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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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Old Blood Noise Endeavors Brings 2 new innovative pedals to NAMM - the Visitor Parallel Multi-Modulator, and the Fault V2 Overdrive Distortion

Chorus and VibratoEffects Pedal MakersModulationOddball ModulationOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserTremolo+-
2020GPXOBNEVisitorFault2700.jpg

The Visitor is the more interesting of the pair obviously as a brand new endeavour - while the Fault 2 seems on first glance mostly just to have cosmetic difference - but there is a lot more to it - as we shall see!

 

The Visitor essentially has two different Modulation Channels - the Primary with Tremolo, Chorus and Phaser options while the Secondary just has Tremolo and Chorus. For the Primary you get Rate and Depth Controls - while the Secondary only has a single knob which interacts ...

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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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Pre-NAMM Pedal-Chain Snapshot

BossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesGamechanger AudioGFI SystemJHSLovetoneMarshall Style DistortionMerisModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationSinvertekTape DelayThropyFX+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPreNAMM700.jpg

Each year I like to do a comparison of where my current thinking is ahead of the Winter NAMM Show versus shortly after I have witnessed all the new innovations for the year and I have finalised my annual target list. The Chain already features several pedals that will be properly featured at NAMM for the first time - and I’m still waiting for Pete Thorne’s demo video of the Sinvertek N5+ Drive so I can publish my findings on that excellent pedal.

 

My most recent new arrival ...

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Vs Audio will be introducing its 3 recent smart Dual-Footswitch Pedals at this week's Winter NAMM Show

12 Degrees of SaturationAnalog DelayChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersMetal DistortionModulationVS Audio+-
2020GPXVSAudioTrioOfDuallFootswtichPedals700.jpg

Panos Sotiropoulos recently reached out to me to remind me of Vs Audio’s 3 really cool new pedals - which are exactly the sort of thing GPX / I typically gravitate towards. These could have been handy to feature before or in my recent ’6 Key Guitar Pedal Trends’ feature, but they arrive equally serendipitously to support several of the key arguments put forward in that article.

 

On the surface we have two analog bucket-brigade-device based pedals with digital control ...

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6 Key Guitar Pedal Trends for 2020!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDigital DelayFuzzGFI SystemGlitchKeeley EngineeringLooperLoophole PedalsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveTape Delay+-
2020GPX6KeyPedalTrends700.jpg

Each year - based on the previous year’s experience, I focus on the most pertinent and relevant trends happening in guitar pedal design and manufacturing. I long since highlighted the dual-footswitches trend which was really popularised by Chase Bliss Audio - and continues to proliferate with brands such as Jackson Audio, JHS and Walrus Audio.

 

The first time I did this type of feature I highlighted the evolution of larger more populous pedalboards with more pedals in the chain, ...

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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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Crazy Tube Circuits has Released 3 Killer Pedals This Year Including the Brand New Magnatone-Inspired Killer V Vibra-Drive

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsEffects Pedal MakersFuzzMaestro Style FuzzModulationOverdrivePhaserTone Bender Style FuzzUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2019GPXCrazyTubeCircuitsKillerTrio700.jpg

It seems like Crazy Tube Circuits have saved the best to last this year with a pretty special rendition of the 1962 Magnatone Custom 460 Vibrato amplifier. In essence pairing a dynamic JFET gain stage with a dual phase shift modulation - which really captures and takes you into those sort of vintage harmonic tremolo / whirling phaser / vibe sounds.

 

You get 8 controls on the pedal:
Volume (Gain) | Master Output | Depth | B/N/M Bright/Normal/Mellow | Wet/Dry-Wet | Bass | Treble | Speed

&...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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