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16 of the best Guitar Synth Pedals - 2019 Edition

Alexander PedalsBanana EffectsDeath By AudioDedalo FXDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixGuitar Synth and SequencerKeeley EngineeringMeris EffectsModulationParasit StudioPigtronixRed Witch EffectsSubdecay Effects+-
2019GPX16BestGuitarSynthPedals700-min.jpg

There have been a smattering of new Guitar Synth pedals recently - including at the January NAMM show, so I thought it would be opportune to do a round-up of some of my preferred choices - the significant new ones, and some older favourites.

 

I’ve deliberately left out a few of the larger usual suspects here - including the Boss SY-300, Glou Glou Moutarde and Hologram Infinite Jets Resynthesizer - all of which I’ve featured before. Instead I’ve focused more on the ...

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24 of the Best Compact Distortion Pedals - 2019 Edition

Aleks K ProductionAlexander PedalsAmptweakerBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbnreadDawner 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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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThopyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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9 of the Most Distinctive Pedal Range Enclosure Designs

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOrigin EffectsStone Deaf EffectsThropyFXVemuram+-
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When I did my various country-based pedal-builder overviews I came across a large number of pedals which looked either too samey or else were somewhat unimpactful aesthetically and/or thematically. A significant part of my day job consists of Brand Stategy / Brand Engineering and Design Consultancy and part of me always wants to improve things and make them better - whether that is wanted or not - so you can heed this advice or ignore as you feel pertinent.

 

For pedal-makers, the ...

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12 of the Best Compact Reverb Pedals

Alexander PedalsAmbient EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDigital ReverbDigiTechDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixMad Professor EffectsMXRNeunaberPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTC ElectronicWalrus Audio+-
2018GPX12CompactReverbPedals700-min.jpg

It seems that 2018 has very significantly been a Year of and for Reverb - with half of these featured recent additions to the category. I have rarely seen as well coordinated a campaign as for the very recent Chase Bliss Audio Dark World launch - which has somewhat overshadowed the slightly earlier release of Dr Scientist’s long-awaited Atmosphere. We’ve also seen Neunaber’s second incarnation of the Immerse, two very highly versatile 11-mode pedals from Electro-Harmonix and ...

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9 of the Best Compact Combined Delay and Reverb Pedals

Alexander PedalsBossDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbKeeley EngineeringMr Black PedalsMuza EffectsReverbShift LineShift Line A+WamplerZCAT Pedals+-
2018GPX9CompactEchoverbPedals700-min.jpg

This article was triggered by a question on the most recent episode of ’Know Your Gear’ (Phillip McKnight) where someone asked about a compact pedal which combined both Delay and Reverb. The ones that immediately came to my mind were the Alexander Ski Fi, Wampler Ethereal and EarthQuaker Dispatch Master But I also thought of the larger EarthQuaker Avalanche Run, GFI System Specular Tempus and the now medium enclosure Keeley Caverns V2 which are all too large for inclusion.

  ...

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12 of the Best Compact Flanger Pedals for Your Consideration

A/DA AmpsAlexander PedalsBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioDigiTechElectro-HarmonixFlangerMaxonModulationMXROld Blood Noise EndeavorsSubdecay EffectsTC Electronic+-
2018GPX12BestCompactFlangers700-min.jpg

I’m one of the relatively few players who still really likes flangers. You no longer see them that often on the typical pedalboard - as mentioned in my previous ’4 Next Level Medium to Large Enclosure Flangers’ a recent casualty to popular whims is the still excellent Chase Bliss Audio Spectre - the only pedal featured here with tap-tempo. I’ve gone with the discontinued but analogue Boss BF-2 instead of the newer digital BF-3 which does have press and hold tap-tempo ...

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12 of the Best Compact Phaser Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsBossChase Bliss AudioElectro-HarmonixFlattley Guitar PedalsModulationMXROld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserRed House ElectronicsSkreddy PedalsSubdecay EffectsTC ElectronicZvex+-
2018GPX12CompactPhasers700-min.jpg

After writing ’4 Next Level Medium Enclosure Phasers’ I thought it was time to revisit the compact format phasers to see if my take on those had changed since I last considered them. As mentioned, I currently have 3 phasers, the Chase Bliss Wombtone II, the Alexander Pedals La Calavera, and the Mini MXR Phase 95. As far as I’m concerned for quality mini phasers you’ve pretty much got MXR and Mooer - but the real competition is in the compact enclosure category as we ...

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6 Compact Multi-Modulation Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationMuza EffectsNux FXPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSouthampton PedalsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeZCAT Pedals+-
2018GPX6CompactMultiModulation700-min.jpg

When I wrote my 9 Best Modulation Workstations feature last year, I bemoaned the lack of compact-size multi-modulation pedals. In fact the only one I was really aware of then was the TC Electronic John Petrucci Signature Pedal - The Dreamscape, which I include here again as the only one of these 6 that I currently own.

 

In that same previous 9 best listing, I now own 4 of those covered - the Boss MD-500, Strymon Mobius and Eventide H9 Max besides The Dreamscape. I still have a mind to ...

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2019 50

A Tale of 2 Rats - JHS and Kinnatone Modded ProCo Rat 2 Pedals
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