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Kev

3Leaf appear to have released new Drive pedals under Pike Amplification name

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Speechless.

[url="http://www.pikeamp.com/collections/all"]http://www.pikeamp.com/collections/all[/url]

Edited by Kev

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Actually, I'm not that speechless.

I always had a lot of respect for 3Leaf audio and what they produced, and at the time they were building Darkglass units for them I had most of the pedals they made. I know something went down and Doug moved production back to Finland, with some unpleasantries from Spencer as I recall (no need to be discussed here), but the response is to release what are basically red versions of the B3K and B7K?

I was very close to pulling the trigger on a Octabvre and taking advantage of Prymax's black friday offer, however not a chance now.

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The Vulcan XL looks a lot like the B7K, but the standard Vulcan is laid out like a Darkglass Vintage, not a B3K.

Then again it would be weird to have 2 differently voiced pedals both called the Vulcan. Also the fact they can take 18v suggest they aren't straight clones.

<confused face>

Why has Spencer started a new company Pike instead of just making them 3Leaf pedals? Unless he wanted to piss off Doug without tarnishing the reputation of 3Leaf.

Edited by dannybuoy

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I imagine, and this is purely speculation, that Spencer had a lot of stock leftover, PCBs, drilled enclosures etc, that he purchased to build Darkglass stuff.

Seeing as the design of a circuit is not copyrightable, only the actual physical layout/design of the PCB, seeing as Spencer did those layouts whilst on board with Doug, he's well within his rights to release these pedals (pending any specific contracts between the two of them that may specify otherwise).
Of course, the moral standpoint is rather a different matter.

I get the feeling that a lot of people won't come on board and will stick with Darkglass, simply based on my perception of the general feeling on forums etc. Especially seeing as the price point for Pike isn't anything special.

Si

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He is deleting comments about Darkglass off his page. If there was any innocence here, the first thing he needed to do was explain how these citcuits are in no way Darkglass other than the aesthetics. He has missed that chance, and the sound samples speak volumes. He has manipulated designs entrusted to him to make his 'own' pedals. I have spoken to Doug and more than anything he just feels bad for him having to go this route to try and generate the business back that he lost after Darkglass resumed production in Finland. This is quite a desperate move.

Commercial suicide, so hopefully this will just fall flat for him.

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From the 3Leaf thread over at TB:

[QUOTE name='Spencer!']I'm honestly surprised at all the negative response and it's made me physically ill this morning so I'm gonna try my best to clear everything up.

The reason for the new company is to try some different ideas with branding. I wanted a brand that's just for bass players without any ambiguity. I was also getting really burned out and I needed a new creative outlet. It has nothing to do with "keeping the 3Leaf Audio name out of the muck" as there is no threat of legal action here. I'm not infringing on any trademarks and I didn't break any contracts. I'll still be running the 3Leaf brand, and that will be focused on all the fun and weird stuff I've always made, while Pike will be more utilitarian products for bass.

As to why the pedals look similar to the old USA-made DG pedals: Doug and I had a partnership and I designed those pedals. He came to me with the schematic for the audio section of the circuits, and I designed the bypass switching and did the physical designs. I also fronted the money for every production run and managed the entire production myself. I don't think most people realize how collaborative that partnership was...I wasn't just a hired gun if that was the impression that was given off. I won't get into the ending of that partnership other than to say that Darkglass stuck me with a few hundred enclosures that were already drilled for those pedals. I couldn't afford to just throw those away since I had already paid for them, so I had to come up with a design that would work in that box. I was originally thinking of making it a limited run just to get rid of the few hundred enclosures I had, but then Darkglass changed the look of their pedals to the point that my aesthetic design was no longer there, and it was a design I was really proud of so I wanted to 'reclaim' it so to speak. I obsess over the look and feel of the products I design and I didn't want to see my work die out with the end of that partnership.

