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Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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24 of the Best Compact Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abracadabra AudioAnarchy AudioAnasoundsBasic AudioBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBossChase Bliss AudioDr ScientistFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMagnetic EffectsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPaul Trombetta DesignPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsZvex+-
2019GOX24CompactFuzze700s-min.jpg

So you may have read last year that I went a little overboard with fuzz type pedals - aiming initially to build up an essential reference collection of 30 of the best - I then published my ’2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest’ just about half way through that year - featuring 40 pedals, and right now, my current fuzz quota is running at exactly 100 pedals - with 82 compacts, 11 minis and 7 medium to large pedals making up the collection.

 

This overview is 24 of the best ’...

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9 of the Best Compact Multi-Drive Pedals

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHamstead SoundworksKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSinvertekSubdecay EffectsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPX9BestCompactMultidrives700-min.jpg

I’m known for my 12 Degrees of Saturation Methodology and organising drive/dirt pedals into a specific category. I do however also like multi-talented multi-tankers, and have always had one or two all-rounder multi-drive overdrives in my pedal-chain. In fact of the 9 listed here I have all but the last featured, which also happens to be the most recently released - by Greek Boutique Builder Tsakalis - that pedal is currently only available in Greece - direct from the maker and from one or...

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Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThopyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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Chase Bliss Audio Collaborates with Benson Amps to Deliver the Ultimate Drive Pedal - the Automatone PreAmp MKII

AutomatoneBenson AmpsBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveFuzzGated and Velcro FuzzMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2019GPXAutomatonePreAmpMKII700-min.jpg

It’s a little early to call it - in fact a full day ahead of the opening of this year’s Winter NAMM, but it looks like Joel Korte has stolen the show here! In recent weeks I have been getting to grips with the superb BYOC Crown Jewel - and I stated several times in that review - how much impact presets could have for such a pedal.

 

And while the Automatone PreAmp MKII does not have quite as many tone-sculpting and clipping options as the Crown Jewel, it shares a great many ...

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9 of the Most Distinctive Pedal Range Enclosure Designs

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOrigin EffectsStone Deaf EffectsThropyFXVemuram+-
2019GPXDistinctEnclosureDesign700-min.jpg

When I did my various country-based pedal-builder overviews I came across a large number of pedals which looked either too samey or else were somewhat unimpactful aesthetically and/or thematically. A significant part of my day job consists of Brand Stategy / Brand Engineering and Design Consultancy and part of me always wants to improve things and make them better - whether that is wanted or not - so you can heed this advice or ignore as you feel pertinent.

 

For pedal-makers, the ...

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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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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 LabReverbReverb 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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News Navigation

2019 46

The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"William - I've decided to include Servus! Pedale "...
6 days ago
The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"William - I'm not sure this comment is on the "...
6 days ago
The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"Thank you very much for the info. Really helpful. "...
6 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Luis - indeed - I think prices are largely best "...
7 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Just because of price I am thinking between the "...
7 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"This is the closest to what I'm looking for! : "...
14 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"Thanks for the tip - already checked that one out "...
14 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I recommend you check out a Black Arts Toneworks S"...
14 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I saw your « prototype » of an evolved version of "...
14 days ago
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