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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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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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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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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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Keeley Engineering getting busy with Limited Edition Runs

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDr ScientistEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulation WorkstationOverdriveReverbRotary SpeakerSpaceman EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtility+-
2018GPXKeeleyLimited700-min.jpg

Keeley announced 3 new limited colourway pedal editions today - as far as I can see these are not differentiated / updated / upgraded products - along the lines of the recent 250 units Germanium Retro Super. They are simply existing pedals which have been redecorated as such with limited run graphics / liveries. Two of this trio are ’artist inspired’ models which recognise the artists that use them - so the peppermint green Memphis Sun Lo-Fi Reverb is dedicated to Johnny Hiland, and...

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2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest

Basic AudioBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistDr. No EffectsDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzMatthews EffectsModulated FuzzMonsterpieceOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2018AfBlgYearOfFuzz700-min.jpg

My big thing his year - apart from the usual pedal-chain ToneQuest has been my separate ’Year of Fuzz’ journey for which this article will probably be a Part 1, even though I’ve already reached most of the goals I set at the start of the year, and am somewhat over quota! When I first started down this road I really did not know too much about fuzz beyond Hendrix really. I did not realise how much fuzz was actually used on so many of my favourite records and tracks. I also love...

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Pedal Mania IV - 2018 Mid-Year Update

12 Degrees of SaturationBarn3Bearfoot FXBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCryBabyCustom TonesDelayDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEventideFuzzGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioMI EffectsModulationMu-TronOrigin EffectsPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchReverbREVV AmplificationSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkIIII700SM-min

My pedal chain has never sounded better, and it’s the closest it’s been yet to achieving my end game of having the perfect pedal in every slot. Of course some slots are more multi-use than others, and some have a plethora of exceptional pedals available for rotation. While many slots have pretty much permanent residents now too.

 

There has been a lot of movement in the first 10 slots, with really only the Tuner at #1 and Compressor at #7 holding firm for now. Even though the...

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Guitar Pedal Tone Controls - an Overview

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear ResourcesJHS PedalsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRat Style FuzzShift LineSilicon FuzzSuhrTone Bender Style FuzzTone ControlVemuram+-
2018AfBlg9PedalToneControlAlternatives700-min

Let me start by saying that I’m not an electronic engineer, and I will leave it to the likes of Brian Wampler to explain the circuit design whys and wherefores of resistors, transistors and capacitors. I am however a pedal aficionado and have direct experience of a great many of those - and this article is based on that.

 

I would encourage you to read my companion piece on ’Electric Guitar EQ’ first as that relates directly to this article, and serves as a decent run ...

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How important is the look of a pedal to its success?

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDr ScientistDriveGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesMulti-DriveOverdrive+-
2018AfBlg6xElements700-min

There’s plenty of pedals which come in different looks and/or are iterated over a period of years - with new editions ending up in a different colourway or completely different graphic design. My case in point is Dr Scientist’s superb The Elements pedal - which has significantly changed its look over the years - with different colours, graphics, knobs, toggle end-caps, LEDs etc.

 

I believe the current iteration is the Black, Blue and White - Trees, Mountains and Stars ...

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News Navigation

2018 50

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"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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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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