Regarding the circuit: I wouldn't have done any of this if I were just going to copy Darkglass. I don't think it's fair to my customers to release a product that doesn't bring anything new to the table. The Vulcan circuit is inspired by my knowledge of the Darkglass circuits but taken in a direction that I think makes them appealing in a totally different way. I worked with those circuits for years so I learned what makes them sound good, but I also found lots of ways to change it to make it work more to my taste. The big difference with the Vulcan circuit is that it's actually two entire overdrive circuits in parallel that get blended together to form the complete sound. It's a very complex circuit design...the Vulcan circuit has 117 components and the XL has 173. In practice it sounds a lot different than a B3K or something like that, so I hope you guys get the chance to try one for yourself before just assuming that it's a ripoff since it has a similar look. I've spent most of the last year fine-tuning and obsessing over every detail of these pedals and I'm really excited about the results.

Sorry to be long-winded, but I needed to be thorough because all the speculation on here gave me an anxiety attack. It really wasn't my intent to ruffle any feathers. I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a series of onboard preamps with a really cool twist, and I think you guys will like them.[/QUOTE]

I don't really have a problem after reading this. He basically came up with the visual design and still had a few hundred enclosures left, and the circuits are a new design. I wish him the best of luck!

Edited by dannybuoy

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1448647362' post='2917185']
From the 3Leaf thread over at TB:



I don't really have a problem after reading this. He basically came up with the visual design and still had a few hundred enclosures left, and the circuits are a new design. I wish him the best of luck!
[/quote]

He came up with the visual design? Please take a look at the original Finland design, the concept was there and was tweaked. He did come up with the unreliable bypass switch (3 failed on me, and they were not even gigged), thankfully Doug replaced this system with a far superior one when he brought it back to Finland.

He claims in the biography that this new company is 3leaf and the former head of operations at Darkglass. That is one of the same person it seems, Spencer. Darkglass first heard of this company today. Deceiving wording, to say the least, and he deliberately appears to have avoided addressing this in his post.

Most of that post on TB is desperate BS in my opinion, an attempt at turning the tide that is spreading across social media and forums. Its a little cringeworthy to read to be honest. I think the only truth is that he had a load of enclosures he needed rid of. Mimicking the appearence of the B7K in particular was not the only way, but the way he chose. He has subtly admitted to manipulating the DG circuit to claim a totally original pedal.

Why not run this by Doug to make sure he is okay with it, call it professional courtesy? Well, we know why not.

Remember when he was selling off Darkglss prototypes on his Facebook page without Doug's agreement? He had similar comments to make then, too.

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OK, still murky water. Hold my final judgement until I hear that they sound nothing like the B3K etc but not sure how much scope there is for a product that looks and sounds like Darkglass released by a guy who worked with then fell out with Darkglass.

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Besides morals, ethics, taste, professional courtesy etc there are a lot of pedals both series and custom jobs that are variations of the same basic circuit. Lets face it the B3/7Ks sound great so it was only a matter of time before varations on those circuits would start coming out. Imitation is the best form of flattery and it is pretty standard practise within the industry really.

Some people will stick with the original, some will want to try out something a bit different, the market will decide what happens.

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[quote name='HazBeen' timestamp='1448651840' post='2917239']
Besides morals, ethics, taste, professional courtesy etc there are a lot of pedals both series and custom jobs that are variations of the same basic circuit. Lets face it the B3/7Ks sound great so it was only a matter of time before varations on those circuits would start coming out. Imitation is the best form of flattery and it is pretty standard practise within the industry really.

Some people will stick with the original, some will want to try out something a bit different, the market will decide what happens.
[/quote]

I think the sickener here is that this is someone who built Darkglass pedals, and not just another manufacturer jumping on the bandwagon. I really struggle to understand why he is trying to play this like he is surprised at the reaction he is getting.

I wouldn't be too surprised if there was some form of non-competing agreement in place. I have spoken to Doug but haven't pressed him for the details as it is between him and his solicitors.

Edited by Kev

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[quote name='Kev' timestamp='1448653004' post='2917251']
I think the sickener here is that this is someone who built Darkglass pedals, and not just another manufacturer jumping on the bandwagon. I really struggle to understand why he is trying to play this like he is surprised at the reaction he is getting.

