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GPX Blog

Best of ThorpyFX Pedals - Actually all 10 are Great!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferChorus and VibratoCompressorDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionModulationOverdriveRat Style FuzzThorpyFXUtility+-
2019GPXThorpyOverview700V2.jpg

My first exposure to Thorpy - way back when, was the then monikered Muffroom Cloud Fuzz - a fantastic sounding and really versatile take on the original Triangle version EXH Big Muff Pi. At the time though I was slightly put off by the somewhat over-sized enclosure - which was both significantly longer and wider than my preferred compact enclosure size - so I campaigned hard to have Thorpy bring the box down in size somewhat. This did not look like it was going to happen - and I eventually ...

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Pedal Design 101 - Pedal Primary Colour Wheel and which Pedals 'Own' a particular Colour

Analog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDelayDiamond PedalsDistortionDriveFlangerGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesIbanezLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionModulationMXROverdrivePhaserTremoloT-Rex EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2019GPXPedalColourWheel700V2.jpg

Update! This feature inspired 5 further articles - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue!

 

This feature was inspired by a couple of different events - firstly ongoing conversations I have been having with Fjord Fuzz’s Daniel Thornhill about the colour of LEDs for different pedal types, and secondly an odd Q&A episode of That Pedal Show where Dan was trying to match a pedal to the colour of his yellow trousers or pants as some of you like to call them.

 

I turned my mind ...

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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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Jackson Audio Completes Essential 'Boost' Trilogy with new Broken Arrow Programmable Dynamic Overdrive with Boost!

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEQJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2019JacksonAudioTrio700V2-min.jpg

Followers of this site will know by now that I’m a big fan of Jackson Audio, and I’ve already put in an order for their brand new Broken Arrow Programmable Soft-Clipping Overdrive + Boost. I was amongst the first wave to adopt both the Prism and Bloom when they arrived on the scene, and now the Broken Arrow continues that legacy of smart footswitch-controlled innovation.

 

The control-layer technology on the Broken Arrow is identical to the Bloom - whereby you can press and ...

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Best of Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

BJFEBjörn JuhlBoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorDarkglass ElectronicsDistortionDriveDual-DriveEBS SwedenEffects Pedal MakersElektronFuzzGlitchGuitar MaintenanceGuitar Synth and SequencerHimmelstrutzMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveParasit StudioPladask ElektriskSilicon FuzzSoundBrutUtility+-
2019GPXBestofSwedFinNorBuilders700-min.jpg

As mentioned in my Danish/Denmark pedals feature I had initially intended to do the Best of Scandinavia, but Denmark has so many internationally known brands I had to separate them out. For the remaining Scandinavian countries Sweden is obviously the strongest here with 6 featured in the Top 9 listing, then 2 Finnish and only 1 Norwegian brand of significant note.

 

Probably the most significant persona in Scandinavian pedal design / building is Swede Björn Juhl - who has pretty ...

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One Knob Wonders! - 17 of the Best One Knob Pedals

Black Arts ToneworksBoost and OverdriveCompressorDistortionDriveEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJ RockettJPTR FXJRADLone Wolf AudioLooperLovepedalMetal DistortionModulationMojo Hand FXMXRMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOverdrivePhaserReverbSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSpring ReverbStomp Under FootTate FXTC ElectronicUtility+-
2019GPXOneKnob700-min.jpg

This feature was inspired by a couple of recent events, and partly as a counter to my highlighting of the really rather complex Empress Zoia Modular Synthesizer / Multi-Effects unit in my last feature. For the last week or so I’ve been working on updating my rather extensive Guitar Pedal Directory page which features all of the above, and around 2,000 more from across 160 or so pedal builders around the world.

 

I periodically review each of the sites referenced - to keep tabs on ...

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The Empress Zoia Lands April 15th! - or rather starts shipping then actually

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDown-TunerDriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationTremoloUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXEmpressZoiaFinal700-min.jpg

Now definitively defined as a Pedal-format Modular Synthesizer, Sequencer and Multi-Effects unit. The control interface consists of a small OLED screen accompanied by a grid of 40 (5x8) 7-coloured LED backlit soft-touch buttons, 4 further control buttons for Secondary Functions, and a large Menu scroll dial. There are 3 footswitches to activate live playback and scroll through presets.

 

Essentially you have a building-block interface-led hybrid-modular-synthesiser where you chain ...

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