BJFEBjörn JuhlBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationOneControlOverdriveSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion
Readers of this site will know that I’m a huge fan of Björn Juhl’s pedals - which nowadays means Mad Professor, OneControl and of course his own iconic original BJFE brand as featured here. I believe this is the first time these pedals are made available directly in the UK - certainly in modern times and in this number.
Joe’s Pedals is now officially a BJFE stockist and carries 10 of Björn’s most celebrated pedals - which are all enduring classics. You...
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
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 ...
AJ Peat EffectsBalaguer GuitarsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveOverdriveSpun Loud EffectsStudio DaydreamTubescreamer Style Overdrive
The following article is composed of an assortment of essentially unrelated Overdrives which have recently caught my eye - albeit a couple of these have been around for a while.
The only common element here is that each of these has a distinctive bite to its output and correspondingly interesting textural character.
3 of these are multi-stage clipping drives, where two have separate controls for 2 of their stages - namely the AJ Peat Screaming Flamingo and Balaguer Fission ...
Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimAnalog DelayBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDrive WorkstationDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePeterson TunersPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersTweed Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeVox Style DistortionVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio
It was only natural that the Compact Format Preferred Versions feature should follow the Mini examples. Again largely inspired by the recent ’12 Degrees’ projects.
Once more I’ve had a change of mind on some of the candidates and the preferred examples are slightly different to those previous references. Obviously new pedals have arisen, and priorities and preferences can shift fairly regularly based on prevailing mood.
That said, most of these are long-term...
Abominable ElectronicsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCoppersoundDecibelicsDistortionFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsKlirrton ManufakturKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePushking PedalsRat Style FuzzReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSilicon FuzzSinvertekThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneTuga EffecctsTremoloWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZander Circuitry
And so it begins again! This time punctuated by Virtual NAMM / Believe in Music Week and some certain JA incident.
I will include a mini NAMM roundup here of what some of my favourites were. In the past I’ve done a separate highlights article on the subject - but there really weren’t that many releases this time around to warrant such - in fact I would estimate only around 10% of the volume released in 2020 and 2019.
I will also indicate where I think I’m ...
Becos FXBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioCompressorCooper FXDelayDelay WorkstationDr ScientistDrive WorkstationEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-FXOCD Style OverdriveOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility
This is obviously a follow-up from the Josh Scott / JHS January 1st YouTube video as below. Where Josh carried out and exercise where he compiled the best pedals released over the last two decades - in 6 specific categories - Best Overdrive / Distortion, Best Fuzz, Best Time-Based Effect, Best Modulation, Best Compressor, and Best Weird / Other - all must have been release January 1st 2000 or later.
Along with his own take, he solicited opinions from Jamie Stillman of EQD, Matthew ...
Amp and Cab IR SimAmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDistortionDrive WorkstationEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModelling AmpModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPreAmpReverbReverb WorkstationTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility
This is one of those articles that’s been a long-time coming, and where I needed to spend a rather large chunk of time getting fully under the skin of the pedal in question - the really quite superb, but also somewhat slightly flawed Boss GT-1000 CORE Guitar Effects Processor.
I must start by stating that I came into this project with somewhat lofty expectations, and there was some degree of naivety to my beliefs as to what was contained within this pedal, and more importantly ...
Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTimmyToneczarTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio
And so here is the culmination of everything that happened to the pedal-chain in 2020.
There were quite a few more displacements than I had expected - all told 22 slots changed over this year - including 19 Brand New Pedals for 2020, then 3 slightly older pedals, and some incidentals.
The most significant shift, and the one that caused the most disruption was the arrival of Boss GT-1000 CORE in October. This is often the case when you bring in a big new pedal - and you need to...
Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCoppersoundDelayDemedash EffectsDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHologram ElectronicsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJAM PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeural DSPNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio
So I’ve now completed 5 preliminary shortlists type articles featuring between 9 and 30 or so of the best pedals released in 2020 - in each of the following categories :
I sincerely apologise if I’ve overlooked any here, while I’m not sure they would have necessarily ...
Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChase Bliss AudioCornerstone Music GearCrowther AudioDanelectroDistortionDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFriedman EffectsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXMulti-DriveMXRNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedal PawnPettyjohn ElectronicsRainger FXShnobel ToneSitek Guitar ElectronicsThorpyFXTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWampler
And here is the first of the category overviews for the year - combining those Overdrive and Distortion pedals which sparked some interest for me. Note that there will be 4 of these types of articles - Overdrive & Distortion (this one), Fuzz, Delay and Reverb (exc. Reverb Workstation already covered), and Modulation + Pitch + Untility pedals. Before I then reveal my overall 25 or so favourite favourite pedals for the year in a Best-of-the-Best listing - with possibly some sneaky additions.