The best

What’s the best overdrive pedal? What’s the best reverb? What about the best analog delay? The answer is always: It depends. And people hate that.

“It depends” forces you to have a point of view—it puts you on the hook—now you’ve got to make your own mind up. You have to have a goal in mind.

You’ve got to test variables. You’ve got to buy, try, and return in frustration a few times before finding what’s best for you.

Then you’ll spend the rest of your life having to defend that choice to others: Here’s why it’s best for me, but ‘your mileage may vary.’ A forced ranking like, “The Strymon Big Sky is the best modulated reverb” tells us exactly what to expect and frees us to turn our brains off.

It brings a certain status along with it too; If you’re rich enough to have the best, then you must BE the best, right? And if things don’t work out, it’s not your fault, you can blame the system. You bought ‘the best’ after all. Not your problem if the best wasn’t good enough. I hate that kind of thinking.