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GPX Blog

Zvex's Future is Clear - with Limited Edition Transparent Lexan Enclosure Versions of its Classic Pedals

Chorus and VibratoDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulationOddball FuzzZvex+-
2019GPX3ZvexClearLexan700.jpg

I’m a touch late to the party with this feature - as it’s been quite a while since Zvex announced and sold out of the very first Fuzz Factory edition of this new limited-run line of pedals. They are pretty much identical in content, components and format to the original classic horizontal compact pedals - bar for the use of fully transparent / see-through Lexan enclosures. Lexan is actually a super hard plastic compound or version of Polycarbonate - a thermoplastic polymer - often ...

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9 of the Best Mad Professor Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GBX9BestMadProfessorPedals700.jpg

I will start by reiterating once more how big a fan I am of Swedish circuit designer Björn Juhl / BJFE and his many associated brands - which use variations of his celebrated circuits - Mad Professor in Finland, Bearfoot FX in the USA and OneControl in Japan. I have several varieties from each of those brands - 15 or so all told, but my first connection with Björn was via Mad Professor.

 

Ironically the very first Mad Professor pedal I acquired was not derived from Björn ...

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9 of the Best Lo-fi Modulation Pedals

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiCaroline Guitar CompanyChampion LeccyChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoEarthQuaker DevicesFairfield CircuitryHungry Robot EffectsModulationParadox EffectsRaygun FXZvex+-
2019GPX9BestLoFiModulators700-min.jpg

This article was inspired by the recent launch of the Caroline Guitar Co. Somersault Lo-fi Modulator which is really a sort of Chorus - which all these others are indeed near enough all too at least to a degree. In fact Josh Scott of JHS fame kind of beat me to the punch on this with his last Thursday’s YouTube video - which I share in Final Thoughts below. Yet I had already drawn up my own shortlist of 9 in advance of that and Josh and I only overlap on 4 - the Somersault obviously, ...

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Pedal Design 101 - The Renaissance of Carl Martin

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDistortionEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesModulationOverdriveSilicon FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtility+-
2019GPX9BestV2CarlMartin700-min.jpg

It has to be said that Carl Martin - a long-standing Danish pedal-builder of high pro-gear repute - was starting to look somewhat fusty and old-fashioned there for a while. And while some brands would look to simply refresh their graphics and update things in a largely superficial manner - Carl Martin set to designing an entirely new compact enclosure for its Vintage Series of pedals.

 

The incumbent pedals were in rather uninteresting medium enclosures while the degree of innovation and...

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Best of Australian and New Zealander Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayAnarchy AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorCrowther AudioDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpressionFlux EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLastgasp Art LaboratoriesLightning Wave EffectsLo-Fi DelayLoop-SwitcherMarshall Style DistortionMC SystemsMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidnight AmplificationModulationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePepers' PedalsPhaserPitchPoly EffectsRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSelah EffectsShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSplitter and Frequency SplitterTape DelayTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXAustraliaNewZealandPedals700-min.jpg

Australia and New Zealand together have a fair few brands of international repute, and I for one certainly have a number of pedals of Australian origin in my collection. Foremost amongst those is Michael Ibrahim’s eponymous MI Audio / MI Effects - from which range past and present - I have 7 to date - with a couple more on the ’nice-to-have’ wishlist. Of the ones I have 2 are permanent features in my pedal-chain - the Super Crunch Box V2 (my Brown Sound pedal of choice) and ...

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Best of Central and South American Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorCopilot FXDarkglass ElectronicsDedalo FXDeep Trip FXDistortionDriveDSM NoisemakerDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFire Custom ShopFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoop-SwitcherMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMonstro EffectsMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdriveParadox EffectsPedalPalFXPhaserRat Style FuzzRetrohead FXSabbadius Custom EffectsSilicon FuzzSplitter and Frequency SplitterStomp Audio LabsSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestCentralSouthAmericanBuilders700-min.jpg

This is the 11th in the Pedal Builders Country Series as such, although I’ve had to cast the net slightly wider as I currently don’t consider there to be enough top-tier / International-level builders in a single country here to satisfy the usual criteria. Brazil and Argentina come fairly close - with Brazil having significantly the most concentrated volume of builders of any Country in that part of the world. Generally Brazil, Argentina and Chile are particularly well represented. ...

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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 WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz 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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9 of the Best Walrus Audio Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLo-Fi DelayModulationOverdrivePhaserPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus Audio+-
2019GPX9BestWalrusAudio700-min.jpg

This article was largely triggered by the recently released Slö Multi Texture Reverb which of course I love and which has gone straight onto my wishlist despite its mono output. I see it as a solid competitor to the rather pricier and more complex Chase Bliss Audio Dark World and a perfect tool for ambient textures. I personally would use it as a textural tool in my ’glitch pedal’ slot as my main time-based effects are stereo.

 

I’ve featured Walrus Audio a fair ...

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Matthews Effects Wins Honour of Best Range Revamp in recent memory!

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsModulationOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTape Delay+-
2019GPXMatthewsEffectsRelaunch700V2-min.jpg

I already singled out the Newly Revamped Matthews Effects Range in my piece on Pedal Graphic Design - but there I focused more on the design of the actual pedals - principally the facia graphics and control topology - knob choice etc. However there was much more to the Matthews Effects Range Revamp than just a pedal design change - and some of the most significant improvements happened within the disciplines of Packaging and supplementary Collateral. ...

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Best of Polish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AmpsAnalogWise PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersExar ElectronicsFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGigging AmpG-Lab Guitar LaboratoryGlitchGranular DelayHexe Guitar ElectronicsHome-Play AmpLongAmpMarshall Style DistortionModulationOccvlt PedalsOctave FuzzOverdrivePower SuppliesReverbSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuper-Fuzz StyleTaurus AmplificationTube AmpUtilityYankee Power+-
2019GPXBestPolishBuilders700V2-min.jpg

Poland was both trickier and yet eventually easier to rationalise than originally perceived. I have scanned through many a country now, and Poland seems to be the last of those with sufficient numbers of high calibre pedal builders to warrant a dedicated feature*. As noted before - these sorts of article take quite a lot of work to complete - and so this is the last of these I will be doing for a while.

 

* Note that USA and Japan are the leading pedal builders of the world still and too...

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