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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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Japan's Banana Effects is helping to redefine the role and status of Mini Pedals

Banana EffectsDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbShimmer Reverb+-
2019GPX4MiniBananaEffects700.jpg

I had meant to do this article a lot sooner as Banana Effects have been on my radar for a while - back to a time when they were much more difficult to get a hold of. Nowadays though they’ve struck up a distribution deal with Amazon.com and they are available via Amazon in most countries - all priced at the equivalent of $199 / £189. So price-wise these are definitely smack bang in the middle of boutique territory - yet their diminutive form factor belies a true richness of features....

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Mini Pedals State of the Art PT 1 : Nine leading examples of Contemporary Mini Pedal Smart Engineering

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBanana EffectsBecos FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveCompressorDecibelicsDigital ReverbDistortionDSM NoisemakerFree Fall DiverFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMooerMulti-DriveOddball FuzzPigtronixReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleUtilityXotic Effects+-
2019GPXMiniPedalStateOfArt700V3.jpg

This is my 3rd re-write from scratch of this article - I keep coming across new details! This was initially inspired by the arrival of Mooer’s E7 series - first represented by the Tone Capture GTR, and now by the very recent 7-Mode/7-Presets E7 Synth pedal which continues that distinctive new enclosure format - which is in someways an evolution from Mooer’s Micro-PreAmps - with the same 5 mini knobs and push-button topology, but here accompanied by 7 Mode/Preset LEDs positioned down...

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Neunaber Goes Opposites for Black Friday with White Out Enclosure Limited Editions of Immerse, Inspire and Neuron Pedals

Ambient EffectsAmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveEchoverbMetal DistortionModulationNeunaberOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpring Reverb+-
2019GPXWhiteBlackNeunaberTrifecta700.jpg

In the wake of the slightly slower than expected take-up of the 19 limited edition Black Friday ’Blacked Out’ (#blackedxout) Pedals I recently featured, Neunaber has decided to buck the trend with White Out versions of its flagship trifecta of Immerse Reverberator, Inspire Tri-Chorus Plus and Neuron Gain Intelligence. These go on sale on Wednesday 27th in extremely limited numbers, while there is also a social media give-away lucky draw of one each of these if you jump through a ...

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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+-
2019GBX19BlackedXOutMain700V2.jpg

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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Source Audio Merges Nemesis with Ventris to Create Combined New Collider Delay+Reverb Workstation

Ambient EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTape Delay+-
2019GPXSourceAudioCollider700.jpg

So Source Audio has made a slightly different move to the one I and a few others expected - I thought we might get a 12+ Mode Modulation Workstation next - following on from the Nemesis and Ventris - and continuing the lineage much like Strymon’s TimeLine, BigSky and Mobius, and Boss’s DD-500, RV-500 and MD-500.

 

But Source Audio have decided to do a combination of the Nemesis and Ventris into the same format - giving you 5 Delay Modes from the Nemesis and 7 Reverb Modes ...

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Best of Australian and New Zealander Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayAnarchy AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorCrowther AudioDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpressionFlux EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLastgasp Art LaboratoriesLightning Wave EffectsLo-Fi DelayLoop-SwitcherMarshall Style DistortionMC SystemsMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidnight AmplificationModulationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePepers' PedalsPhaserPitchPoly EffectsRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSelah EffectsShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSplitter and Frequency SplitterTape DelayTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXAustraliaNewZealandPedals700-min.jpg

Australia and New Zealand together have a fair few brands of international repute, and I for one certainly have a number of pedals of Australian origin in my collection. Foremost amongst those is Michael Ibrahim’s eponymous MI Audio / MI Effects - from which range past and present - I have 7 to date - with a couple more on the ’nice-to-have’ wishlist. Of the ones I have 2 are permanent features in my pedal-chain - the Super Crunch Box V2 (my Brown Sound pedal of choice) and ...

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Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

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Matthews Effects Wins Honour of Best Range Revamp in recent memory!

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsModulationOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTape Delay+-
2019GPXMatthewsEffectsRelaunch700V2-min.jpg

I already singled out the Newly Revamped Matthews Effects Range in my piece on Pedal Graphic Design - but there I focused more on the design of the actual pedals - principally the facia graphics and control topology - knob choice etc. However there was much more to the Matthews Effects Range Revamp than just a pedal design change - and some of the most significant improvements happened within the disciplines of Packaging and supplementary Collateral. ...

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