Filter content by area of interest
Amps
Boost and Overdrive
Delay
Distortion
Fuzz
Guitars
Modulation
Pitch
Reverb
Utility
All
All

GPX Blog

Best of High Gain and Metal Distortion Pedals Mini Focus and Final Roundup

Airis EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT EffectsAMT ElectronicsBlackhawk AmplificationBognerBossBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsGoosoniqueworxHorizon DevicesIbanezKeeley EngineeringKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioKSR CeresLone Wolf AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsMooerMulti-DriveOneControlPushking PedalsRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesSuhrTWA EffectsWamplerXvive Audio+-
2019GPXPersonalFavouriteHighGainPedals700.jpg

So I thought I would combine the Mini Pedal selection with the final overall category roundup featuring my current favourites and forthcoming/future acquisition targets. The above visual may be somewhat convoluted, but it well illustrates the trade off in footprint and practicality/utility you get across the different enclosure form factors.

 

I’ve stated before that I’ve largely moved away from the larger styles of enclosures in favour of more pedals of a more compact nature...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

24 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal Style Distortion Pedals - Updated 2019 Edition

Abasi ConceptsAiris EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT ElectronicsAnarchy AudioBlackhawk AmplificationBossDistortionDOD EffectsFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKLone Wolf AudioMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationThropyFXWamplerWeehboXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPX24CompactMetalDistortionsNovember700V2.jpg

This is an update to the feature I wrote back in March of this year. I now have more of this selection in my collection - 18 of these 24, and there are 3 pedals that are new to this updated roundup - the Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp, Blackhawk Amplifiers Balrog Distortion V3, and of course the Redbeard Effects Red Mist MKIV.

 

The 6 here that I’ve yet to acquire for my collection but which are of course all on the wishlist are the aforementioned Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp and ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

The Addition of the Honey Moon 2 Sweet Overdrive Completes my Aleks K Production Pedal Trifecta

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GPXAleksKProducitonTrifecta700.jpg

When I did my recent Aleks K Production Range Overview I had obviously had my 2 favourite Aleks K pedals in the chain for a while - the Maple Leaf Royal Drive/Distortion and Red Scorpion 2 Mega Distortion. I noted how there was a sort of shared family tonal character between the pedals - with a pervasive smooth, long-sustaining musicality with a definite hint of compression.

 

I reaffirmed my choices as to which were my favourites and why, and indicated I would like to add the Honey Moon...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

9 Cool Compact Dual Circuit / Dual Stage Stackable Boost, Overdrive and Distortion Pedals

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDiamond PedalsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoophole PedalsMagnetic EffectsOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE Pedals+-
2019GPX9CompactDualStackingDrives700.jpg

This post was sparked off by the recent launch of the Magnetic Effects Zig Zag Dual Stage Overdrive, my relatively recent acquisition of the Aleks K Production Maple Leaf Royal Drive and ThorpyFX Heavy Water Dual Boost pedals, and the hopefully fairly imminent arrival of my on-order Loophole Pedals Grey Matter Overdrive. They got me thinking about other pedals of this type which allow you to blend 2 separate circuits together essentially for more versatility and more complex and richer tones. ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Aleks K Production - Superior Quality Drive Pedal Dynasty from the West Coast of Canada

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersKlone and Transparent OverdriveMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GPXAlexKPrdouctionFeatureMain700.jpg

My first encounter with Aleks K Production was courtesy of a Brett Kingman demo of the Maple Leaf Royal Overdrive around a year and a half ago. I’m a fan of Brett’s and he’s one of my regular favourite resources for new pedal demos alongside many other guitar luminaries. Once I had checked out his 2 demos of the Maple Leaf, I next viewed the Red Scorpion 2 Mega Distortion, then the Hot Ice Sweet Distortion, Honey Moon 2 Sweet Overdrive and Sun Beam Magic Drive.

