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Alpha Distribution Showcases Revamped Amptweaker Range following its Takeover of James Brown's Pedal Brand

AmptweakerBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTimmy+-
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As reported on this site a couple of times already - James Brown, celebrated 5150 amp engineer and circuit designer extraordinaire, sold his Amptweaker brand to Alpha Distribution earlier this year after he accepted a new post at Fender’s EVH Gear Division, Amp Department specifically.

 

Amptweaker has been best known for its high gain pedals - in particular the FatMetal and TightMetal series - but also the TightDrive and TightRock / BigRock Overdrives. The range had sprawled into ...

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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+-
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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 Mike Fuller's Best Fulltone Pedals

Boost and OverdriveFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzModulationOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzPitchSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzUni-Vibe and VibeWah and Fixed Wah+-
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The catalyst to this post is of course the brand new 3-Germanium Transistor Queen Bee Fuzz - which Mike has recently launched via his Custom Shop. I was really just waiting for its price to materialise before sharing this ’best of’ roundup.

 

Despite Mike’s idiosyncrasies and several dubious outbursts as such I’ve regardless always admired his circuit-designs and his overall highly consistent quality of work. In fact I own 8 of his pedals to date - while only 3 in...

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End of September Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VIII - Starry Eyed Surprise

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCoppersoundDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFjord FuzzFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHarmonizerJackson AudioJoesPedals.comKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNFYFXOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleToneczarTubescreamer Style OverdriveVick AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioZander Circuitry+-
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And so as my 7th month of isolation draws to a close - the frequency of new product releases has begun to accelerate again after the lull of summer. The month started on fine form with the slightly surprising snap arrival of he new Jackson Audio El Guapo, next we had the Walrus Audio Julia that always should have been - in the guise of the new and improved Julianna Chorus, then the Zander Circuitry Compact Siclone, Boss OC-5 Octave, somewhat delayed Big Ear Albie, the EHX Pitch Fork+, Red Witch...

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All You Need to Know about the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII courtesy of 5 key YouTube Demos

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioEQKlone and Transparent OverdriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility+-
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There’s not much more that really needs to be said about the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII (Boost + EQ + Overdrive + Fuzz + Preamp) that hasn’t been said already - it’s every bit as good as everyone says it is. I though still felt that I had to touch on one of the best executed and innovative gain pedals of all time as it would be unforgivable for me not to do my own take on the subject. Obviously it’s a pricey proposition, a little large, and a little fragile...

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Roman Belonozhko's Multifaceted Shnobel Tone Daily Driver delivers beautifully textured breakup with alluring high frequency sparkle

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDumble Style OverdriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveShnobel ToneTimmyTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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I must confess that this pedal somewhat slipped under my radar when it was first teased / introduced at January’s Winter NAMM show. In fact I only really became properly aware of it when Roman started doing his head-to-head YouTube videos - where he looked to dial-in near-match tones to each of those very well-known classics - per the video references at the base of this article.

 

First Roman compared the Daily Driver (which I will henceforth occasionally refer to as the DD) ...

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Mike Vickery's largely Tuxedo-style Vick Audio Pedals underline a certain air of effortless authentic elegance

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzVick Audio+-
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I’ve been peripherally aware of Mike Vickery’s Vick Audio for a long time now, and have to date included his Mount Pleasant Blues Breaker, Overdriver Power Boost, and Tree of Life Overdrive in their respective category roundups.

 

This article was partly triggered by two events really. Following on from my doing a feature on Steve Mac’s Pedalboard (Aussie Pink Floyd) it heightened and reawakened my interest in everything David Gilmour - which led to my article on Pete ...

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4 Fantastic Programmable Overdrive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
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This article was obviously inspired by last Friday’s That Pedal Show (TPS) episode with similar title. In watching that I thought - hang on a minute - I have all these pedals, with the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII the most recently added. So before the episode - 3 were already in my pedal-chain - the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage since it first came out, the relatively recent Jackson Audio Golden Boy, and of course my brand new Automatone Preamp MKII.

 

...

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End of July Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Mercurial Conveyance!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDemon PedalsDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJuly700V2.jpg

July has largely been a very decent month for me and culminated with the arrival of my twin new Expresso FX Dual Custom Fuzzes and my annual white whale as such - the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII on this occasion.

 

It looks like 4 pedals failed to get over the line within the appointed time period - the longest-ranging of which is my Evil Pumpkin Modded DS-1 - which has been en-route from Kiev since June 12th and which I surely hoped should have landed by now.

 

My ...

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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Clipping Diodes

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXClippingDiodes700.jpg

So this post came about due to my sometimes confusion between Soft and Hard Clipping, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Clipping and the individual clipping characteristics of different Diodes. In my earliest pedal years I took the type of Diode to be the essential constituent of the clipping degree and texture versus the actual circuit and diodes arrangement. Phrases like ’Soft Clipping Germanium’ also confused me for eons - as it’s actually the methodology which principally ...

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