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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 EffectsReverbReverb 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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20 Favourite Boutique Style Mini Drive and Distortion Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDriveEWS EffectsF-PedalsIbanezKeeley EngineeringKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXROverdrivePigtronixSuhrTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic EffectsXvive Audio+-
2018GPX20FavouriteMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So I’ve covered off a large variety of mini Drive and Distortion pedals in these last few features - starting with the 4-Size key enclosure type articles, then Mooer Micro PreAmps, then the older Mooer Minis, and most recently - the OneControl offerings in that area. This article is essentially a collection of the remaining mini drive and distortion pedals I rate from a variety of pedal-builders. They are not all strictly ’Boutique’ but I felt they fit best within that ...

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A Quick Overview on the Best of the OneControl Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzMarshall Style DistortionOneControlOverdriveTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXOneControlMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So OneControl is sort of 1 corner of the Björn Juhl empire as such - as he designs pedals for his own BJF line, Bearfoot FX in the USA, Mad Professor in Finland, and largely mini pedals for Japan’s OneControl - although a couple of compact pedals have also been released now.

 

Many of you will know OneControl through its excellent utility and loop-switching pedals - like the Crocodile Tail. I though know them entirely through their Björn-Juhl-designed drive pedals. In ...

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A Quick Overview on the Best of the Mooer Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXMooerMiniDriveStortion700-min.jpg

After doing the recent Mooer Micro PreAmp pedals overview I thought I should check in on its original range of Overdrives, Fuzzes and Distortions to see how well those still stand up. In fact I have 3 of these pedals that I use every now and again - and the Blues Mood is one of my favourite mini pedals of all time, it was even one of my favourite overdrives for a good couple of years.

 

Most of you will be familiar with most of these as they can pretty much be found everywhere, and are ...

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

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCMooerStrymon+-
2018GPX4SizeBluesDrivers700-min.jpg

The first overdrive I was properly enamoured with was funnily enough the Mooer Blues Mood - set to the Fat Mode with Gain around 1 o’clock. I always intended to get a proper Keeley Phat-modified Blues Driver but for a long time struggled to find one in reasonable condition and at a reasonable price. Then came the Boss JB-2 Angry Driver which allowed you to mix the Blues Driver circuit with JHS’s Angry Charlie circuit to great effect - but I found that long term I was gravitating ...

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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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The Art of Dialling It In - How to Tweak and Pivot Certain Drive and Fuzz Pedals

Basic AudioBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJacques StompboxesMetal DistortionOverdriveWampler+-
2018GPXPedalDIalling700-min.jpg

The above pictured assortment are all pedals where you can easily go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. I often read bizarre comments on Pedalboards of Doom how such and such a pedal is rubbish and overrated - where often it’s a case of mistaken identity and misuse. The first pedal I bought which I had major issues with was the Boss DS-1 Distortion. It sounded nothing like various demos I had heard, and to my ears sounded actually nothing like a distortion at all.

&...

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UK Guitar Show at Olympia Highlights - Pedals and Guitars

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferCompressorCrimson GuitarsDistortionDriveEQFlattley Guitar PedalsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanGuitarsHeadless GuitarsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMetal GuitarsOffset GuitarsOverdriveRat Style FuzzReiver GuitarsSBC GuitarsSG-Style GuitarsSilicon FuzzS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStone Wolf GuitarsThorpyFXT-Style GuitarsUK Guitar ShowUnique-Shaped GuitarsUtilityValenti GuitarsWalrus Audio+-
2018GPXThorpyFXGuitarShowPB700V2-min.jpg

So I attended the inaugural Future Publishing UK Guitar Show this past Saturday at the Olympia Exhibition Centre London - Levels 2 & 3. It was not the most auspicious day for an event in London, considering there was a strike on the Piccadilly line, and the important chunks of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines were down for maintenance. I therefore ’tubed’ it to Shepherd’s Bush or Westfield essentially, and walked down from there - a ...

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Brian Wampler - King of Drive!

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWampler+-
2018GPXWamplerKingOfDrive700V4-min 2.jpg

I have a lot of respect for Brian Wampler and his pedals, and already have five in the collection. It is with some sadness that the last active one of those in my chain - the long-serving Mini Ego Compressor is on the point of being ousted by the Jackson Audio Bloom. But Brian of course is still a master pedal craftsman and no one on the boutique side or any side for that manner has as many well-loved overdrives and distortions. And a Wampler pedal will soon appear once more on active duty in ...

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Pedal-Chain State of the Union Autumn Harvest & End of Year Upheavals

Abracadabra AudioAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCustom TonesDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezel AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPXSKSignalChainMkVII700-min.jpg

UPDATE 1 - It’s often the case that just after you publish, something big happens which forces a change of stance. On this occasion it was the release of the truly amazing Wampler Pantheon Overdrive which has immediately found its way into Slot #10 of the chain. In fact I have sort of swapped slots #10 and #12 around - relegating the Spaceman Aphelion to a supporting role for now.

 

UPDATE 2 - Still no word from Jackson Audio on the delayed Bloom Compressor etc. - which means the ...

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News Navigation

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"There's a couple of points I left out here - "...
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19-Aug-2018
4 Next Level Medium to Large Enclosure Flangers
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08-Aug-2018
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