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Spring Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Edition

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSinvertekThorpyFXTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMarch700V2.jpg

I had hoped to do regular monthly updates on how the various NAMM-announced pedal releases and other newer additions were impacting my own pedal-chain choices. Yet we all know how this year has gone - obviously impacted by numerous delays brought on by the Social Distancing required to counter the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19.

 

Because of parts supply and resourcing issues, most 2020 NAMM pedals have been delayed to some degree. When there is uncertainty as to when the next ...

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A GPX Deviation / Mock-up of the Ideal Compact Deluxe HM-2 Clone

Chase Bliss AudioDecibelicsDemedash EffectsDistortionGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesJackson AudioMetal DistortionNeural DSPXIX Tech FX+-
2020GPXHMDLX700V2.jpg

When I shared the recent update about the forthcoming Decibelics Angry Swede V2 with added Blend control I hypothesized on my ideal deluxe edition of the HM-2 style and what format that might take. I shared just a couple of basic ideas, but was further encouraged by several readers to visualize those ideas into one of my typical artworks.

 

So in my usual style, I have drawn together several of my favourite influences - which I will reveal in a little more detail further along - so you ...

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202GPXV2DecibelicsAngrySwede700.jpg

I am so proud to be part of the Angry Swede project - where every production batch sells out within moments. This in my opinion is the most accurate of the Boss HM-2 Clones / Replicas - precision engineered and fully hand-wired in through-hole fashion with the very highest quality components available.

 

There was always a discussion near the start of the project as to what sort of replica this should be - and whether the controls would be differently calibrated - while in the end the ...

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Robert Keeley Boss Mods Trifecta

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall 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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3 Dark Stalking Horses from Lichtlaerm Audio - Altar High Gain Fuzz, Gehenna High Gain Distortion and Trugbild Lo-Fi Chorus

Big Muff Style FuzzBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLichtlaerm AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationSilicon Fuzz+-
2020GPXLichtlaermTrio700V3.jpg

My first introduction to Lichtlaerm Audio was courtesy of Henning Pauly - where I caught him talking about Daniel Ringl’s Berlin-made pedals way before Henning’s demo videos were released. There’s actually 4 pedals to the range - including an input-triggered Noise Gate called The Key and The Gate - working somewhat similarly to Fortin’s Zuul, but relying on a loop rather than single input trigger. I’m very well covered in the area of Noise Gates so that is not my ...

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9 Essential Boss Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEQMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOverdriveReverbReverb WorkstationUtility+-
2020GPX9EssentialBossPedals700.jpg

Of all the pedal brands I collect - I seem to have ended up with significantly more Boss than anything else - with currently 27 Boss Pedals all told. And while it’s not always the case that Boss has the most pedals represented in my active pedal-chain - it just so happens that right now my active Boss pedals number 7 - as follows per pedal-chain order:

  • SY-1 Synthesizer
  • BD-2 Blues Driver Keeley Freak Fuzz + Phat Mod
  • OD-200 Hybrid Overdrive
  • NS-2 Noise Suppressor Alchemy Audio Modded
...
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Post-NAMM Projected Pedal-Chain, 2020 Roadmap and Wishlist!

AnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleThropyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMM700.jpg

I’ve already largely decided what new pedals I will be targeting this year (that I know of!) - following on from the various reveals and announcements made over the last week, and other projects I’m aware of and various themes I will be pursuing in 2020.

 

First of all to explain the above visual - this features and extrapolation of my current pedal-chain - with the NAMM legend in front of various new / newish pedals - Green means already acquired - or at least already ...

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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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Sinvertek Delivers the most amazing, most fully-featured amp-like Compact Drive/Distortion/PreAmp Pedal in the shape of the Drive N5 Plus

AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePreAmpSinvertek+-
2019GPXSinvertekDriveN5PlusMarkUp700.jpg

I’ve been a huge fan of the Sinvertek ’5’ series distortion pedals - owning all three in succession - the No.5 Distortion, the N5 Drive and now the N5 Drive Plus - in all its 7-knobs and 5-toggle-switches glory. This was actually my last pedal to arrive last year - in that it arrived just before Christmas. I had been chasing it since its June Summer NAMM announcement - but it wasn’t released until December of last year.

 

I’ve been patiently waiting for some...

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2020GPXEnglPowerballDistortion700.jpg

What we have here in the Powerball EP645 is a Made-in-Germany highest quality components High Gain Distortion pedal which Engl have built themselves to sound as close to their own well-loved signature Metal Amp.

 

On the surface the pedal looks rather elegant in its simplicity - just a 3-Band EQ with Volume and Gain - no additional clipping, gain structure, brightness or tightness controls - and no resonance or presence. Yet the output is a very satisfying dynamic and full amp-like ...

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