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2019GPXPedalCrushFrontCover700.jpg

I’ve had Pedal Crush since it first came out. I kind of caught the tail-end of the Kickstarter campaign and had the book in my hands right at the start of December. I was considering how best I could feature / review and recommend said book, and I’ve decided to do it kind of as a skim-through rapid overview in 12 referenced pages.

 

Pedal Crush was written by Kim Björn of similarly stylish Patch & Tweak and Push Turn Move fame, and in collaboration with Scott ’...

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An Overview of Sitek Guitar Electronics, an Artisan Family-run Pedal Boutique Inspired by Euphonious Muses

BoostBoost and OverdriveBufferDelayDigital DelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuper-Fuzz StyleUtility+-
2019GPXSitekFeatureMain700V2.jpg

My own story with Sitek pedals can be traced back to a fortuitous YouTube demo by Joss Allen (April this year) of the then pretty brand spanking new Pandora Fuzz. Everyone knows I’m a huge fuzz fan by now - and I really liked what I heard and what I saw - pretty much within the first couple of minutes of playback - I was straight onto Reverb.com where Sitek has a store - and the pedal was with me within a matter of days. The Pandora being Andrzej ’Andy’ Sitek’s evolved ...

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Spaceman Effects Delivers Voyager Tremolo Derived Articulate Apollo VII Overdrive

BoostBoost and OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionOverdriveSpaceman Effects+-
2019GPXSpacemanApolloVII700.jpg

You may recall that I wasn’t overly enamoured with Spaceman’s previous release - the Saturn VI Harmonic Booster - which wasn’t quite as pedestrian as some readers thought I made it sound, but nevertheless did not inspire me into action.

 

It is quite a different story with this new-but-old Apollo VII Overdrive which has actually been extracted from the guts of the Voyager I Optical Analog Tremolo where it acted as the PreAmp or Gain Stage for that pedal. Much in a ...

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Boss OD-200 Hybrid Drive In-Depth Review and Long-Term Impressions

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXIndepthBossOD200700V6.jpg

This review has taken somewhat longer than I intended - partly because of the considerable scope of variations covered by this pedal, and partly because of my ongoing changing adapted approach to deploying the pedal. My first instincts always seems to lean towards a philosophy of replication and replacement - that is to say trying to figure out which of my preferred / favourite dirt pedals can this one competently stand in for and replace if need be. I have lots of favourite fuzz, drive and ...

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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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