you give refunds?

The short answer is that we used to but our refund policy was abused by a small number of people who were obviously using us as an equipment rental service.  Master Effects is a one person operation and cannot afford to operate in this manner.  If you are still unsure about whether or not to purchase one of our pedals, check youtube for demos from other satisfied customers and also check out the forums on talkbass.com, sevenstring.org, and the feedback on our reverb shop.

Where are Master Effects pedals made?

All of our pedals are designed and assembled in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Do you ship to my country?

We ship world-wide.  We ship the majority of our pedals via Canada Post and your pedal will be delivered by your country's postal service.  In certain regions, however, we will not use the postal service due to the high risk of the pedals disappearing and will ship by UPS or Fedex. There is an additional charge for using a private courier.  Please email us for more information.

Will I have to pay any extra taxes or duties if I don't live in Canada?

If you live in the United States, no.  you will not have any surprise bills when you receive your pedal.

Other countries: you may have import fees/VAT levied against the pedal by your country's Customs service.  The customer is responsible for any extra fees incurred.

Can I use a battery with Master Effects pedals?

None of our pedals have the ability to use batteries.  This is for environmental reasons and also due to the power requirements and available space inside the pedals.

What is the difference between the EQFH and the PMEQ?

This is probably the most asked question we get.

The PMEQ is based on the Aphex EQF-2 console EQ that was used in the studio on Metallica's Master of Puppets. This was used after the guitars were recorded and is absolutely critical to getting the Master of Puppets tone.  The pedal is "hard coded" with the settings used on Master of Puppets, making it more of a semi-parametric EQ.  It has bass boost and mid cut with fixed EQ, and a high shelf filter.

The EQFH is a true 3-band parametric EQ based on the spirit of the Furman PQ3.  It has adjustable Boost/Cut, Frequency, and Q controls for each band.

You can probably use the EQFH to "get close" to the PMEQ sound, but you will not be able to use the PMEQ to do what the EQFH does.

Are your pedals true bypass?

Yes. We use a relay-based true bypass system that is more reliable than a mechanical 3PDT footswitch.

Can you make a clone of a Strymon Big Sky and fit it into a 1590A enclosure?

No. Aside from the fact that this is physically impossible and that there is a lot of proprietary code used in their DSPs, we do not build clones of in-production pedals. 

Can you make a clone of an <insert Boss/Ibanez/Keeley/Wampler/etc pedal here>

No. Not because it's not possible, but because 1) it's an in-production pedal and 2) it would honestly be cheaper to buy a new or used one.

Can you make a clone of <insert small builder boutique brand here> pedal?

No.  Most of the small boutique builders know each other or at least know one person who knows that builder. Plus, it's an in-production pedal.

Can you sell me the PCB so I can make my own?

No.  I don't have the time or resources to support DIY kits.

Can you give me your schematics so I can make my own?

No. 

I've got this great idea for a custom pedal. Can you build it?

That all depends. If it's a 2-in-1 TS-9 and Klon or something similar then probably not.  If it's something unique then email us and let's talk. We love working on new projects!

Can you make a pedal with my own artwork on it instead of yours?

Within limitations, yes we can!  As long as the artwork is in good taste and isn't using copyrighted images we can! If you can provide a high resolution svg, png, or similar it makes it even easier.  If you can only provide a low resolution 8 bit image then we may be able to but can't guarantee it.   Custom artwork carries an extra artwork charge for formatting and editing as well as custom printing charges.

Why do some of your pedals have a Volume and a Master control?

This is a great question!  The reason goes back to the era of non-master volume tube amps.  Back in those days in order to get "that" sound, you had to crank the volume to earth shaking levels.  With the advent of Master Volume amps, you cold still crank the preamp to get "that" sound but tame the overall output with the master volume.  The same thing happens with pedals but also in the development of these pedals we noticed that the feel of the pedal changed as you adjusted the volume control.  In  some cases when you turned the volume up the tone became a bit fatter and more loose (which isn't a bad thing if that's what you're looking for!).  By adding the master control, you can dime the volume but then adjust the overall pedal output to match unity gain when you bypass it to keep your signal levels constant.

Another great trick with these pedals is this:  lower the gain, dime the volume, and control the output with the master.  On some pedals like the Virge, you can get some incredible Marshall-type crunch and overdrive sounds that are typical of 70s rock.

