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Spring Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Edition

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSinvertekThorpyFXTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMarch700V2.jpg

I had hoped to do regular monthly updates on how the various NAMM-announced pedal releases and other newer additions were impacting my own pedal-chain choices. Yet we all know how this year has gone - obviously impacted by numerous delays brought on by the Social Distancing required to counter the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19.

 

Because of parts supply and resourcing issues, most 2020 NAMM pedals have been delayed to some degree. When there is uncertainty as to when the next ...

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Brian Menatone Refines his new Vertical Fish Factory Dual Overdrive with Improved Ergonomics

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneOverdrive+-
2020GPXMentatonFishFactoryVertical700V2.jpg

It’s only a short while since Brian released his first V1 batch of Vertical edition Menatone Fish Factory pedals - in fact I featured such in a January 21st post. I obviously was interested in acquiring one - but in the haze of NAMM - and by the time I completed my show coverage and got to thinking about which of those pedals I wanted - batch 1 was all but sold out. In fact the last one of that batch sold out just as Brian was reading my requisition note!

 

In any case we got to ...

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Robert Keeley Boss Mods Trifecta

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOverdrive+-
2020GPXBossKeeleyTrilogy700V3.jpg

Robert Keeley has of course modified more than these three Boss pedals - yet I personally feel that these are the ones really worth having. I have featured both the Keeley Freak Fuzz Modded BD-2 Blues Driver and Twilight Zone Modded MT-2 Metal Zone on this site several times before. In fact the Freak Fuzz Blues Driver is my favourite overdrive pedal of all time! It cleans up wonderfully with your guitar volume control - much in the same way as a Fuzz Face, and it has that same sort of boost ...

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9 Essential Boss Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEQMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOverdriveReverbReverb WorkstationUtility+-
2020GPX9EssentialBossPedals700.jpg

Of all the pedal brands I collect - I seem to have ended up with significantly more Boss than anything else - with currently 27 Boss Pedals all told. And while it’s not always the case that Boss has the most pedals represented in my active pedal-chain - it just so happens that right now my active Boss pedals number 7 - as follows per pedal-chain order:

  • SY-1 Synthesizer
  • BD-2 Blues Driver Keeley Freak Fuzz + Phat Mod
  • OD-200 Hybrid Overdrive
  • NS-2 Noise Suppressor Alchemy Audio Modded
...
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Hamstead Soundworks Finally Unveils Zenith Clean Boost + EQ + Compressor

BoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorEQHamstead SoundworksUtility+-
2020GPXHamsteadZenith700.jpg

This is one of the more clandestine pedals from the recent NAMM Show where Hamstead weirdly kept this secret for an extended duration - I could sort of pick out the name from a couple of NAMM footage videos, and there was a teaser image which revealed all but the first knob. Several people guessed it would be a compressor, and they were partially right.

 

In fact it’s functionally really more of an advanced 3-Band EQ with sort of Parametric Mids via 3-way frequency-selector toggle ...

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Post-NAMM Projected Pedal-Chain, 2020 Roadmap and Wishlist!

AnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleThropyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMM700.jpg

I’ve already largely decided what new pedals I will be targeting this year (that I know of!) - following on from the various reveals and announcements made over the last week, and other projects I’m aware of and various themes I will be pursuing in 2020.

 

First of all to explain the above visual - this features and extrapolation of my current pedal-chain - with the NAMM legend in front of various new / newish pedals - Green means already acquired - or at least already ...

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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDedalo FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRainger FXRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXWinterNammHighlights700.jpg

So despite the perilous state of the world, the first NAMM of the new decade actually turned out to be pretty stellar. I had thought that last year’s exceptional show might end up as the all-time high water mark - but this one turned out just as many pleasant surprises.

 

Slightly different to last year there were a more significant number of pedals announced and launched in advance of the show - while a lot of pedals at the show had very little by way of collateral and some are ...

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Sinvertek Delivers the most amazing, most fully-featured amp-like Compact Drive/Distortion/PreAmp Pedal in the shape of the Drive N5 Plus

AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePreAmpSinvertek+-
2019GPXSinvertekDriveN5PlusMarkUp700.jpg

I’ve been a huge fan of the Sinvertek ’5’ series distortion pedals - owning all three in succession - the No.5 Distortion, the N5 Drive and now the N5 Drive Plus - in all its 7-knobs and 5-toggle-switches glory. This was actually my last pedal to arrive last year - in that it arrived just before Christmas. I had been chasing it since its June Summer NAMM announcement - but it wasn’t released until December of last year.

 

I’ve been patiently waiting for some...

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Menatone Unleashes the Vertical Fish Factory combination Red Snapper and Blue Collar Overdrive

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2020GPXMentatonFishFactoryVertical700.jpg

I’m delighted that Brian Mena has finally seen fit to release a Vertical edition of his flagship Fish Factory Combination pedal - which brings together his two legendary overdrive - the Red Snapper and Blue Collar.

 

New in this version also is the series direction toggle-switch so you place each of the overdrives first in the sequence. I personally have never been a fan of the horizontal compact enclosure pedals - so beloved by Zvex Effects in particular - so I was always going to...

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Alexander Pedals Introduces 3 new offerings at NAMM - Superball Kinetic Modulator, Super Neo-Matic Modulator and Magnolia Vintage Overdrive

Alexander PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayModulationOddball ModulationOverdrive+-
2020GPXAlexanderPedalsNAMMTrio700.jpg

I have long been a fan of Alexander’s slightly quirky NEO Series of pedals - with 4 onboard presets, up to 6 modes and secondary / alt functions on every knob - all in handy dual-footswitch compact enclosures. To-date I have only acquired overdrives and the La Calavera Phaser - but there are many more Alexander Pedals on my wishlist and likely at least a couple more candidates here.

 

The big release is the Superball Kinetic Modulator - a sort of modulated delay - which for one of ...

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