I wouldn't be too surprised if there was some form of non-competing agreement in place. I have spoken to Doug but haven't pressed him for the details as it is between him and his solicitors.
[/quote]

OK we are all comfortable with paying peanuts for a Mooer B3K rip off but this is different from flattering imitation. If I had spare enclosures I would do whatever i could to make sure i didn't use them for an OD.

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[quote name='RichF' timestamp='1448653340' post='2917259']


OK we are all comfortable with paying peanuts for a Mooer B3K rip off but this is different from flattering imitation. If I had spare enclosures I would do whatever i could to make sure i didn't use them for an OD.
[/quote]

Exactly. He has brought out the Octabvre and has rereleased a new Wonderlove. The Ovtabvre perhaps could have been designed to fit the B7K box if he was that keen to not lose all his money on those apparently super expensive enclosures.... Did he not release that little preamp box after Darkglass? Surely would have fit in his Vintage Microtubes/B3K clone box? I'm pessimistic, and I'm rather loyal to Doug and his team, but it still screams BS.

Edited by Kev

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I can see how loyaltee for lack of a better word would cause this reaction. My almost 20 years in business also tells me there is - some would say unfortunately - only limited room for sentiments. It is either a very smart or a stupid move and only time will tell if the negative pr will die down. Sibob was spot on wrt non-copyrights so unless there was a breach in non-compete clauses Darkglass will have to swallow this one and just move on. Lower the unit price by $50 and nobody would even consider not buying a B3/7K.

Until Mooer brings out a Micro version alonside XV, Fender and such @ $100......

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[quote name='HazBeen' timestamp='1448657350' post='2917293']
I can see how loyaltee for lack of a better word would cause this reaction. My almost 20 years in business also tells me there is - some would say unfortunately - only limited room for sentiments. It is either a very smart or a stupid move and only time will tell if the negative pr will die down. Sibob was spot on wrt non-copyrights so unless there was a breach in non-compete clauses Darkglass will have to swallow this one and just move on. Lower the unit price by $50 and nobody would even consider not buying a B3/7K.

Until Mooer brings out a Micro version alonside XV, Fender and such @ $100......
[/quote]

If Mooer do that, good luck to them, it just isn't the same as this.

Totally agree that nothing is trademarked e.t.c. so no laws have been broken and no lawsuits can follow there, and likely if there was no non-compete agreement (and even if there was it likely would be time limited - perhaps that is the '12 months' work he claims to have spent on this) there is nothing Darkglass can do about it. However, from the overwhelmingly negative reaction to this so far hopefully this will not impact them too much.

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Talkbass post:

[color=#141414][font=verdana, geneva, lucida,]If you look at USA era b3k the 9v power input is below the input jack. On the Vulcan its above it. How does that work if they are pre drilled?[/font][/color]

Interesting to see how Spencer responds to that.

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U-Sound cloned the Vintage Microtubes ages ago, no biggie.....or is it ok because it looks different? ;)

http://www.u-sound.net/?id=61

Si

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I wonder, did Leo Fender get a reaction like this when he went to Musicman, or started G&L?

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[quote name='0175westwood29' timestamp='1448717848' post='2917622']
If nothing has been done wrong legally, then whats the problem? is the darkglass an original circuit design?

no one complains about mooer or tone city.

Andy
[/quote]

It's not a clone anyhow, it has 2 overdrive circuits running in parallel that you blend with the colour knob. Its quite amusing watching the fanboy reactions over on Talkbass. Spencer was a bit naive to not expect this kind of reaction after the same happened when he sold some old Darkglass prototypes, but I do feel sorry for him being on the receiving end of so much vitriol!

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[quote name='0175westwood29' timestamp='1448746837' post='2917899']
Ah so it's kinda taking the duality idea but with overdrive
[/quote]

:lol:

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Personally I'm excited to try them. The Darkglass stuff never really worked for me, so I'm keen to see if he's taken the ideas in a direction that better suits me. I think 3leaf stuff is great. The Groove Regulator was me of my favourite filters ever.

I've no issue with the business practices here. It may have been nice for him to give Doug a heads up in advance, but then if they had a business falling out, communication is likely low on their radars.

I say good luck to Spencer. I'm sure the pedals will rock.

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