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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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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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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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21 of the Best Pedals Introduced at Winter NAMM 2018

6 Degrees FXAlexander PedalsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanger AudioGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXRNeunaberOddball ModulationOverdrivePigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationSamplerSeymour DuncanSpacey ReverbSuhrTape DelayTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioWMD Devices+-
2018AfBlg20NAMMPedals700

Pedals are still my favourite guitar-related field - nothing yields the same degree of instant satisfaction as a smart pedal, and there were quite a number of intriguing ones on offer in this year’s crop. I started aiming for 20, then chopped and changed quite a bit - to end up with this current selection of 21. All of these hold significant interest for me and would be / are being considered for inclusion within my pedal chain and compact and mini collections - for which I currently have...

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12 of the Best Reverb Workstation Pedals for your Consideration

BossDigital ReverbDigiTechElectro-HarmonixEmpress EffectsEventideFree The ToneKeeley EngineeringMeris EffectsNeunaberReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStrymonTC Electronic+-
2017AFBlg12ReverbWorkstations700

Reverb is one of my must have pedals - it’s one of 6 pedals in my chain that is always on, alongside a booster, compressor, noise gate, equalizer and double-tracker - without it, the tone is wholly missing a key dimensions. I was very fortunate in that I did some solid research right at the start, and went directly to a Strymon BigSky, an exceptionally lush pedal, which many still consider the King of Reverbs.

 

Even though I still love the BigSky, and it will stay permanently in ...

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9 of the Best New Pedals at Summer NAMM 2017

Alexander PedalsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechEchoverbEQFuzzrociousGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerKeeley EngineeringModulationMXRNAMMNeunaberPigtronixReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioUtility+-
2017AfBlg9BestSummerNAMM700

It is quite evident that Summer Namm is significantly the junior to the January show. In speaking to several UK retailers, they pretty much order in for most of the year at Winter NAMM. The big issue with that of course is that a significant part of what was announced and ordered back in January still hasn’t been delivered yet. And the worst time to receive stock is in the off-season, which is right about now. This is why very few of the UK retailers attend the summer show.

 

One ...

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Sizing Up Guitar Effects Pedals - Modulation, Delay and Reverb

DelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEventideModulationModulation WorkstationMooerNeunaberReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStryfectaStrymonTC Electronic+-
2017AfBlgModDelRev700

I have written at length about Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz pedals - so we now switch our attention to the slots at the tail-end of the pedal chain, which for me are occupied by the 3 Strymon biggies - Mobius, Timeline and BigSky. And unlike the various drive pedals - where I have numerous options and reserves, with those Strymons I really have everything I need in the area of after-effects. In fact the only swap out I currently have here is an MXR Phase 95 Mini - in the modulation category. ...

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