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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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2020GPXNordlandODFC700V3.jpg

Many of you will be familiar with one Kai Tachibana - the engineer behind all the significant Nobels ODR circuits - including the original 1993 ODR-1 and latest ODR-Mini and ODR-1 BC V2 editions. In my recent ’Nobels Overdrives and Alternatives’ article for the first sweep I totally managed to overlook Kai’s Nordland Electronics imprint - it just didn’t hit my radar for whatever reason. Fortunately I am lucky to have some very diligent readers and Morgan P quickly took ...

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End of October Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IX - Imminent Acquiescence

Big Muff Style FuzzBossDelay WorkstationDistortionFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulation WorkstationNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzPitchPreAmpReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSTL TonesStrymonToneczarVick AudioWah and Fixed Wah+-
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October has proven to be another fairly significant month - both in terms of new pedal releases / arrivals and my own pedal-chain evolution. I’m also in the midst of a Vick Audio phase - having relatively recently acquired most of the key pedals in that range - including all 5 Tau Series Muff variants - which were all in my chain together for a big chunk of October.

 

There were a number of very significant releases/arrivals this month for me - including the Boss GT-1000 CORE and ...

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Nobels ODR Natural Overdrive and Alternatives

Aion ElectronicsBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersJ RockettJRADMythos PedalsNobelsNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveVemuramWamplerXTS Custom Pedals+-
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It’s about time I did a feature on the Other Green Overdrive - which has long since become a firm favourite of Nashville session players. It’s very much a mostly flat-mids overdrive as such where its overall output profile is quite different to the better known TS808 - with quite a bit more low end present and much less in the way of compression - so a somewhat fatter more open-pored sort of overdrive.

 

Most are fans of the extra low-end body, while several players have ...

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Brian Wampler Delivers 2 more Killer Mini Drive Pedals - the Belle Overdrive Mini and Plexi-Drive Mini

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersMarshall Style DistortionODR Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
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It’s nice to see that the Wampler Tumnus Mini has some company now. Brian further underlines his ’King of Drive’ credentials with 2 further smart diminutive derivations. The Belle Overdrive is yet another of his takes on the Nobels ODR Natural Overdrive. His very first derivation was the Underdog, a take on the ODR-S 3-Band EQ variety, which was developed for Brad Paisley - and after a 100 pedal limited run became the right-hand side of the Signature Dual-Channel Wampler ...

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9 of the Best Mythos Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOctaverODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePitchSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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It turns out that I’m quite the fan of Zach Broyles and his many circuit confections. And despite having only been officially properly in business for a handful of years now, Zach’s output is really rather prolific and a number of his classic circuits are already discontinued. Most of you will know his story of how he started dabbling with pedals while working at celebrated guitar hangout Carter Vintage. He got to a stage where he had established enough contacts with clients and ...

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9 of the Best Compact Vemuram Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionODR Style OverdriveOverdriveTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVemuram+-
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This is probably not the best time to be featuring a range of pedals whose average price is circa £379 equivalent (for the Compact varieties, and where the most expensive currently is the larger DJ1 Bass Overdrive/Distortion at £474). Yet this article follows on from my recent post on Josh Smith’s pedalboard - where of course I featured his most excellent Signature Vemuram Myriad Hybrid Fuzz.

 

I have had my eye on a few Vemuram pedals over the years, but have always ...

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28 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHot Cake Style OverdriveJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsMenatoneMythos PedalsOCD Style OverdriveODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveWampler+-
2020GPX28CompactOverdrives700.jpg

I periodically do these category round-ups, typically triggered by a pedal launch or two, as is the case in this instance. This is my own preferred Overdrive selection - intentionally as broad as possible - with actually 12 categories of overdrives, but could still be an even longer listing, and I’ve had to make some very difficult choices for the final selection even though it is relatively numerous at 28 strong. I would have liked to have included one from my so called ’Harmonic ...

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Birmingham's The Guitar Show Highlights

AC GuitarsAdrian ThorpeAlan CringeanAlex ErnandezAlex MillarAlexander MillarAnasoundsAudio Distribution GroupBen CroweBig Muff Style FuzzBossBruce DavidsonChapman GuitarsCrimson GuitarsD'AddarioDistortionDriveFilling DistributionFredric EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGeorgia ThorpeGermanium FuzzGreuter AudioGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailGuitarsHeadless GuitarsJennings GuitarsLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMansons GuitarsMatt KnightMick TaylorMike PayneMikey DemusMillimetric GuitarsMythos PedalsODR Style OverdriveOffset GuitarsOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOrange AmplificationRabea MassaadRedbeard EffectsReiver GuitarsRob ChapmanRob Williams GuitarsSacha GreuterSilicon FuzzSkindredS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStone Wolf GuitarsStuart TateTate FXThe Guitar ShowThorpyFXTim WebsterTone Bender Style FuzzToskaT-Style GuitarsUnique-Shaped GuitarsZach BroylesZander Circuitry+-
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For me, this turned out to be the best The Guitar Show yet - where I pretty much managed to round off all my pre-show goals - in terms of seeing what and whom I wanted to / needed - as per the following highlights. I caught 2 great lunchtime showcases - first by Mikey Demus of Skindred / Redbeard Effects fame and then Rabea Massaad of Andertons, Chapman, Dorje, Toska, etc. fame - and D’Addario as it turned out - albeit people were really just there to see Bea play.

 

I must have ...

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12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveFoxpedalIbanezJHS PedalsKHDKMI EffectsNobelsODR Style OverdriveSeymour DuncanTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE PedalsWalrus AudioWamplerXotic Effects+-
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There’s been a couple of significant Tube Screamer type releases this year and I’ve discovered a whole load more that I like since I last did this overview. I wrongly had the Super Blues Pro in with my Blues Driver / Bluesbreaker category, and the Xotic BB PreAmp often gets mischaracterized as a Bluesbreaker type where its circuit is really Tube Screamer with Baxandall Hi/Lo Tone Controls.

 

This biggest newby this year is no doubt JHS’s 9-flavour Bonsai - which covers ...

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