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The Overlooked Art of Pedal Manual and Instruction Guide Design

Beetronics FXChase Bliss AudioEmpress EffectsGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesStrymon+-
2020GPXPedalProtoManual700V4.jpg

Following on from features on enclosure design and artworks, interior circuit arrangements and packaging - I felt it necessary to focus on the much neglected art of the Pedal Manual and Instruction Guide. Over the years I’ve seen a huge variety of instruction guides included with my hundreds of pedals - from flimsy black-and white photostats - just overly-folded sheets of low-quality paper really with barely legible text - through to more well-considered and actually smartly engineered ...

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The Inner Beauty of Pedal Design!

6 Degrees FXBeetronics FXDecibelicsEarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersFunction F(X)Guitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGut Shot CultureJAM PedalsLauren AudioLeeVibe EffectsReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSpaceman Effects+-
2020GPXBeautifulGutshots700.jpg

This post was in part triggered by my constantly referencing certain pedal guts as benchmarks for appealing pedal interior / circuit design. The second trigger was Markus Reeves of Reeves Electro - who has been posting pictures of his exceptionally neat point-to-point straight-line-wiring examples of circuits to the Fuzztopia Facebook Group - all of which I’m rather taken with currently.

 

I’ve chosen not to have any legends for the above picture so that the more knowledgable...

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KMA Audio Further Improves Look of Logan Transcend Drive with Limited Edition Desert Colourway

Beetronics FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesKMA AudioModulationOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzZvex+-
2020GPXKMALogan700.jpg

I don’t typically feature coverage of simply 2nd iteration limited edition artwork or colourway pedals - unless there is some sort of significant underlying change. While on this occasion I would kind of like to raise the issue of ’First Mover Disadvantage’!

 

By which I mean getting in on the first round release of a pedal - where soon after you acquire one - you kind of regret not holding out slightly longer - as an even better version materialises later on. This ...

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Beetronics FX finally does the right thing and swaps the Octahive toggle-switch for a Second Footswitch - but only for Custom Editions

Beetronics FXEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOctave Fuzz+-
2020GPXBeetronicsOctahive700.jpg

As far as I’m concerned this has been somewhat a long time coming and I’ve mentioned it a number of times previously. While the Whoctahell Sub-Octave Fuzz has had dual footswitches from the start - the Octahive Upper Octave Fuzz has always relied on a side toggle-switch until now.

 

I am generally a fan of Beetronics pedals and have 3 of theirs to-date - the Royal Jelly, Swarm, and the lower-right Octahive ArrowMint Edition pictured above. It always niggled me that the ...

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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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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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Islington UK Guitar Show Highlights via 9 Key Encounters

Adrian ThorpeAmbient EffectsAmpliTubeBeetronics FXBoostBoost and OverdriveCrimson GuitarsDelayDevin TownsendDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEnrico PreußESP/LTDFace MIFenderFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGAKGuitar BrosGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitarsHughes and KettnerIbanezIK MultimediaJamie HumphriesJoss AllenKMA AudioOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOverdrivePaul GilbertReverbSeven DecadesSilicon FuzzS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsThorpyFXWalrus Audio+-
2019GPXUKGuitarShowHighlightsFaces700.jpg

I spent the whole of yesterday at the Islington UK Guitar Show - which turned out to be quite a different experiences for me compared to last year’s somewhat haphazard inaugural event at Olympia - this was much better organised, and I really enjoyed attending the many breakout events at the show.

 

For Pedal fans it was really quite a simple show with relatively few Pedal purveyors - and with one stand having most of the action - i.e. the Audio Distribution Group - with 16 brands -...

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9 of the Best Compact and Medium Format Schumann PLL Style Harmonizer Fuzz Pedals

Beetronics FXFuzzGrendelGuitar Synth and SequencerIdiotBox FXMammouth MachineMantic EffectsModulated FuzzModulationOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzParasit StudioPedalPCBSunsine AudioWraa Defects+-
2019GPX9CompactMediumPLL700-min.jpg

Just over a year ago I did a piece on ’9 Cool Phase Locked Loop Synth Harmonizing Oscillating Fuzz Pedals’ where I focused on the original Schumann PLL and the larger format full-feature/full-range replicas of said pedal. This included the EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter - which was on my wishlist for quite a while but I never ended up getting - for reasons which I will explain. There were a couple of pedals I overlooked in that overview - one which had relatively recently been ...

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Best of Central and South American Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorCopilot FXDarkglass ElectronicsDedalo FXDeep Trip FXDistortionDriveDSM NoisemakerDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFire Custom ShopFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoop-SwitcherMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMonstro EffectsMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdriveParadox EffectsPedalPalFXPhaserRat Style FuzzRetrohead FXSabbadius Custom EffectsSilicon FuzzSplitter and Frequency SplitterStomp Audio LabsSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestCentralSouthAmericanBuilders700-min.jpg

This is the 11th in the Pedal Builders Country Series as such, although I’ve had to cast the net slightly wider as I currently don’t consider there to be enough top-tier / International-level builders in a single country here to satisfy the usual criteria. Brazil and Argentina come fairly close - with Brazil having significantly the most concentrated volume of builders of any Country in that part of the world. Generally Brazil, Argentina and Chile are particularly well represented. ...

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Beetronics FX Swarm Harmonizer Fuzz now available for pre-order, starts shipping end of May

Beetronics FXFuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOscillating Fuzz+-
2019GPXBeetronicsSwarmPreorders700-min.jpg

This was one of the 3 big hits of the recent Winter NAMM show alongside the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone PreAmp MKII and Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo Machine - at least in my opinion. And it’s one of my few key remaining acquisitions for this year.

 

We were never quite sure when this would be released, but the demo versions at NAMM looked pretty polished so I presumed a fairly imminent release and May therefore absolutely seems about right. The earlier versions were...

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