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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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10 of the Best New Guitar Amps Released in 2018

3rd Power AmpsAmp CabinetAmp HeadAmpsBossCombo AmpGigging AmpHome-Play AmpKoch AmpsMESA/BoogieModelling AmpPaul Reed SmithPRSSolid State AmpSuproTube AmpVox Amplifcation+-
2018GPXBestNewAmps2018700-min.jpg

I feel Boss still kind of bossed it in 2018 - with 3 heavy hitters that took on all-comers in those categories - the Katana Air, Katana Artist and Nextone Artist - a trio pretty much suited for any sort of conditions - the first as the best of the portable practice amps - and the latter two as the ultimate versatile gigging-machines - for those that still like to lug amps around.

 

I feel that this sort of cabinet form factor of amp will be largely restricted to more fixed locations as ...

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12 of the Best Compact Reverb Pedals

Alexander PedalsAmbient EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDigital ReverbDigiTechDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixMad ProfessorMXRNeunaberPlate 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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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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15 of the Best Compact High Gain and Metal style Distortion Pedals

Aleks K ProductionAmptweakerAnarchy AudioBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDOD EffectsEngl AmplificationFriedman EffectsKeeley EngineeringKHDKMarshall Style DistortionMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionREVV AmplificationVS AudioWamplerXIX Tech FX+-
2018GPX15MetalPedals700-min.jpg

This article was prompted by my earlier piece on the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal / Alternatives, as well as a reader request to review the KHDK Dark Blood. As always though I never review anything in isolation - I try to take the pulse on the larger category and see what pedals are competing in that category and are worthy of consideration.

 

Even metal pedals as such have varying degrees of distortion, but I’ve tried to focus on those here that are intended as principally high ...

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Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives

Abominable ElectronicsAnarchy AudioArionBehringerBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDOD EffectsDunn EffectsDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioKeeleyKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionTC ElectronicWalrus AudioWren and CuffXIX Tech FX+-
2018GPXBossHM2Clones700-min.jpg

In the wake of the new and admittedly really cool Waza Craft Edition of the Metal Zone - the MT-2w, there were nonetheless lots of Boss fans who were super surprised that Boss had seen fit to do a Waza edition of a pedal that has been in continuous production since its release in 1991, versus the long-discontinued cult favourite HM-2 (1983-1992) which is likely its most popular pedal on the second-hand market, and which likely also has the most number of clones in that marketplace.

 

The...

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2018GPXBossWazaDC2MT2700-min.jpg

I’m not in the slightest bit surprised to see the new DC-2w Dimensions C chorus-like pedal (Spectral Enhancer) - as it was something I indicated in my last ’35 Boss Pedals’ Round-up that Boss should be looking into - considering the high demand for those on the second-hand market and the correspondingly high prices therefore for those 1980’s discontinued version (1985-1989). Those of us who have the MD-500 Modulation Workstation Pedal are also very aware of how great ...

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12 of the Best Compact Analog Delay Pedals

Analog DelayBondi EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDelayElectro-HarmonixFoxgearJHS PedalsMaxonMXRSeymour DuncanSinvertekStone Deaf EffectsWay Huge Effects+-
2018GPX12CompactAnalogDelays700-min.jpg

There have been a number of new Analog Delay Pedals released this year and with the most recent release of the Bondi Effects Art Van Delay - I thought it opportune to do a round-up. When I last featured 12 of the Best Analog Delays - I covered pedals of all sizes - while here I’m just focusing on the compact enclosure ones. In fact I’ve made a slight concession towards the Stone Deaf Syncopy which is slightly over-sized - or the same size as its tremendous Tremotron Tremolo sibling ...

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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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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

2018 50

Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"I would say that the Keeley gets you into the "...
19 days ago
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"Can Keeley Filaments achieve shoegaze walls of "...
19 days ago
Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general
"Proin faucibus quis ante volutpats posuere. Etiam "...
05-Sep-2018
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"Ben, thank you for your input - I will keep this "...
04-Sep-2018
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"The Mr. Black Tapex 2 should definitely be up "...
04-Sep-2018
Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general
"There's a couple of points I left out here - "...
23-Aug-2018
4 of the Best Mini Klone Pedals
"To add to this - I was so impressed when I got "...
19-Aug-2018
4 Next Level Medium to Large Enclosure Flangers
"Footnote 1 - The EQD Pyramids is DSP not Analogue"
08-Aug-2018
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