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Happy Xmas and an Inspirational New Year to All

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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.

PT 2

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.

PT 3

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.

PT 4

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!

PT 6

And finally the preview visual for next year's Sinvertek Drive N5+ Tube Amp Style PreAmp / Overdrive / Distortion Review :

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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