This has been a pretty great year for gear overall and this particular blog is now building up nicely since its official launch back on the 1st of August. 2018 was the ’Year of Fuzz’ for me, and I still have a few stragglers to pick up - which will take me just a touch into the new year. Funnily enough I started off aiming at around 30 or so reference fuzz pedals, but have ended up somewhat north of twice that amount thus far - Fuzz is just the gift that keeps on giving if you like that genre - there are so many different flavours - both whole and nuanced.
For 2019 I will be increasingly looking towards the more unusual effects - a sort of ’Year of Glitch’ as such, while I will still of course be featuring all the usual pedal categories too, really more about which direction my pedal acquisition will be going in. There’s still of course a plethora of pedals on my wishlist - which never really shrinks significantly - it just gets superseded with newer priorities.
One of the pedals that I was really looking forward to in 2018 is the now much delayed Empress Effects Zoia - which I’m hopping will be a main feature of Winter NAMM 2019 and available soon after that. I’ve also come to think that I may replace / rotate my Boss MD-500 for a Line 6 HX Stomp - roughly the same size, but with quite a few more modulation algorithms and a lot more besides. I would think the Zoia and HX Stomp would be the major acquisitions next year - alongside one or two or a few of the more feature-rich glitch pedals - hopefully one of the Pladask Elektrisk, Drolo or Hexe ones - but I can never be sure in advance - as these are made in very small batches and there are really very few in circulation. In any case that path has started well with the acquisitions of a TKOG Mini Glitch and Montreal Assembly Count to Five.
My focus is still very much on pedals and enhancing my active pedal-chain - which though is largely getting to a place where most of the slots are now occupied by semi-permanent favourites. I have numerous drive and fuzz pedals which will continue to be rotated - and I’m still considering whether there is a place for something like Meris’s superb Enzo Multi-Voice Synth Pedal - currently I just use a mix of Fuzz, Envelope Filtering, Octaver, Harmonizer and Pitch-Shifter to give me synth-like tones, but I appreciate the added range the Enzo provides. I went through a phase with the DigiTech Dirty Robot and Pigtronix Mothership 2 - and I may well return to synthesized tones a touch in 2019.
There’s plenty of movement too on the Guitar and Amp front with lots of appealing new additions to the choices available. I however really love my main PRS CE 24 guitar and Solid+Valve stereo rig - so I will not intentionally at least be looking to add any more of those any time soon.
I’m slightly bemused to see just how much I’m buying from Reverb.com - with that site having sort of become my preferred supplier role to a degree more by accident than intent, while Andertons is also a firm favourite, as is Joe’s Pedals and Northern Stompboxes. Of course pedal-makers are increasingly going direct - so I’m buying a lot more pedals directly from those websites too.
You can read all my favourites of the year in the the latest articles - where I convey my preferences on Gadgets, Amps, Guitars and Pedals for 2018.
Don’t be shy to reach out and ask questions or request I cover a particular subject area - I’ve responded to a number of those requests in 2018. I hope to be more collaborative in 2019 and in following years there will be some pedal-centric events and workshops - depending on what you followers / readers are interested in.
Enjoy the rest of this year and may next year be an even grander affair. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the lucky draw on one of those new gold batch 50 Pladask Elektrisk pedals...