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Expresso FX Delivers 2 Magnificent Custom Germanium / Silicon Switching Compact Enclosure Fuzz Pedals

Effects Pedal MakersExpresso FXFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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It brings me great pleasure to be able to showcase more of the great work of my good friend Sof from Expresso FX - whom I frequently refer to as the ’Transistor Charmer / Whisperer’. Sof was one of my first significant pedal builder contacts - and it seems fitting that I’m featuring him again - almost exactly a year on from my first full overview of his Expresso FX Range.

 

I had acquired and lived long-term with 4 of Sof’s pedals before I felt I was sufficiently ...

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End of July Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Mercurial Conveyance!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDemon PedalsDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
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July has largely been a very decent month for me and culminated with the arrival of my twin new Expresso FX Dual Custom Fuzzes and my annual white whale as such - the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII on this occasion.

 

It looks like 4 pedals failed to get over the line within the appointed time period - the longest-ranging of which is my Evil Pumpkin Modded DS-1 - which has been en-route from Kiev since June 12th and which I surely hoped should have landed by now.

 

My ...

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9 of the Best Stomp Under Foot Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzOpAmp FuzzRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzStomp Under FootTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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I was a little late to Matt Pasquerella’s Stomp Under Foot (SUF) superior range of mostly Big Muff Style Compact Enclosure Fuzz Replicas. Besides the original - Electro-Harmonix’ Mike Matthews, I consider Matt to be one of a trio of the leading proponents of the Muff sound - alongside Marc Ahlfs of Skreddy Pedals, and Matthew Holl of Wren and Cuff.

 

The first SUF pedal I properly encountered was the Dirt Preacher - courtesy of a Nick Jaffe demo - as below. I’m a huge ...

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12 of the Best Compact Enclosure Zonk Machine Style Fuzz Pedals

Acid FuzzArcane AnalogB.G. HardingBasic AudioBlammo ElectronicsBritish Pedal CompanyCalangary PedalsCollector EffectorsD*A*M EffectsDanDrive PedalFuzzGermanium FuzzJDM PedalsRogue SoundSilicon FuzzSuper ElectricTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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This article was inspired by a series of dialogues I had with my now pal Bruno - about DanDrive Secret and Acid Fuzz Zoink Machine fuzzes initially - but then branched out into a more general conversation about Zonk Machine Fuzzes.

 

The John Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine was in fact a very closely related MKI Tone Bender style fuzz which emerged very shortly after the appearance of the original Colorsound MKI Tone Bender. In fact the circuits are almost identical - 3 x all germanium ...

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In Defence of the more Complex PreAmp Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCustom TonesDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzSinvertekTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXFullFeaturedPreAmps700V3.jpg

I am somewhat exasperated to still be seeing several ill-informed nonsense critiques of these more fully featured pedals - where certain factions are denouncing them as sort of jacks-of-all-trade with insufficient core tonal qualities that mean they cannot hack it with just the basic 3 - Volume, Gain and Tone knobs!

 

I refer below to one of the classic Two Rock Amps - specifically the Silver Sterling Signature - which has 17 exceptionally useful controls - including those 6 mode toggle-...

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Best of Steve Williams Compact Edition Pigdog Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzPigDog PedalsTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2020GPXCompactPigdogPedals700V2.jpg

It is well known by now that I’m a considerable fan of fuzz, but I do have hangups about impractical over-sized and unergonomically formatted pedals. This means I really don’t have an affinity for any of those original Tone Bender enclosures and the like - which are pretty much as long and as practical as frogman’s flippers for footwear. When fuzz pedals first emerged they were the very first effects pedals taken into use - and players only ever had a few effects pedals on ...

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9 of the Best Bearfoot FX Pedals

Bearfoot FXBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPX9BestBearfootFX700.jpg

This post was triggered by the eventuality that my long-serving Emerald Green Distortion Machine - my Boosted Vox style pedal of choice - will soon be yielding its sport for a while to the incoming new Menatone Vertical Top-Boost-in-a-Can.

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Bearfoot FX pedals and was somewhat ignorantly collection Bearfoot, Mad Professor and OneControl pedals before being aware of the Björn Juhl BJFE connection. It has to be said that Björn is one of the ...

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End of April Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Lost in the Post Edition

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVA AudioVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMApril700V2.jpg

So a lot has changed during the month of April - we’ve had some thoroughly exciting and invigorating new product launches, while three of my American acquisitions are seemingly lost by USPS - hopefully they will materialise some day, but for one of them there have been no tracking updates for over a month now - which is somewhat alarming. As the eternal optimist, I can only hope that things right themselves eventually. I had already determined that my pedal-acquisition would go on semi-...

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2020GPXSpacemanSputnikIII700.jpg

I kind of knew this one was coming for a while - as I predicted back in July of last year, and as was supported by my insider friend Justin who confirmed back in March that this was indeed the candidate for the latest Secret Mission prototype.

 

I initially kind of expected a little more extra to what was delivered, as in my mockup I thought we would have perhaps a couple more quirky new functions / controls. But on balance, I realise that the pedal is plenty quirky enough as is, and ...

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Function F(x)'s Dave Friesema Delivers a Mini Wonderland

BoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPXFunctionFXMicroPedals700.jpg

This is a somewhat belated follow-up to my Mini Pedals State of the Art article where I covered the new benchmarks in mini pedal engineering, quality and design. I’m actually really taken with mini pedals that use the highest quality components and construction, and ideally have classy milled-aluminium knobs as pictured!

 

For the longest time I’ve considered Guillem Vilademunt of Decibelics as the pinnacle of this particular craft. And it heartens me to see Dave Friesema ...

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