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Pedal Design 101 - All about Pedal Knobs, and why more brands should have their own signature versions

Blackout EffectorsBogner AmplificationBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDanelectroElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryFTelettronicaGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHudson ElectronicsJHSJPTR FXKlonLone Wolf AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMXROrigin EffectsSkreddy PedalsSpaceman EffectsSuproThorpyFXVemuramWalrus AudioWamplerZvex+-
2019GPXPedalKnobs700V2.jpg

They are a key functional element to all pedals - in terms of working practicalities, look and tactile feel - and there are hundreds, if not thousands of possible varieties and variants, yet certain types of Knobs tend to dominate. Ever since we’ve had electrical devices - well over 100 years now, we have had a variety of control knobs and dials - initially metal, then bakelite, and now mostly modern plastics, hardened rubber and aluminium.

 

In doing this feature/guide I ...

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One Knob Wonders! - 17 of the Best One Knob Pedals

Black Arts ToneworksBoost and OverdriveCompressorDistortionDriveEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJ RockettJPTR FXJRADLone Wolf AudioLooperLovepedalMetal DistortionModulationMojo Hand FXMXRMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOverdrivePhaserReverbSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSpring ReverbStomp Under FootTate FXTC ElectronicUtility+-
2019GPXOneKnob700-min.jpg

This feature was inspired by a couple of recent events, and partly as a counter to my highlighting of the really rather complex Empress Zoia Modular Synthesizer / Multi-Effects unit in my last feature. For the last week or so I’ve been working on updating my rather extensive Guitar Pedal Directory page which features all of the above, and around 2,000 more from across 160 or so pedal builders around the world.

 

I periodically review each of the sites referenced - to keep tabs on ...

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9 of the Best Compact Dumble Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveHermidaJ RockettJRADLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMojo Hand FXMXRTanabeWampler+-
2019GPX9BestCompactDumblePedals700-min.jpg

This article is prompted chiefly by my fairly recent acquisition of the Demon Pedals Kondo Shifuku D-Style Overdrive - which brings my tally of Dumble style drives to three - or 7 kind of, depending on how you characterise these things. The very first Dumble Style pedal I acquired was the Mad Professor Simble - which I still love, but substituted eventually with the more versatile Wampler Euphoria. While both those are excellent conveyors of the kind of Dumble tones I was looking for - the ...

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RIP Jim Dunlop - King of the Picks

CryBabyDunlop EffectsDunlop ManufacturingDunlop PicksGuitar AccessoriesGuitar HeroesJimi HendrixMXRPicks and PlectrumsPitchUtilityWay Huge Effects+-
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Dunlop Manufacturing is one of the many, as well as one of the chief family businesses in the general guitar industry / sector - setting the pace and scope of what’s possibly with quality gear alongside outfits like Ernie Ball for over half a century (since 1965). And while Jim’s involvement of late has not been so prominent as in previous years, he has nonetheless left an indelible mark on the brands that he developed, innovated and evolved.

 

Dunlop probably means a great ...

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12 of the Best Uni-Vibe Style Pedals

Dawner Prince EffectsDigiTechDLS EffectsDryBell EffectsDunlop EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFulltone EffectsJAM PedalsJHS PedalsModulationMXRRetroman EffectsTC ElectronicUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2018GPX12BestUnivibes700-min.jpg

I have to confess that I used to be a touch confused between Chorus/Vibrato and Vibe/Uni-Vibe effects. In certain pedals there is a degree of overlap, but generally a genuine Uni-Vibe pedal is actually a sort of phaser / phase-shifter whose effect is generated by bulb-driven photocell modulation. The original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe was developed in around 1967/8 to replicate the Leslie / Rotary Speaker sound. While it did not come nearly close enough to achieving that effect, it did nonetheless ...

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12 of the Best Compact Reverb Pedals

Alexander PedalsAmbient EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDigital ReverbDigiTechDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixMad Professor EffectsMXRNeunaberPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTC ElectronicWalrus Audio+-
2018GPX12CompactReverbPedals700-min.jpg

It seems that 2018 has very significantly been a Year of and for Reverb - with half of these featured recent additions to the category. I have rarely seen as well coordinated a campaign as for the very recent Chase Bliss Audio Dark World launch - which has somewhat overshadowed the slightly earlier release of Dr Scientist’s long-awaited Atmosphere. We’ve also seen Neunaber’s second incarnation of the Immerse, two very highly versatile 11-mode pedals from Electro-Harmonix and ...

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20 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2018 Update II

Amsterdam CreamBig Muff Style FuzzEl Músico Loco FXEWS 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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20 Favourite Boutique Style Mini Drive and Distortion Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDriveEWS EffectsF-PedalsIbanezKeeley EngineeringKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXROverdrivePigtronixSuhrTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic EffectsXvive Audio+-
2018GPX20FavouriteMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So I’ve covered off a large variety of mini Drive and Distortion pedals in these last few features - starting with the 4-Size key enclosure type articles, then Mooer Micro PreAmps, then the older Mooer Minis, and most recently - the OneControl offerings in that area. This article is essentially a collection of the remaining mini drive and distortion pedals I rate from a variety of pedal-builders. They are not all strictly ’Boutique’ but I felt they fit best within that ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large EVH Brown Sound Style Pedals

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionEVH ElectronicsMarshall Style DistortionMI EffectsMXRSuhrWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeBrownSound700-min.jpg

I’ve already mentioned that the treble-boosted Vox-style distortion a la Brian May is one of my favourite higher gain tones. The other being Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Variac-attenuated Marshall distortion with added flanger and phaser. I like this sound so much I have a number of dedicated pedals for this purpose - compact and mini. The first foray into this was the Mad Professor #1, then Suhr Riot, Bogner Burnley, and for the longest time now - my favourite - the V2 MI Effects ...

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12 of the Best Compact Analog Delay Pedals

Analog DelayBondi EffectsBossChase Bliss AudioDelayElectro-HarmonixFoxgearJHS PedalsMaxonMXRSeymour DuncanSinvertekStone Deaf EffectsWay Huge Effects+-
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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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News Navigation

2019 50

6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Jerome - Alas no I have not had the opportunity "...
17 days ago
6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Hi Stefan, Thank you for another insightful "...
17 days ago
2 Polyrhythmic Pattern Tremolos - Malekko Goatkeeper vs Subdecay TremCoder
"Well I can't really get one now anyway, I'd just "...
20 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Mark - I'm sure there are several more that could "...
23 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Catalinbread Harmonic Mesmerizer definately needs "...
23 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Indeed - REVV make great amps and pedals - "...
23 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Boy their stuff is so good... Really hope to see "...
23 days ago
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