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Alpha Distribution Showcases Revamped Amptweaker Range following its Takeover of James Brown's Pedal Brand

AmptweakerBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveTimmy+-
2020GPXNewAmpteaker700V2.jpg

As reported on this site a couple of times already - James Brown, celebrated 5150 amp engineer and circuit designer extraordinaire, sold his Amptweaker brand to Alpha Distribution earlier this year after he accepted a new post at Fender’s EVH Gear Division, Amp Department specifically.

 

Amptweaker has been best known for its high gain pedals - in particular the FatMetal and TightMetal series - but also the TightDrive and TightRock / BigRock Overdrives. The range had sprawled into ...

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Dave Friedman Finally Releases Compact Smallbox Overdrive/Distortion Pedal which was first teased at this year's Winter NAMM

Boost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveFriedman EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionOverdrive+-
2020GPXFriedmanSmallbox700V2.jpg

This has been a long time coming for some - with just the merest of glimpses at Winter NAMM - where I feel the few boxes we saw there were surely empty shells - as I never witnessed any actual play-through. Considering how much of a perfectionist Dave Friedman is it’s all understandable really as we know he would not release anything he’s not 100% happy with.

 

So it’s taken the best part of the year to tweak and tune this one to perfection. In terms of where it sits - ...

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Ed Rembold's Toneczar Openhaus 6-Band Active EQ High Gain Distortion is a Beautifully Balanced Metal Monster

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionToneczar+-
2020GPXToneczarOpenhausEQ700.jpg

You may recall the story of how I was for the longest time chasing the 3-Band EQ more compact original version of this pedal. But was persuaded by Ed in the end to go for the considerable superiority of his latest evolved edition - where he had finally gotten the noisefloor to its most optimal and desired level - and the timbre of the distortion to the perfect degree and combination of sizzle, punch and articulation.


The fact that you have 6 Active Bands of EQ - that you can adjust to ±...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

AmptweakerAMT EffectsAnarchy AudioBearfoot FXBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBlackhawk AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionBYOCCarcharias EffectsCatalinbreadCoda EffectsDanelectroDecibelicsDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistDriveDrunk BeaverDual-DriveDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioEarthQuaker DevicesFeaturedFree Fall DiverFriedman EffectsFunction F(X)Fuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioJAM PedalsJohn K Vintage GuitarsKeeley EngineeringLawrence Petross DesignLoop Hole PedalsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidValleyFXMooerMulti-DriveMXROneControlOpAmp FuzzPelican NoiseworksPepers' PedalsRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSuhrThorpyFXVFE PedalsVox Style DistortionWamplerXIX Tech FXXotic Effects+-
2020GPX12DgreesSaturationDistortionEdition700V2.jpg

This edition comes rather hot on the heels of the recent 12 Degrees of Overdrive version as many readers’ inquiries questioned a couple of missing categories there - which I explained would rather figure within the Distortion contingent which is present here in all its glory!

 

As always, these is some considerable amount of grey science at play here - best typified by the Big Muff and Rat circuits - which are both very much distortions as well as fuzz varieties. I have 3 x 12 ...

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Jackson Audio Flips the Script as the El Guapo becomes the Asabi Modular Overdrive/Distortion with Different Distortion Plugin Modules Available

Boost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOverdriveRat Style Fuzz+-
2020GPXJacksonAudioAsabi700.jpg

I was momentarily confused this morning when the Sweetwater Video alert popped up for the new Jackson Audio Asabi. The pedal looked identical to the now obviously former El Guapo - on the surface the only difference was the name change. Pricing of the unit stays at the exact same level as the El Guapo or $350/£350.

 

While delving a little further into the subject it became obvious that Brad Jackson and colleagues had lifted the functionality from the forthcoming Jackson Audio ...

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End of October Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IX - Imminent Acquiescence

Big Muff Style FuzzBossDelay WorkstationDistortionFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulation WorkstationNordland ElectronicsODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzPitchPreAmpReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSTL TonesStrymonToneczarVick AudioWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMOctober700V3.jpg

October has proven to be another fairly significant month - both in terms of new pedal releases / arrivals and my own pedal-chain evolution. I’m also in the midst of a Vick Audio phase - having relatively recently acquired most of the key pedals in that range - including all 5 Tau Series Muff variants - which were all in my chain together for a big chunk of October.

 

There were a number of very significant releases/arrivals this month for me - including the Boss GT-1000 CORE and ...

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9 of the Best Medium Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Capable Distortion Pedals

320 DesignBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEVH ElectronicsMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXRPedalPalFXPushking PedalsSeymour DuncanSkreddy PedalsWamplerWeehbo+-
2020GPXEVHMediumDistortion700.jpg

I obviously featured 3 of these in my recent Eddie Van Halen Pedals roundup, and have only just completed the overview of compact enclosure EVH-style pedals in that same territory. As a final bookmark to Eddie’s legacy, at least for now, I’ve decided to expand the scope of the medium enclosure alternatives for those looking to recreate that classic EVH Brown Sound and have more real-estate/ floor-space at their disposal.

 

As with the compact enclosure exercise there is a mix...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Distortion Capable Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AmptweakerAMT EffectsBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJackson AudioJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveMXROneControlPettyjohn ElectronicsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuhrThorpyFXWampler+-
2020GPX28JCM800700V2.jpg

In my recent coverage of Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Pedals I indicated that I had none of the usual suspects Overdrives/Distortions - or namely MXR EVH 5150, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe and Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. While in fact I have well over 20 Brown Sound Style variants in my collection of various different sizes - with the vast majority being compact enclosures as featured here. I make no secret of the fact that the compact size format is my faourite and particularly for these sorts...

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Eddie Van Halen's Pedals, Typical Pedalboard Arrangement and Suitable Alternatives

BossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCryBabyDistortionDunlop EffectsEddie Van HalenEffects Pedal MakersEVH ElectronicsFlangerMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMXROctaverPhaserPitchSeymour DuncanThorpyFXWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2020GPXEVHPedals700.jpg

Key to Eddie’s signature sound has always been his use of Chorus, Flanger and Phaser effects in particular, along with some Wah-based flourishes. As a result MXR has built up a small range of EVH branded pedals - which Eddie mostly used on his latter-day pedalboards - with some occasional exceptions.

 

For this particular exercise I’m referencing one of Eddie’s 2012 pedalboards - as per the visual below - which also features a Boss OC-3 Super Octave, and an MXR Analog ...

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Boss Shrinks Down its GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor to a more handy-sized but still Full-Featured GT-1000 CORE Stomp Box

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDistortionDown-TunerDual-DriveEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPreAmpRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
2020GPXBossGT1000Core700.jpg

I’ll jump straight to the obvious here in calling this Boss’s contender to go against current category leader and long-term reigning champ - the Line 6 Helix HX STOMP Multi Effects Processor and Amp Modeller - which interestingly retails for $599 in the USA, but only around £399 on this side of the pond. While starting RRP tag for the GT-1000 CORE will be £615 (vs GT-1000 currently retailing at £799UK/$999USA). In fact prices are weirdly quite disparate between UK,...

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