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GPX Blog

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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11 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Pedals

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPX9BestEQDPedals700V2.jpg

Usually I limit these roundups to the 9 best from each brand - but I felt that the visual for that was a little gappy because of the different enclosure sizes! So in an effort to balance out the visual better I upped the limit to 11 - which allowed my to do a couple more interesting things with the listing.

 

These listings are based on a mix of my own personal favourites and more widely considered best pedal ambassadors for those ranges. For a lot of selections here there was an either ...

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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDedalo FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRainger FXRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXWinterNammHighlights700.jpg

So despite the perilous state of the world, the first NAMM of the new decade actually turned out to be pretty stellar. I had thought that last year’s exceptional show might end up as the all-time high water mark - but this one turned out just as many pleasant surprises.

 

Slightly different to last year there were a more significant number of pedals announced and launched in advance of the show - while a lot of pedals at the show had very little by way of collateral and some are ...

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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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GFI System Changes up the Multi-Modulation Game Again with its Synesthesia Dual Channel Modulation Workstation

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerGFI SystemModulationModulation WorkstationOddball ModulationPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSlicer and StutterTremoloUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2019GPXGFISynesthesiaMain700V2.jpg

I always take a while to deconstruct a new pedal - particularly one as complex as this - and hence my visual infographic above is a representation of the pedal’s feature set - but also its functional complexity and actual workings. It turns out that I’m rather quite familiar with Dual Channel Modulation Workstations courtesy of my Boss MD-500 which was the first to introduce this sort of modulation combination innovation.

 

Yet GFI takes things slightly further in most ways ...

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Brian Wampler Finally Releases his 11 Mode Terraform Modulation Workstation after a Year's Worth of Tweaking

Chorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationPhaserRotary SpeakerTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeWampler+-
2019GPXWamplerTerraformFinalMain700.jpg

Seemingly not as long in gestation as Keeley’s ECCOS Flange-Modulated Tape Delay, this pedal has nonetheless featured at a couple of NAMM shows too. There were significant changes between the Winter and Summer NAMM variants, but since then it looks to have been just about the most intensive process of calibration and fine-tuning - in order to get each of the 11 algorithms spot-on.

 

Interestingly, when Brian first announced the Terraform, Boss’s MD-200 / 200 series wasn&rsquo...

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9 of the Best Mad Professor Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GBX9BestMadProfessorPedals700.jpg

I will start by reiterating once more how big a fan I am of Swedish circuit designer Björn Juhl / BJFE and his many associated brands - which use variations of his celebrated circuits - Mad Professor in Finland, Bearfoot FX in the USA and OneControl in Japan. I have several varieties from each of those brands - 15 or so all told, but my first connection with Björn was via Mad Professor.

 

Ironically the very first Mad Professor pedal I acquired was not derived from Björn ...

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