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GPX Blog

Which Dual-Channel Blues Breaker Derived Overdrive Pedal is Right for You?

Analog.ManBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrowne AmplificationKing Tone EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveVS Audio+-
2020GPX4DualChannelBluesBreakers700V2.jpg

This article was sparked by my coming across a number of demos of the Browne Amplification Protein Drive dual overdrive which seems to be somewhat doing the rounds currently. I though it a fairly recent introduction in the scale of things, but was surprised to find that it’s really been around for a while.

 

In fact its earliest appearance goes back to 2015, which seemingly corresponds to the same year that the King Tone Duellist and VS Audio Royal Flush first materialised. And ...

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28 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsMenatoneMythos PedalsOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2020GPX28CompactOverdrives700.jpg

I periodically do these category round-ups, typically triggered by a pedal launch or two, as is the case in this instance. This is my own preferred Overdrive selection - intentionally as broad as possible - with actually 12 categories of overdrives, but could still be an even longer listing, and I’ve had to make some very difficult choices for the final selection even though it is relatively numerous at 28 strong. I would have liked to have included one from my so called ’Harmonic ...

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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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Which Mostortion Pedal is Right For You?

3RD Power ElectronicsBoost and OverdriveCascade PedalsDanelectroDistortionDriveIbanezKarma Amps & GuitarsMarshall Style DistortionOverdrive+-
2020GPX5WayMostortion700.jpg

If you’re anything like me, you can’t have failed to have noticed that there are a number of fairly similar pedals doing the rounds as such - which I keep bumping into. I will confess that I wasn’t initially particularly familiar with the Ibanez Mostortion - MOSFET Distortion, but have become increasingly more so of late. And I have really grown to love that harmonic chewy character.

 

The original MS10 Mostortion was part of the celebrated Ibanez 10 Series - also known...

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11 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Pedals

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPX9BestEQDPedals700V2.jpg

Usually I limit these roundups to the 9 best from each brand - but I felt that the visual for that was a little gappy because of the different enclosure sizes! So in an effort to balance out the visual better I upped the limit to 11 - which allowed my to do a couple more interesting things with the listing.

 

These listings are based on a mix of my own personal favourites and more widely considered best pedal ambassadors for those ranges. For a lot of selections here there was an either ...

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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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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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28 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection
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