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24 of the Best Compact Enclosure Bluesbreaker-style Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Aion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoost and OverdriveChicago StompworkscmatmodsFredric EffectsGoudie FXJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlonz LabsMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsOhmless PedalsPedal MonsterRockBoxSiren PedalsSnouse Electric CompanyTorino AudioTsakalis Audio WorksVFE PedalsVick AudioVS AudioWampler+-
2020GPX24BluesBreakers700V2.jpg

It’s been a couple of years since I last did one of these particular genre roundups and this year has seen a number of new entrants into this category which really makes this worth visiting again right now. I’ve already done a feature on the larger dual-channel Bluesbreaker style pedals this year - KOT etc. While the Fredric Effects Blue Monarch, Jackson Audio Golden Boy and Siren Pedals Juneau are the newbies for 2020.

 

Moreover - the much loved Bondi Effects Del Mar has ...

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

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDOD EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFlattley Guitar PedalsGreenhouse EffectsJ RockettJAM PedalsJRADKeeley EngineeringMad Professor EffectsModulationMu-TronMXRNative AudioOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserRetro-SonicSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSubdecay EffectsTC ElectronicVahlbruch FXVein TapVFE PedalsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2020GPX28CompactPhasers700.jpg

This post actually came about in a rather random roundabout fashion while I’m still waiting for my Buffalo FX Flanger to arrive. The only one of my analog modulation pedals I haven’t rotated recently as such is my Chase Bliss Audio Wombtone MKII Analog Phaser. So I got to thinking if there was something in that area I might look towards - considering I had fairly recently updated all the other analog modulation slots.

 

I have 5 phasers already - including 3 from the top row ...

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6 of the Best All-Rounder Relatively Compact Dual-Channel / Multi-Voice / Multi-Drive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveStrymonTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
20206BestMediumDualDrivePedals700.jpg

This article was triggered by a question from Ryan C who wanted my take on the Boss OD-200 vs the Strymon Sunset - and why the latter was a more permanent part of my own pedal-chain versus the seemingly more capable and full-featured OD-200 - which I will endeavour to answer here as best I can.

 

I decided to widen the selection as far as possible and get in a few more alternatives for sake of comparison - while that task proved a lot tricker than I had foreseen. The key criteria were to...

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Which Dual-Channel Blues Breaker Derived Overdrive Pedal is Right for You?

Analog.ManBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrowne AmplificationJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKing Tone EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveVS Audio+-
2020GPX4DualChannelBluesBreakers700V2.jpg

This article was sparked by my coming across a number of demos of the Browne Amplification Protein Drive dual overdrive which seems to be somewhat doing the rounds currently. I though it a fairly recent introduction in the scale of things, but was surprised to find that it’s really been around for a while.

 

In fact its earliest appearance goes back to 2015, which seemingly corresponds to the same year that the King Tone Duellist and VS Audio Royal Flush first materialised. And ...

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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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Robert Keeley Boss Mods Trifecta

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOverdrive+-
2020GPXBossKeeleyTrilogy700V3.jpg

Robert Keeley has of course modified more than these three Boss pedals - yet I personally feel that these are the ones really worth having. I have featured both the Keeley Freak Fuzz Modded BD-2 Blues Driver and Twilight Zone Modded MT-2 Metal Zone on this site several times before. In fact the Freak Fuzz Blues Driver is my favourite overdrive pedal of all time! It cleans up wonderfully with your guitar volume control - much in the same way as a Fuzz Face, and it has that same sort of boost ...

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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDedalo FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRainger FXRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXWinterNammHighlights700.jpg

So despite the perilous state of the world, the first NAMM of the new decade actually turned out to be pretty stellar. I had thought that last year’s exceptional show might end up as the all-time high water mark - but this one turned out just as many pleasant surprises.

 

Slightly different to last year there were a more significant number of pedals announced and launched in advance of the show - while a lot of pedals at the show had very little by way of collateral and some are ...

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6 Key Guitar Pedal Trends for 2020!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDigital DelayFuzzGFI SystemGlitchKeeley EngineeringLooperLoophole PedalsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveTape Delay+-
2020GPX6KeyPedalTrends700.jpg

Each year - based on the previous year’s experience, I focus on the most pertinent and relevant trends happening in guitar pedal design and manufacturing. I long since highlighted the dual-footswitches trend which was really popularised by Chase Bliss Audio - and continues to proliferate with brands such as Jackson Audio, JHS and Walrus Audio.

 

The first time I did this type of feature I highlighted the evolution of larger more populous pedalboards with more pedals in the chain, ...

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2019GPXKeeleyEccosMain700.jpg

I’ve been following the development of this pedal since Robert first announced it back at Winter NAMM 2018 - although I believe that was somewhat of a dummy box as the development of the DSP was still pretty early days. In the intervening near two year period quite a lot has changed - while from a distance things look fairly similar. The core mission is still the same where this is principally a simulated Tape Modulated Delay with processing on the repeats / delay trails and combining ...

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Best of High Gain and Metal Distortion Pedals Mini Focus and Final Roundup

Airis EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT EffectsAMT ElectronicsBlackhawk AmplificationBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsGoosoniqueworxHorizon DevicesIbanezKeeley EngineeringKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioKSR CeresLone Wolf AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsMooerMulti-DriveOneControlPushking PedalsRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationRock Fabrik EffectsSTL TonesSuhrTWA EffectsWamplerXvive Audio+-
2019GPXPersonalFavouriteHighGainPedals700.jpg

So I thought I would combine the Mini Pedal selection with the final overall category roundup featuring my current favourites and forthcoming/future acquisition targets. The above visual may be somewhat convoluted, but it well illustrates the trade off in footprint and practicality/utility you get across the different enclosure form factors.

 

I’ve stated before that I’ve largely moved away from the larger styles of enclosures in favour of more pedals of a more compact nature...

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