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GPX Blog

Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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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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Three of the Likeliest Next Boss Waza Craft Pedals

BossDistortionFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesModulationOctave FuzzOddball ModulationUtilityVolume+-
2019PBXBossNextWaza3700-min.jpg

Everyone on this site should know by now that I’m a huge Boss fan and that in my 250 or so strong pedal collection, Boss currently contributes the largest number or 16. There are always a few Boss pedals I have on my rolling wishlist, and while I only have 4 semi-permanent Boss fixtures in my pedal-chain right now - the Keeley Freak Fuzz modded Blues Driver, Alchemy Audio modded GE-7 and NS-2, and of course the Boss MD-500 - I frequently rotate in other Bosses into other slots of the ...

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The Perfect Compact Guitar Pedal Design - Take 2

FeaturedGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesIdeal Pedal FormatPrototype-X+-
2019GPXIdealPedalFormat700-min.jpg

So back in March of 2018 I published my first thoughts on an idealised perfect Compact Pedal/interface design - taking the best of current pedal-design and extrapolating forwards - to include a more intuitive control interface with presets, and my much beloved dual footswitches and alternative/secondary functions. Leaning chiefly on ideas borrowed from Alexander Pedals, Chase Bliss Audio, Fender, TheGigRig, Meris, Stone Deaf and TC Electronic I produced / proposed my first prototype sort of ...

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Thoughts on the forthcoming Origin Effects RevivalDrive Compact PreAmp Pedal and My Own GPX Visualized Deviation

Boost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOrigin EffectsRevivalDriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXOriginEffectsRevivalDriveCompact700-min.jpg

So per the recent NAMM coverage we know that there is a new compact version of the RevivalDrive coming down the line - and a raw prototype alongside likely facia design were on display at the show. The RevivalDrive was my favourite new pedal of last year - I have the Custom version with all the additional EQ options - alongside the additional 2-button footswitch. I wrote in my ’RevivalDrive First Impressions Article’ how much I like this multi-drive/PreAmp pedal - and how I use all ...

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9 of the Most Distinctive Pedal Range Enclosure Designs

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOrigin EffectsStone Deaf EffectsThropyFXVemuram+-
2019GPXDistinctEnclosureDesign700-min.jpg

When I did my various country-based pedal-builder overviews I came across a large number of pedals which looked either too samey or else were somewhat unimpactful aesthetically and/or thematically. A significant part of my day job consists of Brand Stategy / Brand Engineering and Design Consultancy and part of me always wants to improve things and make them better - whether that is wanted or not - so you can heed this advice or ignore as you feel pertinent.

 

For pedal-makers, the ...

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The Key Pedal Enclosure Sizes you are most likely to encounter

BossChase Bliss AudioDecibelicsEmpress EffectsEventideGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesMerisPigtronixSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymon+-
2018GPXKeyEnclosureSizes700-min.jpg

I don’t know whether I’m particularly unique in this regard, but form-factor and enclosure size / dimensions are a key criteria for me within the pedal-acquisition process / work-flow. I have very obvious favourites, and if a pedal goes much beyond those key dimensions it lessens its appeal for me. For a while this mean that I was not at all comfortable with ThorpyFX enclosures as they are both slightly fatter, and considerable longer than the typical ’Compact’ enclosure...

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Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general

Analysis PlusBen CroweBig Leg CircuitsChristopher OwenCrimson GuitarsDarrell BraunGear MaintenanceGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailGuitar MaintenanceGuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSSchallerSeymour DuncanThe Tone KingWarmoth Custom Guitar Parts+-
2018GPXPRSS2SinglecutSatinMod-min.jpg

This article was inspired by a number of things really, but most recently triggered by a few YouTube videos - by Louis The Tone King and Darrell Braun. I’ve been an avid follower of Louis, Darrell and one Ben Crowe over at Crimson Guitars for a few years now. I have watched all of Ben’s crazy guitar builds and have for a long time been tempted to go on one of the Crimson Guitar Building Courses and make my own axe as it were.

 

In my recent feature about Guitar Tuning ...

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Further Thoughts on Guitar Tuning Fidelity, Locking Machine Head Types and Arrangement

Ernie Ball Music ManGear MaintenanceGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar MaintenanceGuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSSchecter Guitar ResearchScott Walker GuitarsWarmoth Custom Guitar PartsWashburn Guitars+-
2018GPXTrapezoidHeadstocks700-min.jpg

The last time I covered this subject - ’The Shape of a Guitar’s Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability’ I focused more on what the issues were rather than the solutions. Here I will go into slightly more detail about the science of guitar tuning fidelity and all the little gains that can be made by doing things properly! This article was sparked in part by my recent article on 9 ’SG’-style guitars, where I really decided for once and for all that I ...

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The Kind of Pedal I would love to see Joel Korte do next

Chase Bliss AudioFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesSilicon FuzzSpaceman Effects+-
2018GPXChaseBlissSisters700-min.jpg

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of both Chase Bliss Audio and Spaceman Effects pedals (currently having 6 pedals from each of those genius pedal-makers), as well as being a huge Fuzz fan. I’ve long desired the discontinued Gemini III Dual Fuzz Generator for a while now, but they are very rarely seen on Reverb.com and when they do appear are typically around the £1000+ mark which is highly prohibitive - considering I would then have to pay delivery, customs and import ...

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Stefan Karlsson
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