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GPX Blog

Zvex's Future is Clear - with Limited Edition Transparent Lexan Enclosure Versions of its Classic Pedals

Chorus and VibratoDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulationOddball FuzzZvex+-
2019GPX3ZvexClearLexan700.jpg

I’m a touch late to the party with this feature - as it’s been quite a while since Zvex announced and sold out of the very first Fuzz Factory edition of this new limited-run line of pedals. They are pretty much identical in content, components and format to the original classic horizontal compact pedals - bar for the use of fully transparent / see-through Lexan enclosures. Lexan is actually a super hard plastic compound or version of Polycarbonate - a thermoplastic polymer - often ...

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9 of the Best Lo-fi Modulation Pedals

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiCaroline Guitar CompanyChampion LeccyChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoEarthQuaker DevicesFairfield CircuitryHungry Robot EffectsModulationParadox EffectsRaygun FXZvex+-
2019GPX9BestLoFiModulators700-min.jpg

This article was inspired by the recent launch of the Caroline Guitar Co. Somersault Lo-fi Modulator which is really a sort of Chorus - which all these others are indeed near enough all too at least to a degree. In fact Josh Scott of JHS fame kind of beat me to the punch on this with his last Thursday’s YouTube video - which I share in Final Thoughts below. Yet I had already drawn up my own shortlist of 9 in advance of that and Josh and I only overlap on 4 - the Somersault obviously, ...

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16 of the Best Compact Tweed Style Drive Pedals

Bearfoot FXBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDistortionDriveGreer AmpsJ RockettJRADLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneOverdriveTrue North PedalsTwangtone by BSMUmbrella CompanyWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX16BestTweedDrives700-min.jpg

I should probably have covered this off sooner but I’m so satisfied with my True North Tweed Drive that I’ve not felt it necessary to look at alternatives. That said, there have been a few fairly recent additions to this group - so I thought I might as well do an overview of what’s around - usual suspects, new and old.

 

I’ve been aware of Tweed style overdrives for a while, in fact I had the Bearfoot FX Sparkling Yellow OD3 for more than a year before trying it ...

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Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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Pedal Design 101 - Generating better brand impact and recall via Uniquely Themed Stylised Graphics

Animals PedalEarthQuaker DevicesFoxpedalGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesMatthews EffectsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2019GPXPedalDesignGraphics700-min.jpg

I’ve done a few articles on this site about the look and feel of a pedal - different iterations and editions of pedal design, and specific unique designs of pedal enclosures for instance. I’ve often said that with so much competition in the pedal game currently - you have to nowadays put some significant effort into differentiating yourself as a brand, to make your pedals more impactful, more appealing and more recognisable.

 

The central tenets of branding are to produce ...

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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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24 of the Best Compact Distortion Pedals - 2019 Edition

Aleks K ProductionAlexander PedalsAmptweakerBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMI EffectsMulti-DriveSinvertekSkreddy PedalsSuhrThorpyFXVox Style DistortionWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX2024BestCompactDistortions700-min.jpg

I’ve only just very recently provided a list of my 20 favourite Marshall Style Pedals - and obviously some of those have been separated out into the heavier High Gain category - but when you focus on distortion you can’t really get away from Marshall to a large degree - such is its influence on these types of tones. In fact 14 pedals are retained from the Marshall article and 10 more somewhat different varieties have been added.

 

If you’ve recently read the Marshall ...

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20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveFriedman EffectsJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMI EffectsMulti-DrivePettyjohn ElectronicsRamble FXSuhrThorpyFXWamplerZvex+-
2019GPX20BestCompactMarshallPedals700-min.jpg

After doing lots of more individual flavours of drive pedal overviews recently - it’s time to do another roundup of that most eternally favoured of amp distortion tones - the many flavours of Marshall. There are a few here that are based on JTM45 sounds - but generally I’ve separated the Bluesbreaker style pedals into their own category. Most of these are within that classic rock heyday range or sort of Plexi through JCM800.

 

I’ve tried to indicate most relevant Amp ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Musings and Experiments

Analog.ManAnarchy AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCoda EffectsDecibelicsDelayDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesEmpress EffectsFlangerFuzzGlitchMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPladask ElektriskREVV AmplificationTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsUni-Vibe and VibeZvex+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkI700-min.jpg

At the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019 - I start thinking ahead for the year and considering what pedals I would like to swap-out or rotate-in on my pedal-chain. The long-awaited Empress Effects Zoia did not materialise in 2018, and is now expected as one of the major Winter NAMM launches - I see that as being one of two larger (monetary) acquisitions in the year - along with the Line 6 HX Stomp. I kind of did not figure out the HX Stomp until fairly recently really, where I have deemed it to ...

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2018 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayBeetronics FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHorizon DevicesJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsTape DelayThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWamplerWMD DevicesZvex+-
2018GPXPedalsOfTheYear700-min.jpg

2018 has been a really surprising year for pedals - there have been quite a few unexpected innovations along the way with also some of the usual production delays and holdups. As I write this I am still waiting for my long-overdue Jackson Audio Bloom to arrive - but I expect it will be worth the delay. I would have liked to have seen the Empress Zoia despatched this year too, as sort of predicted though - I feel that it will be pushed into next year - to coincide with Winter NAMM possibly - in ...

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2019 50

New Rabea Boss OD-200 Hybrid Drive Demo Reveals Even Greater Potential than first imagined
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New Rabea Boss OD-200 Hybrid Drive Demo Reveals Even Greater Potential than first imagined
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Chase Bliss Audio Surprises Nearly Everyone with 'Not-The-Blooper' MOOD Micro Looper!
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