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28 of the Best Compact Rat-Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Acid Age ElectronicsAion ElectronicsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBBE SoundBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBYOCCatalinbreadChicago StompworkscmatmodsDistortionDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFreakshow EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreer AmpsIbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsJohn LandgraffMagnetic EffectsMojo Hand FXOpAmp FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
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Most should know by now that I’m a huge Rat aficionado - and for me Rat doesn’t just mean those original ProCo Rat varieties but all the different derivatives - direct and indirect - old and new, classics, rarities and outliers. This category is titled ’Rat-Style’ so there’s a few Rat-adjacent pedals here too which share some of the core fundamentals and bring to mind some key associations with that well-known highly textured frequency profile.

 

For me at a...

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End of June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode V - A Disturbance in the Force!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBixonicBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJune700V3.jpg

June hasn’t been a particularly kind month to me - in fact it’s been something of a difficult period - I was going to call this piece ’The Darkness Lingers’ but didn’t really want that particular NLP on this blog - which I try to keep as positive as is practically possible.

 

A number of ventures and collaborations I was working on this month came a cropper when the other collaborating parties somewhat inexplicably and suddenly ended their involvement - ...

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9 of the Best Dr Scientist Pedals

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGlitchModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverb WorkstationRing ModulationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTremolo+-
2020GPX9BestDrScientistPedals700V2.jpg

I’ve been a fan of Ryan and Tanya Clarke for the longest time, and currently have 4 of their best in my collection, with a couple more on the wishlist. My first and to-date all-time favourite Dr Scientist pedal is the exceptional Frazz Dazzler 2-Channel Fuzz - which while wholly unique, most equate with a Muff style of fuzz, yet for me it’s more of an extended range / high-gain Rat.

 

So the Frazz Dazzler was my first, then came the BitQuest and next my Gold Bar Edition The ...

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End of May Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - A New Hope!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMay2700.jpg

May was the month that several things finally slotted into place - all my missing / presumed lost USA orders finally landed as did a few other pedals which had been somewhat lingering in the wild - so May delivered a pretty decent pedal yield overall in the end. I also got to be involved in a couple of exciting up-and-coming brands - Kuro Custom Audio of Italy and MidValleyFX of USA. I’ve already published a feature on the excellent Kuro Akuma Fiery Fuzz as featured on slot #5, and hope ...

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End of April Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Lost in the Post Edition

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVA AudioVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMApril700V2.jpg

So a lot has changed during the month of April - we’ve had some thoroughly exciting and invigorating new product launches, while three of my American acquisitions are seemingly lost by USPS - hopefully they will materialise some day, but for one of them there have been no tracking updates for over a month now - which is somewhat alarming. As the eternal optimist, I can only hope that things right themselves eventually. I had already determined that my pedal-acquisition would go on semi-...

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Spring Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Edition

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSinvertekThorpyFXTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMarch700V2.jpg

I had hoped to do regular monthly updates on how the various NAMM-announced pedal releases and other newer additions were impacting my own pedal-chain choices. Yet we all know how this year has gone - obviously impacted by numerous delays brought on by the Social Distancing required to counter the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19.

 

Because of parts supply and resourcing issues, most 2020 NAMM pedals have been delayed to some degree. When there is uncertainty as to when the next ...

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Which Filter Pedal is Right For You?

Dr ScientistEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlower PedalsModulationMu-TronPigtronixSource AudioUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXFilterPedalHead2Head700.jpg

I recently featured the Dr Scientist Dusk and stated that I was pretty much 90% sure that it was the right filter pedal to be rotated in on my current Micro-Tron III slot. I’ve seen quite a few videos on the Flower Pedals Hosta Wah Filter too, and a couple of other examples which are sort of niggling at me as to whether I’m fully properly informed. Ever being the one to make sure that I do the appropriate amount of due diligence in the process of selecting the ideal pedal for me, I ...

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2020GPXDrScientistDusky700.jpg

I’ve been avidly following the development of this pedal from the start - via periodic glimpses Ryan Clarke has been sharing on social media. I’m a long term Dr Scientist fan and Ryan and Tanya always have a fresh new approach on things which makes their pedals so appealing.

 

When I first saw the Dusk I considered it a pretty decent rotation alternative for my Mu-Tron Micro-Tron III Envelope Filter - which I mostly actually use as an auto-wah - and it is quite brilliant at ...

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28 of the Best Compact Tremolo Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCoda EffectsCopilot FXDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFlower PedalsHamstead SoundworksJHS PedalsKorora AudioMagnetic EffectsMalekko Heavy IndustryMatthews EffectsModulationNative AudioSentimental Bob ElectronicsSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuhrSuproSwindler EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28BestCompactTremolos700.jpg

There have been a number of new Tremolo pedals fairly recently released, and in fact I was tempted to acquire another in a roundabout fashion. The catalyst was actually the new Rock Fabrik Effects Kuek Touch Sensitive Dynamic Tremolo - yet that comes in a medium vertical BB enclosure and I only have space for a compact. So luckily Anasounds entered the scene with their own version new Ages Harmonic Tremolo which did much the same thing as the Kuek - but in my preferred size / form factor!

&...

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Pre-NAMM Pedal-Chain Snapshot

BossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesGamechanger AudioGFI SystemJHSKMA AudioLovetoneMarshall 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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