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GPX Blog

The Perfect Compact Guitar Pedal Design - 2020 Edition

Effects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and Prototypes
2020GPXPrototypeX700V2.jpg

Readers of this blog will know that I periodically assemble and consider all the latest pedal technologies and interface innovations to produce a sort of extrapolated idealised composite for how compact pedal design might be improved/evolved.

 

I am constantly looking for more versatility and flexibility - as well as much improved usability and learnability - and more elegant ways to control and display secondary and advanced functions and scroll and activate presets. My very first take ...

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DanDrive Pedal Adds 2 More Compact Pedals to the Core Range - the Secret Machine Fuzz and Working Man Fuzz

DanDrive PedalEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2020GPXDanDriveWorkingMachine700.jpg

You should know by now that I’m a big fan of DanDrive Pedal - per my September 2019 overview of the brand. And of course I dearly love my Austin Pride (Germanium/Silicon Switching Texas Square Face Fuzz) and Secret Weapon (Zonk Fuzz) pedals from that overview.

 

To be honest I was a tad miffed when Dan introduced a third John Hornby Skewes Zonk variant - as I had only just recently then acquired the Secret Weapon edition. Dan’s original take on the JHS Zonk was the Germanium ...

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Walrus Audio Releases 5 Custom Limited Luna Artwork Series Pedals in Collaboration with Andertons

Andertons.co.ukChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersModulationReverbSpacey ReverbTremoloWalrus Audio+-
2020GPXWalrusAudioLunarEdition700.jpg

When Keeley released its XVIII Anniversary Space Panorama Triptych I stated at the time that the artwork was somewhat more reminiscent of Walrus Audio - and surely they (Walrus) should be doing some sort of space-themed panorama across a number of pedals, as several of their pedals already carry that kind of sci-fi theme. I don’t know how related these two events are - but it sounds like someone was listening somewhere along the way and Walrus now has its own ’Luna’ Lunar ...

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2020GPX3xBecosProCompression700.jpg

I’ve featured Becos FX on this site a few times now - under Edits (for the CompIQ Stella and CompIQ Mini), so it was about time I dedicated a full article to this Romanian Compressor Specialist - AKA Costel Barac. The occasion here is the release of his most comprehensive and feature-rich compressor to date - looks like a 1590BB style enclosure which features near enough 2 CompIQ Stellas sort of side-by-side with no less than 15 control knobs and 6 switches - and where you can either ...

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Electro-Harmonix Reveals Further Details for its NAMM-featured Pedals

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersElectro-HarmonixLooperOctaverPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbUtility+-
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During NAMM there were some product catalogue leaked images for a quartet of forthcoming EHX pedals - the 1440 (Fourteen-Forty) Stereo Looper, Big Muff Pi Hardware Plugin, Pitch Fork+ Polyphonic Pitch Shifter, and Oceans 12 Dual Stereo Reverb. At the time of the event there were little or no proper details available - while these are now filtering through to dealers for pre-orders and have the proper descriptions attached. With the exception of the Big Muffi Pi Hardware Plugin which has still ...

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9 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Compact Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzEarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2020GPX9EQDCompactFuzz700.jpg

A couple of provisos right from the start here - this is obviously not a definitive selection per se - it’s grounded to my own preferences - and secondly, as I’ve noted several times before - I’ve come rather late to EarthQuaker Devices and don’t have as many of those pedals in the collection as I probably should. I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions about the idiosyncrasies of how we are exposed to different gear. What each player is into is the result of quite ...

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9 of the Best SolidGoldFX Compact Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzOctave FuzzSilicon FuzzSolidGoldFXSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXSolidGOldFXCompactFuzzes700V3.jpg

I originally got into SolidGoldFX (SGFX) pedals way back when I was researching Octave Fuzz pedals, and the SGFX 76 Fuzz (Hybrid Germanium/Silicon Super Fuzz) came out as my sort of surprise favourite in that selection. I did not particularly like the original banana yellow colourway and so went for the Custom Shop Weathered Rust edition instead - as pictured.

 

The next one that piqued my interest was the Copper Edition Germanium version of the Rosie Fuzz (Tone Bender MKIII), and then a...

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9 of the Best TC Electronic Pedals

Chorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDouble TrackingEffects Pedal MakersFlangerHarmonizerLooperModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationTC ElectronicTunersUtility+-
2020GPX9BestTCElectronic700V2.jpg

This article was of course inspired by Josh ’JHS’ Scott’s recent YouTube video on his own favourite TC Electronic pedals (see Honorable Mentions below). We are funnily enough largely in agreement on the core selection - but we harbour somewhat different opinions on some of the marginals.

 

I’ve tried to view these as being category leading first-choice pedals - at least at the time of their introduction / key active period. Meaning that the TC Electronic option ...

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Pedal Design 101 - The Evolution of the Stompbox Footswitch

EarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioNeural DSPPedalboard and Pedal-ChainTC ElectronicTheGigRig+-
2020GPXPedalFootswtich292700.jpg

With my extended collection of pedals, I’ve always been fascinated by the very wide variety of different footswitches and their varying action/feel/function. Most of my pedals have hard-clicking switches - with my favourites within that category having a significantly softer clicking action while the lesser favourites are super-hard-resistant and stiff - and almost crunchy/brittle/hard-clicking when you stomp on them. I understand that the vast majority of pedal-makers, particularly ...

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Old Blood Noise Endeavors Brings 2 new innovative pedals to NAMM - the Visitor Parallel Multi-Modulator, and the Fault V2 Overdrive Distortion

Chorus and VibratoEffects Pedal MakersModulationOddball ModulationOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserTremolo+-
2020GPXOBNEVisitorFault2700.jpg

The Visitor is the more interesting of the pair obviously as a brand new endeavour - while the Fault 2 seems on first glance mostly just to have cosmetic difference - but there is a lot more to it - as we shall see!

 

The Visitor essentially has two different Modulation Channels - the Primary with Tremolo, Chorus and Phaser options while the Secondary just has Tremolo and Chorus. For the Primary you get Rate and Depth Controls - while the Secondary only has a single knob which interacts ...

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