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GPX Blog

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 SoundworksJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsMenatoneMythos PedalsOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
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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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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+-
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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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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure Compressor Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManBarber ElectronicsBecos FXBondi EffectsBossCompressorDarkglass ElectronicsDiamond PedalsDryBell EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesEmerson EffectsEmpress EffectsFoxpedalFriedman EffectsGreer AmpsJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringMad Professor EffectsMXROhmless PedalsOrigin EffectsOvni FXPettyjohn ElectronicsTC ElectronicThorpyFXUtilityWalrus AudioWampler+-
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I’ve encountered a number of ’Best Compressor’ articles this year which I really felt were not fully representative of the very best of what is out there. That was the catalyst for this feature, along with a couple of new compressors I had not properly featured yet, and the fact that I’ve not done a Compressor round-up for a good couple of years now.

 

Pretty much all the compressors listed here are / were already known to me, while I picked up a few new ones ...

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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 PedalsOffset 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+-
2020GPXMikeyDemus700.jpg

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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This coming weekend's Birmingham Guitar Show looks like the best year yet for pedal fans

Audio Distribution GroupBirmingham Guitar ShowBossCrimson GuitarsFace MIFirst Line DistributionGreuter AudioGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailRedbeard EffectsStone Wolf GuitarsThe Guitar ShowThorpyFXUK Guitar Show+-
2020GPXBirminghamGuitarShow700.jpg

Birmingham’s The Guitar Show is the UK’s main guitar / gear show, and this year features the largest selection of pedal brands yet as far as I’m aware. Obviously there are several large distributors here representing a number of brands - like Audio Distribution Group which covers Cioks Power Supplies, Darkglass Electronics, Death by Audio, EarthQuaker Devices, Emma Electronic, Fulltone, JRAD / J Rockett, JPTR FX, KMA Audio Machines, Meris, Neunaber, Maxon, Nobels, Old Blood ...

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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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2020GPXRedBeardHoneBadgerOctaveFuzzV2.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 WahFlangerFuzzFuzz 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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