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Pedal Highlights at the 2019 Birmingham Guitar Show

AnasoundsAudio Distribution GroupBossChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveFace MIFirst Line DistributionFuzzLaney AmplificationModulationModulation WorkstationOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsPeterson TunersReverbSpring ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTunersUtilityWalrus AudioZander Cicuitry+-
2019GPXTheGuitarShowPedals700-min.jpg

The Birmingham Guitar Show this year was so much a better affair than the London / UK Guitar Show I attended at Olympia in September - particularly from an organisational and pedal perspective. But I’m kind of sad to report that it was a very pale shadow of the NAMM show that took place almost exactly one month ago. If I tally up all the best new pedals from the NAMM show - only the tiniest fraction of those were on display at the Birmingham Show.

 

It means that the Beetronics ...

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The Really Useful Sub £100 Guitar Tools and Utilities Gift Guide

Crimson GuitarsEbowErnie BallGear MaintenanceGruv GearGuitar AccessoriesGuitar MaintenanceGuitar ToolsIbanezMusic NomadPlanet WavesPower SuppliesRoadie 2 TunerRoadie TunerTC ElectronicThaliaTrue ToneTunersUtilityWittner+-
2018GPXGuitarGearGifts700-min.jpg

These are all tools, utilities and gadgets that I have and love and use all the time, or are on my wishlist for imminent acquisition. I’ve chosen to stick to the more casual side of guitar maintenance - and have thus excluded things such as fret-rockers and the like. If you want to do full setup, intonation and nuanced maintenance of your guitar you will need some more serious tools than these - these are really just for everyday maintenance, string changes, quick restore, buff and polish...

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35 of the Best Boss Compact Guitar Pedals - 2018 Update

Acoustic SimulatorAlchemy AudioAmbient EffectsAnalog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKeeley EngineeringLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModified PedalsModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTalk Box and VocoderTremoloTunersUtilityWaza Craft+-
2018AfBlg35BossCompacts700V3-min

So last year was the 40th anniversary of the Boss Compact Pedal (1977 - 2017) and I did a feature to commemorate that notable milestone. On that occasion I picked out 20 of my favourite Boss Compacts - past and present.

 

In the intervening time I’ve got more and more into Boss pedals - particularly modified versions, and have decided to extend the list to cover the additional pedals I am interested in. There is still a part of me that prefers the MXR-style enclosure, especially ...

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Electric Guitar Tuning Essentials - Tools and Tips

D'AddarioDigiTechDown-TunerGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Gear ResourcesPitchRoadie TunerStretchaTC ElectronicTunersUtility+-
2018AfBlgTuningEssentials700

There’s both more and less to guitar tuning than most people might consider. At its most basic, guitar tuning can be done by ear - if you’re blessed to have perfect pitch you can hum to yourself the lower E and then tune the other strings relative to that - fretting each preceding string on the 5 or 4th(G) Fret. I have a pitch pipe for such a process - no electronics involved - simple but not particularly quick or efficient.

 

Then there is the various guitar tuners - which I...

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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 ...

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2018 Guitar Pedal Goals and Wishlists

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyCustom TonesDawner Prince EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMKV700

So by the end of 2017, my chain was in a particularly good place and numbering 36 strong. In one of my more recent posts I had set out a rough future phase plan, but as always that got somewhat bounced with the unexpected arrival of the Hamstead Odyssey Intergalactic Driver - which turns out to be a superbly versatile OCD+ replacement / swap-out for my chain. Over Christmas I discovered a new favourite band - in the guise of In This Moment, which led to my acquiring my second MI Audio pedal - ...

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More Pedal Chain Delight - The Spice Rack Analogy

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlgSKSignalChainMkXXXXIV700

The last time I wrote about my ’home studio’ pedal chain (February) there were a mere 25 pedals / slots in my signal chain, which I thought was about the right number at the time! I next built up and settled on 35 slots being more representative of what I needed for my purposes, before I decided that I had to add a Vox + Top Boost / Brian May -style flavour too - courtesy of the Catalinbread Galileo (slot 12). So I’ve ended up with my current arrangement of 36 pedals / slots -...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Large Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmptweakerBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixElektronEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationSonuusSubdecay EffectsTech 21 NYCTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed WahWhirlwind EffectsXotic EffectsZvex+-
2017AfBlg20LargePedalType700

This article completes the fourth part of the quadrilogy which started with the compact pedal overview and was triggered by the 40th anniversary Boss article. If you’re going to go with a large enclosure pedal, you really need it to be of the all-singing and dancing variety, otherwise why would you be sacrificing so much pedal real estate. Traditionally large pedals have meant the big all-in-one workstations - i.e. your classic big box Eventide and Strymon, and now Boss solutions. ...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Medium Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDual-DriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMorley PedalsMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTremoloTunersTWA EffectsUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2017AfBlg20MediumtPedalType700

We’ve covered off Key Effects Pedals per Compact and Mini size, and here we go up a category to Medium. When I think of medium-sized pedals, the makers that immediately spring to mind are Strymon, Empress , Carl Martin and Way Huge (Dunlop) - for whom the medium-size enclosure forms the mainstay of their product offerings. All the newer Orange Amps pedals have been of medium size and same goes for Stone Deaf FX, and I guess in the early 70’s - before Boss came along with its ’...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Mini Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEQEWS EffectsFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModulationMooerMulti-DriveMXRNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchReverbTC ElectronicTremoloTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlg20MiniPedalType700

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of mini pedals and feature right now 6 of that type in my active studio pedal chain (of 35). All of these are exceptional at what they provide, and they all sound great, and are amongst my favourites. Somewhat ironically, of those 6 - one has already been marked for replacement. My much-loved Mooer Blues Mood which is a clone of the celebrated Keeley-modded Boss Blues Driver BD-2 - has somewhat added competition in the guise of the new Boss Angry Driver...

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