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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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28 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Mini Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmp and Cab IR SimBanana EffectsBecos FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDSM NoisemakerEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerHotone EffectsIbanezKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModulationMooerMr Black PedalsMXRNoise GateOctaverOneControlOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchReverbSilicon FuzzTC ElectronicTremoloTunersUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2021GPX28MiniPedalType700.jpg

This article is in part inspired by my features on ’Mini Pedals State of the Art’, and those various ’12 Degrees’ posts I did at the tail-end of last year. Moreover I have had quite a few readers recently asking me for my preferred recommended mini pedals on various pedal-chain slots.

 

I last did this sort of exercise 4 years ago - where TC Electronic was kind of the dominant player - covering 8 of those 20 recommendations, with Mooer fairly close with 6 entries...

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Alexander Pedals Delivers The Superbly Executed Stereo Sugarcube - Chorus, Vibrato and Rotary Pedal

Alexander PedalsChorus and VibratoFlangerModulationRotary Speaker+-
2021GPXAlexanderPedalsSugarcube700.jpg

I have three Alexander Pedals to my name thus far - the now discontinued but still excellent La Calavera Phaser, the Hot Pink Drive, and Jubilee Silver Overdrive. I have always said that I really should have more of these creative and innovative pedals in my collection. Yet the latter half of my rig is all stereo, and up until now Alexander Pedals have been entirely Mono in output.

 

So I take great delight in the fact that this is Alenxander’s first Stereo output Neo Series pedal ...

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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 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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Flamma Innovation Pushes Things Forward for Budget Compact Digital Pedals with 7 Onboard Presets and Full Stereo Ins and Outs

Ambient EffectsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlamma InnovationFlangerLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSlicer and StutterSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTape DelayTremoloUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXFlammaInnovation700V2.jpg

Some of you will have seen Flamma Pedals featured quite highly on several gear forums of late, and several of you readers have been asking for my take on the subject. To my mind Mooer’s diminutive 7 Series was the first to do this kind of thing in incorporating 7 Presets, 5 Controls and a Select/Save button on the mini format.

 

I note that for the FSO2 Reverb - it has the exact same modes in the same order as the Mooer 7 Series equivalent - so I can only imagine that Mooer is ...

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9 of the Best Medium Enclosure Flanger Pedals

Buffalo FXEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEmpress EffectsEVH ElectronicsFlangerFoxrox ElectronicsModulationMXRSolidGoldFXStrymonThropyFX+-
2020GPX9BestMediumFlangers700V2.jpg

I originally prepared this article ahead of the arrival of my own supposed unit of Buffalo FX Reticon Flanger back in July of this year. Everyone now knows the story of how all but 20 or so failed to materialise of that 100 unit limited series run. The long and the short of it being that Mr Buffalo - one Steven Painter suddenly took sick right in the midst of the production run - and supposedly from the resulting impact was unable to do any physical activity once he contracted said condition. ...

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12 Degrees of Transmogrification : 2020 Key Modulation Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationA/DA AmpsAlexander PedalsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCKK ElectronicsCoda EffectsCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDawner Prince EffectsDigiTechDOD EffectsDryBell EffectsDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFlower PedalsFunction F(X)IbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMalekko Heavy IndustryModulationMooerMr Black PedalsMu-TronMXRNative AudioNeo InstrumentsOneControlPhaserPigtronixRetro-SonicRotary SpeakerSentimental Bob ElectronicsSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsSwindler EffectsTC ElectronicTone CityTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeVS AudioWalrus AudioWMD Devices+-
2020GPX12DegreesOfTransmogrification700V2.jpg

This is the 4th of my recent ’12 Degrees’ Series - this time moving beyond the boundaries of gain / saturation into the area of modulation. There are of course many more than the 12 modulations I have selected here - there are aliasing, ring modulation and lo-fi signal degeneration effects as well as more complex multi-combo effects, splicers and complex pattern modulators - including for instance the excellent recent Big Ear Albie. Of course the more obscure the category of ...

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