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GPX Blog

28 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsMenatoneMythos PedalsOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2020GPX28CompactOverdrives700.jpg

I periodically do these category round-ups, typically triggered by a pedal launch or two, as is the case in this instance. This is my own preferred Overdrive selection - intentionally as broad as possible - with actually 12 categories of overdrives, but could still be an even longer listing, and I’ve had to make some very difficult choices for the final selection even though it is relatively numerous at 28 strong. I would have liked to have included one from my so called ’Harmonic ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure Compressor Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManBarber ElectronicsBecos FXBondi EffectsBossCompressorDarkglass ElectronicsDiamond PedalsDryBell EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesEmerson EffectsEmpress EffectsFoxpedalFriedman EffectsGreer AmpsJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringMad Professor EffectsMXROhmless PedalsOrigin EffectsOvni FXPettyjohn ElectronicsTC ElectronicThorpyFXUtilityWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPX28BestCompactCompressors700V2.jpg

I’ve encountered a number of ’Best Compressor’ articles this year which I really felt were not fully representative of the very best of what is out there. That was the catalyst for this feature, along with a couple of new compressors I had not properly featured yet, and the fact that I’ve not done a Compressor round-up for a good couple of years now.

 

Pretty much all the compressors listed here are / were already known to me, while I picked up a few new ones ...

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9 x Green Means Scream!

Boost and OverdriveDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesFoxpedalIbanezJHS PedalsMad Professor EffectsMaxonMXRTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2019GPX9GreenScreamers700.jpg

And so to the 4th and final of the ’Pedal Primary Colour Wheel’ series. Here I highlight the most obvious of pedal colour associations or the Green Tube Screamer pedals - as originally by Ibanez, and Maxon to some degree as the OEM builder of said overdrive. It has to be the most ubiquitous of overdrive pedals - pretty much every pedal builder there ever was has made their own derivations of this relatively simple mid-humped drive circuit at some stage - albeit not all in signature ...

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28 of The Best Compact Big Muff Fuzz Pedals - All 7 Key Varieties

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBlackout EffectorsCoda EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFredric EffectsFuzzJAM PedalsJHS PedalsMaxonMojo Hand FXSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWren and Cuff+-
2019GPX28CompactBigMuffs700.jpg

After my 28 strong Compact Tone Bender roundup it was inevitable that I would do the same sort of thing with Big Muffs. My understanding and experience has of course improved immensely since I last did a proper Big Muff overview, and here like I did with the Tone Benders, I try to select a representative selection by each of the different main varieties of Muff - as indicated by icons in my above visual.

 

Even though Kit Rae’s Big Muff Page identifies 12 specific versions of Big ...

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22 of the Best Klon / Klone Style Pedals - Mini, Compact, Medium and Large - 2019 Edition

AnasoundsBondi EffectsBoost and OverdriveChellee EffectsDecibelicsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalGreer AmpsJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRMatthews EffectsMojo Hand FXMXRNordvang CustomProAnalog DevicesRYRAThorpyFXVFE PedalsWamplerWay Huge Effects+-
2019GPX18BestKlones700-min.jpg

This particular post was triggered by a recent video I came across which compared the various Mini Klon/Klone style pedals (Not Nano!!!) doing the rounds at the moment. I see lots of posts about the Mini Mosky Golden Horse on Pedalboards of Doom these days - but there is only one proper Golden Horse - and that’s the Decibelics one - more of that later.

 

After viewing the Mini head-to-head comparisons I then flipped across to the Australian Super Fun guy’s Klon review from ...

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Pedal Design 101 - Generating better brand impact and recall via Uniquely Themed Stylised Graphics

Animals PedalEarthQuaker DevicesFoxpedalGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesMatthews EffectsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2019GPXPedalDesignGraphics700-min.jpg

I’ve done a few articles on this site about the look and feel of a pedal - different iterations and editions of pedal design, and specific unique designs of pedal enclosures for instance. I’ve often said that with so much competition in the pedal game currently - you have to nowadays put some significant effort into differentiating yourself as a brand, to make your pedals more impactful, more appealing and more recognisable.

 

The central tenets of branding are to produce ...

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16 of the Best Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

1981 InventionsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCaroline Guitar CompanyDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsLone Wolf AudioMagnetic EffectsOpAmp FuzzProCoRatRat Style FuzzThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2019GPX16Rats700-min.jpg

I think that the Rat style is possibly my favourite style of dirt pedal. It really depends how distinctly you classify all the Marshall pedals I have versus the already 8 Rat-style pedals in the collection (Actually 10 really, but 7 in the top 16 feature).

 

So my current all-time Rat-style champ is not always associated with the genre even though it is a full-throttle OmpAmp-driven fuzzstortion chaos machine - I am of course referring to Dr Scientist’s formidable Frazz Dazzler ...

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24 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2019 Edition

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSide EffectsSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2019GPX24CompactOverdrives700-min.jpg

For this particular selection I tried to get in as diverse number of types, along with all the usual favourites - every year I have readers asking me why I left this one or that one out - so this year is the time for including Menatone in the selection. Obviously between years some pedals rise in prominence while others fall - my intentions are always to provide as broad a selection as possible while still covering all my own personal favourites.

 

There are a few new entrants since 2018...

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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Tube Screamer Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesFoxpedalKHDKPLBR EffectsTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPX4SizeTubeScreamers700-min.jpg

I have featured most of these usual suspects before - with the exception of the PLBR Effects Floral Green which I’ve only briefly just touched on in ’Glance’. In my opinion these are the most formidable Tube Screamer Pedals for each of their given enclosure sizes. None of these are your typical classic TS808 or TS9 replicas, but all offer significant additional voicing and tone-sculpting controls.

 

Even though I have a number of Tube Screamer type pedals, I currently ...

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