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End of June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode V - A Disturbance in the Force!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBixonicBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJune700V3.jpg

June hasn’t been a particularly kind month to me - in fact it’s been something of a difficult period - I was going to call this piece ’The Darkness Lingers’ but didn’t really want that particular NLP on this blog - which I try to keep as positive as is practically possible.

 

A number of ventures and collaborations I was working on this month came a cropper when the other collaborating parties somewhat inexplicably and suddenly ended their involvement - ...

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The Inner Beauty of Pedal Design!

6 Degrees FXBeetronics FXDecibelicsEarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersFunction F(X)Guitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGut Shot CultureJAM PedalsLauren AudioLeeVibe EffectsReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSpaceman Effects+-
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This post was in part triggered by my constantly referencing certain pedal guts as benchmarks for appealing pedal interior / circuit design. The second trigger was Markus Reeves of Reeves Electro - who has been posting pictures of his exceptionally neat point-to-point straight-line-wiring examples of circuits to the Fuzztopia Facebook Group - all of which I’m rather taken with currently.

 

I’ve chosen not to have any legends for the above picture so that the more knowledgable...

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End of May Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - A New Hope!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMay2700.jpg

May was the month that several things finally slotted into place - all my missing / presumed lost USA orders finally landed as did a few other pedals which had been somewhat lingering in the wild - so May delivered a pretty decent pedal yield overall in the end. I also got to be involved in a couple of exciting up-and-coming brands - Kuro Custom Audio of Italy and MidValleyFX of USA. I’ve already published a feature on the excellent Kuro Akuma Fiery Fuzz as featured on slot #5, and hope ...

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End of April Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Lost in the Post Edition

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVA AudioVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMApril700V2.jpg

So a lot has changed during the month of April - we’ve had some thoroughly exciting and invigorating new product launches, while three of my American acquisitions are seemingly lost by USPS - hopefully they will materialise some day, but for one of them there have been no tracking updates for over a month now - which is somewhat alarming. As the eternal optimist, I can only hope that things right themselves eventually. I had already determined that my pedal-acquisition would go on semi-...

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Spring Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Edition

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSinvertekThorpyFXTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMarch700V2.jpg

I had hoped to do regular monthly updates on how the various NAMM-announced pedal releases and other newer additions were impacting my own pedal-chain choices. Yet we all know how this year has gone - obviously impacted by numerous delays brought on by the Social Distancing required to counter the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19.

 

Because of parts supply and resourcing issues, most 2020 NAMM pedals have been delayed to some degree. When there is uncertainty as to when the next ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure Compressor Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Analog.ManBarber ElectronicsBecos FXBondi EffectsBossCompressorDarkglass ElectronicsDiamond PedalsDryBell EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesEmerson EffectsEmpress EffectsFoxpedalFriedman EffectsGreer AmpsJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringMad Professor EffectsMXROhmless PedalsOrigin EffectsOvni FXPettyjohn ElectronicsTC ElectronicThorpyFXUtilityWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPX28BestCompactCompressors700V2.jpg

I’ve encountered a number of ’Best Compressor’ articles this year which I really felt were not fully representative of the very best of what is out there. That was the catalyst for this feature, along with a couple of new compressors I had not properly featured yet, and the fact that I’ve not done a Compressor round-up for a good couple of years now.

 

Pretty much all the compressors listed here are / were already known to me, while I picked up a few new ones ...

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28 of the Best Compact Tremolo Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCoda EffectsCopilot FXDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFlower PedalsHamstead SoundworksJHS PedalsKorora AudioMagnetic EffectsMalekko Heavy IndustryMatthews EffectsModulationNative AudioSentimental Bob ElectronicsSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuhrSuproSwindler EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28BestCompactTremolos700.jpg

There have been a number of new Tremolo pedals fairly recently released, and in fact I was tempted to acquire another in a roundabout fashion. The catalyst was actually the new Rock Fabrik Effects Kuek Touch Sensitive Dynamic Tremolo - yet that comes in a medium vertical BB enclosure and I only have space for a compact. So luckily Anasounds entered the scene with their own version new Ages Harmonic Tremolo which did much the same thing as the Kuek - but in my preferred size / form factor!

&...

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11 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Pedals

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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Usually I limit these roundups to the 9 best from each brand - but I felt that the visual for that was a little gappy because of the different enclosure sizes! So in an effort to balance out the visual better I upped the limit to 11 - which allowed my to do a couple more interesting things with the listing.

 

These listings are based on a mix of my own personal favourites and more widely considered best pedal ambassadors for those ranges. For a lot of selections here there was an either ...

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9 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Compact Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzEarthQuaker DevicesEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2020GPX9EQDCompactFuzz700.jpg

A couple of provisos right from the start here - this is obviously not a definitive selection per se - it’s grounded to my own preferences - and secondly, as I’ve noted several times before - I’ve come rather late to EarthQuaker Devices and don’t have as many of those pedals in the collection as I probably should. I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions about the idiosyncrasies of how we are exposed to different gear. What each player is into is the result of quite ...

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2020GPXEQDAfterneathV3700.jpg

I must confess that I foolishly overlooked this pedal in my recent NAMM Show coverage. Obviously Walrus Audio had recently just relaunched its Julia Chorus with new artwork, top-mounted jacks and new soft-touch footswitch, making it a very largely just cosmetic change exercise which I did not feel was particularly newsworthy in amongst all the genuinely new and differentiated devices. So when the V3 Afterneath materialised - I noted the new artwork and footswitch - but failed to register the ...

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