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9 of the Most Distinctive Pedal Range Enclosure Designs

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesOrigin EffectsStone Deaf EffectsThropyFXVemuram+-
2019GPXDistinctEnclosureDesign700-min.jpg

When I did my various country-based pedal-builder overviews I came across a large number of pedals which looked either too samey or else were somewhat unimpactful aesthetically and/or thematically. A significant part of my day job consists of Brand Stategy / Brand Engineering and Design Consultancy and part of me always wants to improve things and make them better - whether that is wanted or not - so you can heed this advice or ignore as you feel pertinent.

 

For pedal-makers, the ...

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9 of the Best JHS Pedals

Analog DelayBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzJHS PedalsMarshall Style DistortionModulationOverdriveSilicon FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2018GPX9BestJHSPedals700-min.jpg

You may have noted that JHS has gotten quite a lot of coverage on this site - being mentioned on no less than 47 different posts, and featuring pedals in just about every category. Yet to date I have only 2 of these in my collection - the two ’greatest hits’ editions as I call them, or the Bonsai Multi-Tube-Screamer and Muffuletta Multi-Big-Muff.

 

In fact I have more JHS-modded pedals than JHS original - these include the recent 4 EHX Big Muff Compacts, the Satisfaction Fuzz...

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9 of the Best Magnetic Effects Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMagnetic EffectsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPX9MagneticEffects700-min.jpg

It’s a touch an unusual path, but I first came across British pedal brand Magnetic Effects courtesy of American Nick Jaffe’s JustNickMusic YouTube Channel - where he frequently named the White Atom as his all-time favourite fuzz - using it as an overdrive in low-gain, as well as a full-on higher gain fuzz, even on the more gated / velcro spitty side. So Magnetic Effects have been on my radar for a while and I had always intended to get the Flagship White Atom Fuzz which Nick ...

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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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9 of the Best MI Audio / MI Effects Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDelayDigital DelayDistortionEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMetal DistortionMI AudioMI EffectsMichael IbrahimOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXMIEffects9Best700V3-min.jpg

Readers of this blog will know that I’m quite the fan of Michael Ibrahim’s MI Effects Pedals. I’ve had two as a permanent fixture in my pedal-chain for quite a considerable time already - the Super Crunch Box V2 and the super high gain Megalith Delta - which are both exceptional performers in their respective categories.

 

I’ve long had a number of his other pedals in my sight too - in particular his two earlier V1 compact fuzzes - the G.I. and Neo - or Silicon ...

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The Other King of Fuzz - Marc Ahlfs of Skreddy Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzDelayDigital DelayEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsTape Delay+-
2018GPXMarcAhlfsSkreddyPedals700-min.jpg

While John Lyons of Basic Audio has a generally accepted wider range of Fuzz Pedals in terms of tonal palette, Marc Ahlfs has very much become the master of the 4-Transistor-Silicon fuzzes as well as Germanium/Silicon hybrids. Marc has also managed to deliver a trifecta of fairly unique signature pedals - in the form of this Hybrid Fuzz Driver, Lunar Module Mini Deluxe and Screw Driver Mini Deluxe 5-pot pedals. Those were the first 3 Skreddys I acquired. I have in fact 6 of these now in my ...

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The Unsung King of Fuzz - John Lyons of Basic Audio

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2018GPXBasicAudioJohnLyons700-min.jpg

You could say that there are several masters of the Fuzz circuit - Greg Djerrahian at SolidGoldFX, Marc Ahlfs at Skreddy Pedals, Mark Piera at Analog.Man, Richard Coibion at Monsterpiece Fuzz, Scotty Smith at ProAnalog Devices, and Zachary Vex at Zvex to name a few. In terms of breadth and range of delivery it has to be said though that John Lyons somewhat towers above them all. He has currently 25 all bonafide classic pedals in his range - of which I have acquired 3 to date, with many more on ...

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Brian Wampler - King of Drive!

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWampler+-
2018GPXWamplerKingOfDrive700V4-min 2.jpg

I have a lot of respect for Brian Wampler and his pedals, and already have five in the collection. It is with some sadness that the last active one of those in my chain - the long-serving Mini Ego Compressor is on the point of being ousted by the Jackson Audio Bloom. But Brian of course is still a master pedal craftsman and no one on the boutique side or any side for that manner has as many well-loved overdrives and distortions. And a Wampler pedal will soon appear once more on active duty in ...

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Best of Italian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AC NoisesAcoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveCornerstone Music GearDelayDigital DelayEffects Pedal MakersFoxgearF-PedalsFTelettronicaFuzzGurus AmpsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMastro ValvolaModulated FuzzModulationNexihum Sound CultOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserSilicon FuzzSIM1Tape DelayTremolo+-
2018GPXItalianPedalMakers700-min.jpg

With its still world-leading designer manufacturing industries I expect Italian pedal-makers to exhibit a certain degree of flair and pizzazz. So I was a touch disappointed when I came across so many poorly designed websites and often rather mediocre designs of pedals. That’s not to say there aren’t some leading lights here which raise the tone - but overall with the glut of pedal-makers I reviewed, I felt that as a nation they did not quite live up to their billing or imaginary ...

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Best of German Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AmpsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiBluGuitarBoostBoost and OverdriveDelayDiezel AmplificationDistortionEffects Pedal MakersGigging AmpHexe EffectsHome-Play AmpJPTR FXKMA AudioLehleMetal DistortionModulationNeo InstrumentsNobelsOKKO FXOverdrivePhaserRotary SpeakerTube AmpTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2018GPXBestOfGermanPedals-min.jpg

After the Best of French roundup, the German leg of the European tour turned out to be quite arduous. Germany have easily as many pedal builders as he UK but with a little more strength in depth. There’s a mix of everything from Germany - both vintage and innovation, and they’re of course very strong in the area of overdrive and distortion as backed up by their many superb high-gain amp builders.

 

Overall, I felt that there were a few more brands here that I was familiar ...

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News Navigation

2018 32

20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"I believe the official EVH fan club as such "...
3 days ago
20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"Hey Hector - when you say Mesa do you mean Double "...
3 days ago
20 of the Best Compact Marshall Style Pedals
"Any mesa boogie and P51/50 style pedal "...
3 days ago
The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show
"Regarding the Mod Workstations - that's why I'm "...
23 days ago
The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show
"Great overview!!!! I am really looking forward "...
23 days ago
Boss MD-500 vs Strymon Mobius - including full list of MD-500 Presets
"Ben - quality is quality wherever it comes from "...
14-Jan-2019
Boss MD-500 vs Strymon Mobius - including full list of MD-500 Presets
"What a fantastic comparison review! Yes, I would "...
13-Jan-2019
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