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How That Pedal Show became the Leading Guitar Gear Influencer

Daniel SteinhardtGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar HeroesGuitarist MagazineMick TaylorPedalboard and Pedal-ChainThat Pedal ShowTheGigRig+-

When I started the second chapter of my guitar adventures I was initially resolved to do things as simply as possible - one great guitar, and one great modelling amp. It was not long however before I discovered that this approach was not going to get me the sounds I had in my head, or the sounds I heard on Spotify or Tidal and wanted to accurately and faithfully reproduce.


So I quickly changed direction and ended up going down this very heavy pedal-centric route which you can read about in these various blog posts, and which now yields so much satisfaction. As an entirely home-based-player with no intentions or ambitions to play outside the home, I have certain luxuries in terms of how I can set up my rig, and how complex I can make it. As a residential player though I do need to be mindful of neighbours at all times - and I do not possess a fully sound-proofed basement - in fact I use the back wall of the lounge as my ’music corner’ as such.


If you are playing at home, and need to be mindful of volume, then the pedal-route is the only sensible option - as it’s the only way you can easily reproduce a high degree of harmonically rich saturated distortion at relatively sensible levels. Space is limited too obviously, so the most efficient way to generate the many sounds and texture you need is via effects pedals / stomp boxes - and of which I currently have 39 in my ’pedal-chain’ (and a few more in reserve) - all with isolated power supply and high quality patch cables - going into a stereo amp rig.


A huge proportion of pedals that I have acquired in the last 18 months have been either significantly influenced or informed by one of Dan & Mick’s That Pedal Show episodes. I follow a lot of gear reviewers - Andy Martin, Mike Hermans, Brett Kingman, Pete Thorn, GearManDude, Knobs, Henning Pauly, Phil McKnight, Andertons - Rob Chapman etc., Rabea Massaad, Shane Diiorio, Dennis Kayzer, Roman Shnobel, Stefan Fast, Eirik Stordrange @ Living Room Gear Demos, Tom Quayle etc. etc.


All of the above gear experts are great in their own right, and each too has had some influence along the way, but none are quite so impactful as Dan and Mick. They are not the only reviewer duo - you have for instance Chappers and the Captain at Andertons, yet while the Andertons gang tend to lean more towards the lighter entertainment angle, That Pedal Show educates and entertains in equal measure.


I won’t say there is a particular formula at play here, but I’ve tried to isolate some of the key characteristics which make the difference for me:

  • Length of Engagement - The typical That Pedal Show episode is over an hour long (around 75 minutes or so) - giving plenty of time to get across all the key nuances
  • Representative Environment - Every episode is based around a representative and proper rig setup - full pedalboard, typically two amps, and a variety of guitars whose core tones we have become accustomed to
  • Right Chemistry - Mick is the music journalist cynic, Dan the pedal guru optimist, both are highly competent players, and no one seems to know more about exactly what makes pedals work and what the key differences are than Dan - it does help that he’s the main guy at TheGigRig too and has first-hand knowledge of many a guitar gods’ pedal rig - as he built a great many of them himself!
  • Comparative Approach - No episode is really about just one or two pedals - episodes are normally centred on a theme - so you get to hear several pedals together and compare the key tone profiles of each - we usually get a selection of easily recognisable guitars too - so it’s a little like shoe-shopping in that you need some basis of comparison to properly form a strong opinion
  • Ancient and Modern - You can always rely on Dan to paint the full picture of a particular pedal family or category - typically touching on the origin and evolution of said pedal type, and often featuring classic vintage pedals in the mix alongside their contemporary successors
  • Tone Showcase - There have been numerous highly influential performance-based shows - which give you an incredible insight into how guitar technique and pedalboards marry up for ultimate high fidelity tones - examples include Josh Smith, Joey Landreth, Matt Schofield and Greg Howe episodes
  • Research and Setup Prep - Dan fully prepares a new version of the pedalboard for each show and brings all the relevant back-history and significant milestones with him
  • No Equipment Sponsorship - All the reviews are wholly unbiased - That Pedal Show does not accept paid sponsorship - meaning they only feature gear that they personally like
  • Info-edu-tainment! - Each episode is a magical mix of Informative, Educational and Fun! Dan and Mick are charming, affable, highly credible and incredibly personable hosts - equally importantly their different personalities combine well within the show format
  • Complete Authority - Both Dan and Mick have long established full hands-on careers within the guitar-gear sector and as musicians, they are immaculately networked with most of the great pedal and amp builders and many of the leading guitar-tone-shapers, and they are always fully forearmed with all the essential facts - which usually come straight from the horse’s mouth as it were

Final Thoughts

As with millions of ’get rich quick’ business books, it’s usually hard to properly quantify what truly makes something work as well as it does - there are always complex series of confluences, happenstances and unquantifiables which go into the mix to make the magic work. You can analyse and decipher as much as you like, but in trying to scientifically replicate something - usually end up a touch short.


So there is obviously more to That Pedal Show than meets the eye - recording / video production / sound editing etc. - but its core philosophy and essence - bound together by the camaraderie of its genial hosts make it an irresistible mix. I’m just surprised they don’t have more followers - a huge number of everyday gear questions I see on countless Internet forums and groups - could simply be answered by watching one of these excellent episodes. I reckon a good 20-30 pedals of mine can be traced directly back to this show’s influence.


And while I think Andy Martin, Mike Hermans, Brett Kingman et al are all exceptional at what they do too, no one motivates me more to buy a pedal than Dan and Mick. As I say above it’s that mix of environment, personalities, experience and skill-sets which make That Pedal Show the most influential of the influencers - If I were a pedal-maker, first on my marketing list would be to send a sample pedal to That Pedal Show for consideration...


The most recent That Pedal Show episode is a great example of that intriguing mix of gear and guitar virtuosity:

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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