Guitar Pedal X [GPX] started as a series of informal / hobbyist blog posts on the Affino.com Digital Business Platform corporate site. Yet as the volume of posts grew, so did its audience - and certain articles garnered a lot of views and helped popularise various concepts - like my ’12 Degrees of Saturation’ for instance.
This blog is a ToneQuest - where I seek out the best guitar gear / devices for my own particular purposes - and constantly review and revise what is out there in the world, and which the viable options are for me. These blogs involve a lot of research and curation. I rarely cover every single pedal within a particular category - there are other sites that do that sort of thing. I tend to be quite selective, yer pervasive at the same time - looking at all manner of criteria, including sound quality / tone, practicality, versatility, price and availability.
I will much rather say ’Best of’ when referring to a collection of category criteria - there is rarely the single one best ever - just the one that may be best for you right now. In fact it is almost always one of a few. We are in the golden age of guitar gear and effects at the moment - we’ve never had a broader collection available internationally.
My aim with all of this is to unearth and showcase the leading contenders as far as those that appeal to me. There is so much out there that I cannot cover all the ground, nor do I particularly wish to. I also endeavour to stay away from negative comment or being in anyway disparaging about certain pedals or pedal-makers. There is value in most things out there, and usually you kind of get what you pay for - this does not mean most expensive is best, but then rarely is the cheapest the best either.
Where I am different to most is that I have very much a ’Comparative’ / contextual approach - where I rarely review things in isolation. I am always concerned with the best choices available - and there will usually be several viable. I have to decide then - based on available tones / versatility, unit size, power-supply, output quirks, pricing and availability - which of the viable options suit me and my setup the best - note that results may differ in different rigs - for instance the TC Electronic Mimiq Doubler really needs a Stereo Rig for the full effect to be properly experienced - and it is truly awesome in stereo, while in mono many find it a touch ’meh’. So context is critical in all these decisions. I also, like David Gilmour, make significant use of EQ and boost pedals - with several slots in my chain used for augmenting and enhancing the core tones - as with many things - it’s the details that count, the entire chain, sequence, cabling etc. not just the disparate individual pieces. And players with the same pieces may get a very different output / outcome - so alway be aware of the context.
From the reader’s perspective, this blog is here to give you more options really and help point you in directions you may have overlooked or not properly considered. Do note that your tastes won’t always match up to mine - and that you may have different opinions as to what should feature in the ’Best of’ overviews - that said - this is my site, and these are my opinions. I am open-minded and flexible to a degree - although I of course have my own preferences and idiosyncrasies too - I do strive to be flexible though and open to change.
I sincerely hope you enjoy sharing this journey with me and that you learn something along the way and even gain some insight that will be of benefit to your own pedalboard or rig. As with most of my open-minded peers - there is no wrong or right approach here really - it’s all about achieving the very best versions of the sounds you have in your head. I love the EVH Brown Sound for instance - it’s one of my favourite ’flavours’ as such, but no doubt I have it dialled in slightly differently to your own preference. I talk about ’12 Degrees of Saturation’ where in truth really I probably have 4 times as many core tones across overdrive, fuzz, distortion and various modulations - all are fair game to me.
In any case - read, absorb, ruminate and enjoy!
And feel free to register for comment if you feel you have something positive or constructive to add to the conversation - outwardly negative / fractious input and trolling will not be tolerated - just be kind and unwind...
Stefan Karlsson - Author, Editor, Image Wrangler, Space Cowboy at large etc.