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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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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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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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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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TC Electronic Completes Delay and Reverb Range Revamp with MKII MASH-Enabled versions of Mini Flashback and Hall of Fame Pedals

DelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationTC Electronic+-
2019GPXTCElectronicFlashHOFMiniMKII700V2.jpg

Just shortly after releasing updated versions of its flagship X4 large format Flashback and Hall of Fame delay and reverb units, TC Electronic concludes the cycle with updates of the Mini pedal equivalents. I could have done with this news a couple of week back during my dedicated Mini Pedals Week!

 

In any case the biggest change here is that the Hall of Fame mini gets two more knobs - where you used to have just a single Reverb knob, it now has 3 - Tone, Decay and Level - and of course...

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Source Audio Merges Nemesis with Ventris to Create Combined New Collider Delay+Reverb Workstation

Ambient EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTape Delay+-
2019GPXSourceAudioCollider700.jpg

So Source Audio has made a slightly different move to the one I and a few others expected - I thought we might get a 12+ Mode Modulation Workstation next - following on from the Nemesis and Ventris - and continuing the lineage much like Strymon’s TimeLine, BigSky and Mobius, and Boss’s DD-500, RV-500 and MD-500.

 

But Source Audio have decided to do a combination of the Nemesis and Ventris into the same format - giving you 5 Delay Modes from the Nemesis and 7 Reverb Modes ...

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Keeley Electronics Unleashes Spectacular XVIII Anniversary Space Panorama Trio - El Rey Dorado Overdrive, Compact Phaser and Delay Workstation

DelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersKeeley EngineeringMarshall Style DistortionModulationPhaserReverbReverb Workstation+-
2019GPXKeeleyXVIIIDioramaRange700.jpg

Keeley are getting to be rather good at these limited special editions as I’ve commented on several times previously. Once again they’ve drawn in painter Phillip Ortiz for this cool space-themed diorama / panorama. I actually noted in my recent Walrus Audio Best of Range Overview that they should do some sort of Space panorama as that’s where much of their pedal artwork sits. If you muted these tones a little or rather duo-toned this, then this is exactly the kind of design ...

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Boss Completes Digital Delay Range Revamp with New and Improved DD-3T and DD-8 Compact Delay Stompboxes

BossDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersLo-Fi DelayOddball DelayTape Delay+-
2019GPX4BossDigitalDelays700V2.jpg

An exercise which began in 2015 with the launch of the DD-500 Digital Delay Workstation is finally complete, as hot on the heels of the recent medium-enclosure DD-200, we see a significantly updated DD-3T and brand new DD-8 - replacing their predecessors introduced in 1986 and 2008 respectively.

 

The DD-3T gains Tap Tempo capabilities with additional jack for external tap-tempo switch, and former ’Hold’ Mode is replaced with ’Short Loop’. The Direct Out socket ...

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TC Electronic Releases Improved and New Flashback 2 X4 Delay and Hall of Fame 2 X4 Reverb Workstations

DelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersReverbReverb WorkstationTC Electronic+-
2019GPXFlashbackHOFX4700.jpg

I’ve always been something of a fan of the TC Electronic Flashback series of delays and Hall of Fame series of reverbs, although I’ve not found use for either type yet in my chain - preferring instead flagship workshop pedals from other pedal builders - Boss, Empress, Eventide, Source Audio and Strymon to date.

 

At one stage I was considering adding a Compact Hall of Fame 2 Reverb as a secondary Reverb to the chain - but that was before I acquired the Eventide H9 and Empress...

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