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Best of High Gain and Metal Distortion Pedals Mini Focus and Final Roundup

Airis EffectsAleks K ProductionAmptweakerAMT EffectsAMT ElectronicsBlackhawk AmplificationBognerBossBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsGoosoniqueworxHorizon DevicesIbanezKeeley EngineeringKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioKSR CeresLone Wolf AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsMooerMulti-DriveOneControlPushking PedalsRedbeard EffectsREVV AmplificationRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesSuhrTWA EffectsWamplerXvive Audio+-
2019GPXPersonalFavouriteHighGainPedals700.jpg

So I thought I would combine the Mini Pedal selection with the final overall category roundup featuring my current favourites and forthcoming/future acquisition targets. The above visual may be somewhat convoluted, but it well illustrates the trade off in footprint and practicality/utility you get across the different enclosure form factors.

 

I’ve stated before that I’ve largely moved away from the larger styles of enclosures in favour of more pedals of a more compact nature...

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9 of the Best Vertical Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerDistortionEmma ElectronicsKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionOKKO FXPushking PedalsRockfabrik EffectsSTL TonesWampler+-
2019GPXVerticalMediaMetalDistortions700.jpg

This article was sparked by the recent launch of the Andy James Signature Revenant Distortion Pedal - made by STL Tones - which are an outfit best known for their digital apps and plugins - this is their first hardware effect and is excellent regardless of a first attempt. It uses all-analogue components to recreate the Andy James tone that STL previously generated via software and DSP means.

 

Most of the other pedals here have been listed and featured before on this side - and besides ...

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Islington UK Guitar Show Highlights via 9 Key Encounters

Adrian ThorpeAmbient EffectsAmpliTubeBeetronics FXBoostBoost and OverdriveCrimson GuitarsDelayDevin TownsendDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEnrico PreußESP/LTDFace MIFenderFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGAKGuitar BrosGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitarsHughes and KettnerIbanezIK MultimediaJamie HumphriesJoss AllenKMA AudioOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOverdrivePaul GilbertReverbSeven DecadesSilicon FuzzS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsThorpyFXWalrus Audio+-
2019GPXUKGuitarShowHighlightsFaces700.jpg

I spent the whole of yesterday at the Islington UK Guitar Show - which turned out to be quite a different experiences for me compared to last year’s somewhat haphazard inaugural event at Olympia - this was much better organised, and I really enjoyed attending the many breakout events at the show.

 

For Pedal fans it was really quite a simple show with relatively few Pedal purveyors - and with one stand having most of the action - i.e. the Audio Distribution Group - with 16 brands -...

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2019GPXKMALoganDrive700.jpg

I must confess that although I’m a big fan of KMA Audio, I’ve still to add one of their many great pedals to my collection / Tone Library, even though a number have sat on my wishlist for quite a while. I’ve featured the majority of KMA pedals on this site, and indicated a desire to acquire at least the Dead Stag Muff-Style Fuzz/Distortion, Wurm High-Gain Metal Distortion and most recently the Tone Bender / Super-Fuzz -style Minos Germanium Fuzz.

 

The Logan fills in ...

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28 of the Best Compact Tone Bender Style Fuzz Pedals - All 9 Varieties!

Basic AudioBlackout EffectorsCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDanDrive PedalEarthQuaker DevicesExpresso FXFulltone EffectsFuzzHudson ElectronicsJHS PedalsKMA AudioMagnetic EffectsMaxonMenatoneMojo Hand FXMonsterpiecePigDog PedalsProAnalog DevicesSolidGoldFXTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2019GPX28ToneBenders700-min.jpg

Last time I did a Tone Bender overview I limited the selection to 12, and as much by chance as anything else I still managed to get a pretty decent roundup of most of the main Tone Bender varieties although not quite all as featured here. In the world of fuzz though only the Big Muff can compete with the convoluted and complex nature of the Tone Bender Family Tree - which I will endeavour to distil first, and then extrapolate into my own favourite / preferred pedals!

 

It all starts with...

