DistortionFuzzOpAmp FuzzRat Style FuzzWampler
It’s quite obvious that I’m a very significant Rat fan - as this is the 23rd pedal of that variety to be added to the collection. It was evident almost immediately that this was another particularly great take on the genre - with beautiful harmonic bloom of distortion across multiple modes and voicings.
At its core this is very much a classic Rat - with the standard Volume, Filter (Hi-Cut) and Distortion controls. But then we have two further tone-shapers courtesy of a 3-...
Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimAnalog DelayBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDrive WorkstationDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePeterson TunersPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersTweed Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeVox Style DistortionVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio
It was only natural that the Compact Format Preferred Versions feature should follow the Mini examples. Again largely inspired by the recent ’12 Degrees’ projects.
Once more I’ve had a change of mind on some of the candidates and the preferred examples are slightly different to those previous references. Obviously new pedals have arisen, and priorities and preferences can shift fairly regularly based on prevailing mood.
That said, most of these are long-term...
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
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 ...
DistortionFuzzProCoRat DistortionRat Style Fuzz
Actually more correctly - one of the dealers has announced a diminutive version of the Rat 2 pedal - containing the exact same circuit - with the now usual OP07DP opamp chip in place. I’ve been waiting for the Rat Distortion Website / Webstore or Instagram Page even to publish the final details - but those have still to materialise.
We know near enough everything we need to - courtesy of a YouTube demo by ACT Lighting - as below. The unit Is only 2 inches / 51mm wide - which is ...
BoostBoost and OverdriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzZander Circuitry
For Alex to miniaturise his formerly BB-enclosure pedals, the Multi-Clipping Element was always going to be the trickiest part to incorporate - because of the dimensions of said rotary pot, and all the Diode Component Pairs which made up each Clipping option.
In the process of miniaturisation the enclosures have seen a significant change in aesthetics - with more of an outline print artwork onto a raw enclosure - and accentuated by those beautiful / vibrant and colour-coded CBA-style ...
Becos FXBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioCompressorCooper FXDelayDelay WorkstationDr ScientistDrive WorkstationEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-FXOCD Style OverdriveOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility
This is obviously a follow-up from the Josh Scott / JHS January 1st YouTube video as below. Where Josh carried out and exercise where he compiled the best pedals released over the last two decades - in 6 specific categories - Best Overdrive / Distortion, Best Fuzz, Best Time-Based Effect, Best Modulation, Best Compressor, and Best Weird / Other - all must have been release January 1st 2000 or later.
Along with his own take, he solicited opinions from Jamie Stillman of EQD, Matthew ...
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
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...
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
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 ...
Big Muff Style FuzzBlammo ElectronicsCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioDanDrive PedalDanelectroDemedash EffectsDusky ElectronicsEarthQuaker DevicesExpresso FXFjord FuzzFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsKuro Custom AudioMad ProfessorMidValleyFXModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneTuga EffecctsVemuramWren and CuffZander Circuitry
It is fairly evident that my favourite pedal genre is Fuzz - seeing as that of all the pedals I added to the collection this year - 80 of those were Fuzz varieties.
This particular selection consists of 31 pedals across different sizes and sub-genres. And of those 31, I personally own 22 of them. All the remainder are of course on my wishlist, these are :
- DanDrive Secret Machine (I own Secret Weapon edition)
- Dusky Electronics Augustus Octave Fuzz
- Fjord Fuzz Fenris Super-Fuzz
Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayHologram ElectronicsJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLine 6LooperModulationModulation WorkstationMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityWalrus Audio
Reverb.com has revealed the best-selling pedals of 2020 on that particular platform. And while there are plenty of other big retailers on the Interweb - Reverb is likely the largest single entity - so some heed should be paid to these stats, while they don’t necessarily give you the full global picture. Plenty of manufacturers sell direct - and you have all those major stores - with Andertons, Sweetwater and Thomann leading the charge - which play into things too. Nevertheless it always ...