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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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UK Guitar Show at Olympia Highlights - Pedals and Guitars

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBufferCompressorCrimson GuitarsDistortionDriveEQFlattley Guitar PedalsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanGuitarsHeadless GuitarsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMetal GuitarsOffset GuitarsOverdriveRat Style FuzzReiver GuitarsSBC GuitarsSG-Style GuitarsSilicon FuzzS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStone Wolf GuitarsThorpyFXT-Style GuitarsUK Guitar ShowUnique-Shaped GuitarsUtilityValenti GuitarsWalrus Audio+-
2018GPXThorpyFXGuitarShowPB700V2-min.jpg

So I attended the inaugural Future Publishing UK Guitar Show this past Saturday at the Olympia Exhibition Centre London - Levels 2 & 3. It was not the most auspicious day for an event in London, considering there was a strike on the Piccadilly line, and the important chunks of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines were down for maintenance. I therefore ’tubed’ it to Shepherd’s Bush or Westfield essentially, and walked down from there - a ...

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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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3 of the Best Next Level Compact Boost + EQ + PreAmp Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBufferChase Bliss AudioEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationOverdriveThorpyFXUtility+-
2018GPX3SpecialCompactBoostEQ700-min.jpg

All three of the above pedals are exceptional, and I’m a big fan of all these pedal-makers. As reported in the recent 12 Degrees of Saturation article - I like having an always on Boost pedal to enhance my tone - add warmth and sparkle, as well as even out the core tonal characteristics. Right from the start I had a Xotic EP Boost at the start of the chain to set the core tone for the rig - while I’ve always also had a Boss GE-7 EQ after my ’Dirt Section’. Initially both...

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Georgia Tech Students Create Innovative Modal Effects Modular Disruption Pedal

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionModal EffectsModular PedalOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2018GPXModalPedalsDisruption700-min.jpg

Following Elta Music Devices ’Console’ - a Modular Gaming Console style Multi-Effects Pedal which came with Joystick control and swappable modular cartridges, it seems that modular pedals are very much in vogue again. And while the Elta Console concentrates on various modulations, Georgia Tech / Modal Effects do a very different take on Boost, Overdrive, Fuzz, Distortion and Tone in an equally impressive magnetic snap-on enclosure.

 

The only similarity with these pedals is ...

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35 of the Best Boss Compact Guitar Pedals - 2018 Update

Acoustic SimulatorAlchemy AudioAmbient EffectsAnalog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKeeley EngineeringLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModified PedalsModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTalk Box and VocoderTremoloTunersUtilityWaza Craft+-
2018AfBlg35BossCompacts700V3-min

So last year was the 40th anniversary of the Boss Compact Pedal (1977 - 2017) and I did a feature to commemorate that notable milestone. On that occasion I picked out 20 of my favourite Boss Compacts - past and present.

 

In the intervening time I’ve got more and more into Boss pedals - particularly modified versions, and have decided to extend the list to cover the additional pedals I am interested in. There is still a part of me that prefers the MXR-style enclosure, especially ...

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Electric Guitar EQ

Active EQElectric Guitar EQEQEQ ControlEQ PedalsFrequency RangeGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitarsParametric EQUtility+-
2018AFBlgGuitarEQ700-min

So this started off as an addendum to my piece on Guitar Pedal Tone Control Alternatives, but then very much became an article in its own right, and now precedes the article it was supposed to be a part of. The majority of guitar pedals usually have one or more tone control dials or switches to amend / tune the tone of said pedal. I started looking at different forms of tone control, before investigating what in fact were the key frequencies for electric guitar, and how was it best to control ...

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Buying Modded Pedals - 20 of the Best Types

Alchemy AudioAnalog.ManBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKinnatoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMatthews EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMXRNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePitchTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgModdedPedals700-min

I am a huge fan of Modified / Modded pedals, and often wait a week or two on EHX releases to see if JHS doesn’t have some key updates for me for a relatively minor additional cost. I have too many times foolishly overlooked modified pedals, having bought the Xotic trifecta in its original form, as well as way too many Boss pedals initially in their original versions - where there are often as many as half a dozen alternative / tweaked versions available for relatively meagre additional ...

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Pedal Mania III - Pedal Chain State of the Union, February 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSinvertekStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkPAR700

It’s always amusing to set your pedal goals and targets right at the start of the year, and then have to amend them right after the various Winter NAMM announcements. In fact I did a status update at the end of last year, and at the start of this one - which is not a whole lot of days really, but so much as happened in the interim!

 

I kind of got inspired by heavier tones over Christmas - which prompted me to acquire another heavy distortion pedal - in the shape of the MI Audio ...

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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
"Can Keeley Filaments achieve shoegaze walls of "...
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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