What happened to all of your FV-1 based pedals?

They have been temporarily discontinued due to the global shortage of FV-1 DSP chips.

What kind of BBD chips do you use in your vintage chorus pedals?

In the before times, we used NOS MN3007 BBD chips.  Since the pandemic the supply of these chips has dried up.  Fortunately, Xvive is making authentic re-issues of the original NOS MN3007 BBD chips.  While they are easier to get, they have also been affected by the global semiconductor shortage.  We have secured a small supply of them to make sure our Golden Ratio and Motvs Chorvs pedals are still available.

Can I run my preamp pedal into a power amp or FX loop return?

While our preamp pedals were designed to be used in front of an amplifier, they have enough output to be used to drive a power amp or plugged into the FX loop return on your amp.  As different amplifiers use different types of effects loops (serial vs parallel, buffered vs unbuffered, line vs instrument level, etc) we cannot guarantee the performance of the pedal when used in this manner.

What power supplies are recommended for use with Master Effects Pedals?

All of our pedals are designed to be used with a 2.1mm center negative power supply.  All of our pedals are tested with a Dunlop DC Brick as well as a Boss PSA power adapter.  Power supplies are NOT included.  We recommend using an isolated power supply with at least a 100mA current capacity.  Note that the Super 300, Super 800 Plus, and EQFH require a power supply that can output at least 130mA. The Thespian Valve preamp requires a 9V/500mA power source.

Under no circumstances should an AC power supply be used to power your pedal.  This will cause internal damage and will void your warranty.

Can I run my pedal at 18V?

All of our "amp in a box" pedals like the Martyr, Misanthrope, Seventh Son, Marauder, Virge, Vulgar, EQFH, Golden Ratio, TNT, SF72, Super 800 as well as the EQFH and PMEQ and other pedals are designed to take a 9V power supply and boost it to the correct voltage. For the most part, the 9V is converted to a ±15V supply (the equivalent of running your pedals with a 30V supply).  Other pedals can be run at 18V for more headroom.  NOTE: older Super 300 pedals with board revisions v4.4 or older should only be run at 9V.  If you are not sure, please email us!

What is the Master Effects warranty?

Each pedal comes with a 1 year warranty on parts (footswitch, toggle switches, LED, 1/4" jacks, DC jack, internal PCB, and potentiometers) and labour. Note that the warranty does not cover any damage due to using an improper power supply (yes, we can tell), misuse, or unauthorized self-attempted repair.  The warranty also does not cover the enclosure, powder coating, graphics, knobs, or screws.

I adjusted the trimmer(s) inside that say do not adjust and now my pedal doesn't work or sound as good as it used to.

This falls under the unauthorized self repair and is not covered under warranty.  We can give you some suggestions but can't guarantee that you will be able to restore it to the default settings without returning it to us.

My pedal isn't working. What do I do?

There are a couple of simple troubleshooting steps that you can try:

1) check to make sure that the power supply is connected to the pedal and turned on.

2) ensure that you are using a center tip negative (standard Boss style) power connector.

3) make sure that you are not using a 12 or 18V supply on a pedal that will only take a 9V supply. THe majority of our pedals have overvoltage protection to prevent damage to sensitive internal components.

4) make sure that the 9V power supply that you are using has a current output rating of at least 100mA

5) isolate the pedal and run your guitar into the pedal and connect the pedal to the amp.

6) check to make sure your cables are functioning properly.

7) if you are using active pickups, make sure that the batteries are not dead.

If you are still having problems please email us.  A picture or short video that illustrates the problem will help.  When emailing please include the following information:

1) what kind of power supply are you using?

2) does the pedal pass a bypassed signal?

3) does the LED come on when you turn the pedal on?

4) a short video showing the issue can help immensely with troubleshooting

Can you repair my pedal?

If your pedal is within warranty, absolutely!  if your pedal is a Master Effects pedal but is out of warranty we can!  We can do some modification and repair work on other pedals, but it is strictly dependent on our workload and turnaround times are not guaranteed.  There is a standard hourly bench rate with a minimum 30 minute charge plus supplies & material cost for repairs.  The customer is responsible for shipping costs to and from Master Effects.

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