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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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9 of the Best Chase Bliss Audio Pedals - A Full House at last!

Analog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulated FuzzModulationMulti-DriveOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPXChaseBlissFullHouse700-min.jpg

With the recent launch of the superb and innovative Dark World Reverb Joel Korte’s Chase Bliss Audio can now provide you with a full pedalboard’s complement of stompboxes. It’s with some sadness that I bemoan the retirement of the still superb Spectre BKM Flanger - it obviously wasn’t shifting enough units to keep its place in the lineup - but I still love and support it!

 

I really don’t think that the Dark World will ever experience similar issues - who&...

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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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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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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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The Key Pedal Enclosure Sizes you are most likely to encounter

BossChase Bliss AudioDecibelicsEmpress EffectsEventideGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesMerisPigtronixSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymon+-
2018GPXKeyEnclosureSizes700-min.jpg

I don’t know whether I’m particularly unique in this regard, but form-factor and enclosure size / dimensions are a key criteria for me within the pedal-acquisition process / work-flow. I have very obvious favourites, and if a pedal goes much beyond those key dimensions it lessens its appeal for me. For a while this mean that I was not at all comfortable with ThorpyFX enclosures as they are both slightly fatter, and considerable longer than the typical ’Compact’ enclosure...

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3 of the Best Next Level Compact Boost + EQ + PreAmp Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBufferChase Bliss AudioEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationOverdriveThorpyFXUtility+-
2018GPX3SpecialCompactBoostEQ700-min.jpg

All three of the above pedals are exceptional, and I’m a big fan of all these pedal-makers. As reported in the recent 12 Degrees of Saturation article - I like having an always on Boost pedal to enhance my tone - add warmth and sparkle, as well as even out the core tonal characteristics. Right from the start I had a Xotic EP Boost at the start of the chain to set the core tone for the rig - while I’ve always also had a Boss GE-7 EQ after my ’Dirt Section’. Initially both...

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12 Degrees of Saturation - Key Guitar Boost, Overdrive, Fuzz and Distortion Sounds - Updated Methodology for 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBogner AmplificationBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCustom TonesDecibelicsDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsFeaturedFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHudson ElectronicsJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzREVV AmplificationShift LineSilicon FuzzSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsSuhrSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX12DegreesSaturationWheelV3700-min.jpg

UPDATE - Based on feedback and input I’ve tweaked some of the pedal placements - the core methodology still stands, while relatively positioning of certain pedals can be fairly nuanced!

 

This subject matter has become the most popular of all the different articles I’ve posted. And the original piece went up in February 2017 - so I felt it was opportune to revisit, review and revise that original methodology. I’ve tried to strip out the more branded naming conventions ...

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The Kind of Pedal I would love to see Joel Korte do next

Chase Bliss AudioFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesSilicon FuzzSpaceman Effects+-
2018GPXChaseBlissSisters700-min.jpg

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of both Chase Bliss Audio and Spaceman Effects pedals (currently having 6 pedals from each of those genius pedal-makers), as well as being a huge Fuzz fan. I’ve long desired the discontinued Gemini III Dual Fuzz Generator for a while now, but they are very rarely seen on Reverb.com and when they do appear are typically around the £1000+ mark which is highly prohibitive - considering I would then have to pay delivery, customs and import ...

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12 of the Best Compact Chorus+Vibrato Pedals

ArionBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDawner Prince EffectsDryBell EffectsEWS EffectsGreenhouse EffectsJHS PedalsModulationMXRNeunaberTC ElectronicUni-Vibe and VibeWalrus AudioWay Huge Effects+-
2018GPX12CompactChoruses700-min.jpg

The key effect of the 80’s seems to be coming back into vogue again, and it has quickly risen from nice-to-have to essential status for me. This really happened when I acquired the Boss MD-500 - whose Chorus, Filter, Flanger and Phaser modes I love in particular. When the Strymon Mobius was in that slot I did not particularly rate its choruses, while I find the Boss ones pretty stellar - including all the stereo Dimensions modes.

 

So I decided fairly early on this year that I ...

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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
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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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