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GPX Blog

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

Airis EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT EffectsAMT ElectronicsBlackhawk AmplificationBognerBossBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsGoosoniqueworxHorizon DevicesIbanezKeeley EngineeringKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioKSR CeresLone Wolf AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsMooerMulti-DriveOneControlPushking PedalsRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationRockfabrik 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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24 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal Style Distortion Pedals - Updated 2019 Edition

Abasi ConceptsAiris EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT ElectronicsAnarchy AudioBlackhawk AmplificationBossDistortionDOD EffectsFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKLone Wolf AudioMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationThropyFXWamplerWeehboXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPX24CompactMetalDistortionsNovember700V2.jpg

This is an update to the feature I wrote back in March of this year. I now have more of this selection in my collection - 18 of these 24, and there are 3 pedals that are new to this updated roundup - the Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp, Blackhawk Amplifiers Balrog Distortion V3, and of course the Redbeard Effects Red Mist MKIV.

 

The 6 here that I’ve yet to acquire for my collection but which are of course all on the wishlist are the aforementioned Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp and ...

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9 of the Best Vertical Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerDistortionEmma ElectronicsKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionOKKO FXPushking PedalsRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesWampler+-
2019GPXVerticalMediaMetalDistortions700.jpg

This article was sparked by the recent launch of the Andy James Signature Revenant Distortion Pedal - made by STL Tones - which are an outfit best known for their digital apps and plugins - this is their first hardware effect and is excellent regardless of a first attempt. It uses all-analogue components to recreate the Andy James tone that STL previously generated via software and DSP means.

 

Most of the other pedals here have been listed and featured before on this side - and besides ...

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9 of the Best Mid-Size Multi-Voice Muff-Style Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksDemon PedalsExpresso FXFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsToneczarWren and CuffZander Circuitry+-
2019GPX9MediumMultiMuffs700-min.jpg

I can’t recall exactly what the catalyst was to this article, but I’ve been considering versatile medium enclosure Big Muff style fuzzes a lot of late. I have 3 of the best of these already in constant rotation (Update 4 now actually!) - i.e. one momentarily replacing the other on the #19 slot of my pedal-chain - and alternating a whole lot with the PLL style fuzzes right at this moment.

 

In any case during the process of cycling the Demon Pedals Parvati, Toneczar Vault and ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large HM-2 Clones

DecibelicsDistortionDunwich AmplificationLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPXMiniMaxHM2Style700-min.jpg

As covered on a number of posts on this site - I’ve been a long time fan of the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal - which alas has been out of production since 1992. In the meantime a whole host of pedal-builders have stepped up to fill the gap as the number of pristine HM-2 pedals becomes ever more scarce. In fact I’ve not seen a properly ’Mint’ version on Reverb.com for a long while - too many sellers misuse that term in any case as Mint means pedal is actually and literally...

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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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One Knob Wonders! - 17 of the Best One Knob Pedals

Black Arts ToneworksBoost and OverdriveCompressorDistortionDriveEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJ RockettJPTR FXJRADLone Wolf AudioLooperLovepedalMetal DistortionModulationMojo Hand FXMXRMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOverdrivePhaserReverbSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSpring ReverbStomp Under FootTate FXTC ElectronicUtility+-
2019GPXOneKnob700-min.jpg

This feature was inspired by a couple of recent events, and partly as a counter to my highlighting of the really rather complex Empress Zoia Modular Synthesizer / Multi-Effects unit in my last feature. For the last week or so I’ve been working on updating my rather extensive Guitar Pedal Directory page which features all of the above, and around 2,000 more from across 160 or so pedal builders around the world.

 

I periodically review each of the sites referenced - to keep tabs on ...

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16 of the Best Medium and Large Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AmptweakerBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBognerDeath By AudioDwarfcraftFunction FXFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzLone Wolf AudioMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRainger FXSeymour DuncanSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneczarWalrus AudioWamplerZander Circuitry+-
2019GPX16MedLargeFuzz700-min.jpg

I originally intended to do a 20 strong feature, but decided that since I had already covered 5 medium pedals in my recent ’Rat’ overview I could get away with 16 here. Since some of the enclosure sizes here are quite large, it doesn’t really make sense to cram in too many - so the 16 limit just about does the job. Whenever I do one of these features I always feel that I may have overlooked some essential/s - if you could please let me know in the comments if I’ve missed...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

Dr ScientistFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousLone Wolf AudioMooerOpAmp FuzzRat Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXMiniMediLargeRat700-min.jpg

This is obviously just a quick addendum to the very recent 16 Best Rat Style Pedals feature. I started doing these sorts of articles at the end of last year to indicate different size options - as befits divergent emphasis and scope, available pedalboard real-estate etc. Generally I look for a combination of best mix of tone, price, feature set, versatility and practicality - meaning all manner of things are considered including pedal-placement and power supply requirements. Ease of use is also...

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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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