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2019GPXNeoInstrumentsVentilatorAll700V2.jpg

Neo Instruments has long held sway as sort of the ’King of Swirl’ / ’King of Rotary’ with its flagship large format Ventilator II Leslie Rotary Simulator - which is still largely in a class of its own for that form factor. A few years ago it then released a more pedalboard-friendly Mini Vent version of that - a medium enclosure stripped-back affair with near enough same sort of footswitch control over ramping and braking, but no other surface controls save an A/B mode ...

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2019GPXBossSY1000Main700.jpg

Most are aware that Boss picked up on Roland’s Guitar Synthesizer expertise and leadership - and that the previous SY-300 model was the best in class for ultra-low-to-zero latency synthesis from direct guitar input. The new SY-1000 model fully lives up to ’Bigger and Better’ with much improved processing capacity and speed, more tones, textures and effects. It expands considerably on the range of its former sibling with 3 different synthesiser engines onboard - Dynamic Synth, ...

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GFI System Changes up the Multi-Modulation Game Again with its Synesthesia Dual Channel Modulation Workstation

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerGFI SystemModulationModulation WorkstationOddball ModulationPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSlicer and StutterTremoloUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2019GPXGFISynesthesiaMain700V2.jpg

I always take a while to deconstruct a new pedal - particularly one as complex as this - and hence my visual infographic above is a representation of the pedal’s feature set - but also its functional complexity and actual workings. It turns out that I’m rather quite familiar with Dual Channel Modulation Workstations courtesy of my Boss MD-500 which was the first to introduce this sort of modulation combination innovation.

 

Yet GFI takes things slightly further in most ways ...

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2019GPXBossWazaAirHeadphones700V2.jpg

Boss’s new launch kind of brings me full circle on when I started guitar in my teenage years. I had a great guitar at the time - an all-black Ibanez RG440 Roadstar, but you could not really get decent home practice amps in those days as far as I recall - so I ended up with a rather crappy headphone amp - which rendered a singularly flat and undynamic output which did nothing to encourage or inspire playing. In fact I drilled said guitar pretty much to destruction in changing pickups and ...

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28 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnalogWise PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzDeadFXD-SoundDunlop EffectsEl Músico Loco FXEWS EffectsFree Fall DiverFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHendrix EffectsIbanezJHS PedalsJimi HendrixKO AmpsLovepedalMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzMooerMXRMythos PedalsNFYFXOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigtronixRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleSviSoundTone Bender Style FuzzZvex+-
2019fBlg28MiniFuzz700.jpg

When I started this roundup a few years ago, there were only 9 pedals in my selection, while this latest edition has 28 - which will likely be the maximum number I display here - I will just ongoingly swap in newer and more interesting pedals as and when I come across them - for future roundups.

 

I’ve long since singled out Fuzz Pedals as being particularly suitable for the mini format - and in fact my first long-term pedal-chain fuzz was the still excellent EWS Little Fuzzy Drive...

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Tone City Collaborates with Two Celebrated Andertons Staffers for Artist Editions of its Mandragora and Wild Fire Gain Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveTone City+-
2019GPXToneCityAndertonsCollabs700.jpg

I’m occasionally chastised by readers for not featuring enough lower cost pedals on this site - which is a somewhat unfair criticism really as I try to be as value-minded as possible - and do genuinely love pedals at all levels - and am ever on the look out for a bargain or two for myself.

 

Most will already know Tone City as an even more affordable Mooer-style mostly mini pedal operation, while most are not aware that lead engineer / circuit-designer J. Wong used to be at Movall ...

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Japan's Banana Effects is helping to redefine the role and status of Mini Pedals

Banana EffectsDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbShimmer Reverb+-
2019GPX4MiniBananaEffects700.jpg

I had meant to do this article a lot sooner as Banana Effects have been on my radar for a while - back to a time when they were much more difficult to get a hold of. Nowadays though they’ve struck up a distribution deal with Amazon.com and they are available via Amazon in most countries - all priced at the equivalent of $199 / £189. So price-wise these are definitely smack bang in the middle of boutique territory - yet their diminutive form factor belies a true richness of features....

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Mini Pedals State of the Art PT 1 : Nine leading examples of Contemporary Mini Pedal Smart Engineering

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBanana EffectsBecos FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveCompressorDecibelicsDigital ReverbDistortionDSM NoisemakerFree Fall DiverFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMooerMulti-DriveOddball FuzzPigtronixReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleUtilityXotic Effects+-
2019GPXMiniPedalStateOfArt700V3.jpg

This is my 3rd re-write from scratch of this article - I keep coming across new details! This was initially inspired by the arrival of Mooer’s E7 series - first represented by the Tone Capture GTR, and now by the very recent 7-Mode/7-Presets E7 Synth pedal which continues that distinctive new enclosure format - which is in someways an evolution from Mooer’s Micro-PreAmps - with the same 5 mini knobs and push-button topology, but here accompanied by 7 Mode/Preset LEDs positioned down...

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2019GPXThorpyFXCamoflangeMain700V2.jpg

Judging from Chase Bliss Audio’s retirement of my favourite Spectre flanger early last year, I rather feared that one of my favourite effects categories was somewhat falling out of fashion. However there has been a steady stream of new pedals in that category since - including Earthquaker Devices’ Pyramids Stereo Flanger, Mad Professor’s Double Moon, Retro-Sonic’s Flanger and now ThorpyFX’s Camoflange.

 

I personally have had 3 flangers in my collection for ...

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Loophole Pedals Grey Matter Dual Overdrive/PreAmp First Impressions and Overview

AmpsBoost and OverdriveLoophole PedalsOverdrivePreAmp+-
2019GPXLoopholeGreymatterTwin700V3.jpg

I first encountered Mike Copeland’s Grey Matter PreAmp pedal back in March - I forget the very initial source now, but I did an ’Edits’ section snapshot overview back on March 22nd in response to my initial positive reaction. I obviously have a rolling series of tasks and priorities that I need to juggle, and several mini projects I’ve committed to along the way - so it wasn’t until June that I was all fired up and ready to acquire one of these for myself.

  ...

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