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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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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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2020GPXRedBeardHoneBadgerOctaveFuzz.jpg

Readers will know by now that I really like the first Redbeard Red Mist Distortion and that it’s part of my current active pedal-chain. On encountering this follow-up release the immediate thing that springs to mind is my Gamechanger Audio / Third Man Records Plasma Coil - which also happens to be something of a yellowish hue - and has a number of Sub Octave effect modes to it also.

 

The Twist with the Honey Badger is that you have an ’Octave’ Knob that Blends in the ...

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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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2019GPXThorpyFXCamoflangeMain700V2.jpg

Judging from Chase Bliss Audio’s retirement of my favourite Spectre flanger early last year, I rather feared that one of my favourite effects categories was somewhat falling out of fashion. However there has been a steady stream of new pedals in that category since - including Earthquaker Devices’ Pyramids Stereo Flanger, Mad Professor’s Double Moon, Retro-Sonic’s Flanger and now ThorpyFX’s Camoflange.

 

I personally have had 3 flangers in my collection for ...

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Skindred's Mikey Demus Launches Superb Signature Redbeard Effects Red Mist MKIV Distortion in Collaboration with ThorpyFX

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveMetal DistortionRedbeard EffectsThorpyFX+-
2019GPXRedbeardRedMistMKIV700V2.jpg

Readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of high gain / metal distortion, and have a fair few pedals in that category - in fact I have 4 permanent slots in my pedal-chain which are dedicated to high gain (#24-#27). The two medium-sized slots (#25,#26) have pretty much been permanently occupied by the Empress Heavy and MI Effects Megalith Delta for the longest time now (even though I have great rotation alternatives here too) - while there is quite a lot of rotation on my 2 other ...

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Islington UK Guitar Show Highlights via 9 Key Encounters

Adrian ThorpeAmbient EffectsAmpliTubeBeetronics FXBoostBoost and OverdriveCrimson GuitarsDelayDevin TownsendDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEnrico PreußESP/LTDFace MIFenderFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGAKGuitar BrosGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitarsHughes and KettnerIbanezIK MultimediaJamie HumphriesJoss AllenKMA AudioOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOverdrivePaul GilbertReverbSeven DecadesSilicon FuzzS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsThorpyFXWalrus Audio+-
2019GPXUKGuitarShowHighlightsFaces700.jpg

I spent the whole of yesterday at the Islington UK Guitar Show - which turned out to be quite a different experiences for me compared to last year’s somewhat haphazard inaugural event at Olympia - this was much better organised, and I really enjoyed attending the many breakout events at the show.

 

For Pedal fans it was really quite a simple show with relatively few Pedal purveyors - and with one stand having most of the action - i.e. the Audio Distribution Group - with 16 brands -...

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Best of ThorpyFX Pedals - Actually all 10 are Great!

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferChorus and VibratoCompressorDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionModulationOverdriveRat Style FuzzThorpyFXUtility+-
2019GPXThorpyOverview700V2.jpg

My first exposure to Thorpy - way back when, was the then monikered Muffroom Cloud Fuzz - a fantastic sounding and really versatile take on the original Triangle version EXH Big Muff Pi. At the time though I was slightly put off by the somewhat over-sized enclosure - which was both significantly longer and wider than my preferred compact enclosure size - so I campaigned hard to have Thorpy bring the box down in size somewhat. This did not look like it was going to happen - and I eventually ...

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9 Cool Compact Dual Circuit / Dual Stage Stackable Boost, Overdrive and Distortion Pedals

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDiamond PedalsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoophole PedalsMagnetic EffectsOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE Pedals+-
2019GPX9CompactDualStackingDrives700.jpg

This post was sparked off by the recent launch of the Magnetic Effects Zig Zag Dual Stage Overdrive, my relatively recent acquisition of the Aleks K Production Maple Leaf Royal Drive and ThorpyFX Heavy Water Dual Boost pedals, and the hopefully fairly imminent arrival of my on-order Loophole Pedals Grey Matter Overdrive. They got me thinking about other pedals of this type which allow you to blend 2 separate circuits together essentially for more versatility and more complex and richer tones. ...

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