Amps
Boost and Overdrive
Delay
Distortion
Fuzz
Guitars
Modulation
Pitch
Reverb
Utility
All
All

News

Best of Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

BJFEBjörn JuhlBoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorDarkglass ElectronicsDistortionDriveDual-DriveEBS SwedenEffects Pedal MakersElektronFuzzGlitchGuitar MaintenanceGuitar Synth and SequencerHimmelstrutzMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveParasit StudioPladask ElektriskSilicon FuzzSoundBrutUtility+-
2019GPXBestofSwedFinNorBuilders700-min.jpg

As mentioned in my Danish/Denmark pedals feature I had initially intended to do the Best of Scandinavia, but Denmark has so many internationally known brands I had to separate them out. For the remaining Scandinavian countries Sweden is obviously the strongest here with 6 featured in the Top 9 listing, then 2 Finnish and only 1 Norwegian brand of significant note.

 

Probably the most significant persona in Scandinavian pedal design / building is Swede Björn Juhl - who has pretty ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

The Empress Zoia Lands April 15th! - or rather starts shipping then actually

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDown-TunerDriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationTremoloUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXEmpressZoiaFinal700-min.jpg

Now definitively defined as a Pedal-format Modular Synthesizer, Sequencer and Multi-Effects unit. The control interface consists of a small OLED screen accompanied by a grid of 40 (5x8) 7-coloured LED backlit soft-touch buttons, 4 further control buttons for Secondary Functions, and a large Menu scroll dial. There are 3 footswitches to activate live playback and scroll through presets.

 

Essentially you have a building-block interface-led hybrid-modular-synthesiser where you chain ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

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 ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

2018 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayBeetronics FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHorizon DevicesJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsTape DelayThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWamplerWMD DevicesZvex+-
2018GPXPedalsOfTheYear700-min.jpg

2018 has been a really surprising year for pedals - there have been quite a few unexpected innovations along the way with also some of the usual production delays and holdups. As I write this I am still waiting for my long-overdue Jackson Audio Bloom to arrive - but I expect it will be worth the delay. I would have liked to have seen the Empress Zoia despatched this year too, as sort of predicted though - I feel that it will be pushed into next year - to coincide with Winter NAMM possibly - in ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Meris round off their Quartet / Quadfecta with probably their most appealing pedal to date - the Enzo Multi-Voice Synthesizer

Ambient EffectsBitcrushing and Lo-FiDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGuitar Synth and SequencerMeris EffectsModulationPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationShimmer ReverbSpacey Reverb+-
2018GPXMerisQuadfecta700-min.jpg

I have to start this piece by reiterating that the fantastic Meris is really just 3 people - Terry Burton, Jinna Kim and Angelo Mazzocco - with the last mentioned the main sound engineer. They were initially known for making 500 series rack format effects but have since made more of a name for themselves by releasing their signature effects in medium enclosure stompbox pedals - not that different in format from Strymon’s mid-sized boxes.

 

2017 was a bumper year for them as they ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Twin Footswitch Alexander Pedals New / NEO and Old

Alexander PedalsBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDistortionEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationOctaverOscillating FuzzPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSpacey ReverbTape DelayTremoloTwin Footswitch+-
2018AfBlgTwinAlexanderPedals700-min

Alexander are one of my favourite pedal-makers even though I have only acquired one of theirs to date (La Calavera Phaser) and even that currently falls secondary to my Chase Bliss Wombtone. Yet I have always admired the imagination and innovation of this mostly digital pedal specialist and have several of these on my infinite wishlist.

 

Following on from my piece on the Perfect Compact Pedal, the recent NEO range of Alexander Pedals has many of those desired features - including Twin ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Pedal Mania III - Pedal Chain State of the Union, February 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSinvertekStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkPAR700

It’s always amusing to set your pedal goals and targets right at the start of the year, and then have to amend them right after the various Winter NAMM announcements. In fact I did a status update at the end of last year, and at the start of this one - which is not a whole lot of days really, but so much as happened in the interim!

 

I kind of got inspired by heavier tones over Christmas - which prompted me to acquire another heavy distortion pedal - in the shape of the MI Audio ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

21 of the Best Pedals Introduced at Winter NAMM 2018

6 Degrees FXAlexander PedalsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanger AudioGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXRNeunaberOddball ModulationOverdrivePigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationSamplerSeymour DuncanSpacey ReverbSuhrTape DelayTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioWMD Devices+-
2018AfBlg20NAMMPedals700

Pedals are still my favourite guitar-related field - nothing yields the same degree of instant satisfaction as a smart pedal, and there were quite a number of intriguing ones on offer in this year’s crop. I started aiming for 20, then chopped and changed quite a bit - to end up with this current selection of 21. All of these hold significant interest for me and would be / are being considered for inclusion within my pedal chain and compact and mini collections - for which I currently have...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Pigtronix doubles down on Compact Analog Guitar Synth Pedals with its new Ringmaster Analog Multiplier

Guitar Synth and SequencerModulationOddball ModulationPigtronixRing Modulation+-
2018AfBlgPigtronixAnalogSynths700

The NAMM promo videos are coming thick and fast now, and the second one below sees Pigtronix announce the arrival of the slightly quirkier twin brother to the Mothership 2 - the Ringmaster as the name suggests combines Ring Modulation into the synth mix, but it does a lot more besides - including - Analog Harmonizing, LFO Modulation, Sample & Hold Modulation, Pitch Tracking Ring Modulation and Pitch Tracking Tremolo.

 

The Mothership 2 has been on my wishlist for quite a while and I ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions
News Navigation

2019 50

A Tale of 2 Rats - JHS and Kinnatone Modded ProCo Rat 2 Pedals
"According to the builder, the Big Ear Wood Cutter "...
4 hours ago
9 of the Best Walrus Audio Pedals
"David, I'm glad to be of some use here - that is "...
4 days ago
9 of the Best Walrus Audio Pedals
"Hi Stefan, it seems I've become an affectionate "...
4 days ago
Strymon Announces the Volante - The Ultimate Magnetic Style Delay Pedal
"Also I forgot to mention the Disaster Transport SR"...
15 days ago
Strymon Announces the Volante - The Ultimate Magnetic Style Delay Pedal
"What about the TC Electronic Triple Flashback D"...
15 days ago
Strymon Announces the Volante - The Ultimate Magnetic Style Delay Pedal
"Note also that for Tape Style Delay - some still "...
15 days ago
Waiting