Keeley announced 3 new limited colourway pedal editions today - as far as I can see these are not differentiated / updated / upgraded products - along the lines of the recent 250 units Germanium Retro Super. They are simply existing pedals which have been redecorated as such with limited run graphics / liveries. Two of this trio are ’artist inspired’ models which recognise the artists that use them - so the peppermint green Memphis Sun Lo-Fi Reverb is dedicated to Johnny Hiland, and the royal blue Monterey Hendrix pedal is dedicated to Mark Lettieri. The original royal blue Germanium Oxblood is sold out, so the black variety is really just the new batch / run of those.
These three pedals come pretty hot on the heels of another couple of limited edition trios which I’ve featured in the visual too - the really cool ’Blackout Versions’ of the Compressor Plus, 30ms Double Tracker and Monterey. And the Canadian Tartan colourway for the Compressor Plus, Super Phat Mod and Caverns Delay+Reverb. I believe the Canadian colourway is only available through Canadian stockists - it’s probably my favourite of the recent Keeley limited run editions and really makes those pedals pop. Predominantly black pedals have always sold well, and will always seemingly be in high demand with certain players still liking entirely monochromatic pedalboards - I personally like some colour to distinguish the function of the pedal - so that you don’t inadvertently hit the wrong footswitch.
I am always intrigued by limited batch / run edition pedals and particularly those that come in specialist colourways. The recent Spaceman Effects Nebula Fuzz Octave Blender was released a few weeks ago now in 7 different editions - ranging from the most affordable 133 unit Silver Edition ($299) to the priciest 22 unit Chrome Edition ($399). Both extremes sold out pretty much immediately - the version I liked and got - the Moonrock Edition (55 units) is still readily available as are 4 of the other editions launched. I still think Zak shifted a good 200 odd pedals on the day of release. For Spaceman Effects the lowest cost edition tends to be the silver chassis with black top-plate - while the more limited pricier versions have either a chrome or brass enclosure, with an all-black version somewhere in the middle. Of late Zak has taken to using a variety of different faceplate colours alongside all manner of custom-coloured dials. I’d love to see the distribution pattern on who buys what and how quickly the in-between variations shift.
Not long ago I did a post about ’How important is the look of a pedal to its success’ - as I personally will have a preference for certain styles of pedal - for instance really liking the gold bar version of the Dr Scientist Elements pedal, while really not liking the more recent ’midnight forest with stars’ graphic - in fact for me the gold version is easily the best looking, so I wonder why more pedals weren’t made in that livery and why it was changed?
With Zak Martin’s Spaceman Effect pedals you are kind of entering artworld territory - particularly for re-sale of some of the older discontinued pedals - which are fetching 4 or 5 times their original price - but then like the Klon Centaur - it’s up to the market how much someone is willing to pay for one of those.
The Keeley thing though is somewhat different to Spaceman Effects certainly at the general pricing points - but then not really entirely. Many a discontinued Spaceman pedal has come back again as another different anniversary version or celebratory limited run - so in theory both parties can keep launching / churning out newer and newer versions of the same pedals ad infinitum.
I think the bottom line though is that there has to be a certain degree of design appeal in their too - which I’m not quite sure is true of the latest Keeley variations - I’m really not sure how appealing that trio is - they don’t seem anyway near as appealing as the previous trios featured - I really would be fascinated to know how well those all sell ...