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9 of the Best Mid-Size Multi-Voice Muff-Style Fuzz Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksDemon PedalsExpresso FXFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsToneczarWren and CuffZander Circuitry+-
2019GPX9MediumMultiMuffs700-min.jpg

I can’t recall exactly what the catalyst was to this article, but I’ve been considering versatile medium enclosure Big Muff style fuzzes a lot of late. I have 3 of the best of these already in constant rotation (Update 4 now actually!) - i.e. one momentarily replacing the other on the #19 slot of my pedal-chain - and alternating a whole lot with the PLL style fuzzes right at this moment.

 

In any case during the process of cycling the Demon Pedals Parvati, Toneczar Vault and ...

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16 of the Best Compact Treble Booster Pedals

Black Country CustomsBoostBoost and OverdriveBrian MayBritish Pedal CompanyBSM EffectsCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsElectro-HarmonixExpresso FXGreer AmpsJAM PedalsKMA AudioKnight Audio TechnologiesLaney AmplificationMad Professor EffectsPigeon FXStomp Audio LabsThroBakWren and Cuff+-
2019GPX16BestTrebleBoosters700-min.jpg

This feature was inspired by two recent events - firstly I came across a mention of the new Knight Audio Technologies’ Brian May Classic Triple-Mode Treble Booster, and secondly - Pete Thorn this last Thursday released a really smart video on the use of Treble Boosters. Pete featured 4 such pedals - the 65 Amps Colour Boost, Crazy Tube Circuits Constellation, Divided by 13 Dyna Ranger, and the rather huge Pete Cornish TB-83 Extra Duplex Treble Boost. Of those 4, I actually already have ...

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Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives

Abominable ElectronicsAnarchy AudioArionBehringerBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDOD EffectsDunn EffectsDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioKeeleyKMA AudioLone Wolf AudioMetal DistortionTC ElectronicWalrus AudioWren and CuffXIX Tech FX+-
2018GPXBossHM2Clones700-min.jpg

In the wake of the new and admittedly really cool Waza Craft Edition of the Metal Zone - the MT-2w, there were nonetheless lots of Boss fans who were super surprised that Boss had seen fit to do a Waza edition of a pedal that has been in continuous production since its release in 1991, versus the long-discontinued cult favourite HM-2 (1983-1992) which is likely its most popular pedal on the second-hand market, and which likely also has the most number of clones in that marketplace.

 

The...

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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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12 Unique and Unusual Guitar Effects Pedals for Your Consideration

BossCatalinbreadDelayElectro FaustusFuzzFuzzrociousGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerKMA AudioKorgLo-Fi DelayModulationMWFXOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingSamplerSimon The MagpieSkychord ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSnazzy FXSonic Crayon FXSplitter and Frequency SplitterTape DelayTremoloUtilityWalrus Audio+-
2017AfBlgUniquePedals700

Throughout this year I’ve covered most of the typical pedal type categories - probably somewhere around 25-30 types overall, yet there are many more oddities that sit outside the scope of what’s regular or even marginally mainstream. Certain categories I haven’t covered yet include various utility pedals like ABY types - I may tackle those eventually, but certainly not this year. Yet I still like to spice things up every now and again with pedals that are often quite ...

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9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"I'm pretty sure there are further innovations "...
6 days ago
9 of the Best Large Format High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Great article. Really, really hoping REVV gets "...
6 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Mark - wait for the next article! Which is Large E"...
7 days ago
9 of the Best Horizontal Medium Enclosure High Gain Metal Distortion Pedals
"Hi Stefan. As always great review. Any reason the "...
7 days ago
4 Cool Compact Analog Tap-Tempo Phaser Pedals
"Hey Alejandro - Subdecay should just shrink and "...
7 days ago
4 Cool Compact Analog Tap-Tempo Phaser Pedals
"My favourite phaser would be Subdecay Quasar v4 "...
7 days ago
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"maybe it does make sense to distinct between tape "...
18 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Alejandro - the more experimental harmonic "...
30 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"What are the most experimental harmonic tremolo "...
09-Oct-2019
Boss Moves Even Further Ahead with its New and Improved MKII Katana Amp Range
"Great article! Very informative and thoroughly "...
06-Oct-2019
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