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Best of High Gain and Metal Distortion Pedals Mini Focus and Final Roundup

Airis EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT EffectsAMT ElectronicsBlackhawk AmplificationBognerBossBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsGoosoniqueworxHorizon DevicesIbanezKeeley EngineeringKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioKSR CeresLone Wolf AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsMooerMulti-DriveOneControlPushking PedalsRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesSuhrTWA EffectsWamplerXvive Audio+-
2019GPXPersonalFavouriteHighGainPedals700.jpg

So I thought I would combine the Mini Pedal selection with the final overall category roundup featuring my current favourites and forthcoming/future acquisition targets. The above visual may be somewhat convoluted, but it well illustrates the trade off in footprint and practicality/utility you get across the different enclosure form factors.

 

I’ve stated before that I’ve largely moved away from the larger styles of enclosures in favour of more pedals of a more compact nature...

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24 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal Style Distortion Pedals - Updated 2019 Edition

Abasi ConceptsAiris EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT ElectronicsAnarchy AudioBlackhawk AmplificationBossDistortionDOD EffectsFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKLone Wolf AudioMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationThropyFXWamplerWeehboXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPX24CompactMetalDistortionsNovember700V2.jpg

This is an update to the feature I wrote back in March of this year. I now have more of this selection in my collection - 18 of these 24, and there are 3 pedals that are new to this updated roundup - the Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp, Blackhawk Amplifiers Balrog Distortion V3, and of course the Redbeard Effects Red Mist MKIV.

 

The 6 here that I’ve yet to acquire for my collection but which are of course all on the wishlist are the aforementioned Airis Effects Nemesis PreAmp and ...

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9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerBognerBrown Sound DistortionDiezel AmplificationDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsKlirrton ManufakturKSR AmplificationMarshall Style DistortionMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionMulti-DriveSeymour Duncan+-
2019GPX9LargeMetalPedals.jpg

This is probably the penultimate article in this series for the year - actually I might do another with my own personal favourites from all of these selections. Next up will of course be compact enclosure variants, but here we are at the other end of the scale with the Big Boxes of Metal! A reader asked me why I had not included the Friedman BE-OD Deluxe in the previous category - Horizontal Medium Enclosure - and the fact is that it’s just a touch too large. I have my own system of pedal...

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9 of the Best Vertical Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerDistortionEmma ElectronicsKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionOKKO FXPushking PedalsRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesWampler+-
2019GPXVerticalMediaMetalDistortions700.jpg

This article was sparked by the recent launch of the Andy James Signature Revenant Distortion Pedal - made by STL Tones - which are an outfit best known for their digital apps and plugins - this is their first hardware effect and is excellent regardless of a first attempt. It uses all-analogue components to recreate the Andy James tone that STL previously generated via software and DSP means.

 

Most of the other pedals here have been listed and featured before on this side - and besides ...

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9 x Red Means Marshall!

AmptweakerBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveJHS PedalsMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMI EffectsMXRSitek Guitar ElectronicsWampler+-
2019GPX9RedMeansMarshall700.jpg

This is a direct follow-up to my Pedal Primary Colour Wheel article where I noted the direct correlation between the colour Red and Marshall-style Drive and Distortion pedals. I named 6 that fitted the bill then, and I’ve found a few more to complete an elegant colour-matched grouping. The post was triggered by the original article, but also my recent acquisition of the Sitek Wuffy Distortion.

 

Note that these pedals vary between Plexi and JCM-800 styles of drive - some cover more...

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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 Circuitry+-
2019GPX16MedLargeFuzz700-min.jpg

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 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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24 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal Style Distortion Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abasi ConceptsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT ElectronicsAnarchy AudioBossDistortionDOD EffectsDunn EffectsEngl AmplificationFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKLone Wolf AudioMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionREVV AmplificationVS AudioWamplerWeehboXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPX24CompactMetalDistortions700-min.jpg

So last year I did a sort of 15 Metal Pedal overview - but I’ve come across a few more since - and there have been some new launches - so I thought it opportune to do a more extensive round-up. This is actually the first of a series of 4 articles featuring my favourite High Gain, Distortion, Fuzz and Overdrive - pedals - one feature per category - with 24 pedals in each overview. I have been doing these for the last couple of years and this is the 2019 series as such.

 

These are ...

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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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9 of the Most Distinctive Pedal Range Enclosure Designs

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOrigin EffectsStone Deaf EffectsThorpyFXVemuram+-
2019GPXDistinctEnclosureDesign700-min.jpg

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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9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"I'm pretty sure there are further innovations "...
7 days ago
9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Great article. Really, really hoping REVV gets "...
7 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Mark - wait for the next article! Which is Large E"...
9 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Hi Stefan. As always great review. Any reason the "...
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4 Cool Compact Analog Tap-Tempo Phaser Pedals
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12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
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Boss Moves Even Further Ahead with its New and Improved MKII Katana Amp Range
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06-Oct-2019
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