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End of May Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - A New Hope!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMay2700.jpg

May was the month that several things finally slotted into place - all my missing / presumed lost USA orders finally landed as did a few other pedals which had been somewhat lingering in the wild - so May delivered a pretty decent pedal yield overall in the end. I also got to be involved in a couple of exciting up-and-coming brands - Kuro Custom Audio of Italy and MidValleyFX of USA. I’ve already published a feature on the excellent Kuro Akuma Fiery Fuzz as featured on slot #5, and hope ...

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Which is the Right HM-2 Style Pedal for You - Choice Alternatives at Different Sizes

BossDecibelicsDistortionKlirrton ManufakturKMA AudioMetal DistortionXIX Tech FX+-
2020GPXMiniMaxHM2Style700.jpg

This post is to a large extent triggered by the recent launch of the new V2 Decibelics Angry Swede Distortion - with added Blend control. This has for a significant time been my favourite straight-up HM-2 Heavy Metal replica favourite - and is an even better proposition now.

 

Of course if you want more extended-range alternatives - I have listed out my preferred candidates at the different enclosure sizes - Mini, Compact, Medium and Large. Since the last time I did this exercise I&rsquo...

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6 of the Best All-Rounder Relatively Compact Dual-Channel / Multi-Voice / Multi-Drive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveStrymonTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
20206BestMediumDualDrivePedals700.jpg

This article was triggered by a question from Ryan C who wanted my take on the Boss OD-200 vs the Strymon Sunset - and why the latter was a more permanent part of my own pedal-chain versus the seemingly more capable and full-featured OD-200 - which I will endeavour to answer here as best I can.

 

I decided to widen the selection as far as possible and get in a few more alternatives for sake of comparison - while that task proved a lot tricker than I had foreseen. The key criteria were to...

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End of April Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Lost in the Post Edition

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVA AudioVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMApril700V2.jpg

So a lot has changed during the month of April - we’ve had some thoroughly exciting and invigorating new product launches, while three of my American acquisitions are seemingly lost by USPS - hopefully they will materialise some day, but for one of them there have been no tracking updates for over a month now - which is somewhat alarming. As the eternal optimist, I can only hope that things right themselves eventually. I had already determined that my pedal-acquisition would go on semi-...

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Spring Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Edition

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSinvertekThorpyFXTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMarch700V2.jpg

I had hoped to do regular monthly updates on how the various NAMM-announced pedal releases and other newer additions were impacting my own pedal-chain choices. Yet we all know how this year has gone - obviously impacted by numerous delays brought on by the Social Distancing required to counter the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19.

 

Because of parts supply and resourcing issues, most 2020 NAMM pedals have been delayed to some degree. When there is uncertainty as to when the next ...

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A GPX Deviation / Mock-up of the Ideal Compact Deluxe HM-2 Clone

Chase Bliss AudioDecibelicsDemedash EffectsDistortionGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesJackson AudioMetal DistortionNeural DSPXIX Tech FX+-
2020GPXHMDLX700V2.jpg

When I shared the recent update about the forthcoming Decibelics Angry Swede V2 with added Blend control I hypothesized on my ideal deluxe edition of the HM-2 style and what format that might take. I shared just a couple of basic ideas, but was further encouraged by several readers to visualize those ideas into one of my typical artworks.

 

So in my usual style, I have drawn together several of my favourite influences - which I will reveal in a little more detail further along - so you ...

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202GPXV2DecibelicsAngrySwede700.jpg

I am so proud to be part of the Angry Swede project - where every production batch sells out within moments. This in my opinion is the most accurate of the Boss HM-2 Clones / Replicas - precision engineered and fully hand-wired in through-hole fashion with the very highest quality components available.

 

There was always a discussion near the start of the project as to what sort of replica this should be - and whether the controls would be differently calibrated - while in the end the ...

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Robert Keeley Boss Mods Trifecta

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOverdrive+-
2020GPXBossKeeleyTrilogy700V3.jpg

Robert Keeley has of course modified more than these three Boss pedals - yet I personally feel that these are the ones really worth having. I have featured both the Keeley Freak Fuzz Modded BD-2 Blues Driver and Twilight Zone Modded MT-2 Metal Zone on this site several times before. In fact the Freak Fuzz Blues Driver is my favourite overdrive pedal of all time! It cleans up wonderfully with your guitar volume control - much in the same way as a Fuzz Face, and it has that same sort of boost ...

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3 Dark Stalking Horses from Lichtlaerm Audio - Altar High Gain Fuzz, Gehenna High Gain Distortion and Trugbild Lo-Fi Chorus

Big Muff Style FuzzBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLichtlaerm AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationSilicon Fuzz+-
2020GPXLichtlaermTrio700V3.jpg

My first introduction to Lichtlaerm Audio was courtesy of Henning Pauly - where I caught him talking about Daniel Ringl’s Berlin-made pedals way before Henning’s demo videos were released. There’s actually 4 pedals to the range - including an input-triggered Noise Gate called The Key and The Gate - working somewhat similarly to Fortin’s Zuul, but relying on a loop rather than single input trigger. I’m very well covered in the area of Noise Gates so that is not my ...

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9 Essential Boss Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEQMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOverdriveReverbReverb WorkstationUtility+-
2020GPX9EssentialBossPedals700.jpg

Of all the pedal brands I collect - I seem to have ended up with significantly more Boss than anything else - with currently 27 Boss Pedals all told. And while it’s not always the case that Boss has the most pedals represented in my active pedal-chain - it just so happens that right now my active Boss pedals number 7 - as follows per pedal-chain order:

  • SY-1 Synthesizer
  • BD-2 Blues Driver Keeley Freak Fuzz + Phat Mod
  • OD-200 Hybrid Overdrive
  • NS-2 Noise Suppressor Alchemy Audio Modded
...
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