Filter content by area of interest
Amps
Boost and Overdrive
Delay
Distortion
Fuzz
Guitars
Modulation
Pitch
Reverb
Utility
All
All

News

Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

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 WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz 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 ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

The Key Pedal Enclosure Sizes you are most likely to encounter

BossChase Bliss AudioDecibelicsEmpress EffectsEventideGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesMerisPigtronixSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymon+-
2018GPXKeyEnclosureSizes700-min.jpg

I don’t know whether I’m particularly unique in this regard, but form-factor and enclosure size / dimensions are a key criteria for me within the pedal-acquisition process / work-flow. I have very obvious favourites, and if a pedal goes much beyond those key dimensions it lessens its appeal for me. For a while this mean that I was not at all comfortable with ThorpyFX enclosures as they are both slightly fatter, and considerable longer than the typical ’Compact’ enclosure...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

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...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Mid-Size Delay & Reverb Guitar Workshop Pedal Alternatives

DelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEventideMeris EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStrymon+-
2018AfBlgMidSizeDelayReverWks700-min

As always there’s a rhyme and reason for this particular feature. My end-of-chain time-based effects are currently the Empress EchoSystem Dual Delay and Boss RV-500 Dual Reverb - both pedals in fact preceded by an Eventide H9 Max which also gives me a full range of options for both Delay and Reverb.

 

All these three pedals are preceded by a Boss MD-500 Modulation Workstation, but before this arrangement I used to roll with the Strymon Stryfecta of Mobius, TimeLine and BigSky. I ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Guitar Pedal Volume Drop Issues and Solutions and the need for expansive Output Level Control

Chase Bliss AudioEventideGear MaintenanceGuitar Gear ResourcesPedal VolumePedal Volume DropStone Deaf Effects+-
2018AfBlgPedalVolume700-min

Anyone who uses vintage and analogue modulation effects pedals will most likely have witnessed an obvious drop in volume when those pedals are activated. It’s one of the reasons I tend to avoid vintage effects - alongside their unusual power requirements, odd shapes and overly large footprints.

 

In some of my previous features and reviews I have been criticised for not mentioning the volume drop on certain pedals - like an EHX Electric Mistress - I though pretty much take it for ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

Three Key Guitar Pedal Trends for 2018

Alexander PedalsAnalog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioDelayDiamond PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEventideFuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveKnas MusicKTRMission EngineeringModulationMoog EffectsOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchPitch-ShiftingProAnalog DevicesReverbSpring ReverbStryfectaStrymonSwindler EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZvex+-
2018AfBlg3PedalTrends700-min

1 : Bigger Pedalboards

I know this as well as anyone with my pedal-chain of 39 - and there are some out there that are bigger still. It’s like having a whole spice rack with you - where you can quickly stomp off into any musical direction. Sure you have Axe-FX, Helix and Kemper - but very few things beat your being able to visualise everything concretely and combine in any manner. I’m not saying these things are practical - in fact mine will never leave my ‘music corner&rsquo...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions

9 of the Best Pitch-Shifter and Harmonizer Pedals for Your Consideration

BossDigiTechDwarfcraftEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEventideFuzzHarmonizerMooerOddball FuzzPitchPitch-ShiftingTC Electronic+-
2017AfBlg9PitchShftrPedals700

It’s really cool that Eventide in its PitchFactor workstation pedal - has a big box equivalent to the usual modulation, delay and reverb types. Yet Eventide is alone in compiling / combining such a full range of pitch-shifting and harmonizing effects into one pedal - there really is no other equivalent to that collection of 10 modes - Diatonic | Quadravox | Harmonic Modulator | MicroPitch | H910 / H949 Harmonizer | PitchFlex | Octaver | Crystals | HarPeggiator | Synhonizer. Everyone else ...

Stefan KarlssonPopularCommentsRSS FeedContent Subscriptions
News Navigation

2019 50












































9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"I'm pretty sure there are further innovations "...
12 days ago
9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Great article. Really, really hoping REVV gets "...
12 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Mark - wait for the next article! Which is Large E"...
13 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Hi Stefan. As always great review. Any reason the "...
13 days ago
4 Cool Compact Analog Tap-Tempo Phaser Pedals
"Hey Alejandro - Subdecay should just shrink and "...
13 days ago
4 Cool Compact Analog Tap-Tempo Phaser Pedals
"My favourite phaser would be Subdecay Quasar v4 "...
13 days ago
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"maybe it does make sense to distinct between tape "...
24 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Alejandro - the more experimental harmonic "...
14-Oct-2019
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"What are the most experimental harmonic tremolo "...
09-Oct-2019
Waiting