The first batch Problem

Ask the DudeRight after the advent of first rumors, NAAM news and reviews the pedal addict is longing for the releasing day of the coveted pedal.
Unable to wait, the European guitarists are tempted to order the stompbox in the United States before it is available in Europe.
But beware: sometimes it is not beneficial to be one of the first.

First batch

Although the pedals have been developed very carefully, many of the new releases at NAAM Show, are prototypes.
Before they are produced in series, they are frequently altered in a certain way, depending on the feedback of the first testers.
This product batch is called the “first batch” and – because the experts and the greedy consumers are unable to be patient – has mostly been produced with a lot of pressure.
Because of this, it is not uncommon for that the pedals of the first batch do have small or big shortcomings.
Of course, the manufacturers will rework these imperfections but as a costumer in Europe, you will have to pay at least the shipping costs.
It already happened, that the first batch was recalled because of a malfunction.
An example for this is the Way Huge Supa Puss.
Some weeks later, as the optimized version has been delivered, the users found out, that of course, the defect has been corrected but also that the sound of the pedal now was totally different.
Some buyers of the first version commented in forums that they now were longing to get back the first version – even with the defect.

Sometimes patience is worth it

When a new pedal is debuted, it sometimes is worth it, to wait a little before you get it.
Of course, for a guitarist who suffers from GAS this is not even easy but occasionally it makes sense.
Even if the pedal has no defect it is possible that buyers of the first batch put forward suggestions for improvement that are afterwards implemented in the construction of the second version.
And this second, improved version mostly becomes available soon.
If you bought the first version, you might feel the obligation that you have to get the upgraded version too.
And if you are willing to get along without the new features of the second version, your patience can be rewarded with a real bargain on ebay if another gear head has to get rid of the first version to buy the improved model.

But…

On the other hand, it is possible that certain parts are available in limited quantities.
Although the manufacturers try to make sure that they will be able to produce a sufficient number of a new pedal, they are sometimes forced to alter some parts because of their availability (for example uncommon ICs or clipping diodes).
In this case it does make sense to be one of the first buyers to get a pedal with a circuit that has not been changed because of lacking parts.
The value of pedals with the original circuit might rises enormously, as it happened for example in the case of the EHX Deluxe Memory Man TT-1100 which first used Panasonic MN3005 and later has been built up with Reissue Cool Audio MN3005.

Conclusion

It is impossible to decide weather it is always smart to wait before you buy a new pedal or to be one of the first buyers.
Pedals are not only small colored stompboxes that sweetens the sound, they are – in a certain way – some kind of stock market share. The price and value can change because of the availability, the quality and the demand.
I guess there is no better example for this phenomenon than the Klon Centaur.