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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Key Tone Stack Types and Circuit EQ Configurations - in collaboration with Master-Builder Adrian 'Thorpy' Thorpe

Blackhawk AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBossDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistElectro-HarmonixFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesIbanezJ RockettJRADNobelsPaul CochranePettyjohn ElectronicsRedbeard EffectsSinvertekThorpyFXTimmy+-
2021GPXKeyToneStacks700V2.jpg

Different Tone Stacks have endlessly fascinated me over the years. Exactly which Tone Stack each builder chooses to deploy on each of their specific gain pedal/s - how complex and impactful (range, focus, taper etc.), as well as how the overall frequency profile is default calibrated at the mid-way / noon mark. There are dozens of different variations across all the different compact edition type pedals - which serve as my visual references here. And of course some Tone Stacks are particularly ...

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2021 March Pedal-Chain Update - Episode III - An Atypical Pedal Plethora

Big Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlackhawk AmplificationBoostBoost and OverdriveCrazy Tube CircuitsDrunk BeaverElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlower PedalsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReverse DelaySilicon FuzzSwellTone Bender Style FuzzTone ElectronixTX PedalsVox Style Distortion+-
2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateMarch700V3.jpg

March seems to have been unusually busy on all sides really, particularly with the day-job’s annual keynote event. Generally this year has been off to quite a moderate start, but that seems to have accelerated somewhat during this month.

 

It’s been a mixture of January NAMM pedals materialising and spring-time special offers, all of which contributed to a somewhat bumper month - with a record-breaking for me 29 acquisitions, prior to that the record stood at 26, while that ...

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Preferred Pitch-Shifter, Octaver and Harmonizer Pedal Selection

BossCooper FXCoppersoundDigiTechDown-TunerElectro-HarmonixFree The ToneHarmonizerMeris EffectsMu-TronOctaverPitchPitch-ShiftingTC Electronic+-
2021GPXOctaverPitchHarmonizer700V2.jpg

Sparked by a few recent acquisitions, this seems the perfect time to round up the best of Pitch-Shifter, Octaver and Harmonizer Pedals. I most recently secured a Boss PS-6, EHX Pitch Fork, and CopperSound Triplegraph.

 

The Triplegraph was acquired from Martel Music - I’m just waiting for CopperSound to hand-deliver stock there next week, which means I should get mine early April.

 

There’s two fairly recent arrivals here I have yet to snap up - the Pitch Fork+ and ...

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15 Notable Overdrive Pedals with Clean Blend Control

BoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCornerstone Music GearDistortionDMB PedalsDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixHungry Robot EffectsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMulti-DriveNOC3 EffectsOrigin EffectsOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsTate FXTimmyT-Rex EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVoodoo LabWalrus AudioWestminster Effects+-
2021GPX15CleanBlendOverdrives700V2.jpg

Reader Charles H requested that I do a roundup of Clean Blend Overdrives - which resulted in the following selection. Most Bass Overdrives have Clean-Blend by default - while all the ones I have selected here are more specifically Guitar Overdrives. I personally don’t find myself needing to use Clean Blend so much - but I can totally understand why so many players find this functionality useful or even essential. The Blend knob is variously labelled Blend, Clean, Dry and Mix. I’ve ...

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2021 February Pedal-Chain Update - Episode II - A Typical Transitional Lull

Big Ear PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCryBabyCustom Audio ArtDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFlangerFuzzGated and Velcro FuzzKlirrton ManufakturMetal DistortionModulationOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsPhaserPitchSilicon FuzzWah and Fixed Wah+-
2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateFeb700V3.jpg

I would like to start by apologising to those builders who didn’t get a pedal featured in Wednesday’s final 32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types article. Know that I hold you all in the highest of esteem - and that said overview is/was simply a somewhat temporary and fleeting snapshot of my current preferences on that day - with a particular emphasis towards versatility and variety delivered by a single pedal. So some pedals are typically more narrowly focused and specialist, while ...

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32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Compact Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimAnalog DelayBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDrive WorkstationDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePeterson TunersPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersTweed Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeVox Style DistortionVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio+-
2021AfBlg32CompactPedalType700.jpg

It was only natural that the Compact Format Preferred Versions feature should follow the Mini examples. Again largely inspired by the recent ’12 Degrees’ projects.

 

Once more I’ve had a change of mind on some of the candidates and the preferred examples are slightly different to those previous references. Obviously new pedals have arisen, and priorities and preferences can shift fairly regularly based on prevailing mood.

 

That said, most of these are long-term...

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Electro-Harmonix Releases Highly Versatile and Textural Ripped Speaker Fuzz

Electro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzSilicon Fuzz+-
2021GPXEHXRIppedSpeakerFuzz700.jpg

After a couple of complex pedal reviews - it’s nice to get back to basics with another new fuzz confection. Like most of my favourite fuzzes - this EHX Ripped Speaker Fuzz features an external Bias knob - which controls the timbre and texture of those ripping fuzz sounds.

 

This goes everywhere from a sort of farty / brassy sounding fuzz, to a smooth gating voicing, and onto more jagged cut-up stuttery/sputtery sounds. It does the voltage starve / dying battery thing really well, ...

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2 Cool New Extended Range Fuzz Pedals - 3 Leaf Audio Doom 2 and EHX Nano Metal Muff

3Leaf AudioBig Muff Style FuzzElectro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulated FuzzOpAmp FuzzSilicon Fuzz+-
2021GPXEHXNanoMealMuff700.jpg

I do love pedals with 3-Band EQ’s - and fuzz pedals with such a topology are still relatively rare to make this new pair some keen objects of interest.

 

Besides having similar EQ controls these pedals are really quite different in the tones they render and at which price point. Both offer sufficient appeal for me to want to add them to the collection, while the new EHX Nano Metal Muff really ramps up its attractiveness with with a very attractive price-tag - where the 3 Leaf Doom ...

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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 FXFlangerFuzzFuzz 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 Modulation, Pitch and Utility Pedals for the Year

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBecos FXBig Ear PedalsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBossChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCoppersoundDedalo FXDr ScientistDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFlower PedalsGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerHologram ElectronicsJAM PedalsLooperModulationModulation WorkstationMXROctaverOddball ModulationOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRock Fabrik EffectsRotary SpeakerSlicer and StutterSpaceman EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio+-
2020GPXBestOfYearModulationEtc200.jpg

This is the fourth of the preliminary roundups - before I reveal the 25 or so ’Best of the Best of 2020’ - it covers most other pedal genres not yet feature - including in particularly modulation and utility types. Note though that there will be a couple more surprises in the final reckoning!

 

Unlike the Delay and Reverb category I actually own a few of these, while other outstanding ones are very high on the priority list for next year.

 

I own 7 of these all-told - ...

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