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End of Year Pedal-Chain Update - Final Formation - Class of 2020

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTimmyToneczarTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMEndOfYear700.jpg

And so here is the culmination of everything that happened to the pedal-chain in 2020.

 

There were quite a few more displacements than I had expected - all told 22 slots changed over this year - including 19 Brand New Pedals for 2020, then 3 slightly older pedals, and some incidentals.

 

The most significant shift, and the one that caused the most disruption was the arrival of Boss GT-1000 CORE in October. This is often the case when you bring in a big new pedal - and you need to...

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2020 Best of the Best New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCoppersoundDelayDemedash EffectsDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHologram ElectronicsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJAM PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeural DSPNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXBestOveralOfTheYear700.jpg

So I’ve now completed 5 preliminary shortlists type articles featuring between 9 and 30 or so of the best pedals released in 2020 - in each of the following categories :

I sincerely apologise if I’ve overlooked any here, while I’m not sure they would have necessarily ...

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2020 Best of New Overdrive and Distortion Pedals for the Year

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChase Bliss AudioCornerstone Music GearCrowther AudioDanelectroDistortionDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFriedman EffectsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXMulti-DriveMXRNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedal PawnPettyjohn ElectronicsRainger FXShnobel ToneSitek Guitar ElectronicsThorpyFXTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXBestOverDistoritonPedalsofYeat700.jpg

And here is the first of the category overviews for the year - combining those Overdrive and Distortion pedals which sparked some interest for me. Note that there will be 4 of these types of articles - Overdrive & Distortion (this one), Fuzz, Delay and Reverb (exc. Reverb Workstation already covered), and Modulation + Pitch + Untility pedals. Before I then reveal my overall 25 or so favourite favourite pedals for the year in a Best-of-the-Best listing - with possibly some sneaky additions. ...

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A Rare Dumble-style Fully-Loaded Custom Tones Ethos Clean-Fusion II 2-Channel Preamp is now part of the Reference Collection

BoostBoost and OverdriveCustom TonesDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveOverdrivePreAmp+-
2020GPXCustomTonesEthosCleanFusionIIX700V2.jpg

Readers will know that I’ve been trying to chase down this pedal for around 2-3 years - in my opinion the best / most practical and most adjustable 2-Channel Dumble-Style Preamp made to date. There are actually 3 different models of this Ethos Preamp that Custom Tones makes - the original large-scale full-format Ethos 2-Channel Overdrive + Boost, the BB-sized Ethos Clean II Single Channel Preamp, and the BB-sized Ethos Clean-Fusion II 2-Channel Preamp. All are made to order by Mr Custom ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAmptweakerAMT EffectsAnarchy AudioBearfoot FXBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBlackhawk AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionBYOCCarcharias EffectsCatalinbreadCoda EffectsDanelectroDecibelicsDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistDriveDrunk BeaverDual-DriveDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioEarthQuaker DevicesFeaturedFree Fall DiverFriedman EffectsFunction F(X)Fuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioJAM PedalsJohn K Vintage GuitarsKeeley EngineeringLawrence Petross DesignLoop Hole PedalsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidValleyFXMooerMulti-DriveMXROneControlOpAmp FuzzPelican NoiseworksPepers' PedalsRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSuhrThorpyFXVFE PedalsVox Style DistortionWamplerXIX Tech FXXotic Effects+-
2020GPX12DgreesSaturationDistortionEdition700V2.jpg

This edition comes rather hot on the heels of the recent 12 Degrees of Overdrive version as many readers’ inquiries questioned a couple of missing categories there - which I explained would rather figure within the Distortion contingent which is present here in all its glory!

 

As always, these is some considerable amount of grey science at play here - best typified by the Big Muff and Rat circuits - which are both very much distortions as well as fuzz varieties. I have 3 x 12 ...

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Jackson Audio Flips the Script as the El Guapo becomes the Asabi Modular Overdrive/Distortion with Different Distortion Plugin Modules Available

Boost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOverdriveRat Style Fuzz+-
2020GPXJacksonAudioAsabi700.jpg

I was momentarily confused this morning when the Sweetwater Video alert popped up for the new Jackson Audio Asabi. The pedal looked identical to the now obviously former El Guapo - on the surface the only difference was the name change. Pricing of the unit stays at the exact same level as the El Guapo or $350/£350.

 

While delving a little further into the subject it became obvious that Brad Jackson and colleagues had lifted the functionality from the forthcoming Jackson Audio ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Distortion Capable Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AmptweakerAMT EffectsBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJackson AudioJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveMXROneControlPettyjohn ElectronicsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuhrThorpyFXWampler+-
2020GPX28JCM800700V2.jpg

In my recent coverage of Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Pedals I indicated that I had none of the usual suspects Overdrives/Distortions - or namely MXR EVH 5150, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe and Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. While in fact I have well over 20 Brown Sound Style variants in my collection of various different sizes - with the vast majority being compact enclosures as featured here. I make no secret of the fact that the compact size format is my faourite and particularly for these sorts...

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Boss Shrinks Down its GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor to a more handy-sized but still Full-Featured GT-1000 CORE Stomp Box

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDistortionDown-TunerDual-DriveEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPreAmpRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXBossGT1000Core700.jpg

I’ll jump straight to the obvious here in calling this Boss’s contender to go against current category leader and long-term reigning champ - the Line 6 Helix HX STOMP Multi Effects Processor and Amp Modeller - which interestingly retails for $599 in the USA, but only around £399 on this side of the pond. While starting RRP tag for the GT-1000 CORE will be £615 (vs GT-1000 currently retailing at £799UK/$999USA). In fact prices are weirdly quite disparate between UK,...

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End of September Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VIII - Starry Eyed Surprise

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCoppersoundDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFjord FuzzFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHarmonizerJackson AudioJoesPedals.comKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNFYFXOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleToneczarTubescreamer Style OverdriveVick AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioZander Circuitry+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMSeptember700V4.jpg

And so as my 7th month of isolation draws to a close - the frequency of new product releases has begun to accelerate again after the lull of summer. The month started on fine form with the slightly surprising snap arrival of he new Jackson Audio El Guapo, next we had the Walrus Audio Julia that always should have been - in the guise of the new and improved Julianna Chorus, then the Zander Circuitry Compact Siclone, Boss OC-5 Octave, somewhat delayed Big Ear Albie, the EHX Pitch Fork+, Red Witch...

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Jackson Audio Releases Majestically Saturating Mateus Asato Signature Dual Channel Plexi + JCM800 Programmable Overdrive and Distortion

Boost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-Drive+-
2020GPXJacksonAudioElGuapoFin700V3.jpg

I teased the arrival of this pedal in my recent end of August pedal-chain update. At the time I wasn’t sure how imminent its arrival was as it had appeared and immediately disappeared off the American Musical Supply website and yet was showing as in stock and available on LoopersParadise.de. You often see that with pedal launches and then it turns out that it’s some sort of preorder thing. While as on this occasion the pedals are genuinely with several dealers already.

 

Many...

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