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24 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2019 Edition

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSide EffectsSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2019GPX24CompactOverdrives700-min.jpg

For this particular selection I tried to get in as diverse number of types, along with all the usual favourites - every year I have readers asking me why I left this one or that one out - so this year is the time for including Menatone in the selection. Obviously between years some pedals rise in prominence while others fall - my intentions are always to provide as broad a selection as possible while still covering all my own personal favourites.

 

There are a few new entrants since 2018...

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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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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Blues Breaker Style Pedals

Analog.ManBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveMooerTech 21 NYCWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeBluesBreakers700-min.jpg

Before I get properly started on this post I want to dampen down the emotions of some of the gainsayers who actively contend that the King of Tone is not a Blues Breaker style pedal. In Mike Piera’s own words he describes how the King of Tone pedal evolved, and yes the initial inspiration and starting block was the MK1 Marshall Blues Breaker pedal, even though of course Mike’s final circuit is significantly enhanced and eventually highly differentiated from that it is still an ...

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12 of the Best Compact Bluesbreaker-style Pedals

Analog.ManBoost and OverdriveChicago StompworkscmatmodsGoudie FXJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringMojo Hand FXOverdriveRockBoxSnouse Electric CompanyVFE PedalsVick AudioWampler+-
2018GPX12BluesbreakerStylePedals700-min.jpg

This is essentially the last piece I will do in a while on the Wampler Pantheon - which I am so enchanted by currently. I honestly feel it’s Brian’s best pedal to date, and I was a huge fan of both the versions of Tumnus and Euphoria. The Pantheon comes into a pretty crowded arena where there are already a number of stellar pedals present.

 

There’s a lot of debate about whether a pedal is a clone of a certain circuit which I always find kind of overly academic - and I ...

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The Vagaries of Whimsical Waiting Lists and Small Batch Production Pedals

Abracadabra AudioAnalog.ManBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveCustom TonesDelayDigital DelayDistortionDriveDual-DriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGranular DelayHudson ElectronicsIron EtherKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMontreal AssemblyMulti-DriveOddball DelayOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePaul Trombetta DesignRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzToneczarTremoloTrue North Pedals+-
2018GPXWaitingListPedals700-min.jpg

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Mike Piera’s much in demand Analog.Man King of Tone dual channel overdrive - and the fact that if you want one you need to sign up to a waiting list - which means a typical waiting period of one year or more. I believe in extreme cases this has stretched to nearly 2 years, but my understanding is that most buyers get their hand-made pedal within about a year or so. The Analog.Man is still pretty unique in that it comes with a plethora of options - ...

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12 of the Best Analogue Delay Pedals for Your Consideration - 2018 Update

Analog DelayAnalog.ManBossChase Bliss AudioDelayDOD EffectsElectro-HarmonixIbanezJHS PedalsMoog EffectsMXRSeymour DuncanWalrus AudioWay Huge Effects+-
2018AfBlgAnalogDelay700V2-min

The original of this is one of my most popular articles - which I’ve decided needs some minor updates for 2018. One pedal is changed, but the rest stand the test of time although another one is sort of discontinued too. I have also adjusted the proportional pedal size in the above image to give a clearer indication of size variances - do note that this is still relatively rough and is intended as a loose approximation only. I may update this article further after Summer Namm, as I am ...

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Buying Modded Pedals - 20 of the Best Types

Alchemy AudioAnalog.ManBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKinnatoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMatthews EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMXRNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePitchTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgModdedPedals700-min

I am a huge fan of Modified / Modded pedals, and often wait a week or two on EHX releases to see if JHS doesn’t have some key updates for me for a relatively minor additional cost. I have too many times foolishly overlooked modified pedals, having bought the Xotic trifecta in its original form, as well as way too many Boss pedals initially in their original versions - where there are often as many as half a dozen alternative / tweaked versions available for relatively meagre additional ...

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Comparative Guitar Pedal Acquisition Strategy - 210 Compact Pedal Edition

Analog.ManBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCustom TonesDelayDistortionElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFulltone EffectsFuzzGreer AmpsGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKeeley EngineeringKHDKMad Professor EffectsMI EffectsModulationMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsNobelsPaul CochranePitchReverbRockBoxSide EffectsTC ElectronicUtilityWamplerWren and CuffXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlg35BoostOverdrives700-min

I am known for writing lists and cross-tabulating and cross-referencing the contents thereof while I consider which is the best / preferred choice for me. Note that there is never really a ’best’ overall pedal, simply the one that best fits your circumstances and needs. I have lots of characteristics and attributes I look for - including a compact pedal enclosure size, with versatility and added smarts - great tone is sort of a given here. I an one of those tone-tweakers who quite ...

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24 of the Best Overdrive Pedals - 2018 Compact Edition

Analog.ManBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveMad Professor EffectsMI EffectsMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsNobelsOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneRockBoxSide EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2018AfBlg24CompactOverdrives700-min

As an update to last year’s piece, and in line with my slightly tighter real estate now (39 pedals), I have decided to go all out on compact format pedals on this occasion. As a subset of my ’12 Degrees of Saturation’ we are dealing with stages 2 to 6 in essence, which largely covers 6 families of overdrives in order of how I set their gain level (increasing amounts) - ’Klon’ type, ’Tubescreamer’, ’Dumble’, ’Blues Driver’, &rsquo...

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12 of the Best Envelope Filter Pedals - 2018 Edition

3Leaf AudioAnalog.ManDeath By AudioDwarfcraftEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahModulationMojo Hand FXMu-TronPigtronixSubdecay EffectsVFE PedalsWMD Devices+-
2018AfBlg12FilterPedals700V2

UPDATE - When I originally wrote this piece in October of last year, I seem to have overlooked some of the more compact pedals - possibly because they were hard to get or out of stock at the time. Now as my pedal-chain has reached 39 slots, there is no way I could accommodate anything beyond a compact-size pedal - so I’ve appended those original choices to this features - namely the Analog.Man Block Letter Envelope Filter, the Mu-FX Micro-Tron III and VFE Mini Mu.

 

I have already ...

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