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16 of the best Guitar Synth Pedals - 2019 Edition

Alexander PedalsBanana EffectsDeath By AudioDedalo FXDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixGuitar Synth and SequencerKeeley EngineeringMeris EffectsModulationParasit StudioPigtronixRed Witch EffectsSubdecay Effects+-
2019GPX16BestGuitarSynthPedals700-min.jpg

There have been a smattering of new Guitar Synth pedals recently - including at the January NAMM show, so I thought it would be opportune to do a round-up of some of my preferred choices - the significant new ones, and some older favourites.

 

I’ve deliberately left out a few of the larger usual suspects here - including the Boss SY-300, Glou Glou Moutarde and Hologram Infinite Jets Resynthesizer - all of which I’ve featured before. Instead I’ve focused more on the ...

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Drolo Molecular Disruptor V3 - Killer Glitch/Multi-FX Pedal : Overview with some Key Patches, Settings and Notes

Ambient EffectsBitcrushing and Lo-FiDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGlitchGranular DelayLooperModulationOctaverOddball DelayOddball ModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSlicer and StutterUtility+-
2019GPXDroloMolecularDisruptorV4700.jpg

So some of you know that I declared 2019 would be my ’Year of Glitch’ following on from last year’s ’Year of Fuzz’. I had a longlist of 16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals - and indicated which of those were my preferred options. I very soon had 4 of those pedals in my collection - in order of arrival - King of Gear Mini Glitch, Montreal Assembly Count to Five, Drolo Molecular Disruptor V3, and the gold-face Pladask Elektrisk Fabrikat. There are a few missing off ...

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2019GPXDecibelicsAngrySwedeProto700V2-min.jpg

It’s long been a mystery why the enduringly popular Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal has been out of production for quite so long - being as it at the root of the key Swedish Death Metal genre/movement, and still the weapon of choice for many of the best practitioners of that art. A pristine HM-2 on Reverb.com is becoming increasingly rare, and when it does appear its pricing is often quite frankly ridiculous.

Super Tone Shaper Guillem Vilademunt of Decibelics / Golden Horse fame has been hard ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Octave Fuzz Pedals

AnasoundsFuzzOctave FuzzPigtronixWampler+-
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Following on from my usual ’Best of’ features I am now increasingly doing these different enclosure size round-ups, as the main features are mostly compact pedals - and I feel I need to give you options right throughout the range and scale of what is available.

 

I’ve picked the Anasounds Crankled Bitoun Fuzz and Wampler Fuzztration as my recommendation for the compact and medium categories. While for Mini I think the Pigtronix Octava is the most feature-rich / best ...

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16 of the Best Octave Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnasoundsBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBossCaroline Guitar CompanyDrolo EffectsDunlop EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzJimi HendrixKing Tone EffectsOctave FuzzRabbit Hole FXSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsStomp Audio LabsTsakalis Audio WorksVahlbruch FXWampler+-
2019GPX16BestOctaveFuzzes700-min.jpg

I’ve found myself increasingly interested in Octave Fuzzes these days, and in fact I have two slightly different ones right now in my pedal-chain - the Anasounds Crankled Bitoun near the front of the chain, and the Beetronics FX Octahive around half-way along - they both have quite different timbres and tonalities, and are furthermore set to sound quite different too, but both create incredibly thick and rich fuzz tones.

 

I really enjoyed JHS Josh Scott’s recent Octave Fuzz ...

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16 of the Best Medium and Large Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AmptweakerBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBognerDeath By AudioDwarfcraftFunction FXFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzLone Wolf AudioMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRainger FXSeymour DuncanSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneczarWalrus AudioWamplerZander Cicuitry+-
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I originally intended to do a 20 strong feature, but decided that since I had already covered 5 medium pedals in my recent ’Rat’ overview I could get away with 16 here. Since some of the enclosure sizes here are quite large, it doesn’t really make sense to cram in too many - so the 16 limit just about does the job. Whenever I do one of these features I always feel that I may have overlooked some essential/s - if you could please let me know in the comments if I’ve missed...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

Dr ScientistFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousLone Wolf AudioMooerOpAmp FuzzRat Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXMiniMediLargeRat700-min.jpg

This is obviously just a quick addendum to the very recent 16 Best Rat Style Pedals feature. I started doing these sorts of articles at the end of last year to indicate different size options - as befits divergent emphasis and scope, available pedalboard real-estate etc. Generally I look for a combination of best mix of tone, price, feature set, versatility and practicality - meaning all manner of things are considered including pedal-placement and power supply requirements. Ease of use is also...

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16 of the Best Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

1981 InventionsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCaroline Guitar CompanyDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsLone Wolf AudioMagnetic EffectsOpAmp FuzzProCoRatRat Style FuzzThropyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2019GPX16Rats700-min.jpg

I think that the Rat style is possibly my favourite style of dirt pedal. It really depends how distinctly you classify all the Marshall pedals I have versus the already 8 Rat-style pedals in the collection (Actually 10 really, but 7 in the top 16 feature).

 

So my current all-time Rat-style champ is not always associated with the genre even though it is a full-throttle OmpAmp-driven fuzzstortion chaos machine - I am of course referring to Dr Scientist’s formidable Frazz Dazzler ...

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24 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2019 Edition

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSide EffectsSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2019GPX24CompactOverdrives700-min.jpg

For this particular selection I tried to get in as diverse number of types, along with all the usual favourites - every year I have readers asking me why I left this one or that one out - so this year is the time for including Menatone in the selection. Obviously between years some pedals rise in prominence while others fall - my intentions are always to provide as broad a selection as possible while still covering all my own personal favourites.

 

There are a few new entrants since 2018...

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24 of the Best Compact Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abracadabra AudioAnarchy AudioAnasoundsBasic AudioBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBossChase Bliss AudioDr ScientistFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMagnetic EffectsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPaul Trombetta DesignPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsZvex+-
2019GOX24CompactFuzze700s-min.jpg

So you may have read last year that I went a little overboard with fuzz type pedals - aiming initially to build up an essential reference collection of 30 of the best - I then published my ’2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest’ just about half way through that year - featuring 40 pedals, and right now, my current fuzz quota is running at exactly 100 pedals - with 82 compacts, 11 minis and 7 medium to large pedals making up the collection.

 

This overview is 24 of the best ’...

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News Navigation

2019 34

20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"I believe the official EVH fan club as such "...
18-Feb-2019
20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"Hey Hector - when you say Mesa do you mean Double "...
18-Feb-2019
20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"Any mesa boogie and P51/50 style pedal "...
18-Feb-2019
The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show
"Regarding the Mod Workstations - that's why I'm "...
29-Jan-2019
The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show
"Great overview!!!! I am really looking forward "...
29-Jan-2019
Boss MD-500 vs Strymon Mobius - including full list of MD-500 Presets
"Ben - quality is quality wherever it comes from "...
14-Jan-2019
Boss MD-500 vs Strymon Mobius - including full list of MD-500 Presets
"What a fantastic comparison review! Yes, I would "...
13-Jan-2019
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