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The 3 Pedal Challenge - Ultimate Range, Versatility and Variety at the key enclosure sizes

Big Ear PedalsBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioDelayDistortionDriveEchoverbGFI SystemHorizon DevicesKeeley EngineeringModulationModulation WorkstationMooerMulti-DrivePigtronixReverbSource Audio+-
2021GPX3PedalChallenge700V3.jpg

The 3 Pedal Challenge was in constant circulation last year on a variety of discussion groups, and I’ve kind of been biding my time in the hope I would have more options to choose from by now, but there has been no significant addition this year to unseat any of my established selections.

 

There are various ways to go about the 3 Pedal Challenge - where some individuals simply just select their 3 favourite pedals - without any particular rhyme or reason. While for me it’s a ...

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32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Compact Pedal per Type

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+-
2021AfBlg32CompactPedalType700.jpg

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...

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Second Phase of Pedal Movie Tie-ins delivers somewhat Odd Assortment!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioDeath By AudioDelayDigital DelayDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationMulti-DriveOddball DelayOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZvex+-
2021GPXPedalMovieTieIn2700V2.jpg

So Reverb.com has just announced which limited edition pedal collaborations go on sale today - Tuesday 23rd February - to further celebrate the imminent release of ’The Pedal Movie’. The first two pedals went on sale last November and sold out pretty instantaneously. 1000 of Chase Bliss Audio + Zvex collaboration Bliss Factory Fuzz, and 1000 of Death By Audio + EarthQuaker Devices collaboration Time Shadows Subharmonic Multi-Delay Resonator.

 

Both pedals were rather original...

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The 3 Key Original Fuzz Face Types and Derivations

Analog.ManBasic AudioBearfoot FXBMF EffectsChase Bliss AudioChase ToneCrazy Tube CircuitsDanDrive PedalExpresso FXFoxrox ElectronicsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJDM PedalsKing Tone EffectsMonsterpieceSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsStomp Under FootTate FXWren and CuffZvex+-
2021GPX4FuzzFaceTypes700.jpg

This article has been much requested - following on from my similar takes on the 7 Key Big Muff varieties and 9 Key Tone Bender varieties. I’ve sort of covered this a little bit before courtesy of my 6 Potent Fuzz Face Pairings feature and also my piece on Key Fuzz Transistors, while this offers a more comprehensive and expansive overview.

 

Everyone knows the story about how Ivor Arbiter of Sound City / Drum City fame sort of adapted the MKI.V Tone Bender format into a mic-stand-...

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JHS 20 Year Pedal Challenge

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+-
2021GPXJHS20YearPedalChallenge700.jpg

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 ...

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End of Year Pedal-Chain Update - Final Formation - Class of 2020

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+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMEndOfYear700.jpg

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...

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2020 Best of the Best New Guitar Pedals of the Year

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+-
2020GPXBestOveralOfTheYear700.jpg

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 ...

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2020 Best of New Fuzz Pedals for the Year

Big Muff Style FuzzBlammo ElectronicsCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioDanDrive PedalDanelectroDemedash EffectsDusky ElectronicsEarthQuaker DevicesExpresso FXFjord FuzzFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsKuro Custom AudioMad ProfessorMidValleyFXModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneTuga EffecctsVemuramWren and CuffZander Circuitry+-
2020GPXBestOfFuzzForYear700V3.jpg

It is fairly evident that my favourite pedal genre is Fuzz - seeing as that of all the pedals I added to the collection this year - 80 of those were Fuzz varieties.

 

This particular selection consists of 31 pedals across different sizes and sub-genres. And of those 31, I personally own 22 of them. All the remainder are of course on my wishlist, these are :

  • DanDrive Secret Machine (I own Secret Weapon edition)
  • Dusky Electronics Augustus Octave Fuzz
  • Fjord Fuzz Fenris Super-Fuzz
...
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2020 Best of New Overdrive and Distortion Pedals for the Year

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+-
2020GPXBestOverDistoritonPedalsofYeat700.jpg

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. ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Looper Pedals

BossChase Bliss AudioKNOBSLooperScott HarperSingular SoundTC ElectronicUtility+-
2020GPXMiniMediLargeLooper700V3.jpg

This is another article that was initially written earlier on in the year - in fact not long after the release of the TC Electronic Ditto+. We then had the launch of 2 new Boss RC Loopers - and I intended to follow on with a Boss Looper Roundup and then this feature. It’s been a hectic year though and I’m having to post up a number of articles within a fairly short timeline in the run-up to Year end and the overall Best New Pedals of the Year. There should be a flurry of activity ...

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