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15 Notable Overdrive Pedals with Clean Blend Control

BoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCornerstone Music GearDistortionDMB PedalsDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixHungry Robot EffectsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMulti-DriveNOC3 EffectsOrigin EffectsOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsTate FXTimmyT-Rex EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVoodoo LabWalrus AudioWestminster Effects+-
2021GPX15CleanBlendOverdrives700V2.jpg

Reader Charles H requested that I do a roundup of Clean Blend Overdrives - which resulted in the following selection. Most Bass Overdrives have Clean-Blend by default - while all the ones I have selected here are more specifically Guitar Overdrives. I personally don’t find myself needing to use Clean Blend so much - but I can totally understand why so many players find this functionality useful or even essential. The Blend knob is variously labelled Blend, Clean, Dry and Mix. I’ve ...

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In Praise of the Under-appreciated Big Tone Music Brewery's EQ'd Vintage Series of Classic Fuzz, Overdrive and Distortion Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBig Tone Music BreweryBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2021GPXBigToneMusicBreweryEQd700V3.jpg

I am generally a huge fan of Keith Vonderhulls’ BYOC Pedal Imprint - where his Crown Jewel Multi-Drive is one of my favourite pedals of all time. Build Your Own Clone is obviously mostly a DIY Pedal Kit brand - while all the BYOC’s I have acquired to date have been fully assembled by professionals like Alchemy Audio and GearGasStore.

 

Big Tone Music Brewery is very much Keith’s Pro sister-range to BYOC - with a series of premium edition pedals fully and carefully ...

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9 of the Best Mini Rat-Style Distortion Pedals

Bright Onion PedalBYOCDistortionFunction F(X)FuzzGDMC PedalsKO AmpsMooerOpAmp FuzzPickdropperProCoRat DistortionRat Style FuzzShift LineWampler+-
2021GPX9MiniRatPedals700V2.jpg

I really wanted the Wampler Ratsbane to have its time in the spotlight - as it’s truly a great example of the genre - albeit delivered with a TL071 ompamp in place of the more typical LM308 or OP07 variant.

 

As always, it’s not the only game in town - and in fact is my 3rd min Rat pedal following my BYOC Li’l Mouse and Mooer Black Secret. The BYOC sounds fantastic texturally, but is a little lacking in output - which is why generally I favoured the Black Secret on most...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAmptweakerAMT EffectsAnarchy AudioBearfoot FXBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBlackhawk AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionBYOCCarcharias EffectsCatalinbreadCoda EffectsDanelectroDecibelicsDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistDriveDrunk BeaverDual-DriveDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioEarthQuaker DevicesFeaturedFree Fall DiverFriedman EffectsFunction F(X)Fuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioJAM PedalsJohn K Vintage GuitarsKeeley EngineeringLawrence Petross DesignLoop Hole PedalsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidValleyFXMooerMulti-DriveMXROneControlOpAmp FuzzPelican NoiseworksPepers' PedalsRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSuhrThorpyFXVFE PedalsVox Style DistortionWamplerXIX Tech FXXotic Effects+-
2020GPX12DgreesSaturationDistortionEdition700V2.jpg

This edition comes rather hot on the heels of the recent 12 Degrees of Overdrive version as many readers’ inquiries questioned a couple of missing categories there - which I explained would rather figure within the Distortion contingent which is present here in all its glory!

 

As always, these is some considerable amount of grey science at play here - best typified by the Big Muff and Rat circuits - which are both very much distortions as well as fuzz varieties. I have 3 x 12 ...

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In Defence of the more Complex PreAmp Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCustom TonesDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzSinvertekTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXFullFeaturedPreAmps700V3.jpg

I am somewhat exasperated to still be seeing several ill-informed nonsense critiques of these more fully featured pedals - where certain factions are denouncing them as sort of jacks-of-all-trade with insufficient core tonal qualities that mean they cannot hack it with just the basic 3 - Volume, Gain and Tone knobs!

 

I refer below to one of the classic Two Rock Amps - specifically the Silver Sterling Signature - which has 17 exceptionally useful controls - including those 6 mode toggle-...

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28 of the Best Compact Rat-Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Acid Age ElectronicsAion ElectronicsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBBE SoundBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBYOCCatalinbreadChicago StompworkscmatmodsDistortionDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFreakshow EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreer AmpsIbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsJohn LandgraffMagnetic EffectsMojo Hand FXOpAmp FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28CompactRats700V2.jpg

Most should know by now that I’m a huge Rat aficionado - and for me Rat doesn’t just mean those original ProCo Rat varieties but all the different derivatives - direct and indirect - old and new, classics, rarities and outliers. This category is titled ’Rat-Style’ so there’s a few Rat-adjacent pedals here too which share some of the core fundamentals and bring to mind some key associations with that well-known highly textured frequency profile.

 

For me at a...

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Recent Growth in DIY Kit Pedals gives some of you something extra to do during Coronavirus Self-Isolation

Aion ElectronicsAll-PedalAnasoundsBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDistortion LimitedDriveDual-DriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFX TeacherJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignModulationMulti-DriveMythos PedalsOverdrivePedalPCBRat Style FuzzStewMacTremolo+-
2020GPXDIYPedals700.jpg

I started this post quite a while ago, but am glad I left it to mature for a while as so much has happened / changed in the interim. Obviously we are right in the middle of a Pandemic and some people have a lot more time on their hands these days, while ironically I have rarely been busier.

 

The above pictured selection has changed markedly in just a few months as there are more and more mainstream brands seemingly getting involved with pedal kits of their own. It makes a lot of sense ...

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2 Great Q-Control Drive and Distortion Pedals - The BYOC Crown Jewel Multidrive and Pushking Ironfinger Distortion

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePushking PedalsSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXQControlDistortionPedals700-min.jpg

Readers of this blog will already know how much a fan I am of BYOC’s Crown Jewel Multidrive pedal - with its multitude of dials and switches - 4 gain stages in effect and clean blend circuit. I’ve said that this is not only likely the most versatile drive pedal out there currently, but also an essential educational tool for understating how different degrees of voltage, clipping, tone-shaping and Q-control impact on the output signal.

 

I wasn’t really that much ...

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Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

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Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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