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2021 February Pedal-Chain Update - Episode II - A Typical Transitional Lull

Big Ear PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCryBabyCustom Audio ArtDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFlangerFuzzGated and Velcro FuzzKlirrton ManufakturMetal DistortionModulationOverdrivePettyjohn ElectronicsPhaserPitchSilicon FuzzWah and Fixed Wah+-
2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateFeb700V3.jpg

I would like to start by apologising to those builders who didn’t get a pedal featured in Wednesday’s final 32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types article. Know that I hold you all in the highest of esteem - and that said overview is/was simply a somewhat temporary and fleeting snapshot of my current preferences on that day - with a particular emphasis towards versatility and variety delivered by a single pedal. So some pedals are typically more narrowly focused and specialist, while ...

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2021GPXKlirrtonOhMyGoatDistoriton700V5.jpg

Carsten Pinkle’s Klirrton Manufaktur is thus far best known for its Killer Grindstein HM-2 style Death Metal Buzzsaw Pedal - which also incidentally remains high on my wishlist and has featured several times already on this site. That pedal contains 2 blendable circuits / voicings - the core HM-2 Grind, and a bass-heavy ’BottomShaker’ preamp.

 

So many players in fact loved the ’BottomShaker’ preamp element, that Carsten, after much consideration and some ...

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9 of the Best DOD Electronics Pedals

Analog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveDelayDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerMetal DistortionModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPreAmpRing ModulationSilicon Fuzz+-
2021GPXBestOfDOD700V2.jpg

DigiTech’s latter sister brand DOD has delivered a number of pedal greats over the years, and since its foundation in 1973 by David Oreste Di Francesco. A lot of people focus on the early editions / 200 Series - while I’ve taken a slightly broader overview here - with the one concession really being the original 250 Overdrive/Preamp. Elsewhere I’ve gone for pretty much the latest viable editions - including the Blue reissue of the 201 Phasor - which also had Grey and Yellow ...

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2021GPXCustomAudioArtUltrasonic700V4.jpg

I’ve been peripherally aware of Alessandro Barretta’s pedals for a while now, known as ’Ale’ to his friends! He builds these fantastic proper boutique pedals - one at a time - at his studio in Pisa, Italy. This is a passion project first and foremost, and as it’s all made-to-order, he typically does not ship more than a couple or so pedals each month.

 

He currently has 2 pedals in production - both are high gain really - and the ’Drive and Boost&rsquo...

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2021 January Pedal-Chain Update - Episode I - A New Dawn

Abominable ElectronicsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCoppersoundDecibelicsDistortionFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsKlirrton ManufakturKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePushking PedalsRat Style FuzzReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSilicon FuzzSinvertekThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneTuga EffecctsTremoloWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZander Circuitry+-
2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateJan700V3.jpg

And so it begins again! This time punctuated by Virtual NAMM / Believe in Music Week and some certain JA incident.

 

I will include a mini NAMM roundup here of what some of my favourites were. In the past I’ve done a separate highlights article on the subject - but there really weren’t that many releases this time around to warrant such - in fact I would estimate only around 10% of the volume released in 2020 and 2019.

 

I will also indicate where I think I’m ...

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End of Year Pedal-Chain Update - Final Formation - Class of 2020

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTimmyToneczarTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMEndOfYear700.jpg

And so here is the culmination of everything that happened to the pedal-chain in 2020.

 

There were quite a few more displacements than I had expected - all told 22 slots changed over this year - including 19 Brand New Pedals for 2020, then 3 slightly older pedals, and some incidentals.

 

The most significant shift, and the one that caused the most disruption was the arrival of Boss GT-1000 CORE in October. This is often the case when you bring in a big new pedal - and you need to...

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2020 Best of the Best New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCoppersoundDelayDemedash EffectsDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHologram ElectronicsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJAM PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeural DSPNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXBestOveralOfTheYear700.jpg

So I’ve now completed 5 preliminary shortlists type articles featuring between 9 and 30 or so of the best pedals released in 2020 - in each of the following categories :

I sincerely apologise if I’ve overlooked any here, while I’m not sure they would have necessarily ...

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2020 Best of New Overdrive and Distortion Pedals for the Year

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChase Bliss AudioCornerstone Music GearCrowther AudioDanelectroDistortionDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFriedman EffectsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXMulti-DriveMXRNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedal PawnPettyjohn ElectronicsRainger FXShnobel ToneSitek Guitar ElectronicsThorpyFXTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXBestOverDistoritonPedalsofYeat700.jpg

And here is the first of the category overviews for the year - combining those Overdrive and Distortion pedals which sparked some interest for me. Note that there will be 4 of these types of articles - Overdrive & Distortion (this one), Fuzz, Delay and Reverb (exc. Reverb Workstation already covered), and Modulation + Pitch + Untility pedals. Before I then reveal my overall 25 or so favourite favourite pedals for the year in a Best-of-the-Best listing - with possibly some sneaky additions. ...

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Flamma Innovation Pushes Things Forward for Budget Compact Digital Pedals with 7 Onboard Presets and Full Stereo Ins and Outs

Ambient EffectsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlamma InnovationFlangerLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSlicer and StutterSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTape DelayTremoloUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXFlammaInnovation700V2.jpg

Some of you will have seen Flamma Pedals featured quite highly on several gear forums of late, and several of you readers have been asking for my take on the subject. To my mind Mooer’s diminutive 7 Series was the first to do this kind of thing in incorporating 7 Presets, 5 Controls and a Select/Save button on the mini format.

 

I note that for the FSO2 Reverb - it has the exact same modes in the same order as the Mooer 7 Series equivalent - so I can only imagine that Mooer is ...

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2020GPXKMAAudioWurHMMain700.jpg

I’ve featured the standard edition Wurm half a dozen times on this site - and it’s long been on my wishlist / acquisitions list of preferred HM-2 Types - I’ve come close to snapping it up on several occasions - but it never quite worked out. Just as well really that I held out, however unintentionally, as this particular WurHM limited edition is the absolute perfect encapsulation for the format.

 

Enrico asked on his Facebook and Instagram a while back what colour LEDs ...

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