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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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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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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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Best of Canadian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

6 Degrees FXAleks K ProductionAnalog DelayBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDiamond PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEmpress EffectsFairfield CircuitryFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGround Control AudioIndustrialectricKingsley AmplifiersKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMontreal AssemblyMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserRadial EngineeringRat Style FuzzRetro-SonicREVV AmplificationSilicon FuzzSolidGoldFXSonic CrayonSouthampton PedalsSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTone Hungry EffectsToneboneTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWounded Paw Audio+-
2018GPXCanadianPedals700V6-min.jpg

This follows on from my earlier article on British Pedal Builders - I had no immediate plans to do a series of these, but there are definitely certain nations that excel in pedal-making which I quite enjoy featuring. I need not really include the most prodigious - the USA as most pedals still come from there, but will focus on some of the smaller nations and do fairly compact roundups of each. As I said I had no plans originally beyond British, but will likely do French, German, Italian, ...

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4 Dedicated Compact Vibrato Pedals for Your Consideration

BossChorus and VibratoDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesModulationTC Electronic+-
2018GPX4CompactVibratoPedals700-min.jpg

So this article was obviously triggered by the recent EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct Vibrato pedal launch. At the time only two other dedicated Vibrato pedals sprung to mind - the old classic Boss VB-2 and TC Electronic’s Shaker pedal. I had quite forgotten about the DigiTech Stereo Ventura Vibe - which I had actually acquired as a backup - for its stereo rotary mode.

 

The vast majority of ’Vibrato’ pedals out there tend to be the more classic pairing of Chorus/Vibrato. ...

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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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6 Compact Multi-Modulation Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationMuza EffectsNux FXPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSouthampton PedalsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeZCAT Pedals+-
2018GPX6CompactMultiModulation700-min.jpg

When I wrote my 9 Best Modulation Workstations feature last year, I bemoaned the lack of compact-size multi-modulation pedals. In fact the only one I was really aware of then was the TC Electronic John Petrucci Signature Pedal - The Dreamscape, which I include here again as the only one of these 6 that I currently own.

 

In that same previous 9 best listing, I now own 4 of those covered - the Boss MD-500, Strymon Mobius and Eventide H9 Max besides The Dreamscape. I still have a mind to ...

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Best of Summer NAMM 2018 - Pedals, Guitars and Amps

Alexander PedalsAmp CabinetAmp HeadAmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDwarfcraftEVH GearFenderFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGigging AmpGlitchGuitar AccessoriesGuitarsHome-Play AmpHungry Robot EffectsKlone and Transparent OverdriveKorora AudioLo-Fi DelayMagnetic EffectsMassive UnityMatthews EffectsMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOffset GuitarsOhmless PedalsOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSoundBrutS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsSuhrTape DelayThe King of GearTube AmpTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityWay Huge EffectsWireless+-
2018GPXSummerNAMMPedals700V3.jpg

I always expect to be excited by the new prospects introduced at Summer NAMM, but it can be somewhat antic-climactic, particularly compared to this year’s very formidable Winter NAMM show. Several pedals that were announced there are still alas somewhat in the ether. I was expecting to see updates of the Empress Zoia and the Keeley Stereo Tape Delay pedal - but those were not forthcoming, which most probably means some production delays - I certainly can’t imagine the Zoia is going ...

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What Two Years of Tone-Questing Looks Like - Acquisitions, Passes and Still Probables

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsDunlop UltexElectro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar AccessoriesGuitarsKatanaMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOverdrivePaul Reed SmithPicks and PlectrumsPitchPRSReverbReverb WorkstationS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStrymonUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2016AfBlgToneQuest700-min

As stated elsewhere, I got back into guitar again in September 2016, and initially had decided to keep it simple with a great guitar and a cool modern modelling amp. Yet I soon found out that this was not delivering the goods for me and decided in November 2016 that I should pursue the pedal / stompbox route also known as ’pedal platform route’.

 

A very great number of YouTube videos I watched in those early days, as well as pedalboard pictures on Pinterest featured Strymon ...

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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 "...
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Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
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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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