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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large HM-2 Clones

DecibelicsDistortionDunwich AmplificationLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionXIX Tech FX+-
2019GPXMiniMaxHM2Style700-min.jpg

As covered on a number of posts on this site - I’ve been a long time fan of the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal - which alas has been out of production since 1992. In the meantime a whole host of pedal-builders have stepped up to fill the gap as the number of pristine HM-2 pedals becomes ever more scarce. In fact I’ve not seen a properly ’Mint’ version on Reverb.com for a long while - too many sellers misuse that term in any case as Mint means pedal is actually and literally...

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Best of Spanish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Aclam Products for GuitarAnalog ReverbAnanashead EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDecibelicsDistortionDon Poniz FXDriveDual-DriveEffectivy Wonder PedalsEffects Pedal MakersEl Músico Loco FXFuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMegaBeat AudioModulationOverdrivePhaserReverbThermionThunderTomateTone Bender Style FuzzUtilityVolumeVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBestOfSpanishBuilders700-min.jpg

As I assumed per my first couple of recce’s - Spain was going to be a tricky territory to cover/feature compared to all the others that came before it - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Greece. None of the current Spanish builders have yet attained wholly global recognition as of the moment - unlike a number of brands from the other featured countries.

 

Probably the most significant Spanish builder to-date has been Roberto García and his ThunderTomate brand - ...

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2019GPXDecibelicsAngrySwedeProto700V2-min.jpg

It’s long been a mystery why the enduringly popular Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal has been out of production for quite so long - being as it at the root of the key Swedish Death Metal genre/movement, and still the weapon of choice for many of the best practitioners of that art. A pristine HM-2 on Reverb.com is becoming increasingly rare, and when it does appear its pricing is often quite frankly ridiculous.

Super Tone Shaper Guillem Vilademunt of Decibelics / Golden Horse fame has been hard ...

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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 WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz 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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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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20 Favourite Boutique Style Mini Drive and Distortion Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDriveEWS EffectsF-PedalsIbanezKeeley EngineeringKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXROverdrivePigtronixSuhrTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic EffectsXvive Audio+-
2018GPX20FavouriteMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So I’ve covered off a large variety of mini Drive and Distortion pedals in these last few features - starting with the 4-Size key enclosure type articles, then Mooer Micro PreAmps, then the older Mooer Minis, and most recently - the OneControl offerings in that area. This article is essentially a collection of the remaining mini drive and distortion pedals I rate from a variety of pedal-builders. They are not all strictly ’Boutique’ but I felt they fit best within that ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Klon Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveDecibelicsKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRProAnalog DevicesWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeKloneSelection700-min.jpg

The recent arrival of the V2 ProAnalog Devices Manticore was the catalyst for this series of articles. Where I select my own personal favourite pick for each of the key enclosure sizes. Anyone who has ever assembled a pedalboard or pedal-chain will know that you need to make some hard decisions along the way - based on exactly what you can fit in. Hence I give you options right along the scale from Mini, to Compact, Medium and Large.

 

Usually you get increased functionality and feature ...

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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 WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz 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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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 FuzzToneQuestTrue North PedalsTubescreamer 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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News Navigation

2019 50

6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Jerome - Alas no I have not had the opportunity "...
20 days ago
6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Hi Stefan, Thank you for another insightful "...
20 days ago
2 Polyrhythmic Pattern Tremolos - Malekko Goatkeeper vs Subdecay TremCoder
"Well I can't really get one now anyway, I'd just "...
23 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Mark - I'm sure there are several more that could "...
25 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Catalinbread Harmonic Mesmerizer definately needs "...
25 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Indeed - REVV make great amps and pedals - "...
25 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Boy their stuff is so good... Really hope to see "...
25 days ago
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