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Mike Matthews Wins Judgment in Chinese Court Against Mooer Pedal Pi…

3

Thanks for posting! Reader's Digest flashback!

4

Unions have done some great things. Then, there are issues like this. It explains my mixed feelings about carrying the card. I've been in three unions, and it always hasn't been a positive experience.

5

Man , that guy has had a rough way to go. kudos to him!

6

I read so many derogatory things about this guy that somewhere in the back of my mind I had a negative opinion of him, for no reason other than a general impression garnered from people dissing him. After reading these articles I realize that I have no reason to hold any negative thoughts. In fact, I'll be more inclined to buy one of his pedals now. Thanks for posting Tim.

So why the hostility from people? They don't like the Russian tubes? He's a little 'rough n ready?'

7

Well, he's completely New Yawk: straight-shooter, no words minced, determined, a hustler, a promoter, a wheeler-dealer, ambitious, a survivor, doesn't know when he's licked, takes lickin's and keeps on tickin', doesn't care what others think of him, fiercely loyal to his people - and under it, I think, the proverbial heart-o-gold. I can see how some would get offended by any one or or a number of those traits.

He's been besotted by music since he was a kid, is pretty fair gospel-tinged pianist/organist with a rough-as-gravel voice - and stumbled into making pedals. Never the designer himself, but apparently a pretty good judge either of what sounds good or what will sell (sometimes both), he took a flippant, irreverent hippie approach to promoting his product - all while keeping a serious head for business. His battle with the union broke him and his company, but he stayed loyal to his people as long as he could.

Then he rebuilt from bankruptcy - in the process helping bring Russia into the web of international commerce, taking chances no one else would have dreamed of. "Crazy Mike," I'm sure they thought. But he put the loss of tube manufacture in the US together with capacity in Russia, and their need for business - and used that to build fresh from the ground up. Provided tubes to the entire industry - arguably going a long way to saving the whole notion of tube amplification when it coulda gone away. I expect his example of collaborating with Russians has helped cement positive working and personal relationships between people in the two countries. (The governments, who knows.)

Pretty durn visionary. Pretty gutsy. Business as usual for MM, apparently.

Stood up to the Russian gangsters.

Recognized the wave of pedal nostalgia early and started reissuing, remaking, remixing the classic contributions EHX made to the industry in the late 60s, 70s, early 80s - all the while apparently recognizing talent and giving it freedom to innovate (within his business guidelines). Because EHX has continued to release cool, new, inventive pedals with such numbing regularity that you hardly notice them - until you look for interesting out-of-the-mainstream stuff. Then you find EHX - arguably the oldest standing pedal company, and surely the only one still run by its main man, a likely candidate for conservative flogging of cash cows - running circles around most boutique brands in creativity and solid implementation.

AND selling for half or a third the price of boutique pedals that do half or a third of what the EXH pedal does.

I can imagine a little builder jealousy - and envy of an operation that for decades can continue to produce (and continually tweak and extend) not only iconic industry-standard products, but genuinely cool new stuff. AND build it in NYC. AND move it in crazy quantity at prices near the bottom of the industry (not counting the Chinese mini-cloners).

I've always had a soft spot for EHX, having had so many of their classic early pedals - but for years I stayed away, assuming the product was noisy, poorly made, and unreliable. Now, without intending to - and even while trying to stay away from the brand - I find over 10% of my pedal arsenal is EHX. Not because I'm a fanboy - because the pedals just ended up being that compelling, that unique, and, usually, that great a value. The pedals have won me over.

I guess that experience, and MM's history, have made me something of a fanboy.

9

i would be curious to see an account of the union battle from a more objective source than the notoriously far-right Readers' Digest.

10

The durn union-battle article is sooo secondary to the main purpose of the post, which was to highlight a contemporary win in Chinese courts against Chinese theft of intellectual property.

I pasted in the URLs for all the links in the same way - with no intention for the old union story to show up as an image, as though it was the focus. It wasn’t. It isn’t. It has apparently distracted readers from the first link, which one has to click to read the China story.

11

i would be curious to see an account of the union battle from a more objective source than the notoriously far-right Readers' Digest.

– macphisto

It appears a bit odd that a Union targeted such a small business and with that type of ferocity.
Mike's an interesting, compelling figure to say the least and he makes some really good stuff that is fairly priced. It's also unique that unlike so many other good, small, independent companies, EHX has not been taken over or sold to one of the big companies. But to win in a Chinese Court, that would seem to be unprecedented......maybe the biggest upset since the US hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the '80 Olympics.

13

It appears a bit odd that a Union targeted such a small business and with that type of ferocity.
Mike's an interesting, compelling figure to say the least and he makes some really good stuff that is fairly priced. It's also unique that unlike so many other good, small, independent companies, EHX has not been taken over or sold to one of the big companies. But to win in a Chinese Court, that would seem to be unprecedented......maybe the biggest upset since the US hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the '80 Olympics.

– Gretschadelphia

I've seen unions do some highly questionable things. It can get nasty on both sides, so neither management nor the unions are perfect.


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