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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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20 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2018 Update II

Amsterdam CreamBig Muff Style FuzzEl Musica Loco EffectsEWS EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzIbanezJHS PedalsKO AmpsLovepedalMaestro Style FuzzMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzMooerMXRMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigtronixRainger FXRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleSviSoundTone Bender Style FuzzZvex+-
2018GPX20MiniFuzz700-min.jpg

In going through all my various favourite mini Drive and Distortion Pedals, I thought I should round out the exercise by updating my preferred Mini Fuzz list which has grown and evolved over the years. The current number is 20 - with some additions, but also a number swapped out for better alternatives.

 

I haven’t really concentrated on Mini Fuzzes of late for whatever reason, but did put in a recent order with KO Amps for a sort of Skreddy Mayo Big Muff style mini. I’m ...

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12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveFoxpedalIbanezJHS PedalsKHDKMI EffectsNobelsSeymour DuncanTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE PedalsWalrus AudioWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX12TubeScreamerTypes700-min.jpg

There’s been a couple of significant Tube Screamer type releases this year and I’ve discovered a whole load more that I like since I last did this overview. I wrongly had the Super Blues Pro in with my Blues Driver / Bluesbreaker category, and the Xotic BB PreAmp often gets mischaracterized as a Bluesbreaker type where its circuit is really Tube Screamer with Baxandall Hi/Lo Tone Controls.

 

This biggest newby this year is no doubt JHS’s 9-flavour Bonsai - which covers ...

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12 of the Best Compact Bluesbreaker-style Pedals

Analog.ManBoost and OverdriveChicago StompworkscmatmodsGoudie FXJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringMojo Hand FXOverdriveRockBoxSnouse Electric CompanyVFE PedalsVick AudioWampler+-
2018GPX12BluesbreakerStylePedals700-min.jpg

This is essentially the last piece I will do in a while on the Wampler Pantheon - which I am so enchanted by currently. I honestly feel it’s Brian’s best pedal to date, and I was a huge fan of both the versions of Tumnus and Euphoria. The Pantheon comes into a pretty crowded arena where there are already a number of stellar pedals present.

 

There’s a lot of debate about whether a pedal is a clone of a certain circuit which I always find kind of overly academic - and I ...

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12 of the Best Compact Analog Delay Pedals

Analog DelayBondi EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDelayElectro-HarmonixFoxgearJHS PedalsMaxonMXRSeymour DuncanSinvertekStone Deaf EffectsWay Huge Effects+-
2018GPX12CompactAnalogDelays700-min.jpg

There have been a number of new Analog Delay Pedals released this year and with the most recent release of the Bondi Effects Art Van Delay - I thought it opportune to do a round-up. When I last featured 12 of the Best Analog Delays - I covered pedals of all sizes - while here I’m just focusing on the compact enclosure ones. In fact I’ve made a slight concession towards the Stone Deaf Syncopy which is slightly over-sized - or the same size as its tremendous Tremotron Tremolo sibling ...

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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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12 of the Best Compact Chorus+Vibrato Pedals

ArionBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDawner Prince EffectsDryBell EffectsEWS EffectsGreenhouse EffectsJHS PedalsModulationMXRNeunaberTC ElectronicUni-Vibe and VibeWalrus AudioWay Huge Effects+-
2018GPX12CompactChoruses700-min.jpg

The key effect of the 80’s seems to be coming back into vogue again, and it has quickly risen from nice-to-have to essential status for me. This really happened when I acquired the Boss MD-500 - whose Chorus, Filter, Flanger and Phaser modes I love in particular. When the Strymon Mobius was in that slot I did not particularly rate its choruses, while I find the Boss ones pretty stellar - including all the stereo Dimensions modes.

 

So I decided fairly early on this year that I ...

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12 of the Best Compact Tremolo Pedals - Updated

BossChase Bliss AudioCoda EffectsCopilot FXFlower PedalsJHS PedalsModulationRed House ElectronicsStone Deaf EffectsSuhrSuproSwindler EffecsTC ElectronicTremolo+-
2018GPX12BestTremolos700V2-min.jpg

Note - Updated post JHS Kodiak pedal release.

 

When I started down the pedal route - the Tremolo effect was probably may favourite modulation and I did a whole load of research before landing on my preferred tremolo pedals. I kind of over-did the tremolo in those earlier days, but it still remains high in my affections - and I dip back into the category every now and again to see what innovations may have taken place in the interim.

 

In doing my original 9 Best Tremolos overview...

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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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12 of the Best Maestro FZ-1 Style Fuzz Pedals

Basic AudioBigfoot FXBlackstrap Electrik Co.Chicago StompworksD*A*M EffectsElectro-HarmonixFuzzGeorge EngineeringJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzNorth EffectsReuss EffectsSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXVectra Effects+-
2018AfBlg12MaestroStyleFuzzes700-min

Back in January, I started on this year’s Fuzz Tone Quest (2018 Year of Fuzz) with 5 articles on key fuzz types - Fuzz Face, Big Muff, Tone Bender, Rat and Unique/Unusual. One category I foolishly overlooked was the mac daddy original fuzz - the Gibson Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone - most notable for its use on the Rolling Stones’ track ’I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’.

 

This earliest of fuzzes was made with 3 Germanium Transistors and was pretty raw and rough and ...

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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 "...
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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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