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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDedalo FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRainger FXRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXWinterNammHighlights700.jpg

So despite the perilous state of the world, the first NAMM of the new decade actually turned out to be pretty stellar. I had thought that last year’s exceptional show might end up as the all-time high water mark - but this one turned out just as many pleasant surprises.

 

Slightly different to last year there were a more significant number of pedals announced and launched in advance of the show - while a lot of pedals at the show had very little by way of collateral and some are ...

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Sinvertek Delivers the most amazing, most fully-featured amp-like Compact Drive/Distortion/PreAmp Pedal in the shape of the Drive N5 Plus

AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePreAmpSinvertek+-
2019GPXSinvertekDriveN5PlusMarkUp700.jpg

I’ve been a huge fan of the Sinvertek ’5’ series distortion pedals - owning all three in succession - the No.5 Distortion, the N5 Drive and now the N5 Drive Plus - in all its 7-knobs and 5-toggle-switches glory. This was actually my last pedal to arrive last year - in that it arrived just before Christmas. I had been chasing it since its June Summer NAMM announcement - but it wasn’t released until December of last year.

 

I’ve been patiently waiting for some...

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Updates on the forthcoming Jackson Audio Pedals including the El Guapo Programmable Distortion + Overdrive, Golden Boy Programmable Overdrive + Boost and the Modular Fuzz + Octave

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2020GPXJacksonAudioElGuapo700.jpg

Contrary to my original analysis - all 3 pedals are actually pretty well rounded and ready to go - while Jackson Audio want to give each a chance to reach their intended audience - meaning a staggered release - with the first to be made available being Joey Landreth’s signature Golden Boy Overdrive ($299) - pre-orders will be up any day soon with shipping due to start in February. The pedal gets its name from a statue which sits atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in Joey’s home ...

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Origin Effects Celebrates further classic amps at NAMM with a New Beefier RevivalDRIVE Hot Rod Edition and RevivalTREM Fender Amp-style Overdrive with Bias Tremolo

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOrigin EffectsOverdriveTremolo+-
2020GPXOriginEffectsNAMMRevival700.jpg

We had seen teaser images of both pedals prior to NAMM and for the RevivalDRIVE I wasn’t sure if it was just a different colourway, but it was pretty obvious that the smaller of the new pedals was most likely some sort of Tremolo variant - and we now of course have confirmation that it’s actually based on a 1962 Fender Deluxe Brownface combo amp.

 

I was of course a big fan of the RevivalDRIVE when it first came out and was one of the first to snap it up and write a fairly ...

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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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Boss OD-200 Hybrid Drive In-Depth Review and Long-Term Impressions

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXIndepthBossOD200700V6.jpg

This review has taken somewhat longer than I intended - partly because of the considerable scope of variations covered by this pedal, and partly because of my ongoing changing adapted approach to deploying the pedal. My first instincts always seems to lean towards a philosophy of replication and replacement - that is to say trying to figure out which of my preferred / favourite dirt pedals can this one competently stand in for and replace if need be. I have lots of favourite fuzz, drive and ...

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Tone City Collaborates with Two Celebrated Andertons Staffers for Artist Editions of its Mandragora and Wild Fire Gain Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveTone City+-
2019GPXToneCityAndertonsCollabs700.jpg

I’m occasionally chastised by readers for not featuring enough lower cost pedals on this site - which is a somewhat unfair criticism really as I try to be as value-minded as possible - and do genuinely love pedals at all levels - and am ever on the look out for a bargain or two for myself.

 

Most will already know Tone City as an even more affordable Mooer-style mostly mini pedal operation, while most are not aware that lead engineer / circuit-designer J. Wong used to be at Movall ...

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17 Leading Pedal Builders Coordinate Blacked Out Stealth Black Enclosure Limited Editions for Black Friday Event Today!

Adventure AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCaroline Guitar CompanyChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDunable PedalsEarthQuaker DevicesElectronic Audio ExperimentsFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLand DevicesLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRed Panda LabReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbTape DelayTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus AudioZvex+-
2019GBX19BlackedXOutMain700V2.jpg

Near the start of this week we saw several leading pedal builder brands go all mysterious on us posting an encircled (B) logo ident accompanied by the hashtag #BLACKEDXOUT on various social media. Many thought this to mean some sort of limited or black edition pedals for the Black Friday ’sales’, while I wrongly guessed it implied a Black Friday Sales boycott.

 

This afternoon all was revealed when 17 Brands together released all-black stealth-like enclosures for one or a few...

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Seymour Duncan Unleashes 70's/80's Half-Stack Inspired Chewy Harmonics High Gain Diamondhead Multistage Distortion + Boost

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionDual-DriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionSeymour Duncan+-
2019GPXSeymoutDuncanDiamondHead700.jpg

By all accounts a rather fabulous and timely pedal, in a great form factor, yet a couple of things have me a touch peeved from the outset. One fairly minor, while the other is likely a lot more significant. On the minor side - I always get somewhat annoyed when builders are overly opaque about the mechanics of their pedals. Seymour Duncan does not mention what manner of technology generates the tone, while one would guesstimate OpAmp as the likeliest source - I am one of those who likes to know...

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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show
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