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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

AmptweakerAMT 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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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Overdrive Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBarber ElectronicsBearfoot FXBJFEBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBO EffectsBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBosscmatmodsCrowther AudioCustom TonesDanDrive PedalDecibelicsDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFeaturedFoxpedalF-PedalsFree The ToneFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)Greer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHot Cake Style OverdriveJ RockettJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsJoyo EffectsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMI EffectsMontreal AssemblyMooerMXRMythos PedalsNobelsNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochranePedal DiggersPickdropperSarno Music SolutionsSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVemuramVFE PedalsVick AudioWamplerWay Huge Effects+-
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So this is one of most significant works in a while, and carries on the legacy of two of my most popular all-time articles on the 12 Degrees of Saturation - the Original that evolved in the early months of 2017, and the follow-up which materialised in September of 2018.

 

I obviously deal with a lot of reader inquiries pretty much on a daily basis, and one of the more popular lines of inquiry has been about overdrives. And while Josh Scott attests to the fact that there are only 5 core ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Distortion Capable Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AmptweakerAMT EffectsBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJackson AudioJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveMXROneControlPettyjohn ElectronicsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuhrThorpyFXWampler+-
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In my recent coverage of Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Pedals I indicated that I had none of the usual suspects Overdrives/Distortions - or namely MXR EVH 5150, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe and Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. While in fact I have well over 20 Brown Sound Style variants in my collection of various different sizes - with the vast majority being compact enclosures as featured here. I make no secret of the fact that the compact size format is my faourite and particularly for these sorts...

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All you ever wanted to know about the UK's Preeminent Independent Pedal Boutique - Joe's Pedals

Analog AlienBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlack Arts ToneworksBlue ColanderBMF EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXCastledine ElectronicsChorus and VibratoD*A*M EffectsDeath By AudioDr ScientistDryBell EffectsEmanating Fist ElectronicsFlangerFoxrox ElectronicsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousGermanium FuzzGreer AmpsGuitar Gear RetailHungry Robot EffectsIdiotBox FXKlonMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePigDog PedalsPitchSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSpiral Electric FXStomp Under FootStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsThorpyFXThroBakTremoloTru-Fi Guitar EffectsVL Effects+-
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My readers will know that I’ve featured Joe’s Pedals a fair few number of times on this site - in reference to where I acquired several of my own pedals from. My first introduction to said boutique was in search of Marc Ahlfs’ Skreddy Pedals. In fact 5 of my 8 Skreddy’s have come from Joe’s and I would have gotten more had those been in stock when I needed them - such is always the luck of the draw with pedal acquisitions - in that you cannot always get everything ...

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9 of the Best Bearfoot FX Pedals

Bearfoot FXBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzVox Style Distortion+-
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This post was triggered by the eventuality that my long-serving Emerald Green Distortion Machine - my Boosted Vox style pedal of choice - will soon be yielding its sport for a while to the incoming new Menatone Vertical Top-Boost-in-a-Can.

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Bearfoot FX pedals and was somewhat ignorantly collection Bearfoot, Mad Professor and OneControl pedals before being aware of the Björn Juhl BJFE connection. It has to be said that Björn is one of the ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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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 EffectsReverbReverb 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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16 of the Best Compact Tweed Style Drive Pedals

Bearfoot FXBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDistortionDriveGreer AmpsJ RockettJRADLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneOverdriveTrue North PedalsTwangtone by BSMTweed Style OverdriveUmbrella CompanyWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX16BestTweedDrives700-min.jpg

I should probably have covered this off sooner but I’m so satisfied with my True North Tweed Drive that I’ve not felt it necessary to look at alternatives. That said, there have been a few fairly recent additions to this group - so I thought I might as well do an overview of what’s around - usual suspects, new and old.

 

I’ve been aware of Tweed style overdrives for a while, in fact I had the Bearfoot FX Sparkling Yellow OD3 for more than a year before trying it ...

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16 of the Best Octave Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnasoundsBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBossCaroline Guitar CompanyDrolo EffectsDunlop EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzJimi HendrixKing Tone EffectsOctave FuzzRabbit Hole FXSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsStomp Audio LabsTsakalis Audio WorksVahlbruch FXWampler+-
2019GPX16BestOctaveFuzzes700-min.jpg

I’ve found myself increasingly interested in Octave Fuzzes these days, and in fact I have two slightly different ones right now in my pedal-chain - the Anasounds Crankled Bitoun near the front of the chain, and the Beetronics FX Octahive around half-way along - they both have quite different timbres and tonalities, and are furthermore set to sound quite different too, but both create incredibly thick and rich fuzz tones.

 

I really enjoyed JHS Josh Scott’s recent Octave Fuzz ...

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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 ...

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