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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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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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A Quick Overview on the Best of the OneControl Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzMarshall Style DistortionOneControlOverdriveTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXOneControlMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So OneControl is sort of 1 corner of the Björn Juhl empire as such - as he designs pedals for his own BJF line, Bearfoot FX in the USA, Mad Professor in Finland, and largely mini pedals for Japan’s OneControl - although a couple of compact pedals have also been released now.

 

Many of you will know OneControl through its excellent utility and loop-switching pedals - like the Crocodile Tail. I though know them entirely through their Björn-Juhl-designed drive pedals. In ...

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A Quick Overview on the Best of the Mooer Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXMooerMiniDriveStortion700-min.jpg

After doing the recent Mooer Micro PreAmp pedals overview I thought I should check in on its original range of Overdrives, Fuzzes and Distortions to see how well those still stand up. In fact I have 3 of these pedals that I use every now and again - and the Blues Mood is one of my favourite mini pedals of all time, it was even one of my favourite overdrives for a good couple of years.

 

Most of you will be familiar with most of these as they can pretty much be found everywhere, and are ...

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Which are the Best of the Mooer Micro PreAmp Pedals?

Boost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerMulti-DriveOverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2018GPXBestMooerMicroPreAmps700-min.jpg

With the last couple of pedals in the series due to be released this week in theory, I thought it opportune to do a proper overview of the Mooer Micro PreAmp series / range. I am a fan of Mooer pedals in general and have a handful in my collection - albeit none in the current active pedal-chain, but I have always been really impressed with the Black Secret, Blues Mood, E-Lady, Hustle Drive and Trelicopter in particular. In any case, when these pedals were first released there was a slew of just...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Extreme High Gain / Metal Style Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerDistortionMetal DistortionMooerREVV AmplificationWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeExtremHighGain700-min.jpg

So hopefully you have already read my High Gain / Metal Style Pedals article - as this really is a follow-up to that. I determine ’Extreme’ as the more modern metal tone with mid-push and super tight percussive sound. A number of these pedals are highly capable and versatile though - so it really depends how you set them up and how much gain you have dialled in. In any case these are typically the ones at the higher end of that spectrum.

 

There’s not too much between ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large High Gain / Metal Style Distortion Pedals

DistortionEmpress EffectsKeeley EngineeringMetal DistortionMooerRockfabrik Effects+-
2018GPX4SizeHighGain700-min.jpg

I will preface this article by stating that I’ve split the High Gain Distortion into two categories - High Gain and Extreme High Gain - where the latter has a more pronounced and slightly tighter punchy mid-range gain structure typically. With these pedals though and their many settings you can largely get the same degree and type of distortion within both groups - so it really does depend very much on how you dial things in - as an example the Rock Fabrik’s Mind Abuse has 3 ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large EVH Brown Sound Style Pedals

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionEVH ElectronicsMarshall Style DistortionMI EffectsMXRSuhrWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeBrownSound700-min.jpg

I’ve already mentioned that the treble-boosted Vox-style distortion a la Brian May is one of my favourite higher gain tones. The other being Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Variac-attenuated Marshall distortion with added flanger and phaser. I like this sound so much I have a number of dedicated pedals for this purpose - compact and mini. The first foray into this was the Mad Professor #1, then Suhr Riot, Bogner Burnley, and for the longest time now - my favourite - the V2 MI Effects ...

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

DistortionFriedman EffectsMarshall Style DistortionOrigin EffectsWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX4SizePlexiDrives700-min.jpg

Next to the Tube Screamer, the Marshall Plexi sound is probably the second most cloned sound around and particularly in pedal format. You have a huge variety of Plexi pedals to choose from - with no signs of its popularity ever likely to wane. I’ve used a number of pedals over the years for my main Plexi sound - including the Empress Multidrive - which I actually included this time around in the OCD / Crunchy Overdrive style selection. My current champion is the superb Origin Effects ...

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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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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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