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Recent Growth in DIY Kit Pedals gives some of you something extra to do during Coronavirus Self-Isolation

Aion ElectronicsAll-PedalAnasoundsBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDistortion LimitedDriveDual-DriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFX TeacherJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignModulationMulti-DriveMythos PedalsOverdrivePedalPCBRat Style FuzzStewMacTremolo+-
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I started this post quite a while ago, but am glad I left it to mature for a while as so much has happened / changed in the interim. Obviously we are right in the middle of a Pandemic and some people have a lot more time on their hands these days, while ironically I have rarely been busier.

 

The above pictured selection has changed markedly in just a few months as there are more and more mainstream brands seemingly getting involved with pedal kits of their own. It makes a lot of sense ...

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2 Great Q-Control Drive and Distortion Pedals - The BYOC Crown Jewel Multidrive and Pushking Ironfinger Distortion

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePushking PedalsSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXQControlDistortionPedals700-min.jpg

Readers of this blog will already know how much a fan I am of BYOC’s Crown Jewel Multidrive pedal - with its multitude of dials and switches - 4 gain stages in effect and clean blend circuit. I’ve said that this is not only likely the most versatile drive pedal out there currently, but also an essential educational tool for understating how different degrees of voltage, clipping, tone-shaping and Q-control impact on the output signal.

 

I wasn’t really that much ...

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Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

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Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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16 of the Best Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

1981 InventionsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCaroline Guitar CompanyDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsLone Wolf AudioMagnetic EffectsOpAmp FuzzProCoRatRat Style FuzzThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
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I think that the Rat style is possibly my favourite style of dirt pedal. It really depends how distinctly you classify all the Marshall pedals I have versus the already 8 Rat-style pedals in the collection (Actually 10 really, but 7 in the top 16 feature).

 

So my current all-time Rat-style champ is not always associated with the genre even though it is a full-throttle OmpAmp-driven fuzzstortion chaos machine - I am of course referring to Dr Scientist’s formidable Frazz Dazzler ...

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9 of the Best Compact Multi-Drive Pedals

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHamstead SoundworksKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSinvertekSubdecay EffectsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPX9BestCompactMultidrives700-min.jpg

I’m known for my 12 Degrees of Saturation Methodology and organising drive/dirt pedals into a specific category. I do however also like multi-talented multi-tankers, and have always had one or two all-rounder multi-drive overdrives in my pedal-chain. In fact of the 9 listed here I have all but the last featured, which also happens to be the most recently released - by Greek Boutique Builder Tsakalis - that pedal is currently only available in Greece - direct from the maker and from one or...

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BYOC Crown Jewel Multidrive's Multiple Degrees of Saturation - Video Overviews and Reference Settings

12 Degrees of SaturationBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzToneQuestTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBYOCCrownJewelBase700V2-min.jpg

I’ve featured BYOC’s Crown Jewel Multidrive on this site several times previously but only superficially really. It is the kind of Swiss Army Knife of drive pedals that will put some off by virtue of its sheer range and versatility (so many dials and switches) - so I’ve tried to break things down here in a more manageable fashion, while providing everything you need to get the most out of this pedal. I am generally a huge fan of Keith Vonderhulls - Mr BYOC himself - and if and...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Blues Driver Style Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCMooerStrymon+-
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The first overdrive I was properly enamoured with was funnily enough the Mooer Blues Mood - set to the Fat Mode with Gain around 1 o’clock. I always intended to get a proper Keeley Phat-modified Blues Driver but for a long time struggled to find one in reasonable condition and at a reasonable price. Then came the Boss JB-2 Angry Driver which allowed you to mix the Blues Driver circuit with JHS’s Angry Charlie circuit to great effect - but I found that long term I was gravitating ...

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Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives

Abominable ElectronicsAnarchy AudioArionBehringerBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDOD EffectsDunn EffectsDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioKeeleyKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionTC ElectronicWalrus AudioWren and CuffXIX Tech FX+-
2018GPXBossHM2Clones700-min.jpg

In the wake of the new and admittedly really cool Waza Craft Edition of the Metal Zone - the MT-2w, there were nonetheless lots of Boss fans who were super surprised that Boss had seen fit to do a Waza edition of a pedal that has been in continuous production since its release in 1991, versus the long-discontinued cult favourite HM-2 (1983-1992) which is likely its most popular pedal on the second-hand market, and which likely also has the most number of clones in that marketplace.

 

The...

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Comparative Guitar Pedal Acquisition Strategy - 120 Mini Pedal Edition

Boost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDelayDistortionEl Músico Loco FXEWS EffectsFairfield CircuitryF-PedalsFuzzIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKHDKKO AmpsLovepedalMalekko Heavy IndustryModulationMooerMXRMythos PedalsOneControlPigtronixPitchRainger FXReverbSuhrTC ElectronicUtilityXotic EffectsXvive AudioZvex+-
2018AfBlg35CompMiniDirt700-min

Apart from one off larger pedals - like the new Origin Effects RevivalDrive, I feel that most of the pedal innovation is occurring at the Mini and Compact pedal sizes. The current ’shrinking’ trend is seeing several classic pedals being brought down to smaller enclosures. In the Mini pedal genre, I feel Xotic and Wampler have a lot to do with the increase in premium quality Mini pedals. Xotic via its trifecta of EP Booster, SL Drive and SP Compressor - of which I have all three in ...

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