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Best of Central and South American Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorCopilot FXDarkglass ElectronicsDedalo FXDeep Trip FXDistortionDriveDSM NoisemakerDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFire Custom ShopFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoop-SwitcherMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMonstro EffectsMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdriveParadox EffectsPedalPalFXPhaserRat Style FuzzRetrohead FXSabbadius Custom EffectsSilicon FuzzSplitter and Frequency SplitterStomp Audio LabsSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestCentralSouthAmericanBuilders700-min.jpg

This is the 11th in the Pedal Builders Country Series as such, although I’ve had to cast the net slightly wider as I currently don’t consider there to be enough top-tier / International-level builders in a single country here to satisfy the usual criteria. Brazil and Argentina come fairly close - with Brazil having significantly the most concentrated volume of builders of any Country in that part of the world. Generally Brazil, Argentina and Chile are particularly well represented. ...

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9 of the Best Menatone Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMulti-DriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPX9BestMenatonePedals700-min.jpg

I consider it my civic duty to bring the public’s attention back to Brian Mena and his excellent Menatone Pedals - as they seem to have slipped a touch under the radar of late. Part of the problem is that Menatone has only 3 dealers - Truetone Music in the USA, Deluxe Guitars in Australia and LEP International in Japan. Of those, only Deluxe seems to maintain a decent inventory - and they refuse to ship abroad - which is no good for us Brits! There’s also just a fairly meagre ...

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2 of the Best from 2 Laid to Rest - Blackout Effectors and Classic Audio Effects

Big Muff Style FuzzBlackout EffectorsClassic Audio EffectsEffects Pedal MakersExpressionFuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzUtilityVolume+-
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When I do my category roundups and reviews, my remits are always to be as broad as possible within the set criteria, and I typically include one or two older and discontinued models alongside the usual suspects and new releases. It is always with some degree of sadness that I witness pedal builders going out of business for one reason or another. This industry seems to have a fairly high burnout rate and with competition getting ever fiercer, it is unfortunately understandable that some ...

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Best of Spanish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Aclam Products for GuitarAnalog ReverbAnanashead EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDecibelicsDistortionDon Poniz FXDriveDual-DriveEffectivy Wonder PedalsEffects Pedal MakersEl Músico Loco FXFuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMegaBeat AudioModulationOverdrivePhaserReverbThermionThunderTomateTone Bender Style FuzzUtilityVolumeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestOfSpanishBuilders700-min.jpg

As I assumed per my first couple of recce’s - Spain was going to be a tricky territory to cover/feature compared to all the others that came before it - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Greece. None of the current Spanish builders have yet attained wholly global recognition as of the moment - unlike a number of brands from the other featured countries.

 

Probably the most significant Spanish builder to-date has been Roberto García and his ThunderTomate brand - ...

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16 of the Best Medium and Large Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AmptweakerBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBognerDeath By AudioDwarfcraftFunction FXFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzLone Wolf AudioMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRainger FXSeymour DuncanSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneczarWalrus AudioWamplerZander Cicuitry+-
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I originally intended to do a 20 strong feature, but decided that since I had already covered 5 medium pedals in my recent ’Rat’ overview I could get away with 16 here. Since some of the enclosure sizes here are quite large, it doesn’t really make sense to cram in too many - so the 16 limit just about does the job. Whenever I do one of these features I always feel that I may have overlooked some essential/s - if you could please let me know in the comments if I’ve missed...

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24 of the Best Compact Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abracadabra AudioAnarchy AudioAnasoundsBasic AudioBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBossChase Bliss AudioDr ScientistFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMagnetic EffectsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPaul Trombetta DesignPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsZvex+-
2019GOX24CompactFuzze700s-min.jpg

So you may have read last year that I went a little overboard with fuzz type pedals - aiming initially to build up an essential reference collection of 30 of the best - I then published my ’2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest’ just about half way through that year - featuring 40 pedals, and right now, my current fuzz quota is running at exactly 100 pedals - with 82 compacts, 11 minis and 7 medium to large pedals making up the collection.

 

This overview is 24 of the best ’...

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Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
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So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

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9 of the Best Magnetic Effects Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMagnetic EffectsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPX9MagneticEffects700-min.jpg

It’s a touch an unusual path, but I first came across British pedal brand Magnetic Effects courtesy of American Nick Jaffe’s JustNickMusic YouTube Channel - where he frequently named the White Atom as his all-time favourite fuzz - using it as an overdrive in low-gain, as well as a full-on higher gain fuzz, even on the more gated / velcro spitty side. So Magnetic Effects have been on my radar for a while and I had always intended to get the Flagship White Atom Fuzz which Nick ...

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20 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2018 Update II

Amsterdam CreamBig Muff Style FuzzEl Músico Loco FXEWS EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzIbanezJHS PedalsKO AmpsLovepedalMaestro Style FuzzMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzMooerMXRMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigtronixRainger FXRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleSviSoundTone Bender Style FuzzZvex+-
2018GPX20MiniFuzz700-min.jpg

In going through all my various favourite mini Drive and Distortion Pedals, I thought I should round out the exercise by updating my preferred Mini Fuzz list which has grown and evolved over the years. The current number is 20 - with some additions, but also a number swapped out for better alternatives.

 

I haven’t really concentrated on Mini Fuzzes of late for whatever reason, but did put in a recent order with KO Amps for a sort of Skreddy Mayo Big Muff style mini. I’m ...

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The Unsung King of Fuzz - John Lyons of Basic Audio

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2018GPXBasicAudioJohnLyons700-min.jpg

You could say that there are several masters of the Fuzz circuit - Greg Djerrahian at SolidGoldFX, Marc Ahlfs at Skreddy Pedals, Mark Piera at Analog.Man, Richard Coibion at Monsterpiece Fuzz, Scotty Smith at ProAnalog Devices, and Zachary Vex at Zvex to name a few. In terms of breadth and range of delivery it has to be said though that John Lyons somewhat towers above them all. He has currently 25 all bonafide classic pedals in his range - of which I have acquired 3 to date, with many more on ...

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