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12 of the Best Compact Enclosure Zonk Machine Style Fuzz Pedals

Acid FuzzArcane AnalogB.G. HardingBasic AudioBlammo ElectronicsBritish Pedal CompanyCalangary PedalsCollector EffectorsD*A*M EffectsDanDrive PedalFuzzGermanium FuzzJDM PedalsRogue SoundSilicon FuzzSuper ElectricTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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This article was inspired by a series of dialogues I had with my now pal Bruno - about DanDrive Secret and Acid Fuzz Zoink Machine fuzzes initially - but then branched out into a more general conversation about Zonk Machine Fuzzes.

 

The John Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine was in fact a very closely related MKI Tone Bender style fuzz which emerged very shortly after the appearance of the original Colorsound MKI Tone Bender. In fact the circuits are almost identical - 3 x all germanium ...

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Glou-Glou Returns with the STEAK Multi-Band, Modulating, Oscillating, Multi-Mode Dual Voice Distortion Station

DistortionDriveDual-DriveEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGlou GlouMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMulti-DriveOctaverOscillating FuzzPitchSilicon FuzzTremolo+-
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The spiritual heir to Lovetone launches yet another monster big-box masterpiece. I’ve covered several of Glou Glou’s pedals on this blog - including the Rendez-Vous Dual Filter/Phaser in my piece on French Pedal Builders, and more recently the Pralines Fuzzy Quad Parallelized Resonant Filter and Moutarde Four Voice PLL Synth.

 

Glou-Glou really seems to specialise in applying multi-band filters and envelope followers onto any of the key effects types. These big boxes are ...

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In Defence of the more Complex PreAmp Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCustom TonesDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzSinvertekTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
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I am somewhat exasperated to still be seeing several ill-informed nonsense critiques of these more fully featured pedals - where certain factions are denouncing them as sort of jacks-of-all-trade with insufficient core tonal qualities that mean they cannot hack it with just the basic 3 - Volume, Gain and Tone knobs!

 

I refer below to one of the classic Two Rock Amps - specifically the Silver Sterling Signature - which has 17 exceptionally useful controls - including those 6 mode toggle-...

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28 of the Best Compact Rat-Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Acid Age ElectronicsAion ElectronicsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBBE SoundBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBYOCCatalinbreadChicago StompworkscmatmodsDistortionDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFreakshow EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreer AmpsIbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsJohn LandgraffMagnetic EffectsMojo Hand FXOpAmp FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
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Most should know by now that I’m a huge Rat aficionado - and for me Rat doesn’t just mean those original ProCo Rat varieties but all the different derivatives - direct and indirect - old and new, classics, rarities and outliers. This category is titled ’Rat-Style’ so there’s a few Rat-adjacent pedals here too which share some of the core fundamentals and bring to mind some key associations with that well-known highly textured frequency profile.

 

For me at a...

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End of June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode V - A Disturbance in the Force!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBixonicBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
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June hasn’t been a particularly kind month to me - in fact it’s been something of a difficult period - I was going to call this piece ’The Darkness Lingers’ but didn’t really want that particular NLP on this blog - which I try to keep as positive as is practically possible.

 

A number of ventures and collaborations I was working on this month came a cropper when the other collaborating parties somewhat inexplicably and suddenly ended their involvement - ...

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I have often cited the Ditto Mini Looper as TC Electronic’s key product - and most likely top sales champion over these years - as pretty much everyone I know has one. It has had to withstand an onslaught of almost identical copycat products at a fraction of its price - so it’s understandable that TCE felt they needed to do something to reestablish their leadership credentials in this area.

 

I’m obviously far from the first to cover this as I have a publishing ...

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Mikey Demus's Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

BoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCaroline Guitar CompanyDelayDigital DelayDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionMikey DemusMXRNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRedbeard EffectsStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXToneQuestTunersUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXMikeyDemusBoard700V3.jpg

Readers of this blog should be well aware by now of Skindred’s Lead Guitarist and Redbeard Effects Head Honcho Mikey Demus. And while I had been very familiar with his band Skindred for a number of years - my focus didn’t shift fully to Mikey himself until he got into partnership with Adrian Thorpe and started producing his own range of signature pedals.

 

The first release was an exceptional take on Mikey’s core signature Orange Rockerverb 100 Amp sound - the Red Mist ...

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Steve Demedash Releases Best Version of his T-120 DLX Videotape Echo Tomorrow!

DelayDemedash EffectsDigital DelayLo-Fi DelayTape Delay+-
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I’ve been a fan of Steve Demedash for a few years now, though I’ve not gotten around to acquiring any of his pedals quite yet - the timing seemingly continues to fall out of sync with my concurrent reality! Had I the funds right now I would certainly be considering getting involved in this Friday the 26th’s Melée - where 50 of the clear aluminium enclosure version with colourful stripes and matching aluminium knobs will be going on sale at 10am CST for the princely sum ...

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The Overlooked Art of Pedal Manual and Instruction Guide Design

Beetronics FXChase Bliss AudioEmpress EffectsGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesStrymon+-
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Following on from features on enclosure design and artworks, interior circuit arrangements and packaging - I felt it necessary to focus on the much neglected art of the Pedal Manual and Instruction Guide. Over the years I’ve seen a huge variety of instruction guides included with my hundreds of pedals - from flimsy black-and white photostats - just overly-folded sheets of low-quality paper really with barely legible text - through to more well-considered and actually smartly engineered ...

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Celebrating The King of Klone, Master of Organic Tone - Guillem Vilademunt of Decibelics, Barcelona

BoostBoost and OverdriveDecibelicsEffects Pedal MakersKlone and Transparent OverdriveOverdrive+-
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I received the full set of Decibelics gut shots a little late for inclusion in my recent piece on ’Interior Pedal and Circuit Design / Art’. So I then had the option of appending these as an addendum to that article, or evolving them into more of a solo feature. And as there are some other significant specifics I wish to convey in relation to this particular trio of pedals - I decided upon the latter.

 

More fortuitously still - Guillem has within the week released an ...

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