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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 Tremolo Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCoda EffectsCopilot FXDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFlower PedalsHamstead SoundworksJHS PedalsKorora AudioMagnetic EffectsMalekko Heavy IndustryMatthews EffectsModulationNative AudioSentimental Bob ElectronicsSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuhrSuproSwindler EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28BestCompactTremolos700.jpg

There have been a number of new Tremolo pedals fairly recently released, and in fact I was tempted to acquire another in a roundabout fashion. The catalyst was actually the new Rock Fabrik Effects Kuek Touch Sensitive Dynamic Tremolo - yet that comes in a medium vertical BB enclosure and I only have space for a compact. So luckily Anasounds entered the scene with their own version new Ages Harmonic Tremolo which did much the same thing as the Kuek - but in my preferred size / form factor!

&...

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Hamstead Soundworks Finally Unveils Zenith Clean Boost + EQ + Compressor

BoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorEQHamstead SoundworksUtility+-
2020GPXHamsteadZenith700.jpg

This is one of the more clandestine pedals from the recent NAMM Show where Hamstead weirdly kept this secret for an extended duration - I could sort of pick out the name from a couple of NAMM footage videos, and there was a teaser image which revealed all but the first knob. Several people guessed it would be a compressor, and they were partially right.

 

In fact it’s functionally really more of an advanced 3-Band EQ with sort of Parametric Mids via 3-way frequency-selector toggle ...

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Pedal Design 101 - The Evolution of the Stompbox Footswitch

EarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioNeural DSPPedalboard and Pedal-ChainTC ElectronicTheGigRig+-
2020GPXPedalFootswtich292700.jpg

With my extended collection of pedals, I’ve always been fascinated by the very wide variety of different footswitches and their varying action/feel/function. Most of my pedals have hard-clicking switches - with my favourites within that category having a significantly softer clicking action while the lesser favourites are super-hard-resistant and stiff - and almost crunchy/brittle/hard-clicking when you stomp on them. I understand that the vast majority of pedal-makers, particularly ...

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Hamstead Soundworks Launches BASSier Subspace Intergalactic Driver

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersHamstead SoundworksMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GPXHamsteadSubspace700.jpg

I was one of the first to latch onto the Hamstead Odyssey nearly 2 years ago, and have featured that a number of times on this blog. While the Subspace initially started off as a Bass Odyssey - or a derivation of that circuit which better preserved the low-end and low-mid frequencies - to be used very specifically as a Bass Overdrive.

 

Earlier prototypes of the pedal featured exactly the same controls and topology as the original Odyssey - with just the circuit tuned somewhat ...

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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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9 of the Best Compact Multi-Drive Pedals

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHamstead SoundworksKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSinvertekSubdecay EffectsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPX9BestCompactMultidrives700-min.jpg

I’m known for my 12 Degrees of Saturation Methodology and organising drive/dirt pedals into a specific category. I do however also like multi-talented multi-tankers, and have always had one or two all-rounder multi-drive overdrives in my pedal-chain. In fact of the 9 listed here I have all but the last featured, which also happens to be the most recently released - by Greek Boutique Builder Tsakalis - that pedal is currently only available in Greece - direct from the maker and from one or...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large OCD Style / Crunchy Overdrive Pedals

Boost and OverdriveEmpress EffectsHamstead SoundworksMooerOCD Style OverdriveT-Rex Effects+-
2018GPX4SizeOCDStyle700-min.jpg

Your immediate reaction to the above visual may well be - where’s the bleedin’ Fulltone OCD in all of this - well that’s all part of the narrative - as follows. When I got into guitar again a few years back, there were all manner of overdrives and drives that were deemed to be essential for any serious electric guitar player - and I took to acquiring and comparing those - which led to my ’12 Degrees of Saturation’ Methodology.

 

Much of this was just ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation - Key Guitar Boost, Overdrive, Fuzz and Distortion Sounds - Updated Methodology for 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBogner AmplificationBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCustom TonesDecibelicsDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsFeaturedFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHudson ElectronicsJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzREVV AmplificationShift LineSilicon FuzzSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsSuhrSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX12DegreesSaturationWheelV3700-min.jpg

UPDATE - Based on feedback and input I’ve tweaked some of the pedal placements - the core methodology still stands, while relatively positioning of certain pedals can be fairly nuanced!

 

This subject matter has become the most popular of all the different articles I’ve posted. And the original piece went up in February 2017 - so I felt it was opportune to revisit, review and revise that original methodology. I’ve tried to strip out the more branded naming conventions ...

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Best of British Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

4114 Custom EffectsBoo InstrumentsButterfly Effect PedalsBuzz ElectronicsCastledine ElectronicsCog EffectsColorsoundD*A*MDesign Retro WorksDickinson AmplificationDRWEffectrodeEffects Pedal MakersFlattley Guitar PedalsFredric EffectsGhost EffectsGlitchGojira PedalsGreen Carrot Pedal CompanyHamstead SoundworksHudson ElectronicsKingsley AmplifiersKingsley EffectsLife Is Unfair AudioMade By MikeMagnetic EffectsMWFXNine of SwordsNorth EffectsOrigin EffectsOwen ElectronicsPete CornishPickletechPigDog PedalsPigeon FXRainger FXRaygun FXRoger MayerRothwell AudioSleeping Dog FXSola SoundSonuusSoundune AudioSSD DevicesStone Deaf EffectsThe Fuzz ShackTheGigRigThorpyFXTime Travel AudioVein TapWee Lush FXWilliams AudioZander Circuitry+-
2018GPXBestBritishPedals700-min.jpg

I came across a thread on Reddit, The Gear Page or similar where the discussion was around notable British pedal builders or pedal-makers as I like to call them! Soon after that I came across a Tone Report article titled ’8 Kick-Ass Pedal Builders From Across the Pond’ from 2015. Both these events encouraged me to seek out my own favourite British Pedal Builders / Makers, and see how many pedal makers there generally were to be found. The following is not necessarily an exhaustive ...

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