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GPX Blog

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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2020GPXPettyjohnRailFuzz700.jpg

Pettyjohn’s new Fuzz is described as a full-range everyman type of fuzz edging into fuzzstortion territory. It’s essentially an archetypical Modern OpAmp-based Fuzz - of course with some Pettyjohn circuit trickery / tricknology! As usual you can buy different mods for the pedal, while this is actually the very first of Pettyjohn’s brand new more compact format - significantly smaller than the slanted-front core pedals we have been used to thus far. Also the enclosure styling ...

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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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Updates on the forthcoming Jackson Audio Pedals including the El Guapo Programmable Distortion + Overdrive, Golden Boy Programmable Overdrive + Boost and the Modular Fuzz + Octave

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPXJacksonAudioElGuapo700.jpg

Contrary to my original analysis - all 3 pedals are actually pretty well rounded and ready to go - while Jackson Audio want to give each a chance to reach their intended audience - meaning a staggered release - with the first to be made available being Joey Landreth’s signature Golden Boy Overdrive ($299) - pre-orders will be up any day soon with shipping due to start in February. The pedal gets its name from a statue which sits atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in Joey’s home ...

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Catalinbread Unleashes Gnarly Giygas Fuzz/EQ and Compact Epoch Boost PreAmp/Buffer

AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferCatalinbreadFuzzOpAmp FuzzPreAmpUtility+-
2020GPXCatalinbreadCiyagasEpochBoost700.jpg

Catalinbread’s new pedals for NAMM are a highly versatile / tweakable fuzz and sort of mini version of the Belle Epoch Pre. The Giygas Fuzz benefits from Tilt EQ, Mids, Dry Blend, Loud (Volume) and Fuzz Settings - where the EQ and Mids dials are both centre-detented on 900Hz for suitable strident and cutting / aggressive fuzz. The Blend control helps temper the Fuzz and bring in some of the Dry signal for ambience or damping impact - all in all a great-sounding extended-range fuzz. The ...

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2020GPXThorpyMarshallBunker700.jpg

Those of us who follow Adrian Thorpe have known about these two for a while, and that they are just the first two of a sort of Lovetone revival - where the full Lovetone range as it was will be reimagined and updated for this new age. Adrian and Dan have of course collaborated before - on the Fat General Compressor, Deep Oggin Chorus and Camoflange Flanger - and it looks like this will be a partnership that endures.

 

The mission was to modernise and improve on the original circuits ...

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Pre-NAMM Pedal-Chain Snapshot

BossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesGamechanger AudioGFI SystemJHSLovetoneMarshall Style DistortionMerisModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationSinvertekTape DelayThropyFX+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPreNAMM700.jpg

Each year I like to do a comparison of where my current thinking is ahead of the Winter NAMM Show versus shortly after I have witnessed all the new innovations for the year and I have finalised my annual target list. The Chain already features several pedals that will be properly featured at NAMM for the first time - and I’m still waiting for Pete Thorne’s demo video of the Sinvertek N5+ Drive so I can publish my findings on that excellent pedal.

 

My most recent new arrival ...

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Chase Bliss Audio + Benson Amps Automatone PreAmp MKII Finally Gets Price Tag and Approximate Release Date

AmpsBenson AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveFuzzMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePreAmp+-
2020GPXAutomatoneMKIIPreAmp700.jpg

The big pedal story for me last year - apart from the Synesthesia, Volante and Zoia was the amazing Joel Korte and Chris Benson collaboration based on Chris’s popular PreAmp pedal - in turn modelled after his Chimera Amp - but with transistors in place of 12AX7 valves.

 

We witnessed a number of previews of the Automatone last year with the cool moving sliders and fantastic onboard Preset functions - now confirmed at 2 banks of 15 - for a total of 30 automatically shifting and ...

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6 Key Guitar Pedal Trends for 2020!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDigital DelayFuzzGFI SystemGlitchKeeley EngineeringLooperLoophole PedalsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveTape Delay+-
2020GPX6KeyPedalTrends700.jpg

Each year - based on the previous year’s experience, I focus on the most pertinent and relevant trends happening in guitar pedal design and manufacturing. I long since highlighted the dual-footswitches trend which was really popularised by Chase Bliss Audio - and continues to proliferate with brands such as Jackson Audio, JHS and Walrus Audio.

 

The first time I did this type of feature I highlighted the evolution of larger more populous pedalboards with more pedals in the chain, ...

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