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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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28 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnalogWise PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzDeadFXD-SoundDunlop EffectsEl Músico Loco FXEWS EffectsFree Fall DiverFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHendrix EffectsIbanezJHS PedalsJimi HendrixKO AmpsLovepedalMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzMooerMXRMythos PedalsNFYFXOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigtronixRainger FXRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleSviSoundTone Bender Style FuzzZvex+-
2019fBlg28MiniFuzz700.jpg

When I started this roundup a few years ago, there were only 9 pedals in my selection, while this latest edition has 28 - which will likely be the maximum number I display here - I will just ongoingly swap in newer and more interesting pedals as and when I come across them - for future roundups.

 

I’ve long since singled out Fuzz Pedals as being particularly suitable for the mini format - and in fact my first long-term pedal-chain fuzz was the still excellent EWS Little Fuzzy Drive...

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17 Leading Pedal Builders Coordinate Blacked Out Stealth Black Enclosure Limited Editions for Black Friday Event Today!

Adventure AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCaroline Guitar CompanyChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDunable PedalsEarthQuaker DevicesElectronic Audio ExperimentsFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLand DevicesLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRed Panda LabReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbTape DelayTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus AudioZvex+-
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Near the start of this week we saw several leading pedal builder brands go all mysterious on us posting an encircled (B) logo ident accompanied by the hashtag #BLACKEDXOUT on various social media. Many thought this to mean some sort of limited or black edition pedals for the Black Friday ’sales’, while I wrongly guessed it implied a Black Friday Sales boycott.

 

This afternoon all was revealed when 17 Brands together released all-black stealth-like enclosures for one or a few...

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Basic Audio Compact Pedals A to Z = 28+ Fantastic Flavours of Fuzz since 1998

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXBasicAudio28Flavours700.jpg

I’m not entirely clear on how I first got into Basic Audio / John Lyons, but I did get the Scarab Deluxe very early on in my Fuzz ToneQuest - followed then by the Futureman and Gnarly in rather quick succession, and leading to where I now have 11 from this very extensive and flavourful range. Update! I’ve just added the Foxton to make it 12 now.

 

I think if you are a fuzz fan like myself then you really cannot ignore John Lyons’ Basic Audio Fuzz Pedals - there is no ...

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Fjord Fuzz - Daniel Thornhill's Cutting Edge Futuristic Fuzz Pedals from the West Coast of Norway

Effects Pedal MakersFjord FuzzFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz Style+-
2019GPX4FjordFuzzMain700V5.jpg

As with many pedal builders, the roots of Daniel’s Fjord Fuzz are firmly embedded in a particular music scene. In this instance Bergen on Norway’s West Coast - one of the 4 main corners of Norway’s creative arts - alongside Oslo, Stavanger and Tromsø, and famously home to a number of internationally celebrated artists including Annie, Erlend Øye / King’s of Convenience (sic) / Whitest Boy Alive, Datarock, Kygo, and Ralph Myerz / and the Jack Herren Band. ...

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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Key Fuzz Transistor Types and Chronology

Big Muff Style FuzzFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear ResourcesMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTransistors+-
2019GPXTransistorPrimer700.jpg

I started down my Fuzz ToneQuest at the beginning of 2018 - where I already had a few fuzzes, but determined that over the course of the year I would acquire around 30 of the very best fuzzes available across the different fuzz families. My aim was to get the bulk of my research done in 2018 so I could move on to investigating other pedal genres - like say Glitch/Granular Synthesis/Micro Looping.

 

As it happens though - I got to twice as many fuzzes as intended in 2018, and have ...

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2 Filter Fuzzes - TWA Minimorph vs Walrus Audio Kangra

FuzzModulated FuzzOddball FuzzTWA EffectsWalrus Audio+-
2019GPX2FilterFuzzes700-min.jpg

Let me start straight up by saying that these two pedals are not entirely the same thing - but they are in essence Fuzz pedals which use envelope filtering to modulate the fuzz sound in various ways. There is a degree of overlap here also in the kind of tones you can get out of each of these - so I thought it would be handy to do a rough head-to-head comparison and lay out some of my preferences.

 

The Kangra has obviously just been announced and there are no details yet on the Walrus ...

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2019GPXSpacemanGemini34700V2-min.jpg

The Chase for a Gemini III has sort of been my White Whale really - as I’ve been on the case for several years now - but the going prices of the 2011 originals were just stratospherically ridiculous - in fact there are a couple on Ebay right now - ’Used!’ For $1,800 and $1,975 respectively! I feel those prices are going to come down somewhat significantly now though as the new version - albeit in a larger medium-vertical enclosure - has a notably superior feature set. Whenever...

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9 of the Best Compact and Medium Format Schumann PLL Style Harmonizer Fuzz Pedals

Beetronics FXFuzzGrendelGuitar Synth and SequencerIdiotBox FXMammouth MachineMantic EffectsModulated FuzzModulationOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzParasit StudioPedalPCBSunsine AudioWraa Defects+-
2019GPX9CompactMediumPLL700-min.jpg

Just over a year ago I did a piece on ’9 Cool Phase Locked Loop Synth Harmonizing Oscillating Fuzz Pedals’ where I focused on the original Schumann PLL and the larger format full-feature/full-range replicas of said pedal. This included the EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter - which was on my wishlist for quite a while but I never ended up getting - for reasons which I will explain. There were a couple of pedals I overlooked in that overview - one which had relatively recently been ...

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