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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

AmptweakerAMT EffectsAnarchy AudioBearfoot FXBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBlackhawk AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionBYOCCarcharias EffectsCatalinbreadCoda EffectsDanelectroDecibelicsDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistDriveDrunk BeaverDual-DriveDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioEarthQuaker DevicesFeaturedFree Fall DiverFriedman EffectsFunction F(X)Fuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioJAM PedalsJohn K Vintage GuitarsKeeley EngineeringLawrence Petross DesignLoop Hole PedalsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidValleyFXMooerMulti-DriveMXROneControlOpAmp FuzzPelican NoiseworksPepers' PedalsRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSuhrThorpyFXVFE PedalsVox Style DistortionWamplerXIX Tech FXXotic Effects+-
2020GPX12DgreesSaturationDistortionEdition700V2.jpg

This edition comes rather hot on the heels of the recent 12 Degrees of Overdrive version as many readers’ inquiries questioned a couple of missing categories there - which I explained would rather figure within the Distortion contingent which is present here in all its glory!

 

As always, these is some considerable amount of grey science at play here - best typified by the Big Muff and Rat circuits - which are both very much distortions as well as fuzz varieties. I have 3 x 12 ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Overdrive Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBarber ElectronicsBearfoot FXBJFEBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBO EffectsBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBosscmatmodsCrowther AudioCustom TonesDanDrive PedalDecibelicsDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFeaturedFoxpedalF-PedalsFree The ToneFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)Greer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHot Cake Style OverdriveJ RockettJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsJoyo EffectsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMI EffectsMontreal AssemblyMooerMXRMythos PedalsNobelsNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochranePedal DiggersPickdropperSarno Music SolutionsSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVemuramVFE PedalsVick AudioWamplerWay Huge Effects+-
2020GPX12DegreesOverdriveEdition700V2.jpg

So this is one of most significant works in a while, and carries on the legacy of two of my most popular all-time articles on the 12 Degrees of Saturation - the Original that evolved in the early months of 2017, and the follow-up which materialised in September of 2018.

 

I obviously deal with a lot of reader inquiries pretty much on a daily basis, and one of the more popular lines of inquiry has been about overdrives. And while Josh Scott attests to the fact that there are only 5 core ...

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9 of the Best Medium Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Capable Distortion Pedals

320 DesignBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEVH ElectronicsMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXRPedalPalFXPushking PedalsSeymour DuncanSkreddy PedalsWamplerWeehbo+-
2020GPXEVHMediumDistortion700.jpg

I obviously featured 3 of these in my recent Eddie Van Halen Pedals roundup, and have only just completed the overview of compact enclosure EVH-style pedals in that same territory. As a final bookmark to Eddie’s legacy, at least for now, I’ve decided to expand the scope of the medium enclosure alternatives for those looking to recreate that classic EVH Brown Sound and have more real-estate/ floor-space at their disposal.

 

As with the compact enclosure exercise there is a mix...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Distortion Capable Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AmptweakerAMT EffectsBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJackson AudioJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveMXROneControlPettyjohn ElectronicsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuhrThorpyFXWampler+-
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In my recent coverage of Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Pedals I indicated that I had none of the usual suspects Overdrives/Distortions - or namely MXR EVH 5150, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe and Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. While in fact I have well over 20 Brown Sound Style variants in my collection of various different sizes - with the vast majority being compact enclosures as featured here. I make no secret of the fact that the compact size format is my faourite and particularly for these sorts...

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Eddie Van Halen's Pedals, Typical Pedalboard Arrangement and Suitable Alternatives

BossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCryBabyDistortionDunlop EffectsEddie Van HalenEffects Pedal MakersEVH ElectronicsFlangerMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMXROctaverPhaserPitchSeymour DuncanThorpyFXWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2020GPXEVHPedals700.jpg

Key to Eddie’s signature sound has always been his use of Chorus, Flanger and Phaser effects in particular, along with some Wah-based flourishes. As a result MXR has built up a small range of EVH branded pedals - which Eddie mostly used on his latter-day pedalboards - with some occasional exceptions.

 

For this particular exercise I’m referencing one of Eddie’s 2012 pedalboards - as per the visual below - which also features a Boss OC-3 Super Octave, and an MXR Analog ...

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Singular Dominant Pedal Colour Association by Guitar Pedal Type / Genre

BossElectro-HarmonixFeaturedGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailIbanezKR Musical ProductsMXRProCo+-
2020GPXPedalTypeColour700.jpg

This article was obviously triggered by this last Friday’s The JHS Show episode (as referenced below) - where Josh Scott and Nick White discussed Pedal Colour Theory - and which colour/s were most obviously associated with a particular effect type. Those two gentlemen discussed 6 varieties and I’ve expandanded the categories to 12 - for a more definitive take on the subject.

 

I’m of course no newbie to Colour Theory having an extensive background in Brand Strategy and ...

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

Adventure AudioAnalog.ManArionBossCarl MartinCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDawner Prince EffectsDigiTechDryBell EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixGreenhouse EffectsJAM PedalsJHS PedalsLichtlaerm AudioMad Professor EffectsModulationMXRNeunaberOld Blood Noise EndeavorsParadox EffectsProvidence PedalsSource AudioTC ElectronicVFE PedalsVS AudioWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZvex+-
2020GPX28BestCompactChorusPedals700V2.jpg

This article was another triggered by a number of recent ’Best Chorus Pedals’ posts out on other sites - which I didn’t feel adequately covered this category. Initially I didn’t used to be that much into Chorus - but being a huge Prince, Nirvana, The Police and The Cure fan amongst others - the Chorus was always going to feature there in the tonal reference library - and besides, I soon discovered how to do all kinds of other cool things with Chorus - for instance just ...

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Mikey Demus's Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

BoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCaroline Guitar CompanyDelayDigital DelayDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionMikey DemusMXRNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRedbeard EffectsStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXToneQuestTunersUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXMikeyDemusBoard700V3.jpg

Readers of this blog should be well aware by now of Skindred’s Lead Guitarist and Redbeard Effects Head Honcho Mikey Demus. And while I had been very familiar with his band Skindred for a number of years - my focus didn’t shift fully to Mikey himself until he got into partnership with Adrian Thorpe and started producing his own range of signature pedals.

 

The first release was an exceptional take on Mikey’s core signature Orange Rockerverb 100 Amp sound - the Red Mist ...

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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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