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End of Year Pedal-Chain Update - Final Formation - Class of 2020

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTimmyToneczarTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMEndOfYear700.jpg

And so here is the culmination of everything that happened to the pedal-chain in 2020.

 

There were quite a few more displacements than I had expected - all told 22 slots changed over this year - including 19 Brand New Pedals for 2020, then 3 slightly older pedals, and some incidentals.

 

The most significant shift, and the one that caused the most disruption was the arrival of Boss GT-1000 CORE in October. This is often the case when you bring in a big new pedal - and you need to...

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2020 Best of New Overdrive and Distortion Pedals for the Year

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChase Bliss AudioCornerstone Music GearCrowther AudioDanelectroDistortionDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFriedman EffectsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXMulti-DriveMXRNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedal PawnPettyjohn ElectronicsRainger FXShnobel ToneSitek Guitar ElectronicsThorpyFXTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXBestOverDistoritonPedalsofYeat700.jpg

And here is the first of the category overviews for the year - combining those Overdrive and Distortion pedals which sparked some interest for me. Note that there will be 4 of these types of articles - Overdrive & Distortion (this one), Fuzz, Delay and Reverb (exc. Reverb Workstation already covered), and Modulation + Pitch + Untility pedals. Before I then reveal my overall 25 or so favourite favourite pedals for the year in a Best-of-the-Best listing - with possibly some sneaky additions. ...

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A Rare Dumble-style Fully-Loaded Custom Tones Ethos Clean-Fusion II 2-Channel Preamp is now part of the Reference Collection

BoostBoost and OverdriveCustom TonesDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveOverdrivePreAmp+-
2020GPXCustomTonesEthosCleanFusionIIX700V2.jpg

Readers will know that I’ve been trying to chase down this pedal for around 2-3 years - in my opinion the best / most practical and most adjustable 2-Channel Dumble-Style Preamp made to date. There are actually 3 different models of this Ethos Preamp that Custom Tones makes - the original large-scale full-format Ethos 2-Channel Overdrive + Boost, the BB-sized Ethos Clean II Single Channel Preamp, and the BB-sized Ethos Clean-Fusion II 2-Channel Preamp. All are made to order by Mr Custom ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Overdrive Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBarber ElectronicsBearfoot FXBJFEBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBO EffectsBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBosscmatmodsCrowther AudioCustom TonesDanDrive PedalDecibelicsDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFeaturedFoxpedalF-PedalsFree The ToneFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)Greer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHot Cake Style OverdriveJ RockettJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsJoyo EffectsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMI EffectsMontreal AssemblyMooerMXRMythos PedalsNobelsNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochranePedal DiggersPickdropperSarno Music SolutionsSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVemuramVFE PedalsVick AudioWamplerWay Huge Effects+-
2020GPX12DegreesOverdriveEdition700V2.jpg

So this is one of most significant works in a while, and carries on the legacy of two of my most popular all-time articles on the 12 Degrees of Saturation - the Original that evolved in the early months of 2017, and the follow-up which materialised in September of 2018.

 

I obviously deal with a lot of reader inquiries pretty much on a daily basis, and one of the more popular lines of inquiry has been about overdrives. And while Josh Scott attests to the fact that there are only 5 core ...

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Roman Belonozhko's Multifaceted Shnobel Tone Daily Driver delivers beautifully textured breakup with alluring high frequency sparkle

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDumble Style OverdriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveShnobel ToneTimmyTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPXShnobelToneDailyDriverInOut700V4.jpg

I must confess that this pedal somewhat slipped under my radar when it was first teased / introduced at January’s Winter NAMM show. In fact I only really became properly aware of it when Roman started doing his head-to-head YouTube videos - where he looked to dial-in near-match tones to each of those very well-known classics - per the video references at the base of this article.

 

First Roman compared the Daily Driver (which I will henceforth occasionally refer to as the DD) ...

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Mike Vickery's largely Tuxedo-style Vick Audio Pedals underline a certain air of effortless authentic elegance

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzVick Audio+-
2020GPXVickAudio700.jpg

I’ve been peripherally aware of Mike Vickery’s Vick Audio for a long time now, and have to date included his Mount Pleasant Blues Breaker, Overdriver Power Boost, and Tree of Life Overdrive in their respective category roundups.

 

This article was partly triggered by two events really. Following on from my doing a feature on Steve Mac’s Pedalboard (Aussie Pink Floyd) it heightened and reawakened my interest in everything David Gilmour - which led to my article on Pete ...

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4 Fantastic Programmable Overdrive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPX4ProgrammableOverdrives700.jpg

This article was obviously inspired by last Friday’s That Pedal Show (TPS) episode with similar title. In watching that I thought - hang on a minute - I have all these pedals, with the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII the most recently added. So before the episode - 3 were already in my pedal-chain - the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage since it first came out, the relatively recent Jackson Audio Golden Boy, and of course my brand new Automatone Preamp MKII.

 

...

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End of July Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Mercurial Conveyance!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDemon PedalsDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJuly700V2.jpg

July has largely been a very decent month for me and culminated with the arrival of my twin new Expresso FX Dual Custom Fuzzes and my annual white whale as such - the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII on this occasion.

 

It looks like 4 pedals failed to get over the line within the appointed time period - the longest-ranging of which is my Evil Pumpkin Modded DS-1 - which has been en-route from Kiev since June 12th and which I surely hoped should have landed by now.

 

My ...

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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Clipping Diodes

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXClippingDiodes700.jpg

So this post came about due to my sometimes confusion between Soft and Hard Clipping, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Clipping and the individual clipping characteristics of different Diodes. In my earliest pedal years I took the type of Diode to be the essential constituent of the clipping degree and texture versus the actual circuit and diodes arrangement. Phrases like ’Soft Clipping Germanium’ also confused me for eons - as it’s actually the methodology which principally ...

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A Brief Pete Cornish Deluxe Series Pedals Overview

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferCompressorDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePete CornishSilicon FuzzUtility+-
2020GPX9BestPeteCornishPedals700V3.jpg

Following on from my recent piece on Steve Mac’s Pedalboard - I was intrigued enough by the Pete Cornish contingent within that to do further research in line with my own idiosyncrasies and preferences. I’ve noted previously that I somewhat dismissed Pete Cornish’s pedals as being something of an over-sized, over-priced 70’s anachronism (my sincerest apologies!). Referring largely then to the original tour-grade Grey Pro Series which festooned many a guitar legend’...

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