I thank you all for your continued companionship and ongoing inspiration on this epic pedal journey of mine. 2019 has risen beyond all expectations - and I hope I have reflected on and analysed most of this year’s key releases to everyone’s satisfaction. I have certainly heard from a lot more of you this year, and as far as I can gather you seem to be largely in favour of my recommendations - and have taken up a fairly impressive number of those.
Of course there are limits to exposure and coverage - and as a sole operator there is only practically so much that can be done within a given year - and not everyone reached out to reacts necessarily positively. Some years can be more ’Vintage’ than others - and this really has been an extraordinary year in so many ways.
You will note in my recent 'Best of 2019' and 'End of Year Pedal-Chain' write-ups that quite a considerable part of 2019 has made it into my collection, and I really don't expect so much of a bumper crop in 2020. We will of course see the final version of the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKIV PreAmp and I feel many will balk at the eventual price - but it will still probably be worth it as it will be so unique.
This year I have been continuing my forays into Fuzz - and have somewhat extended my 2018 Year of Fuzz into my 2019 Year of Glitch - to the extend that I probably spent more time on fuzz pedals still in this year - and even though I have marked out 2020 as being the Year of Boss and Mini Fuzz Pedals - I still have of course some straggles to roundup for the Glitch selection.
The overall wishlist is actually being reduced in size ongoingly as various parts of the collection have or are reaching saturation point - and where I'm at is fully representative of the state of the art of this industry. Next year I expect to see a lot more dual footswitch / dual-channel pedals - particularly in the compact form factor. I also expect to see more Hybrid / Mashup / Stacking pedals - like Crazy Tube Circuits quite superb Killer V Vibra-Drive. I look at this very much like cuisine - where we've really pretty much covered off all the key varieties in every conceivable way now - so the next frontier available is that of 'Fusion' where you're mixing together two complementary channels / effects etc. - in series and parallel. A good example of this is the very recent GFI System Synesthesia with its interchangeable dual simultaneous channel modulations.
Gain pedals are still being innovated - and the Boss OD-200, Jackson Audio Broken Arrow and Sinvertek Drive N5+ all put their stamp on the year. We're also seeing a lot of clever hybrid fuzz pedals which mix and mash up different flavours and tonalities - like the Spaceman Gemini IV and Wren and Cuff De La Riva. I expect to see a lot more of that ilk in 2020. I hope you're all still enjoying the ride - and I look forward to journeying onwards with you all through 2020 - Happy ToneQuesting Y'All!
And here once more is my favourite pedal of 2019 :
And a final reminder that you should all treat yourself with a copy of Pedal Crush - if you haven't done so already - the closest thing to Guitar Pedal X in hard-copy-format!
And finally the preview visual for next year's Sinvertek Drive N5+ Tube Amp Style PreAmp / Overdrive / Distortion Review :