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End of September Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VIII - Starry Eyed Surprise

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCoppersoundDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFjord FuzzFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHarmonizerJackson AudioJoesPedals.comKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNFYFXOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleToneczarTubescreamer Style OverdriveVick AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioZander Circuitry+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMSeptember700V4.jpg

And so as my 7th month of isolation draws to a close - the frequency of new product releases has begun to accelerate again after the lull of summer. The month started on fine form with the slightly surprising snap arrival of he new Jackson Audio El Guapo, next we had the Walrus Audio Julia that always should have been - in the guise of the new and improved Julianna Chorus, then the Zander Circuitry Compact Siclone, Boss OC-5 Octave, somewhat delayed Big Ear Albie, the EHX Pitch Fork+, Red Witch...

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All You Need to Know about the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII courtesy of 5 key YouTube Demos

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioEQKlone and Transparent OverdriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2020GPXAutomatoneMKII4Reviews700.jpg

There’s not much more that really needs to be said about the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII (Boost + EQ + Overdrive + Fuzz + Preamp) that hasn’t been said already - it’s every bit as good as everyone says it is. I though still felt that I had to touch on one of the best executed and innovative gain pedals of all time as it would be unforgivable for me not to do my own take on the subject. Obviously it’s a pricey proposition, a little large, and a little fragile...

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Roman Belonozhko's Multifaceted Shnobel Tone Daily Driver delivers beautifully textured breakup with alluring high frequency sparkle

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDumble Style OverdriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveShnobel ToneTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPXShnobelToneDailyDriverInOut700V4.jpg

I must confess that this pedal somewhat slipped under my radar when it was first teased / introduced at January’s Winter NAMM show. In fact I only really became properly aware of it when Roman started doing his head-to-head YouTube videos - where he looked to dial-in near-match tones to each of those very well-known classics - per the video references at the base of this article.

 

First Roman compared the Daily Driver (which I will henceforth occasionally refer to as the DD) ...

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24 of the Best Compact Enclosure Bluesbreaker-style Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Aion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoost and OverdriveChicago StompworkscmatmodsFredric EffectsGoudie FXJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlonz LabsMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsOhmless PedalsPedal MonsterRockBoxSiren PedalsSnouse Electric CompanyTorino AudioTsakalis Audio WorksVFE PedalsVick AudioVS AudioWampler+-
2020GPX24BluesBreakers700V2.jpg

It’s been a couple of years since I last did one of these particular genre roundups and this year has seen a number of new entrants into this category which really makes this worth visiting again right now. I’ve already done a feature on the larger dual-channel Bluesbreaker style pedals this year - KOT etc. While the Fredric Effects Blue Monarch, Jackson Audio Golden Boy and Siren Pedals Juneau are the newbies for 2020.

 

Moreover - the much loved Bondi Effects Del Mar has ...

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4 Recent Superior Extended Range Compact Enclosure Overdrive Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDemedash EffectsJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX4ExtendedRangeOverdrives700V2.jpg

Some may note that the Jackson Audio Golden Boy is putting in a few appearances on the site recently - which is really rather a coincidence of scheduling than some scheme to promote said pedal. In fact this article was written and ready to go before the That Pedal Show episode on Programmable Overdrives - which yes featured the Golden Boy again and prompted my article last week on that exact subject.

 

The real impetus for this particular article was that I felt I may have been a little ...

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4 Fantastic Programmable Overdrive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPX4ProgrammableOverdrives700.jpg

This article was obviously inspired by last Friday’s That Pedal Show (TPS) episode with similar title. In watching that I thought - hang on a minute - I have all these pedals, with the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII the most recently added. So before the episode - 3 were already in my pedal-chain - the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage since it first came out, the relatively recent Jackson Audio Golden Boy, and of course my brand new Automatone Preamp MKII.

 

...

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End of July Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Mercurial Conveyance!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDemon PedalsDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJuly700V2.jpg

July has largely been a very decent month for me and culminated with the arrival of my twin new Expresso FX Dual Custom Fuzzes and my annual white whale as such - the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII on this occasion.

 

It looks like 4 pedals failed to get over the line within the appointed time period - the longest-ranging of which is my Evil Pumpkin Modded DS-1 - which has been en-route from Kiev since June 12th and which I surely hoped should have landed by now.

 

My ...

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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Clipping Diodes

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXClippingDiodes700.jpg

So this post came about due to my sometimes confusion between Soft and Hard Clipping, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Clipping and the individual clipping characteristics of different Diodes. In my earliest pedal years I took the type of Diode to be the essential constituent of the clipping degree and texture versus the actual circuit and diodes arrangement. Phrases like ’Soft Clipping Germanium’ also confused me for eons - as it’s actually the methodology which principally ...

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Steve Mac's Home Studio 'Wall of Sound' Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

Analog.ManAndy Betts MusicBig Muff Style FuzzBK ButlerBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoColorsoundCompressorCustom PedalboardsDelayDemeter AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEQFenderFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGiuseppe BagnaraGuitar Synth and SequencerIbanezKlone and Transparent OverdriveKorgLoop-SwitcherMarshall Style DistortionMJM EffectsModulation WorkstationMooerMorningstar FXOrigin EffectsOverdrivePete CornishPlate ReverbProCoRat Style FuzzRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXToneQuestTube OverdriveTunersUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityXotic EffectsZoom FX+-
2020GPXSteveMacStudioBoard700.jpg

I would like to start by thanking Matt Knight and Joe Branton of Guitar Nerds who made this all possible and put me in contact with Steve Mac - guitarist and original member of the Australian Pink Floyd. This all stems back to the Guitar Nerds’ podcast for Friday 3rd July - an interview with Steve Mac, and the accompanying social media pictures of Steve’s home studio pedalboard - or literally ’wall of sound’.

 

I’m a considerable Floyd and Gilmour fan and ...

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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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