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GPX Blog

A Tale of 2 Rats - JHS and Kinnatone Modded ProCo Rat 2 Pedals

DistortionFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJHSKinnatoneProCoRat DistortionRat Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXTwoRatsTail700-min.jpg

The venerable ProCo Rat was first introduced back in 1978, and became one of the key distortion / fuzzstortion sounds of the 80’s in particular. Numerous bands past and present have had this as one of their key tone ingredients, and earlier versions of the pedal are still very collectable.

 

The interesting tones that the Rat generated came about somewhat by happenstance in using a fairly inefficient OpAmp chip which had all manner of quirky functional qualities - not least its low...

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16 of the Best Compact Tweed Style Drive Pedals

Bearfoot FXBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDistortionDriveGreer AmpsJ RockettJRADLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneOverdriveTrue North PedalsTwangtone by BSMUmbrella CompanyWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX16BestTweedDrives700-min.jpg

I should probably have covered this off sooner but I’m so satisfied with my True North Tweed Drive that I’ve not felt it necessary to look at alternatives. That said, there have been a few fairly recent additions to this group - so I thought I might as well do an overview of what’s around - usual suspects, new and old.

 

I’ve been aware of Tweed style overdrives for a while, in fact I had the Bearfoot FX Sparkling Yellow OD3 for more than a year before trying it ...

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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+-
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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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Demon Pedals - Monstrously Divine Drive and Fuzz Pedals from Northwest Bavaria

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveDemon PedalsDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMulti-DriveOverdriveSilicon Fuzz+-
2019GPX4BestDemonPedals700V2-min.jpg

I had encountered Demon Pedals several times in passing - I have certainly been aware of them for a number of years now but am still not sure where I first clocked them, yet they were one of the first brands that came to mind when I did my ’German Pedal Builders’ feature - while back then I had not wholly been won over - I needed some additional spark to get fully onboard. Turns out that spark was their newest pedal - the Kondo Shifuku D-Style Overdrive - which captivated me on ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large HM-2 Clones

DecibelicsDistortionDunwich AmplificationLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPXMiniMaxHM2Style700-min.jpg

As covered on a number of posts on this site - I’ve been a long time fan of the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal - which alas has been out of production since 1992. In the meantime a whole host of pedal-builders have stepped up to fill the gap as the number of pristine HM-2 pedals becomes ever more scarce. In fact I’ve not seen a properly ’Mint’ version on Reverb.com for a long while - too many sellers misuse that term in any case as Mint means pedal is actually and literally...

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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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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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Best of Spanish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Aclam Products for GuitarAnalog ReverbAnanashead EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDecibelicsDistortionDon Poniz FXDriveDual-DriveEffectivy Wonder PedalsEffects Pedal MakersEl Músico Loco FXFuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMegaBeat AudioModulationOverdrivePhaserReverbThermionThunderTomateTone Bender Style FuzzUtilityVolumeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestOfSpanishBuilders700-min.jpg

As I assumed per my first couple of recce’s - Spain was going to be a tricky territory to cover/feature compared to all the others that came before it - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Greece. None of the current Spanish builders have yet attained wholly global recognition as of the moment - unlike a number of brands from the other featured countries.

 

Probably the most significant Spanish builder to-date has been Roberto García and his ThunderTomate brand - ...

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Best of Greek Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Bad Pixel PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsDistortionDreadbox FXDriveEffects Pedal MakersFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsModulationMulti-DriveOverdriveRat PedalsRat Style FuzzSide EffectsTone ConceptsTsakalis Audio WorksVS Audio+-
2019GPX9BestGreekPedalBuilders700-min.jpg

This article continues the series which I started with Best of British, Canadian, French, German and Italian Pedal Builders - some of which could do with updating probably, but frankly I prefer doing new stuff. It turns out that Greece is actually a significant hub of activity with a number of Internationally renown brands.

 

I feel the big 3 are Crazy Tube Circuits, JAM Pedals and Tsakalis Audioworks, while VS Audio also has had some significant publicity fairly recently and ...

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4 of the Best 2 Channel High Gain Distortion Pedals

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsKSR AmplificationMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveSuhr+-
2019GPX2ChannelDistortions700-min.jpg

When I did my Stackable Overdrive + Distortion Pedals feature at the start of the year my intentions were always to do a follow-up with Distortion + Distortion Pedals, and the recent release of the KSR Ceres makes it opportune to do this now. For my former article I could have included a few others in the overview - I just selected the 4 most similar, while for this new one I actually struggled to find even the 4 included within the same category. And of those 4 the Suhr Eclipse is kind of ...

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2019 50

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