 

After ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

24 of the Best Compact Distortion Pedals - 2019 Edition

Aleks K ProductionAlexander PedalsAmptweakerBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMI EffectsMulti-DriveSinvertekSkreddy PedalsSuhrThorpyFXVox Style DistortionWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX2024BestCompactDistortions700-min.jpg

I’ve only just very recently provided a list of my 20 favourite Marshall Style Pedals - and obviously some of those have been separated out into the heavier High Gain category - but when you focus on distortion you can’t really get away from Marshall to a large degree - such is its influence on these types of tones. In fact 14 pedals are retained from the Marshall article and 10 more somewhat different varieties have been added.

 

If you’ve recently read the Marshall ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

24 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal Style Distortion Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abasi ConceptsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT ElectronicsAnarchy AudioBossDistortionDOD EffectsDunn EffectsEngl AmplificationFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKLone Wolf AudioMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionREVV AmplificationVS AudioWamplerWeehboXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPX24CompactMetalDistortions700-min.jpg

So last year I did a sort of 15 Metal Pedal overview - but I’ve come across a few more since - and there have been some new launches - so I thought it opportune to do a more extensive round-up. This is actually the first of a series of 4 articles featuring my favourite High Gain, Distortion, Fuzz and Overdrive - pedals - one feature per category - with 24 pedals in each overview. I have been doing these for the last couple of years and this is the 2019 series as such.

 

These are ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

6 Potent Pairings - Superbly Articulate Compact Overdrive and Distortion Pedal Pairs

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveFriedman EffectsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionOverdriveREVV AmplificationThorpyFXWampler+-
2018GPX6PotentPairsDrives700-min.jpg

In doing my 2019 pedal-chain planning I realised I had recently just completed a few notable duos of pedals - in fact the right-hand side of the above visual is fully mine with the REVV G4 the latest addition. There’s something of a theme here with the red pedal or red-accented pedal typically being the gainier half of the pair, and I could have done a similar exercise for Wampler with the Pantheon and the Pinnacle, but felt that the Tumnus and Pantheon were the two best / most versatile ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

15 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal style Distortion Pedals

Aleks K ProductionAmptweakerAnarchy AudioBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDOD EffectsEngl AmplificationFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKMarshall Style DistortionMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionREVV AmplificationVS AudioWamplerXIX Tech FX+-
2018GPX15MetalPedals700-min.jpg

This article was prompted by my earlier piece on the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal / Alternatives, as well as a reader request to review the KHDK Dark Blood. As always though I never review anything in isolation - I try to take the pulse on the larger category and see what pedals are competing in that category and are worthy of consideration.

 

Even metal pedals as such have varying degrees of distortion, but I’ve tried to focus on those here that are intended as principally high ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions
Profile
Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
News Navigation

2019 50



















16 of the best Guitar Synth Pedals - 2019 Edition
"Hey Sonic Surgeon I don't believe so - it is "...
2 days ago
16 of the best Guitar Synth Pedals - 2019 Edition
"Thank you very much for your interesting review. I"...
2 days ago
In the Wake of Spaceman's Fantastic New Gemini IV - is it Time for a Sputnik III?
"Thank you Justin - most intriguing - do let me "...
3 days ago
In the Wake of Spaceman's Fantastic New Gemini IV - is it Time for a Sputnik III?
"Your (ours) wish might be coming true. I just "...
3 days ago
9 of the Best Walrus Audio Pedals
"Alejandro - the Red is a pretty decent HM-2 clone "...
3 days ago
9 of the Best Walrus Audio Pedals
"Hi! What do you think about the discontinued RED "...
3 days ago
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"Hey Sonni - I feel there are enough similarities "...
8 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Reverb Pedals
"Bob - quite right, I overlooked that point - I "...
8 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Reverb Pedals
"Just to clarify, the MXR 300 can do stereo, both "...
10 days ago
New Rabea Boss OD-200 Hybrid Drive Demo Reveals Even Greater Potential than first imagined
"Gary - like I said - in series on can only adjust "...
12 days ago
Waiting